Hackers went undetected in Citrix’s internal network for six months

Hackers gained access to technology giant Citrix’s networks six months before they were discovered, the company has confirmed.

In a letter to California’s attorney general, the virtualization and security software maker said the hackers had “intermittent access” to its internal network from October 13, 2018 until March 8, 2019, two days after the FBI alerted the company to the breach.

Citrix said the hackers “removed files from our systems, which may have included files containing information about our current and former employees and, in limited cases, information about beneficiaries and/or dependents.”

Initially the company said hackers stole business documents. Now it’s saying the stolen information may have included names, Social Security numbers, and financial information.

Citrix said in a later update on April 4 that the attack was likely a result of password spraying, which attackers use to breach accounts by brute-forcing from a list of commonly used passwords that aren’t protected with two-factor authentication.

We asked Citrix how many staff were sent data breach notification letters but a spokesperson did not immediately comment.

Under California law, the authorities must be informed of a breach if more than 500 state residents are involved.

Read more:

Citrix Latest Enterprise Tech Firm Under Pressure From Activist Investors

shutterstock_313632269 Technology companies, particularly those with an enterprise bent, appear to be coming under increasing pressure from activist investors who want to squeeze out profits at the cost of products and jobs. Last year EMC pressed by an activist investor eventually sold the company to Dell for $67 billion. Citrix is the latest company facing this issue –and from the same investor as it… Read More

Citrix is spinning off its GoTo business as a new publicly traded company

Citrix Andy Rusch Flickr

Publicly traded enterprise technology vendor Citrix today announced that it will spin off its GoTo business, including the GoToMeeting video conferencing service, as a new publicly traded company.

This business generated around $600 million in revenue in products and services for the first three quarters of the year, Citrix said in a statement on the news.

The move comes five months after activist shareholder Elliott Management sent a letter to the Citrix board in which it proposed, among other things, exploring strategic options for the GoTo business.

Citrix first came out with GoToMeeting in 2004. GrassHopper, a phone technology company that Citrix acquired earlier this year, is also part of the new GoTo company that’s being spun off.

The shakeup will result in 1,000 full-time and contract workers being cut from Citrix, in addition to those being spun out in the new company, according to a statement.


How the right content strategy will fill your sales funnel from top to bottom

data funnel

This sponsored post is produced in association with Citrix GoToWebinar. 

The power of online connectivity has empowered a new generation of marketers to evolve beyond their old fire-and-forget roles and become the MVPs of business growth. Today, marketers are creating invaluable support systems for their sales colleagues by promoting stage-specific content for sales funnels.

No question: Useful and relevant content is one of the most powerful tools in the arsenal of your sales team. Therefore, you need to develop a strategic approach to content to help qualify, nurture, and convert leads into loyal customers.

How important has it become? A 2014 Regalix Research survey showed that ‘understanding the customer buying journey’ is a priority for 87 percent of marketers, followed by ‘educating and influencing purchase by mapping the right content to key stages in the customer buying journey’ (76 percent), and ‘attributing and measuring performance of channels used by customers in their buying journey’ is a priority for 57 percent.

Understanding the 3 key stages in a sales funnel

Before you attempt to make your customer’s journey look as effortless as gravity working on a falling apple from a tree, you need to have a clear idea of what the content marketing funnel looks like.

Once you get familiar with the mindset of a prospect at each stage of your sales funnel, it becomes a lot easier to map out your content plan. For the sake of simplicity, here’s a short and sweet breakdown of the three stages in a content marketing driven sales funnel

Funnel chart
As you can see, marketers formulate different content for different needs in the customer’s journey to organically automate business growth. IDC defines sales enablement as “delivery of the right information to the right person at the right time and in the right place.” 

It’s all about matching content with context and distributing it to the right channel, at the right time in the buyer’s journey. Any content you create or repurpose for your sales funnel should build on previous interactions to ensure everyone in your team adds their own unique form of value proposition to entice customers further.

The payoff is already well-documented. According to the 2014 DemandGen study, 82 percent of B2B buyers viewed five or more pieces of content, and 61 percent of B2B buyers agreed that the winning vendor delivered a better mix of content for each stage of the purchase process.

Any content you create or repurpose for your sales funnel should build on previous interactions to ensure everyone in your team adds their own unique spice of value proposition to entice customers further.

According to the 2014 DemandGen study, 82 percent of B2B buyers viewed 5 or more pieces of content, and 61 percent of B2B buyers agreed that the winning vendor delivered a better mix of content for each stage of the purchase process.

