Cisco Systems Inc. says the recent enhancements to Cisco Marketing Velocity is about more than just bringing its partner marketing resources together under one brand, and directly addresses the fact that B2B customers are 60 per cent of the way through the buying process before they reach out to a salesperson.
“Partners are more focused on transforming their businesses and they need to do the same when it comes to their marketing practice. Marketing is one of the most untapped and underutilized areas by partners and it’s time to change that,” said Cisco’s Boon Lai, vice-president of global partner marketing, during a conference call this week.
The new Marketing Velocity connects and integrates Cisco’s existing capabilities under one offering, creating what Cisco describes as an end-to-end experience for partners that have been asking for this move for some time. The newly expanded Marketing Velocity consists of four components:
Cisco Marketing Velocity Learning: This is an always-on education gateway to help partners grow their marketing practices. It’s been revamped and offers partners the latest marketing best practices and live training events.
Cisco Funding for Marketing Velocity: This provides Cisco Joint Marketing Funds, which gives channel partners funds to market their business as well as Cisco products and services. Partners can also use funds to drive up bookings through co-marketing initiatives.
Cisco Marketing Velocity Central: Formerly known as Partner Marketing Central, Marketing Velocity Central is partners’ go-to spot for free, customizable campaigns that span automated email journeys, social media and website syndication, and an enhanced marketing content library. This service also offers advanced analytic capabilities, including campaign tracking and customer contact engagement scoring.
Cisco Marketing Velocity Activate: Marketing Velocity Activate is a new co-marketing service in limited-release with a select number of partners in the company’s 2020 fiscal year (July 28). This service combines data-driven business planning with Cisco and insights-driven omnichannel journeys. Cisco says they’re the first company to launch this type of service with its partners.
Julija Noskova, Softchoice’s vice-president of marketing, applauded the latest changes to Marketing Velocity, and said a digital-first approach is crucial for the company.
“We’ve been working with Cisco and using its channel resources for a while and we’ve seen great value,” she said during the conference call. “They’ve helped us zero in on specific targets and higher propensity accounts. The digital consulting capabilities are also impressive.”
Partners on the call also talked about the importance of being independent and maintaining their own identity while leaning on Cisco’s marketing resources. It’s a tricky balance, explained Robin Ody, analyst at Canalys.
“The partner brand should be seen as independent. They’re often more trusted as a result of that,” he said.