Cisco

Cisco

Continued Education & Connection to Key Partners

Client

Cisco is the worldwide leader in IT that is shaping the future of the Internet and how people connect, communicate, and collaborate.

Location

Headquartered in San Jose, CA, USA

Services Provided

  • Content and user experience consultation
  • Content hub creation
  • Content hub strategy, management and ongoing curation
  • Reporting and measurement

Overview

How do you take a behemoth tech company and personalize it to partners in a global economy? Further, how do you connect with these partners around the world in an engaging way without always asking for a sale? Cisco not only wanted to connect; they wanted to make their partnerships more valuable by providing a free service to them, such as a “Youtility.”

Situation

Around 85% of Cisco’s partners engage in digital marketing. Cisco wanted to help their partners do digital marketing really well. With so much to know on this immense subject, from email to SEO to advertising, Cisco wanted to be seen as an expert resource.

The company wanted to create a partner hub in which to organize industry-specific articles, videos, webinar opportunities, and other relevant content. Accessible to all partners, this gives the Cisco team a dedicated location to share information and helpful resources without a password-protected site.

Having worked with Convince & Convert on a live workshop for their partners, Cisco reached out for help to create the hub, to manage the curation of information, and to post relevant articles on a weekly basis. They wanted this to culminate in the creation of content for a weekly email, which Cisco would then send to its partners—including the highlights and noteworthy items added to the partner hub since the last update. They just needed the right team to help them execute.

Challenges

Although Cisco was already in a great position to offer their partners superb content, they still faced implementation challenges:

  • Overcoming corporate security and complex website structure
  • Introducing new technology and tools that worked with the existing website platform
  • Finding ongoing ways to drive traffic to the hub
  • Ensuring curated content was applicable to various skill and knowledge levels within the global partner audience

Solution

Convince & Convert’s solution was to create a Marketing Velocity Hub that sits outside the Cisco firewall – a non-password-protected area that is accessible at all times to all partners. It’s a fresh approach—a new twist for Cisco—and considered an extension or a “pre-cursor” to their existing password-protected, “behind the firewall partner support” that is currently available across its global regions.

Cisco’s goal was to have its first content hub live within 15 days, and the first email ready for curation in 30 days. Convince & Convert started by creating a portal in Uberflip, their preferred partner for content hub management and creation. Convince & Convert managed all aspects of the setup, including basic branding, initial navigation, and “stream” creation through Uberflip.

Convince & Convert worked with the Cisco Marketing Velocity team to craft a launch plan to promote the content hub to partners. Convince & Convert co-led the launch strategy, with Cisco handling the execution and materials/communication creation as needed.

On an ongoing basis, Convince & Convert curates up to 10 articles each week, with the top 5-7 articles added to the Cisco Partner Hub through Uberflip. “Articles” include industry reports, webinar opportunities, infographics, videos and/or any other piece of content, which can be linked to and attributed either directly from Cisco or other legitimate resources.

Additionally, hub visitors are able to opt-in to a weekly email highlighting the new articles and opportunities from Cisco. The team provides Cisco with usage stats on a monthly basis, and a quarterly stickiness brief, which details usage reports and anecdotal feedback from partners to revise and enhance promotions and distribution.

Results

  • Achieved the strategic priority of a regular partner communication.
  • Sophisticated, new curation topics to an opt-in list that grows by 5% every month.
  • The Marketing Velocity Hub regularly attracts visitors from 58 countries and counting.
  • Based on content consumption, the team has learned which digital topics users are interested in, and Cisco has been able to create custom content to respond to that need.
  • Marketing Velocity Hub Impact: In the first six months, 253 marketing content items published, 146 different publishers featured, 3,518 unique visitors to the hub, a 50% non-U.S. audience, suiting global engagement priorities.

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