Cisco Partner NWN Revs Up for Data-Driven Marketing
It’s well-known in the channel-partner community that marketing hasn’t always been its strong suit. Even among partner businesses with a healthy attitude toward marketing, campaign-message targeting has been less than an exact science and ROI tracking is difficult.
But thanks to a preponderance of customer life-cycle data owned by Cisco, gold partner NWN Corp., an IT solutions and managed services provider, is ready to take its marketing efforts in a new direction, hopefully with improved results.
Attending her sixth Cisco Marketing Velocity event last week in New Orleans, Tina Dorsey, director of marketing at NWN, and a 16-year employee, understands that her mission is to be clear about the customers’ needs. She wants and to use real-time data to deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time. That, however, is a work in progress.
“The thing I’m most excited about today is data,” she told Channel Futures. “If I can go back and say to the sales team that I’ve targeted these 200 customers for ‘this’ solution, and that I saw the digital patterns about what a particular customer was doing, and when they were ready to buy – and that’s when I handed it off to you – well, that would be so much better than going after 25,000 prospective customers and not really being sure about who did what when.”
Dorsey is fortunate to work for a company with a marketing champion at the C-level who, a couple of years ago, merged the sales and marketing teams.
“Our sales leader was promoted at that time and he, along with our executive team, saw that sales and marketing were running in two separate directions,” she said. “They realized that it made more sense to tie the two organizations together.”
Transformation, however, doesn’t come easily or quickly. The key is for marketing to be able to show ROI and results about the success of its marketing campaigns to the sales team. Dorsey and her team of five marketers use a variety of tools today to become more data-driven. For example, they use Marketo – marketing automation software – Hootsuite and Google Analytics.
NWN, however, hasn’t run a data-driven campaign yet. For that, the company will work with Cisco to find out how this can help NWN specifically. Dorsey will contact her Cisco partner marketing manager to learn more about analytics tools that Cisco has in Partner Marketing Central, where Dorsey’s team goes to for various marketing assets, such as content and campaigns.
When Dorsey refers to the power of data and Cisco analytics tools, she’s referring to what Boon Lai, vice president of global partner marketing at Cisco talked about in his keynote at Marketing Velocity. He outlined three key trends having an impact on a partner’s business today and the impact they will have in the future: Digital is becoming a human extension; intelligence is the new currency; and the customer will be predictable in real time.
Lai noted that 61 percent of companies with an innovation strategy are using AI, data and intelligence to uncover new opportunities. He also told attendees that Cisco owns data across the customer life cycle, driving awareness, purchase and usage, and will share this unique intelligence with partners to help win and retain customers.
“I’d like to get started right away, say the next 30-60 days, because I have several campaigns that I’d like to get out and would like to try a data-driven campaign,” said Dorsey. “Based on Cisco’s data and our Cisco customer data, I want to find out where the white-space accounts are that are ripe for a specific solution.”
The ability to show ROI and the success of marketing campaigns with the sales team is what Dorsey believes will …