Want leads? Cisco is preparing to spend half a million dollars on a massive print, television and Internet advertising campaign designed to generate user demand for its small-to-medium business networking equipment.
According to Cisco's regional manager for SMB, Liz Lawson, all leads will be passed through to the channel for fulfilment.
"The one thing resellers always ask for is leads," Lawson said. "We have never really done any end-user demand generation so obviously this time we're preparing ourselves for a pretty big reaction."
As well as demand that is generated through advertising, Cisco will embark on a telesales campaign and will launch a new non-technical Web site for small-to-medium businesses.
Lawson said that while many small-to-medium business were connected to the Internet, they weren't necessarily using it to grow their business.
"We're not going out and saying we can solve your problems. We're saying we live and breathe the Internet, we can help you look for a solution and ideas to help you improve your business," Lawson said.
Cisco is confident it now has the channel to meet the demand that is generated. It now has more than a thousand resellers on its books, whereas two years ago it would have not had 100, Lawson said.
"For the last 12 to 18 months we have focused on training up the channel with initiatives like Cisco Uni, free sales training and technical labs."
While the initial campaign will cost $500,000, it will keep rolling out over the rest of the year as well, Lawson said.