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Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition by Michael A. Stelzner

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Social Media: The New Norm

The ASR launch effectively tore the lid off social media at Cisco, which now truly walks its talk regarding the power of networks. Since then, social networking comes standard with every product launch, and print advertising funds have largely been moved to social activities.

And media like video, Facebook, and Twitter keep customers and the press engaged continuously. Cisco now runs live public Q&A sessions showcasing John Chambers, Cisco's chairman and CEO, as he answers questions coming in via Twitter.

Live TelePresence sessions bring executives and customers together for face-to-face virtual meetings.

With subsequent launches, the company has realized even greater ROI—now seeing costs just one-seventh of those before. But the networking company keeps pursuing even greater returns with social networking.

“Now that we've got that buy-in, we need to just continue to show the success of one campaign over another,” Brill said.

Tools like Radian6 and Symphony help the core social media team, now eight people, measure the impact relative to cost of each campaign. After every campaign, the team just sets new benchmarks to beat.

“Social media doesn't replace the need for white papers or sales interaction. I think it helps accelerate and shorten the sales cycle,” Brill said. “There are studies out there that people who are involved in communities and engaged with the brand are likely to spend up to 50 percent more than those who are not. We want to try to prove ...

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