Creating your sales funnel content template

Before you get started with mapping out your content to superpower your sales funnel, it’s critical to have a good idea of the rational pathway a lead would take when they dive deep into your sales funnel. In order to identify your buyer’s journey route, you need to first ask the right questions to determine their content consumption patterns, such as:

  • What pages did your audience visit and in what order did they do so?
  • What type of content does your audience prefer and how much time do they spend consuming it?
  • Which offers led to the maximum conversions and which ones failed?
  • What emails did they click through?

In all probability, you will find quite a few logical conversion routes. But on closer examination, you can easily pick out the most common, shortest, and most profitable routes to optimize your sales funnel content further.

Here is a basic content marketing top-to-bottom sales funnel conversion route commonly used and repurposed by thousands of businesses worldwide:

Visit company blog >> Activate ebook call-to-action >> Click through to page with ebook nurturing your product/service offer >> Navigate to product pages >> Click through to page with webinar registration and free case study download link >> Receive webinar streaming link and free product trial email >> Watch webinar and download free trial >> Receive exclusive offers >> Product purchase.

Webinars in particular, offer a dynamic way to deliver top-of-funnel content. They give new prospects a chance to get an undiluted taste of your corporate personality. Through live informative interactions, you can really solidify your status as a thought leader in their view in a way no whitepaper can hope to offer.

With key details like company size, role in company, professional requirements, and above all else, a direct webinar interaction in your hand, you can instantly tap into a stream of qualified leads and prospects who may offer higher conversions.

Here is a sample sales funnel conversion route that is webinar-driven commonly used by marketers as a more direct approach to attract qualified leads:

Pre-announce optimized landing page >> Capture registration details >> Send reminder mail >> Run webinar >> Send follow-up mail with limited period product trial or some exclusive offers >> Product purchase.

You can also use webinars to double down on customer retention and squeeze some more juice out of your sales funnel by making more upsells once users have purchased your product. For instance, you can follow up with another webinar series shedding more light on how to use your product to its fullest potential and preview some more products that your customers would like.

The webinar content format is good at enabling marketers to organically promote their products as an extension of their services and promote relevant value offers to your customers without taking them on a ride through your entire sales funnel again.

It all boils down to how well you can stir up buyer interest through well-placed content by connecting with customers’ needs. If you get this right, you can effortlessly ramp up the returns generated through your sales funnel.

It all can be summed up in two succinct points:

In the first stage of your sales funnel, ensure you educate your lead based not on your solution, but on their need.

And in the evaluation and purchase stages, use the aura of authority you have created by being a generous problem solver to smoothly shepherd your customers all the way to purchasing your product.

Sponsored posts are content that has been produced by a company that is either paying for the post or has a business relationship with VentureBeat, and they’re always clearly marked. The content of news stories produced by our editorial team is never influenced by advertisers or sponsors in any way. For more information, contact [email protected].

Smart tips for getting the content results you want

content is king

This sponsored post is produced in association with Citrix GoToWebinar.

Here you are again. Refreshing your website for the millionth time to see if anyone shared or commented on your week-old post. No matter how much effort you put into your post, your readership refuses to grow.

Don’t blame the audience. The reason why no one is reading your content is because you’re neglecting key strategies that will help make your work go viral. And with new websites and blogs opening up everyday, you need all the help you can get.

Headlines can make or break your content

According to Copyblogger, an average of 8 out of 10 people will read the headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest of the article. If the reader finds your headline boring, he won’t be motivated to read the rest.

Upworthy suggests in its “How To Make That One Thing Go Viral” slideshow to write out 25 headlines for an article. The exercise helps dump out the crappy and predictable headlines and churn out the clever and exciting one hiding in your head.

When writing out one of those 25 headlines — or 10 if 25 is daunting — think about making your headline emotional. CoSchedule states headlines based on emotions, such as happiness or anger, perform the best on social media.

There’s even an online tool to judge how emotionally invested your headline is called the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer. It categorizes your headlines in three categories: Intellectual, Emphatic, and Spiritual. This is useful in deciding which headline would best suit your target audience, or which type performed the best on them. If your audience prefers headlines that evoke reasoning or careful evaluation, then you need to aim for the best Intellectual score.

Certain words also contribute to viral success stories, as shown in this 2013 analysis by Iris Shoor.

Headlines with the words “no,” “without,” and “stop” generated strong shares. Continuing the thought, albeit in a darker way, “kill,’ “fear,” “dark,” “bleeding” and “war” contributed to top shares. If you don’t feel like turning your content into a horror show, other successful words used in high-sharing posts are “smart,” “surprising,” “science,” “history,” “hacks,” “huge,” “big,” and “critical.”

