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Cisco increasing channel digital marketing support

Vendor brings together various marketing initiatives under one umbrella to help the channel reach out to customers more effectively

Cisco has stepped up the support it can provide partners that are looking to improve their digital marketing.

The vendor has noted that the customer buying process is increasingly going digital with two thirds of B2B transactions starting online with users 60% towards making a decision before they even speak to a channel sales person.

In order to make it easier for channel partners to increase their digital marketing skills the vendor is launching a Marketing Velocity programme that brings all of its marketing activities un der one brand.

The four components include training, joint marketing funds, a marketing portal and a new activate function, which is a co-marketing service.

Boon Lai, vice president of global partner marketing at Cisco, said that channel partners needed to improve digital marketing to get greater rewards.

"The role of marketing is becoming more crucial than ever," he added "Companies that embrace digital and have a strong digital marketing practice sees a 9.5% increase in revenue year-on-year."

"Partners are more focused on farming and transforming within their businesses and they need to be doing the same when it comes to their marketing practice," he added "marketing is one of the most untapped and underutilised areas of our partners and it's now time to change that."

He added that the Marketing Velocity programme would bring together the tools that partners would need to deliver digital marketing.

“This is more than just bringing all of the partner marketing resources under one brand,” added Lai, “It’s ultimately about integrating and up-leveling our partner’s marketing practices with an end to end solution to attract new customers, deliver more sales and drive profits. We are deeply committed to investing and accelerating our partners’ marketing expertise though this new platform.”

Robin Ody, an analyst at Canalys, said that a lot of partners recognised that they needed to invest in their marketing and were looking for guidance from vendors.

"A lot of them have quite immature digital strategies and they could really use some help from vendors," he said.

He added that having a clear understanding of how MDF worked and how information could be accessed was fundamental but so was a recognition by the partner that they needed a localised approach that would work with their customers.

"Partners really want to understand how they can get more localised content and how they can engage with vendors at a local level and not just a global level," he said.

The partners that had been involved with the pilot programme also reported back positive results. Chad Bockert, vice president of marketing at World Wide Technology, said that the unified programme had made a difference.

"WWT has had a longstanding partnership with Cisco where we have been transforming our marketing practices together. In piloting Cisco Marketing Velocity Activate, we have already seen a $10M pipeline and $2M in bookings in only ten weeks," he said.

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