A joint B2B publishing venture called Unleashing IT is helping Cisco and Intel build brand and reach prospects for core business lines.
The magazine (distributed both in hard copy and digitally) and an accompanying website—produced with Sudden Impact Marketing and Partner Marketing Works—aims to show how technology trends impact business strategies, says Adrian den Hartog, senior marketing manager of US field marketing, data center programs for Cisco.
“One of the thing our sales folks noticed was that customers didn’t know we were in the server business,” says den Hartog, noting the magazine can be a great door opener for reps, with an overall ROI goal of delivering qualified leads to sales. “From a marketing perspective, we wanted to amplify that [idea] and create a vehicle to facilitate sales reps starting a conversation and creating thought leadership.”
Unleashing IT combines an online portal with a print publication distributed at industry events to create awareness and create a call to action to help move prospects through the sales cycle. Print copies are mailed to subscribers, and the magazine is distributed at Intel and Cisco events such as road shows, conferences, tech seminars and user groups.
The first edition of Unleashing IT was launched in July 2011. Since the debut, Unleashing IT has resulted in an over 175% increase in monthly visitor traffic. There has been a 3,200% increase in Cisco’s electronic publication downloads, an over 200% increase in article views and a 4% increase in repeat visitors.
The target audience is senior business and IT executives, but the publications also aim to reach those in the trenches who are looking for a solution to a business problem and need thought leadership. Each article has a specific call to action, with the offer varying depending on the article.
“The idea was to create this vehicle with a lot of rich content,” says David Lindover of Partner Marketing Works (PMW) Int'l. Inc., themanaging editor/program manager of Unleashing IT. “The idea was to develop articles and then disseminate them not only on the website, but in the print publication and in social media.”
“It all stems from the collaboration between Cisco and Intel,” adds Krista Conard, partner, client services, Sudden Impact Marketing, Inc.
The content is created using third party journalists, “to give it an air of credibility and an engaging style,” says Lindover. “We work with Cisco and channel systems and partners, and focus a lot of attention on the customers.”
While the hard copy magazine is handed out at customer facing events, and is also distributed electronically, the individual articles get a much greater circulation with exposure on the website and in Cisco newsletters.
One of the next steps for Unleashing IT will be to launch a mobile app that will feature new content, says Lindover, noting that it will present a way for reseller channel partners to participate.