Filter BD Prep (2)

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Core Products or UX Initiatives/Announcements - Cisco

Cisco's Customer Experience (CX) team is involved in virtually every level of Cisco's operations, seeking to streamline and maximize Cisco's products and services' User Experience (UX). Below are the highlights from 2019 along with the associated audience/key technologies for each announcement.

Cisco Speaker at 2020 Conference


December Announcement of Integrated Future Strategy

  • Cisco began hinting at something it calls the "Internet for the Future" in early December.
  • The first component of this multi-year initiative is a new "Silicon One" programmable silicon networking chip.
  • The chip represents the beginning of what looks to be a massive push into flexible infrastructure products by Cisco that will likely affect the company's entire strategy, including UX, over the next several years.
  • Target Audience: Infrastructure professionals
  • Key Technology: Silicon One

Publicizing a "Kinetic for Cities" Project


Cisco Extends its Collaboration with Microsoft


Announcing a New Webex Security Pack

  • In September 2019, Cisco announced the new "Cisco Webex Control Hub Extended Security Pack."
  • While technically a security package, pains were made to emphasize the positive user experience associated with this service, as negative UX are common with increased security services.
  • Customer testimonials show that "the Cloudlock CASB functionality is very easy to deploy and it provides critical data loss prevention for the internal and external spaces. This allowed to deliver a great user experience on an open, modern collaboration platform while still protecting important files and content."
  • Target Audience: Networking professionals
  • Key Technology: Webex(security)

Intention to Buy CloudCherry


Intention to Buy Voicea


UX Research Team's Open Call for a Study


Acquisition of Sentryo

  • In June 2019 Cisco announced its intention to acquire Sentryo, an Internet of Things (IoT) company.
  • Sentryo's was a Lyon, France-based company that offered industrial and manufacturing sensors such as the "Edge Sensor," technology that Cisco has already integrated into its automation solutions.
  • Sentryo's technology will impact the user experience of Cisco's industrial and manufacturing clients as well as the IoT user experience.
  • The Sentryo acquisition was completed on August 8th, 2019.
  • Target Audience: Investors/industrial companies
  • Key Technology: Edge Sensors

Reflecting on a Rapid Development Project in 2018

Part
02
of two
Part
02

Cisco's Marketing Strategy and Initiatives

Cisco is a software company, and it has established itself as an industry leader in technology. According to a Warc study, the giant is also working towards transforming its overall marketing approach.

Cisco's Primary Marketing Focus

  • The global brand is focusing on creating an emotional connection with its target audience, one of the most recent and most successful campaigns by Cisco focused on emphasizing the importance of connections and how the company is a "bridge between hope and possibility."
  • Emotional marketing and cause marketing are two important elements of the brand's marketing approach.
  • Driving social engagement through campaigns that are authentic to the brand's identity is one of the main objectives of Cisco.
  • The brand is shifting from traditional marketing approaches to marketing strategies that are digital and are humane. Emotional resonance is an important element of the content strategy.

The Bridge to Possible Campaign

  • From highly successful campaigns like "There's Never Been A Better Time" campaign, Cisco unveiled a fresh identity of the brand with its new campaign called "Bridge to Possible." The campaign focuses on outlining the core elements related to the brand's success; dedication towards social good, utilizing technology to resolve world problems like poverty, restoring communications in the natural disaster affected areas, social impact programs, and many other contributing programs to support the global community.
  • WPP's Ogilvy has created the campaign, and it attempts to highlight the importance of Cisco's technologies in bridging the gap between possibility and hopes.
The core objectives for this campaign include the following:
  • Changing the overall perception of the brand.
  • And, to drive growth for Cisco's products and services.
  • "The campaign includes an anthem video as well as client-specific spots discussing how Cisco helps clients like Dominos, New Orleans, and Port of Shanghai, "Star Wars" actor John Boyega stars in the video supporting the company's networking SD WAN service."

Go-To-Marketing Strategy

  • Cisco still focuses on a product-based marketing strategy, which is primarily focused on launches and events.
  • Warc recently conducted a study on Cisco and its marketing strategy and stated that the brand already has a go-to-market strategy. But the recent strategy transformation of the company is directed at achieving a situation where marketing is always active and optimizing.

