Oracle Marketing powers an exceptional partner experience for Cisco

Oracle Eloqua Marketing Automation helps power a Cisco digital hub that uses AI to customize news and information for 60,000 partner companies.


Using Oracle Eloqua with Cisco’s Partner News Hubs effort has resulted in a surge of engagement and subscription rates to the hubs while reducing the volume of emails sent. But the ultimate benefit is a solution that supports the goal of providing an exceptional, always-on, partner experience.

JoAnn TillmanPartner Omnichannel Strategy Lead, Cisco

Business challenges

As Cisco evolves its business for the digital era, the company’s growing partner ecosystem accounts for more than 80% of its annual revenue. Cisco’s Global Partner Marketing organization propels the strategy for marketing to and with more than 60,000 partner companies. The company has lots of critical information about product launches, promotions, and incentives to share with Cisco partner companies worldwide, so email plays a big role in that communication. But partners reported that they received too many emails, making it difficult to recognize the most pertinent information.

While Cisco had succeeded in tripling the average unique clickthrough rate from partner emails by using Oracle Eloqua Marketing Automation to segment and target content, things had started to plateau. To improve performance, and avoid sending too many emails, the Cisco marketing team needed to come up with a new and innovative way to communicate. Partners wanted a simplified approach to staying up to date on the latest news and relevant resources, one that was customized based on their roles and needs.

The partner team was ready to move away from email as the primary channel to deliver partner messages, and embrace an omnichannel approach called the Cisco Partner News Hub. But such a move came with risk, so the team needed the right technology platform to deliver a customized experience.

Internally, we’ve seen a transformation in how our marketers plan and manage content promotion to align with the Partner News Hubs.

JoAnn TillmanPartner Omnichannel Strategy Lead, Cisco

Why Cisco Chose Oracle?

Cisco selected Oracle Eloqua primarily because of its flexible data model, because tracking the partner group involves a large amount of information about recipients. Eloqua’s Custom Data Objects provide an efficient way to structure the data, get the insights, and execute the targeting and segmentation needed.

Oracle Eloqua lets Cisco easily manage complex, high-volume campaign workflows and helps ensure compliance.


Oracle Eloqua was Cisco’s orchestration engine behind the digital Partner News Hub experience, built with the PathFactory content platform. Oracle Eloqua’s advanced segmentation allows targeting based on personas, robust subscription options for partners, and automated subscriber email campaigns.

Partners who have several roles within their organizations can subscribe to multiple News Hubs, and still receive only one email that has content from each hub. Eloqua delivers the email Eloqua based on the partner’s chosen cadence.

Cisco is also using dynamic content within monthly emails to direct a partner to a home page that shows regional or other relevant content based on the individual’s behavior, including past content consumption. This eliminates the time and effort Cisco previously spent building microsites.

The success metrics behind Cisco’s new channel for partner communication include: binge rates of more than 30% of visitors consuming multiple content assets; a 42% increase in engagement over other approaches; an average session time exceeding 6 minutes; a 46% climb in views and 52% more time spent on assets compared with a single-offer email; a 34% reduction in the number of email campaigns; a 4.2% unique click-through rate for emails based on persona; and more than a 19.5% unique click-through rate by subscribers, a figure that continues to increase each month.

Of Cisco partners who visited the sites, 31% signed up for the email notifications. Cisco is seeing a growing number of global and regional teams adopting the Partner News Hubs as the go-to channel for the majority of their communications, replacing one-off emails. Plus, Cisco has started to see silos within the company fall, with improved collaboration among all the various architectures, leads, and divisions within Cisco that communicate to the company’s partners.


Cisco used PathFactory's Intelligent Content Platform to create the Partner News Hubs. PathFactory was able to personalize the experience for partners to increase relevancy and engagement.

Published:February 23, 2021