Q&A: Cisco’s Doug Webster

doub webster ciscoEngaging. Compelling. Fun. Viral. All terms you don’t think of when you think of B2B marketing, right? Well, think again. Or better yet, read on to learn how Cisco is making content fun…and even funny…and nevertheless sells million-dollars routers and other high-tech infrastructure technology.

Doug Wester, Cisco’s director of strategic communications in Cisco’s worldwide service provider marketing division shares all.

Q: How long have you been at Cisco and what specifically do you

Doug Webster: I’m a senior director of our
service provider marketing team, and I’ve been at Cisco for 12 years
now. I came in from an acquisition years ago. Now I’m in charge of or
leading our go-to market marketing for our service provider line of
business. When we do marketing, it’s through—any company that offers you
broadband, television, phone, or mobile services. These are very big
companies, some of which have over 100,000 employees. They tend to be
global in nature, and because of their size, the overall link to the
sales engagement can actually be quite long, oftentimes two years.

Case study: Cisco’s Digital Cribs

For companies looking to change consumer perception of their products, user generated content can be an excellent route of outreach. But asking people to submit content and spreading positive word of mouth is not always synonymous.

At the CMSummit in New York this week, Cisco demonstrated a way that the two can work together —  through a guided user generated contest.

As the company learned last year, only 60% of homes in the U.S. enabled with broadband have installed home networks. And that’s not for lack of money or technical skill. According to Ken Wirt, Cisco’s VP of consumer marketing:

“The number one reason for not having a home network is confusion. People say: ‘I don’t know what I’d do with one.'”

That is a problem Cisco set out to fix with its Digital Cribs initiative.

Everyone wants in on real-time search — especially hackers

In the battle to get real-time results into search engines, there’s one business that stands to benefit a lot: spam. It’s simply a fact of social life online that as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and others all struggle to provide the most relevant up to the second information, they are ceding quality control of results.

And that’s only natural. Search engines have to relax their algorithms to get the most current information, which makes it exceedingly easy for spammers to win a spot at the top of search results pages. And as spamming gets easier for hackers, it also gets harder for digital marketers to get their results up on the page. Is there anything to be done about it?