Cisco Case Study
1- How is building a brand in a business-to-business context different from doing so in the consumer market? From reviewing the text and in reading the Cisco case study, it seems that business-to-business marketing consists of a more direct approach through very specific channels of distribution. Business-to-business success is centered around more personal relationships between the partner companies. In the Cisco case this was demonstrated by Cisco’s business to business relationships it developed with Matsushita, U. S. West, and Sony (Cisco). In comparison, consumer marketing is targeted at all the major demographic groups.
Consumer marketing aims to capture sales through major retailers thus removing the personal connection that is inherent in the business-to-business relationship. In the Cisco case, it is obvious that throughout the 90’s Cisco was extremely successful at working the business-to-business model and focused on technology companies and specific corporations to sale their internet based technologies too. This enabled them to become the largest company in the world in the 90’s with over $500 billion in worth, however, they name brand through the consumer market was relatively unknown (Cisco).
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Cisco began making acquisitions in the 21st century of companies such as Linksys which began their efforts toward consumer marketing, away from business-to-business marketing. Cisco has continued to change its messaging, focus advertising on customers, and worked hard to make its brand image known throughout the world the same as its competitors Microsoft and Apple (Cisco). 2- Is Cisco’s plan to reach out to consumers a viable one? Why or why not? According to the case study, Cisco achieved a global ranking of 18 in 2008 with revenues of $39.
5 billion dollars thus making its consumer based plan a seemingly viable one (Cisco). In reviewing the market conditions of the 90’s which were wide open for internet technology and comparing that to the 21st century which has now been saturated with internet technology, Cisco is making a wise strategic move. By transitioning to a consumer based marketing company, Cisco is placing itself up against some very tough competition against Microsoft, Apple, and Dell, however, their continued growth seems to demonstrate they are holding their own with consumers (Cisco). Some of the
key transitional actions from business-to-business into consumer based marketing that Cisco has made was to develop a message. In 2003 the company began pushing the message of “This is the power of the Network”, a catchy phrase consumers could relate with. Also, Cisco has consistently used television ads and other media outlets to help push its brand name to consumers and help the company gain market space successfully (Cisco). So, for Cisco, changing its business model to consumer based and making smart marketing decisions is helping the company refocus its efforts on the future.