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Matt Malanga: Director of eMarketing, Citrix Systems

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Thus far, Matt Malanga has had a dynamic and diverse career in the field of marketing. One which, interestingly enough, is a direct reflection of the type of person he is. He explained, ''I think one's marketing career needs to be defined by their own personality.''

While attending Virginia Tech as an engineering student--he went on to complete his MBA at Cornell--Matt Malanga started a pressure-washing business during the summer after his first year of college in order to cover expenses. Although the actual work involved was rather straightforward, the difficult part, as most business owners know, occurred when trying to attract customers.

Malanga’s approach was simple yet effective. He sent out targeted mass mailings to neighborhoods ideal for pressure washing which he chose after driving around town and highlighting those areas on maps. Then, when he began getting customers, he would send out successive waves of mailings with free offers to induce others to use his services as well. This strategy was so successful that “[he has] been in marketing in a variety of different roles since,” he said.

Since Malanga’s early entrepreneurial days, he has gone on to work for companies such as IBM, Oracle, Unisys, Gateway Computers, and Medsite, which was eventually purchased by WebMD. Currently, he serves as director of eMarketing for Citrix Systems, the Fort Lauderdale-based company that specializes in thin client, terminal services, and remote access software.

Having had the good fortune to work in various facets of the business world, with both small start-ups and large corporations, Malanga has found that each offers different marketing experiences. “Small firms give you the opportunity to wear many hats and learn the different marketing fields such as public relations, branding, product marketing, demand generation, etc. Your day-to-day activities will be much more varied and, in many cases, hands-on.” Large firms, in contrast, allow marketers to become extremely specialized in niche areas, enabling them to become “experts” in those fields.

Q. What was the last CD you listened to?
A. CDs? I'm an XM Radio/iPod guy. I'm jamming to Jane's Addiction right now.

Q. Throughout your lifetime, what movie have you watched the most?
A. Animal House. My wife keeps telling me I have the mentality of 12-year-old, so I may be a bit too young to watch this.

Q. What was the last book you read?
A. The Oxford Handbook of Internet Psychology. The book is a bit pedantic, but it's got a lot of good nuggets that can be applied to marketing.

Q. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
A. Vanilla...but from DQ loaded up with sprinkles. (My wife might be right about my mental age.)

Q. If you had an extra hour in the day, what would you spend it doing?
A. Since time is a continuum, an extra hour really doesn't do you any good. I think 24 hours is plenty of time to accomplish my goals and still have time to spend with family and friends.

One such area for Malanga is technology, where he has spent a substantial amount of his career. “One of the benefits of working in high-tech growth companies is you have the opportunity to be in a variety of different roles,” he explained. This provides an opportunity for him to increase his overall knowledge of the field while also continuing to specialize in the technology industry.

It is no mistake, or coincidence, that Malanga is the director of eMarketing for this technology-focused company. Over the years, technology has become increasingly important in the field. Malanga explained, “The speed by which companies must change with the market has increased dramatically. This has required companies to be able to change positioning quickly, to execute campaigns much quicker, and to track success at a much more detailed level.”

And Malanga is doing just that by utilizing tools that increase the effectiveness and execution times of campaigns. “We’re now using tools such as Market2Lead that allow us to get dozens of programs up and running within hours and facilitate tracking at a very detailed level. We know exactly what’s generating leads and what’s not, quickly and in real time.” Determining the successes of campaigns at a rapid pace allows Malanga to determine if the company’s marketing strategies are effective or whether certain aspects need to be modified to achieve desired results.

For instance, a recent company email campaign was not performing well. Malanga investigated the issue and discovered that several tactical mistakes had been made. “We tweaked a few of these miscues and conducted a basic split test. The revised version increased response rates by 80%.”

Despite the continuing advances in technology, however, the foundation upon which marketing was built will inevitably stay the same. Malanga elaborated, “I think [the biggest challenge marketers will face in the future] is the same challenge marketing has always faced: the ability to fulfill customer needs in the marketplace.”

So whether you’re trying to persuade customers to use your pressure-washing service or convincing them to buy your business software, satisfying customers’ needs will always be the number one goal of any business, no matter where technology or any other future market influencer takes us.
On the net:Citrix Systems


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