Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cisco Marketing Has Got Game

Some call it social media excellence some just say we've gone crazy...whatever you call it, it seems to be working.

As an extension to the social media efforts that we're leveraged for Cisco's ASR launch, Cisco announced a tournament around the EDGE QUEST game where they are offering $10,000 cash plus a Cisco ASR 1002 router to the sole winner. Not a bad deal for playing a game but the competition is stiff with a top score currently at 204,540.

I haven't exactly kept it a secret that I'm one of the marketers behind this campaign so of course I think it's cool but here are a few specific reasons why I think it’s working for us:
  1. We're reaching our target audience in a new, fun, and engaging way. Last year online gaming attracted 28 percent of the total worldwide online population -- almost 217 million people -- and according to CIMS, 24% of those were IT professionals! Us marketers are always trying to fish in a big pond but it helps when they’re all swimming in the same place.
  2. Low cost, high ROI. This program was an extension of an existing program. The EDGE QUEST game was created at launch so the cost of the tournament includes just the "carrot" of $10K plus the router. We also invested a small amount in changing the game a bit for the "money round" of the tournament but no budget went into promotion we focused solely on social media outlets. In return we've had an influx in PR and Blog pick-ups and a substatial increase in traffic to the game and product page. All of this activity of course is being measured and considered as part of the ROI of the campaign.
  3. It was just a blast to work on. Hey there's nothing wrong with that - it's fun for the people engaging with Cisco in a new way and it was fun to be part of the marketing team to develop and creatively promote the game and tournament leveraging social media tactics which included a social media release, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube,, Digg and Flickr.

This particular campaign won't work for everyone but creating a social marketing campaign can get your customers engaged and extend your message far beyond traditional marketing.


Jay said...


Would it be possible for you to talk with Cisco and have them make it so that the first THREE winners get a prize at least! This would be more fair to the contestants as they all are trying to win. In most contests it is the first three winners that get something, not just the first place. I'm sure money is not a problem. This is Cisco we're talking about here. Please revise the competition!

Thank you.

LaSandra Brill said...


Thanks for playing & for your feedback. This tournament is intended to be high-stakes and a winner-take-all format for the highest registered score posted during the "money round." Many formats were considered, but this is the route we decided to take. But thanks for taking the time to reply as it's something that could be considered for future efforts.

Good luck!