Cisco Presents the Business Incubator
The ObjectivesCisco provides networking equipment to the world's largest and best-known enterprises. Still, when it needed a new way to reach and engage small and mid-sized Canadian businesses as well as the country's tech decision-makers, innovators and early adopters, Cisco turned to The Globe and Mail for help.
Watch the video below to hear Willa Black, Vice President, Corporate Marketing, Cisco Systems Canada, talking about the origins of the Incubator and how their partnership with The Globe led to significant growth in their brand awareness in the Small Medium Business sector.
The SolutionIn response, the Globe created the Cisco-sponsored Business Incubator, an online resource where entrepreneurs can connect with small business experts and peers who provide mentoring and support in a variety of multimedia formats.
Developed by The Globe's Marketing Solutions Group and its Report on Business editorial team in conjunction with Cisco and its agencies, the Business Incubator is a Web 2.0-enabled microsite designed to educate and serve as an online community for small and mid-sized business owners.
How it WorksVisitors to the microsite, which launched in January 2008, can view video profiles of SMB executives who face the same kinds of challenges they do. Afterwards, visitors can view video analyses and advice from an expert panel of business leaders and academic experts assembled expressly for the Incubator, and offer their own comments about case studies.
The Incubator also features polls, an e-newsletter, podcasts by well-known business authorities, interviews with entrepreneurial legends, live discussions, a Facebook group, a resource guide and more. Prominent links to related content on Cisco's website let visitors make use of the networking company's small business evaluation tools and its own SMB-directed content. At launch, the Incubator also hosted a contest that let SMB owners submit challenges for a chance to win $100,000 worth of Cisco equipment.
Summaries of Business Incubator case studies along with Cisco brand ads run every Monday on the Tips for Entrepreneurs page in The Globe and Mail's Report on Business newspaper section, reinforcing both the value of the microsite's content and Cisco's commitment to entrepreneurs.
The Business Incubator is also promoted with print display ads in the newspaper, in Globe magazines tq and Report on [Small] Business, online at globeandmail.com and through its e-newsletters. As well, e-blasts encouraging traffic have been sent to highly targeted lists and an extensive press relations program has included direct marketing at the Canadian Innovation Exchange Conference last April.
The ResultsThe Globe has delivered nearly 42 million impressions of web ads sporting the Cisco logo. What's more, the site saw a 442% increase from time of the site's launch through the end of May. Activity on the site is still very lively, and Cisco is considering extending the program through the rest of this year and into 2009.