Citrix Systems supercharges online ROI with IBM NetInsight

Citrix optimized marketing investments and cut conversion costs by nearly 80 percent

Published on 20-Jul-2011

Validated on 12 Nov 2013

"You cannot run your business if you do not have facts. IBM NetInsight gives us those facts—in a form we can act on. It is an awesome web analytics solution." - Susan Zykoski, Marketing Business Analyst, Citrix

Citrix Systems

Computer Services

Deployment country:
United States

Smarter Commerce, Smarter Marketing


Citrix Systems supercharges online ROI with IBM NetInsight.

Business need:
Understand what customers want versus what marketers think they want; Better understand how potential customers behave on Citrix web sites; Improve marketing effectiveness by linking campaign results to future planning; Improve SEM campaign tracking; Drive increased registration for customer events at a lower cost

Powerful web analytics capabilities for optimizing web programs.

Over 200 percent increase in click-through rates for SEM campaigns; 1900 percent increase in conversions through SEM; 80 percent decrease in cost per conversion; Improved coordination with agencies; Greater clarity and customer focus

Case Study

Citrix® Systems, Inc., is a global leader and most trusted name in on-demand access to business applications. The only enterprise software company 100 percent focused on access, Citrix offers an integrated, end-to-end system that seamlessly connects users, devices and networks to enterprise resources. More than 200,000 organizations rely on Citrix, including 100 percent of Fortune 100 companies, 98 percent of the Fortune Global 500, and thousands of small businesses and individuals. Citrix has approximately 6,200 channel and alliance partners in more than 100 countries: its Citrix access PARTNER network is one of the technology industry’s largest partner communities. Citrix also supports its offerings with comprehensive, value-added professional services through Citrix Consulting, and training through Citrix Education.

The challenges

Citrix must manage multifaceted marketing efforts, complex data sets, diverse channels, and multiple offerings—including products, services, and events. Operating in an enterprise environment, with a highly complex sales process, Citrix found it extremely difficult to quantify the value of its marketing investments, both offline and online.

Since the performance of individual marketing programs could not be accurately measured due to the source set-up limitations, the organization could not optimize its marketing plans based on experience. When Citrix’s agencies would provide reports on campaign performance, Citrix would notice inconsistencies in metrics from third-party sites that could never be adequately explained. Meanwhile, marketing budgets for individual products were set largely based on the revenue those products generated—not on the specific marketing needs and attributes of each individual product, or on the results achieved by earlier marketing expenditures.

The solution

Years ago, Citrix implemented a competitive web analytics product. However, that product did not prove effective. After carefully reviewing its options, Citrix turned to IBM® Unica®. Today, Citrix is using IBM® NetInsight®, IBM’s Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) web analytics solution for companies with heavily trafficked websites. IBM NetInsight is a next-generation Web analytics product designed from the ground up to meet the full range of today’s and future online analysis requirements.

The results

Using IBM NetInsight to improve search engine marketing Citrix relies heavily on SEM to reach business decision-makers. With IBM NetInsight, Citrix can now systematically track the results of its SEM campaigns, work with its agencies to rapidly optimize those campaigns, and reflect current experience in future planning. In its most recent year, Citrix used IBM NetInsight to track 10 campaigns, 42 segments, 91 ad groups, and over 1,600 keywords. This generates an enormous amount of information: data that was previously unmanageable.

“You cannot run your business if you do not have facts. IBM NetInsight gives us those facts—in a form we can act on. It is an awesome web analytics solution.” — Susan Zykoski, Marketing Business Analyst, Citrix

To manage all this information, Citrix makes extensive use of both standard and custom IBM NetInsight reports. For example, with IBM NetInsight’s Entry Page Breakdown report, Citrix has gained a far better understanding of how customers respond to SEM advertising by engine, campaign, and keyword—and it has learned some valuable lessons. Susan Zykoski, Marketing Business Analyst for Citrix, explains: “Our product managers tended to think in terms of their product names. But those are not necessarily effective as keywords. In many cases, we have been able to show that generic keywords are much more effective. We also discovered that when analyzing Google and Yahoo!, some specific keyword subcategories performed far better on one engine than on the other. We have not found any reason why this occurs, but it is real—and we can track and spend money more effectively based on this knowledge.”

Citrix holds regular monthly meetings with its agencies to refine its marketing campaigns. “Our IBM NetInsight reports facilitate those discussions and drive better meetings,” says Zykoski. “For example, we can look at our results, and quickly say, instead of using A/B creative, maybe we should turn off A.” Citrix has also used IBM NetInsight Page and Path Summary reports to help restructure its web site, providing more efficient paths for each customer type. “We could see exactly what people were doing, where they were dropping off, who was converting, and how both customers and non-customers behaved. That has certainly helped us.”

Optimizing online marketing for Citrix’s annual customer conference With more than 200,000 customers worldwide, Citrix serves an extraordinarily large and diverse user community. Many of Citrix’s top customers and prospects come together at the company’s flagship annual customer conference event. Citrix has used IBM NetInsight to dramatically improve the way it markets this crucial annual event.

Citrix has marketed its customer event through email, SEM and other online advertising, banners, and offline promotions ranging from direct mail to billboards. It set three core objectives for IBM NetInsight: improve tracking of Customer Conference site activity, understand each campaign’s effectiveness, and track paid registrations.

Using IBM NetInsight, says Zykoski, “I can now tell you exactly how many event registrations came in from each campaign, which words perform best in SEM, and my ROI on each campaign. The metrics were a huge surprise to us. We discovered which vehicle delivered the most registrations, with the lowest cost-per-registration. But, we also discovered that just four keywords drove 80 percent of all registrations. And, that there were some campaigns that were not driving any registrations.”

“More broadly,” continues Zykoski, “we can now ask our managers how many marketing dollars they are willing to spend to get a registrant. Using IBM NetInsight’s information, they can think about questions like that, and come up with goals that make sense.”

At the highest level, IBM NetInsight has helped Citrix refocus marketing on the customer’s needs and thought processes, and away from traditional internal imperatives such as specific products and organizational structures. By clarifying what works and what does not, IBM NetInsight has enabled Citrix to link marketing data to decision-making.

Says Zykoski,“We can now communicate in ‘end-user’ language, not ‘product manager’ language. We can ask the two most important questions: ‘what does it all really mean?’ and ‘what are you going to do about it?’ And that has led to some important strategic decisions. For example, we have moved significant dollars from print advertising to SEM.”

While driving these high-level benefits, IBM NetInsight has also delivered powerful results “on the ground.” For example, Citrix has driven an increase in SEM click through rates of more than 200 percent. Even more remarkably, it has driven a 1,900 percent increase in conversions, and a reduction of nearly 80 percent in cost per conversion.

About IBM Unica solutions

IBM Unica solutions are innovative marketing solutions that turn your passion for marketing into business success. Our comprehensive approach to interactive marketing enables organizations worldwide to understand their customers and use that understanding to engage buyers in highly relevant, interactive dialogues across digital, social and traditional marketing channels.

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Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Unica NetInsight

Legal Information

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