IT vendor Citrix Systems, which sells virtualization software mainly to enterprise users, has begun taking steps into mobile marketing—starting with the basics but also mobilizing attendee marketing at its recent flagship user conference.
Citrix is taking a cautious, exploratory approach to mobile marketing, and there's a reason, said Kim Woodward, VP-corporate marketing. “There's a person holding the phone on the other end,” she said. “You need to treat them as a person and be respectful. If somebody gives you their cell phone number, don't think you can do anything you want with it. Don't betray that trust.”
The company's biggest mobile marketing effort to date came at its recent Synergy user conference in May in San Francisco. Rather than just add mobile outreach on an ad hoc basis, Citrix created a subbrand, dubbed Mobile Synergy, to entice show attendees into sharing their cell numbers and opting in to mobile marketing, Woodward said. Citrix gave attendees the opportunity to opt in at registration but also marketed Mobile Synergy at the show via signage and other reminders.
The results were strong. About 30% of show attendees, or about 1,400 out of 4,700 attendees, signed up for the mobile updates, which were focused on text message (SMS) updates delivered before, during and after the show at a rate of no more than a couple per day. Messages focused on practicalities about the event, Woodward said, such as “Synergy is a week away, plan your agenda now” to “Learning labs are filling quickly, don't forget to reserve your spot.”
In addition to that push messaging, attendees were able to send a text to Citrix, which had set up a mobile customer service center at the show, to ask for help or send in questions to be answered by session keynoters.
Of the users that opted in to Mobile Synergy, 47% rated themselves very satisfied with the program, with only 6% saying they were not satisfied, Woodward said.
For Citrix, that event marketing program was its most formal mobile campaign yet, but it was not the company's only mobile activity. Because its target audience typically consists of tech early adopters, Citrix has been working hard to make sure its regular outbound email marketing and website are readable on mobile devices, Woodward said.
So far, Woodward has stayed away from mobile advertising, she said, because she worries about it being too intrusive. “People consider their phones a heck of a lot more personal than their computers. You have to be very mindful of not overdoing it,” she said. M