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Cisco visits Emerson marketing class

Vogel Cisco

Associate Professor Thomas Vogel (seated, far left) and marketing executives from Cisco analyze marketing presentations by Vogel's students in December. (Courtesy Photo)

Marketing executives from Cisco recently used the ideas of Emerson graduate students to help boost the software company’s “Internet of everything” campaign, providing students with practical high-level marketing experience.

Vogel “The people from Cisco said it was unbelievable to see how the students visualized the idea,” said Thomas Vogel, the Marketing Communication associate professor who taught the course.

Students in Vogel’s global marketing and advertising class—who are from 14 different countries—were given the entire Fall 2014 semester to collaborate with Cisco and come up with a marketing plan.

Cisco executives traveled to Emerson to watch teams of students present their projects shortly before the holiday break.

Eileen Louissaint, MA ’15, said she initially felt “daunted” when tasked with figuring out marketing for “such an unfamiliar field” like software and technology.

“Yet, it’s so relevant to all of us,” she said.

Vogel, who is also graduate program director of Global Marketing Communication and Advertising, said Cisco needed help promoting its expanded business approach, which focuses on helping businesses use Internet-related technologies for a wide variety of everyday uses—which includes Cisco’s new “Internet of everything” tagline—as opposed to just selling software.

As an example, Vogel pointed to how a major coffee shop chain such as Starbucks now uses applications to track and aid customers in purchasing.

“All of a sudden, everything is connected,” he said. “Cisco is trying to help every company be able to benefit from that and make smart decisions.”

The eight teams of students who presented to Cisco coined slogans that included “embrace the unknown,” “ecosystem engineers,” and “connecting the good.”

Sarah Tamburelli, MA ’15, learned that no matter what industry she ends up working for, she can create effective marketing strategies by applying similar problem-solving and creative-thinking techniques.

“I learned that I’m not limited,” she said. “Finding the human element in every business is the key to making a powerful brand image.”

Cisco executives plan to use the Emerson students’ ideas to aid in marketing over the next few months.

Vogel is the author of the recently released book Breakthrough Thinking: A Guide to Creative Thinking and Idea Generation (HOW Books, 2014), which features case studies with former Emerson students.

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