Like many B2B companies, Cisco has long relied on email campaigns and live events as our primary tools for connecting with customers and marketing our products and services to them. Now, with help from Cisco IT, Cisco is providing a more dynamic and effective way to engage customers and ensure that we are providing them the right content and information at the right time. The goal of this transformation is to increase customer engagement through the power of connecting data and insights from each touch point, enabling a seamless journey from “anonymous user” to “informed prospect” to “happy customer.”
This new digital experience mirrors a shift in Cisco’s business toward a more software and solutions-driven company. Customers expect their online experience to be an integral part of the product, just like consumer applications and services. The customer experience we are now able to provide is:
● Omnichannel: This means we can engage with customers in a consistent way across digital channels, including email, Cisco.com, social media, and online advertising.
● Always-on: We can now engage with customers at any time, based on how they interact with us digitally. We can reach customers when they are ready, not on a fixed “campaign launch” timeline.
● Personalized: Because we are constantly learning about our customers from digital interactions, we better understand their needs and can give them the content they want, exactly when they want it.
As part of our effort to transform the customer experience, we created a connected ecosystem—the Cisco Marketing Cloud. It includes data providers and interactive content, as well as predictive analytics and customer experience management capabilities. The foundational data for this ecosystem is on our Hadoop big data platform, which is built on the Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI™). It is on-premises and in our own private cloud, which helps us to keep customer data secure. The platform collects customer data from Cisco.com, Salesforce, third-party resources, and other online and offline channels, including attendance at our live events. We process over 10TB of customer interaction data a month, capturing 34.8 million unique daily sessions.
The Hadoop big data platform is integrated with best-in-class cloud-based marketing applications, such as Oracle Eloqua, a marketing automation solution that serves as our always-on customer journey orchestration engine. BlueKai, also from Oracle, is another application integrated with our platform. Through anonymous cookie tracking, BlueKai allows us to engage with customers from the moment they first interact us with online, such as by clicking on an online ad for Cisco. BlueKai and Eloqua work together; the latter application nurtures the engagement once a customer is ready to move from “anonymous user” to “informed prospect.” We are then able to pass qualified leads directly to sellers through our Salesforce.com application.
Since launching the new customer experience, we have seen a 30 percent increase in customer engagement. Through predictive analytics, lead scoring, and intelligent routing, we are eliminating weeks in cycle time to provide sellers with qualified leads. We are also improving conversion rates by 3x. In addition, we are now using customer insights through an engagement dashboard to measure the effectiveness of specific marketing activities, and tying these activities to Marketing Sourced Revenue.
With the data and insights that we are gathering from the Cisco Marketing Cloud, we can intelligently engage with customers much earlier in their buying journey. In the year ahead, we plan to expand our use of predictive analytics to enhance the efficiency and productivity of our sellers and partners. We are also extending the digital experience beyond the initial buying stage to the full customer lifecycle, including post-sale adoption and support, upselling and cross-selling, and renewals.
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