Position Cisco Consulting Services as thought leaders amongst their B2B audience.

Vogel & Cisco LeadersOverview

Cisco Consulting reached out to Emerson’s Global Marketing Communication and Advertising Program to assist them in positioning themselves as though leaders. Despite being technological leaders, there consulting services were quite unknown as business leaders began turning to IBM and Cognizant for guidance.

Divided into 8 teams of 4, each group set out to develop a positioning strategy and campaign executables, to be presented on a pitch day. TheCisco Consulting’s thought leadership team flew out from San Fransisco to view our work.

Our Strategy — View Presentation

First we defined our key insights:

  • CEO’s/CTO’s seek business relationships that have proven results. They are risk averse and prioritize trust and efficiency. The do not seek relationships where the business partner positions themselves as “superior.”
  • Thought leadership involves actions and opinions that exist within the sphere of innovation. A thought leader is a highly valuable resource to their client.

The big idea → “Allies in Advancement”


  • Presentation began by building the case. We outlined how the world is projected to change in the next five years, and which spaces Cisco’s competitors are occupying.
    • Security, genomic medicine, uniting online and offline retailers, and smarter cities, and education
    • Recommendations →
      • Cisco Consulting to own “a classroom that learns you” capitalizing on fulfilling the workers gaps, which Cisco products create as technology eliminates blue collar positions.
      • Share tailored information to business to business subscribers through customized enewsletters
      • Improve web sharing capabilities to match/exceed competitors
      • Turn case studies into interactive experiences alike “Killing Kennedy”
      • Improve Cisco website to match the innovation required to to obtain thought leadership perception

Feedback from Andy Noronha, James Macaulay and Jeff Loucks of Cisco Consulting

Rater 1 – Grade: A+ (out of a competitive field, this is the group I would hire)
Rater 2 – Grade: A+ (this is my first place pick)

Very good presentation skills on display—strong executive presence

Loved “allies in advancement”—whole thrust around relationships and customer “bond” was excellent

Did a nice job of grounding the presentation up-front in our customers’ careabouts, effectively used a “ripped from the headlines” approach (e.g., data breaches, Amazon drones)—no one else did this.
Good job of looking at different vertical opportunities

Very, very solid analysis of digital platform opportunities—showed the weaknesses of our current site using Google Ad Words, showed how good sites look, examples being “Killing Kennedy” and MediaTek (this was really a key missing ingredient in many presentations). Definitely gave the impression of digital marketing competence

“Allies in Advancement” – Focus on relationships and bonds with clients. Position CCS as partner, not superior CCS should provide problem solving for the future. We must be the voice of innovation.

Great use of key insight — “With trust every aspect of business becomes more profitable.”

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