Meet the Planners
One marketer has carved a niche with a software application designed to help manage enterprise conferencing and events. Joe Hnilo, vice president of marketing for Mountain View, Calif.-based enterprise conferencing and event management solutions provider ViewCentral, describes, "Our product manages all of the administrative tasks that need to take place before an event can be conducted." The company's application handles tasks such as publishing the availability of the event, doing e-mail blasts promoting the event and accepting registrations. Once the event is over, the application helps event managers understand who registered, who attended (or didn't attend), as well as track what other events these individuals have attended.
Get to the Point
Key to reaching these busy folks is understanding that they are always on the go and often on deadline. And, with so many elements to juggle, this audience is appreciative of communication that's to the point and spells out a clear solution to their needs. LoGiudice says, "They're really looking for a particular company or person who can help with a complete avenue," such as handling their travel needs or venue requirements. He suggests a multichannel approach as the best way to get your message across to this market, whether via print ads, direct mail, e-mail or telemarketing.
ViewCentral deploys a combination of e-mail, webinars and direct mail. Recently, the company found success with a direct response promotion using self-mailers. Hnilo's decision to go with this approach stemmed from the deluge of e-mails he and his colleagues receive on a daily basis—and then inevitably delete. Meanwhile, the amount of physical mail reaching his desk has dwindled. "The physical stuff that I did get tended to have a longer shelf life on my desk," says Hnilo. The company's first half of the year promotion was a three-part campaign featuring three mailers, each of which addressed a key area of concern to its customers: event attendance, better time and resource management, and ensuring event content is on the mark with the target audience. Each self-mailer featured an arresting graphic on the front cover—such as an uncomfortable, empty chair, boldly targeting the issue of attendance—with pay-off copy inside. "We try to be very iconic, very pithy," describes Hnilo. "It's been effective for us, in terms of our first half of the year promotion, with good response rates."