Producing content people want to read

A good post should be easy to read — not filled with never-ending walls of text. It’s why numbered or bulleted lists are favored by online readers: they’re easy to spot out and digest. The same is true for subheadings which make it easier for viewers to comprehend detailed posts.

Searching for what’s trending online is one way to gain attention and Quora is an ideal tool for this situation. Quora allows you to search any topic your target audience might be interested in based on popularity and quality. For example, let’s say you want to write about the travel business, but not sure how to go about it. One popular thread on Quora talks about which airline or domestic travel is best for going to India. You can use this thread to write an article about your own travels to India, or name airlines that share the positive qualities users were looking for.

BuzzSumo is another useful tool for topic scouting. It not only lets you see which topic performs best on social media, but lets you see how well your competitors did discussing the same topic as well — very helpful in deciding which topic and approach would be best for your readers.

Most importantly, seeing the common trends regarding your niche allows you to think of ways to make your approach unique from everyone else.

The simplest and often overlooked way to finding out what your audience wants is to merely ask them with a short survey, newsletter, or social media question.

Get social media to work harder

Beyond owned properties, it’s essential to distribute your content effectively, and, of course, social media is a must. But there are best practices you might be ignoring.

Plus, not only does your content get a huge boost in distribution across social media channels, but social can improve your content in search. According to Branded3, URLs receive significant lift in Google rankings when they’re shared on Twitter. URLs with over 7,500 tweets almost always rank inside the top 5 results when people are searching a topic you may have written about.

But how should you compose your social media posts?

Based on this infographic by Kevan Lee, the most popular social media posts had these ideal character counts:

  • Twitter: 71–100 characters
  • Facebook: 40 characters
  • Google+: 60 characters
  • LinkedIn: 80–120 characters

There are other factors to consider in catering to certain social media markets. Hootsuite researched the demographics associated with each social media account and her are some of the results:

  • 38 percent of internet users access social media through mobile
  • 54 percentof Millennials use LinkedIn for industry news and advice
  • 76 percent of Tumblr and 74 percent of Instagram users are teens

With this kind of intel in hand, you’re then equipped to target and segment your audience using the most appropriate platform. You might use Instagram for a promotional contest targeting teens and young adults, Twitter to drive general mobile traffic to your blog, or LinkedIn to share opportunities or guidance related to your industry. Mobile users are also more likely to browse during 8-8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. And for businesses catering to families or food and beverages, Pinterest is the perfect social media platform.

Building an online presence requires you to be intriguing, consistent, relevant, and conversational. Engaging with other social media personalities gets your name out in the public and possibly a recommendation — so having an influencer strategy is important. It also lets your followers know that you’re the real deal and not a robot behind a keyboard.

User-submitted websites like Reddit, StumbleUpon, and Digg also expose your work to new people, so try to stay active on them as well.

Don’t ignore metrics

The only way to optimize and improve content over time is to measure and analyze. Tools such as Google Analytics lets you track how many visitors you received on your site and how well certain posts and keywords related to your niche performed. Furthermore, it breaks down your readership by age, gender, and region. Performances on different browsers and desktop and mobile are also monitored, helping you decide how to better optimize your site for readers.

Viral content isn’t easy to make, but it’s not impossible. Creating great headlines, posts, and online presence is fundamental to your success.

Sponsored posts are content that has been produced by a company that is either paying for the post or has a business relationship with VentureBeat, and they’re always clearly marked. The content of news stories produced by our editorial team is never influenced by advertisers or sponsors in any way. For more information, contact [email protected].

How marketers are tailoring their content strategy for a multi-channel, multi-device world

tablet coffee shop

This sponsored post is produced in association with Citrix GoToWebinar.

We’re living in a technologically empowered age where smartphones, tablets, laptops, wearables, and e-readers reign supreme and customers are spoilt for choice not just for the content, but for the platform they wish to view it on.

Fortunately, content is still king for consumers. And the top marketers in the industry are the ones that can tap into the power of connected data and understand what sparks and sustains user interaction across different platforms.

The key to building a solid multi-platform content strategy is to have a keen understanding of the limitations of new technology and how you can create tailored content for each platform. And that demands a highly dynamic content strategy that offers a unique experience to users across each channel.

Your customer is a moving target, and you need to be fully tuned into their content consumption habits and device preferences to actively adapt your content strategy for attracting the right audience.

