Cisco supports its partners in the transition to digital marketing

The shift to digital marketing and buying has been a major challenge for the channel, accelerated by the experiences of the pandemic, and has left many vendor contacts for better support.

One that was already taking steps to seize the nettle of digital marketing was Cisco, with its Lifecycle Advantage program, which provides partners with tools to help them deliver high levels of customer experience.

Zarina Pasalic, director of digital experience for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Cisco, believes that digital is gaining prominence as users change their search and shopping habits.

“Digital is the experience our customers have with us. That experience means everything in a subscription world, so if experience is the product we’re all going to sell, we have no choice but to unite around this effort,” she said.

Pasalic added that the pandemic has accelerated these trends and placed “a lot more focus, energy and urgency on digital transformation, and the need to deliver digital-first services.”

One of the other changes that emerges as an issue facing the channel is changing customer expectations.

“The past two years have dramatically changed the way customers interact with brands. The lines between B2C [business-to-consumer] and B2B [business-to-business] have become blurry. Customers, as well as partners, in B2B expect the same experience you and I have in B2C, and they want to communicate through the digital channels they prefer. They want speed and they crave empathy,” Pasalic said.

“We are in an era where digital conversations have become the norm. Not just for customers, but also for our partners, where the speed is no longer fast enough and your competitors are not just those in your industry,” she added.

Cisco has enhanced Lifecycle Advantage to ensure it responds to partner feedback and provides the necessary tools.

“We need to make it easier to [partners] delivering this end-to-end experience. This is their path to value. It’s tied to their business results,” Pasalic said.

“We really enable our partners to digitally engage with their customers to drive lifecycle adoption of upsell and cross-sell opportunities, based on data and analytics, and, of course, to secure renewals. Globally, we have over 7,000 partners in the program, and more and more people are finally recognizing how innovative and valuable it is,” she added.

In a climate of uncertainty, with economic challenges, the advice to all partners is to get closer to their customers and ensure that they can be a real trusted advisor. For Cisco, this effort is also supported by the use of more automated technologies and tools to make it easier for partners to reach users.

“One way to get through the recession, or whatever we’re going through right now, is to double down on the customer and the customer experience,” Pasalic said.

“Automation, scale, and the marriage of people, process, data, and technology isn’t easy. It’s something Cisco has taken years to champion, but now we’re getting better at it.” “, she said.

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