The Power of Purpose Campaign

  • One of the most recent campaigns from Cisco includes an advert that highlights the relationship of Cisco with the Golden Gate Bridge. The advert features the bridge, and "it stands in for the networking equipment Cisco is known for, but also the team behind the technology, based on notes embedded into the description where the clip is housed on YouTube."
  • The advert classifies this relationship as "the love story that changed the world."

Other Marketing Related Details

  • Dentsu Aegis Network's Isobar is the most recent addition to Cisco's agency of records portfolio. The company will be help responsible for creating brand campaigns for Cisco, particularly for Cisco's digital experiences segment.
  • The digital experiences division at Cisco will have its first internal projects with Isobar this year.
  • The core components of the go-to-marketing strategy include; the sales function, which is dedicated to satisfying the needs of its customers; the marketing function, which creates and drives demand for the product offerings; the customer experience function, which exists to ensure that the customers are able to make optimum utilization of Cisco's product technology, and finally "the need for all these functions to stay connected and aligned."

Statements from Company Executives

  • Karen Walker, in a recent CMO event by Collision, said: "Even within the B2B space, we have a very complex go-to-market strategy."
  • In the same event, she also said: "We had outsourced creativity to the agencies."

Challenges

  • The core challenge faced by the company was centered around the fact that the company worked on an "always-on" advertising approach. This model had no decided number of campaigns for the year, which was a real struggle for the company as this was a less effective approach to advertising.
  • The marketing strategy of the company is "too complex" and includes multiple vital components; complex marketing approaches can be challenging and hard to process.

Other Important Details

  • The company also uses celebrity marketing for marketing its enterprise software called Webex; one of the recent examples of the same is the advert by its core agency of record Ogilvy, which features the famous actor Millie Bobby Brown. The main intent of the brand behind casting Millie was to utilize the universal appeal of the actor and to showcase the brand in a new light to the new generation.
  • Cisco's APAC marketing person recently revealed that their marketing department is facing several core challenges, including the process of optimizing the "omnichannel marketing process" and striking a balance between marketing expectations and the declining budget figures.

Research Strategy

While we were able to provide some crucial details about the marketing approach employed by the company, most of the details are not specific to the US. We applied several research strategies to get the required information.

First, we combed through the company website and company resources to find their recent campaigns or any mentions about the focus of their marketing strategy. Most of the resources were about the product launches and the social initiatives from the company.

Secondly, we focused on searching the available sources in the public domain, including case studies on the company, research publications, and other news sources relevant to the recent US related campaigns. Some examples included Forbes, Channel Feature, Ade Age, Business 2 Business, Business Insider. Case studies were searched on sources like Marketing Insights and Market Watch and other relevant sources. We came across several information points about the marketing strategy of the company; however, these case studies provided a static view of the company's core marketing approach, and the current research required a current outlook.

We also searched through the social media channels of the company, to locate details about the recent campaigns done by the company; however, most of the communication done on the channel was about the recent product launches, global campaigns, product updates, and the social good initiatives.

Next, we also analyzed other portals like Ispot for all current and inactive campaigns done by the company. The portals listed campaigns that were active worldwide and were not specific to the US. Most of these campaigns were also active in both the US and Canada, as well. We have examined one mainstream camping and a US-specific campaign in providing marketing-related information. All additional information has been taken from official interviews and official press releases.

Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "Kathryn Parkes is a Senior UX Researcher at Cisco, where she leads both qualitative and quantitative research studies as part of the Collaboration group."
Quotes
  • "Cisco Unveils Plan for Building Internet for the Next Decade of Digital Innovation"
Quotes
  • "Jens Uhle, Solution Architect & Global Project Manager, Unified Communications, Wacker Chemie AG "The new Webex Extended Security Pack gives us the protection we need to confidently enable cross-company interactions and collaboration with our customers, partners and suppliers. The Cloudlock CASB functionality is very easy to deploy and it provides critical data loss prevention for our internal and external spaces. This allowed us to deliver a great user experience on an open, modern collaboration platform while still protecting important files and content. We are very excited about the upcoming anti-malware capabilities that will be included in the bundle that will protect us from Trojans, viruses, and ransomware - even when files are introduced by external users.""
From Part 02