Harris Connect to Introduce Its Mobile Marketing Platform at CASE Summit 2009

Kurt Worrell, SVP, Set to Speak on How Higher Ed Can Adopt a Mobile Strategy

CHESAPEAKE, Va. – Harris Connect, the leader in providing innovative affinity marketing solutions for alumni and membership organizations for more than four decades, will preview its newest solution at this year’s CASE Summit in San Francisco, CA. Designed to help organizations engage their alumni and members in a way they prefer, Kurt Worrell, Senior Vice President of Consumer Sales and Marketing, will also host a session focused specifically on how the higher ed marketplace can integrate mobile technologies into their existing communications strategy.

Harris Connect Mobile

Launched in the second quarter of 2009 for the higher ed market, Harris Connect Mobile will soon be available to membership associations and other affinity groups. With this initial release, colleges and universities have the ability to send highly targeted messages and information – on a 100% opt-in basis – to alumni, students and parents via cell phone or other mobile device using a Mobile Content Manager. Constituents subscribe to receive specific types of content by SMS (or text), which can range from sports scores and university news, to event announcements and reminders, to special offers from affinity partners and more. In addition, this solution also allows for downloadable mobile applications to be sourced from existing RSS feeds and admin-generated rich or dynamic content.

According to Worrell, mobile messaging opens up one more powerful communication stream for colleges and universities to use in reaching their constituents. “More than 200 million people in the U.S. today carry a cell phone, and virtually all cell phones are capable of receiving text messages,” he explains. “In fact, with the introduction of smartphones like the iPhone and others, people have begun using their phones for much more than just voice communications – and text messages actually surpassed voice messages in cell phone usage last year.”

While companies and news outlets around the world have been experimenting with mobile marketing strategies for several years, the application has real significance for higher ed and other membership based groups. To begin, the age range for those using text messaging on a daily basis is between 18-49 – making mobile devices a primary communications method for a vast majority of an organization’s constituency. The strategy also has a wide array of applications for colleges and universities. For instance, alumni relations and development offices can push event information to alumni and accept registrations on the spot via click-to-call to increase participation. Plus, the ability to conduct surveys and polls quickly helps keep alumni engaged and provides immediate feedback. The Mobile Content Manager also provides design options using images, text and html – affording colleges and universities the ability to reinforce their core brand by incorporating graphics and audio into messages, such as the school’s seal, mascot or fight song.

All this is combined with in-depth reporting and other backend tools that ultimately help colleges and universities extend their reach and realize higher response rates. CASE Summit attendees can view a demonstration of this next generation marketing tool at Harris Connect’s Product Launch Reception on Thursday, July 9 from 3:45-4:15 Pacific time in the Pacific N Room, as well as at their booth (#28) in the Exhibit Hall. Information can also be accessed by mobile, of course, by texting HARRIS to 258664.


Adopting a Mobile Strategy: Why It’s Important & How to Get Started

In his session at CASE Summit in July, Worrell will discuss the importance of implementing a mobile strategy – looking specifically at how this newest technology can enhance advancement efforts. He’ll do this by examining industry trends and best practices, as well as highlighting cases where alumni and development offices have begun using mobile marketing to build participation and engagement.

In addition to learning about mobile marketing in general, attendees will gain in-depth knowledge of the user experience by walking through a typical mobile campaign – allowing them to opt-in, receive a text message and interact via their mobile devices. A demonstration of how Harris Connect’s mobile platform works to create and distribute content, as well as track results will also be included.

Worrell joined Harris Connect in 1990 and has since held management positions in virtually all areas of the company’s operations. In 2004, he was a driving force in implementing the launch of the Data Services product line having previously worked as a technical consultant teaming with many colleges and universities on projects ranging from data integration to profiling and target marketing. In his current role, Worrell oversees the consumer-facing areas of the operation focused on Consumer Sales and Marketing and Business Development. In 2009, he partnered with Acuity Mobile to create and launch a mobile platform. Worrell received his bachelor’s degree in business communications from Bentley University.

About Harris Connect

Founded in 1963, Harris Connect is the leading provider of affinity marketing solutions including alumni and member publications that range from directories to coffee-table editions to commemorative books; research services to update email, phone and mailing address information; online communities and applications built on the Facebook platform; and now mobile marketing strategies, as well as programs designed to produce non-dues revenue for their clients. Today, Harris Connect serves more than 4,000 clients worldwide. The company is headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia with offices in New York and Texas.

For more information about Harris Connect Mobile in particular, simply text HARRIS at 258664 or go to harriconnect.com/mobile. For general inquiries, send an email to [email protected] or call 1.800.326.6600.