Software Maker's Campaign Focuses on Fantasies

In less than two months, Raxco Software, Gaithersburg, MD, has seen a 5 percent response from the direct marketing campaign it launched to promote instaNT PRO, a new product for Microsoft Windows NT administrators.

The campaign started in June with a 20,000 drop. Names of administrators came from four different lists, and to date Raxco has received just under 1,000 responses, doubling what the company expected.

Raxco went with a fantasy-themed campaign after looking at research it conducted with Passaic Parc, Wellesley, MA, the ad agency handling the campaign. The average Windows NT administrator worked “very” long hours and spent a great deal of time in his office, the research found. This led Raxco and Passaic Parc to conclude that these administrators had “very rich fantasy lives.”

According to Robert Rosenthal, president of Passaic Parc, administrators often have to perform time-consuming manual tasks because of the lack of time-saving NT utilities.

“We even heard of one NT administrator who was known to sleep in the office,” Rosenthal said. “The mail piece illustrates a fantasy that an administrator has, while instaNT PRO fulfills the fantasy of making the administrator's job easier.”

The instaNT PRO suite of tools offers administrators nine different integrated utilities and allows them to maintain and repair an entire network of computers using NT from one location.

“In the past, administrators would have to be at the station they were working on,” said Liamar Capo-Toth, director of marketing at Raxco. “This may have involved going to a different floor within a building or traveling to another state. This will make it easier for them to manage their system by enabling them to do it right from their own computer.”

The first mail piece depicts an NT administrator explaining the future of information systems to Vice President Al Gore. The piece itself highlights the benefits of instaNT PRO. Everyone who responded received a free NT Administrator Fantasy kit, which included an instaNT PRO brochure. Qualified respondents were eligible for a free 30-day evaluation copy of the system. The first 500 respondents received a “Making NT Fantasies Reality” T-shirt. People were able to respond by telephone, mail, fax or the Internet.

Capo-Toth said the research allowed them to target the campaign very effectively and was the reason why “we got the success rates that we did.”

The first mailing consisted of four phases and averaged close to 5,000 pieces each mailing. Rosenthal said Raxco is planning another major rollout in the fall, but the size of that mailing has not been determined. Other plans to market the product include a banner ad on the Beverly Hills software site, which is set to start this month. This fall, print ads will appear in magazines such as ENT Magazine, WindowsPro and Selling Windows NT featuring a number of different fantasies from NT administrators.

“The goal is going to be to keep the campaign fresh, and we are going to do that by constantly changing the fantasies,” Rosenthal said.

Raxco didn't target companies with fewer than 250 users. The average number of NT users in the companies that responded was 2,000.

The price of licensing instaNT PRO varies with the amount of users within an organization. For companies with 100-499 users, it will cost $189 for each license. For companies with 1,000-4,999 NT users, the price drops to $129 per license.

According to Raxco, Microsoft projects that 22 million NT units will be operating in corporations and businesses by the beginning of next year.

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