Wireless summit continues rise for Good Technology

Good Technology has built a reputation as David to Research in Motion's Goliath in the wireless e-mail market.

Good Technology has built a reputation as David to Research in Motion's Goliath in the wireless e-mail market.

But the company was ready to evolve beyond wireless e-mail by letting users access applications critical to their businesses' success, such as sales information, and not just e-mail. Good's latest software, Good Access, promised to do just that.

"Our industry is changing," says Kelli Tejada, corporate communications director. "So much is focused on wireless e-mail. But our customers want to do more than that. We wanted to wirelessly enable their business processes."

Strategy

Good selected the Horn Group as its new agency only a month before the planned release of Good Access. But Horn recognized that, with plenty of competitors and noise in this market, a press release and media tour wouldn't be enough.

"We wanted to elevate this to higher-level business messages," explains Horn principal Dee Anna McPherson. Horn and Good decided to host the Good Wireless Summit, a one-day event that would serve not just as the launching pad for Good Access, but also as an event that would solidify the company's wireless leadership by bringing together partners, customers, prospects, media, analysts, and Good executives.

"We wanted to show how the wireless handheld industry is evolving and how Good is a partner in that," adds Tejada.

Tactics

Good sought to highlight the credibility of its partners and, thus, boost its own credibility by having executives from partner companies attend, including Oracle, Siebel Systems, and Salesforce.com, which all made announcements at the event about applications that could be used wirelessly using Good's software. Hardware companies that also spoke about their partnerships with Good included Hewlett-Packard, Palm, and Symbol Technologies.

While these companies were the star attraction for the media and analysts, Good and Horn worked closely with their PR teams to make sure messaging tied back to Good's software and that Good wasn't overshadowed at its own event, says McPherson.

"We had all the partners and customers talk about what was going on in the industry, how Good was driving it, and what it meant for the industry," she says.

Good and Horn designed unique story lines, providing a customer or partner to back up each story for each publication, creating differentiated articles on the same story. Each table at the event included a Good executive, a few partners, a customer, a few analysts, and a few non-competing press. And Good encouraged the media to file stories from their tables using wireless access. And every writer was given at least five minutes with Good CEO Danny Shader, providing unique CEO quotes in most of the coverage.

Good followed up the event over the next couple of months by taking executives and the technology to media and analysts who could not attend the event, and providing interviews with customers and partners.

Results

The event attracted nearly 100 attendees, and generated articles in more than 80 press outlets, including The Wall Street Journal and InformationWeek. The AP even filed a story wirelessly from the event.

The event also sparked interest from the financial analyst community, business press, and product reviewers, expanding Good's media audience beyond the tech press and trade outlets.

Good's overall customer base increased 25% in the first quarter of 2005 over the last quarter of 2004. And the number of beta trial users for Good Access tripled during the same period.

Future

Good continues to reach out to the media and analysts on new products, push thought leadership issues, and leverage its partnerships, particularly as new handhelds come on the market. And it is also talking about deals with wireless carriers, including Cingular Wireless and Sprint.

PR team Good Technology (Santa Clara, CA) and Horn Group (San Francisco) Campaign Good Wireless Summit/Good Access product launch Time frame December 2004 to April 2005 Budget $50,000

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