By Holly Marasco, director of partner marketing, Cisco Canada
Cisco’s partners play a vital role in the success of our company. In fact, roughly 80 per cent of Cisco’s business goes through our partners, so it’s important we not only cultivate strong relationships but also work closely with them grow their business.
Recently Cisco renewed its commitment to partners by re-evaluating its Cisco Partner Led Strategy. Our ultimate aim is to encourage our partners to work closely with their customers, create technology preference and become their customers’ vendor of choice. To help them reach this goal, Cisco is committed to providing partners with the necessary programs, tools, training and resources to succeed.
By listening closely to our partners, we discovered that marketing is a top priority. Last year we conducted a survey among our partners and discovered that over 70 per cent of them are more likely to use a technology company like Cisco for strategic marketing initiatives than a third party marketing vendor. Furthermore, 60 per cent stated they are reliant upon technology vendors such as Cisco for marketing growth.
To help our partners address this marketing need, we created the Partner Marketing Central program (PMC), an exciting global initiative that recently launched in Canada. PMC was designed specifically to help our partners, especially those in the small and medium-sized market, create and execute strategic marketing initiatives.
So what is PMC? Simply put, PMC is a self-service online portal enabling partners to create lead generation campaigns, customize co-branded marketing materials and manage events. Basically, it’s a one-stop-shop for all your co-marketing needs. It’s totally flexible to suit the unique needs of any partner and best of all, many of the PMC resources are absolutely free which makes it especially ideal for smaller companies that may not have the time or resources to launch full marketing campaigns. And for Canadian partners, all the tools are available in both English and Canadian French.
I’ve invited Michael Ferguson, co-founder of Bridge Corporate Communications, a Cisco Select Certified Partner and frequent user of PMC, to share his experiences with the program:
Bridge Corporate Communications has been providing unified communication solutions to businesses and corporations for several years now. To date we’ve been primarily focused on building and maintaining our customer portfolio so have not had the time or resources to heavily invest in an in-house marketing department.
Regardless, we understand the importance of strategic marketing and getting our name out is crucial if we are to build brand recognition. When we learned about Cisco’s PMC resources we immediately began to look into its many opportunities.
To date we have used PMC for a number of marketing campaigns ranging from social media, e-mail, and telemarketing to more grass roots initiatives such as magazine ads and flyers. All the campaigns have proven fruitful and yielded very positive results with numerous sales and approximately $300,000 in combined revenue.
Best of all PMC is very simple to use. Its ready-made tools combined with Cisco’s expertise make for a highly positive experience.
Cisco Canada is very proud of the relationships we have with our partners and PMC is our way of thanking them for their support and giving them the ammunition to further their success in a highly competitive market. Cisco Partners interested in learning more about our Partner Marketing Central program can visit www.cisco.com/go/partnermarketing.