Theresa Kushner

As much of the world strives to pull itself out of this damnable recession—the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development did report recently at least the beginning of a global economic recovery—marketers have been forced to grapple with how much stock to put in the predictive abilities of their customer databases. Has the poor health of the U.S. economy altered the consumer—and business, for that matter—landscape so greatly that all the customer data you collected up until a year ago couldn't forecast its way out of a wet paper bag?

In today’s marketing environment, most B-to-B prospects are hesitant to just give away their individual and company data to any old marketer.

But while the task is daunting, B-to-B data capture is not a lost cause. In fact, the Web has made gathering information more efficient, if done correctly.

At Cisco, a dramatic shift is underway within the organization as it ventures into a new world of Web strategy, challenging its traditional tactics and integrating fresh principles to embrace an approach largely based on Web 2.0. What implications does this have for online lead generation? And what affect does this new perspective have on Cisco’s ability to drive conversion? Although the San Jose, Calif.-based supplier of networking hardware, software and service offerings is not entirely abandoning the “old world,” its traditional approach is being redefined within the parameters of the “new world,” and some innovative solutions and tactics are emerging as a result.

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