Cisco Systems’ Theresa Kushner on Navigating Online and Offline Strategies
TM: How is your company accomplishing this?
TK: At Cisco, we are combining data collected from our Web sites with information from our sales force, creating an advertising, sales, and Web design team that not only creates a unique Web experience, but allows us to track customer trends and interests. It’s important that your IT people, your sales people, your ad people, everyone—be on the same page.
The first step, obviously, is to identify and track the visitors to the Web site from start to finish. Proper identification ensures a personal dialogue with each customer, and can be accomplished through a short series of questions. Then, within that Web environment, we constantly look for ways to keep the customer involved. We take data samples and ask exit questions like ‘Did you buy? Why or why not?,’ then carefully audit all that information to track the new and repeat customers.
TM: And how is this integrated into the offline customer experience?
TK: Not only is the information tracked backward through customer surveys, it can be tracked forward to the point-of-sale. That matrix is forwarded to partners in the customer’s area, or to event marketers at trade events. Event marketing is wonderful, in that it offers the opportunity for a face-to-face connection with sales people. We then track the online to offline parallels, and vice versa. For us, small, medium and large businesses buy in different cycles. Small business buys on less frequent cycles, so we have to ‘keep them warm’ between sales. The Web is the best way to keep them warm and build a lasting relationship.