Making mobile a priority is non-negotiable

At this point, denying the impact of mobile marketing is like trying to contest the existence of gravity. According to a 2014 comScore report, 31 percent of content published by top media entities is viewed solely on smartphones and more than half of U.S. users spend the majority of their time consuming digital media with mobile apps. Google, Amazon, Apple, Yahoo, and Facebook collectively topped the list for highest combined platform usage.

A recent study conducted by Millward Brown revealed that nearly 60 percent of buyers use mobile devices to research their purchases.

It is becoming increasingly evident that the intrinsic value of your content in the eyes of mobile-savvy users instantly shoots up if your brand maintains a consistent multi-platform presence. However, you need to keep in mind that content relevance means a lot more than multi-channel presence.

Here are some of the most rewarding practices used by content marketers to captivate mobile users:

1. Make it locally relevant

Whether you’re setting up a mobile-optimized website or a mobile app, location plays a monumental role in determining your audience’s content consumption habits.

According to a mobile media consumption study done by Pew Research Center, 74 percent of adult smartphone owners ages 18 and older say they use their phone to get directions or other information based on their current location. Location-enabled services in apps allow marketers to target consumers at the right time – and right place – giving marketers a golden opportunity to serve location-specific content to consumers and make their brand interactions worthwhile.

For example, Blis Media helped Spotify produce excellent results by serving ads in airport coffee shops based on the assumption that people would be inclined to purchase last-minute travel entertainment.

Foursquare, Waze, Tinder, and Google Now have also done a splendid job delivering high quality location-specific content through the efficient use of big data. You can easily entice people walking by your store to walk in simply by offering a sweet check-in deal on Facebook or Foursquare.

2. Optimize for push messaging

Thanks to this newfound context-driven approach, content marketing through messaging for apps has become a lot more productive.

The highest click rates come from short messages (10 or fewer words) packed with words like “offer,” “super,” “ends” and “deal”. A 2014 Localytics report on push messaging revealed that there’s a 66 percent higher click rate on push messages that are sent on weekdays, and the ideal time to send them to users is between 12 p.m to 5 p.m.

Make your content relevant and timely by sending offers and updates on products users have viewed before. For instance, a user may have abandoned their online shopping cart with a few Burberry clothing items for some unknown reason in the past. By following up with a notification like “Your favorite item: Burberry Check Coat – now 20% off”, you have a high chance of rekindling the transaction.

3. Prioritize visual content

Social Bakers looked at the top 10 percent of posts made by more than 30,000 Facebook brand pages and found that posts with photos saw the most engagement—accounting for a whopping 87 percent of total interactions.

Mobile consumers strongly prefer rich visual content over text-heavy content due to the limitation of screen space and straightforward nature of the brand communication. Therefore, opting for catchy infographics and visually striking banners to promote your brand will prove to be a lot more engaging.

4. Champion responsive design

If you’re aiming to deliver a seamless content interaction experience to your customers across different platforms, then investing in responsive design should be on the top of your priority list – particularly if you haven’t yet invested in a mobile app. It allows automatic optimization of content across devices for effortless navigation and eliminates the need to create a mobile version of your website.

Big players in the media industry like USA Today and Disney have implemented responsive design across a number of their properties to streamline the cross-platform content experience for audiences.

Here are some of the key elements involved in implementing responsive design for marketing content across mobile devices:

  • Readability –to make sure that your message is easily visible, use at least 14 point fonts.
  • Navigability  to accommodate finger tapping for navigation more efficiently, avoid cluttering the page with unnecessary elements and create big buttons.
  • Adaptability — to target users more effectively, leverage the power of big data to change specific elements of your website, ad, or email body based on the past interactions of the user. Amazon’s brilliant recommendation engine is one of the best examples of dynamic content strategy.
  • Granularity — to deliver your content effectively across all platforms, plan it in such a way that you can break down your content into shareable tweets, Facebook posts, quotes, etc. without losing the authenticity of your brand message.
  • Action Potential — to focus your reader’s attention on the key points, use a single column to structure your content and place your call-to-action at the top of the screen.

It’s not easy to ignore that the always-on nature of social media can be a really intimidating factor in devising your content marketing strategy, not to mention the need to continually feed other content across your owned properties. However, if your content is crisp and you know your consumer profile and the best way to reach them, then delivering a seamless multi-platform content experience is not a dream so far-fetched.

Sponsored posts are content that has been produced by a company that is either paying for the post or has a business relationship with VentureBeat, and they’re always clearly marked. The content of news stories produced by our editorial team is never influenced by advertisers or sponsors in any way. For more information, contact [email protected].