The Great IT Trick

Professional certifications are good ways for IT workers to easily demonstrate their proficiency with highly technical software programs. VMware wanted to create easier and more user-friendly ways for tech professionals to be recognized for their expertise with various VMware products. So they re-launched their certification program as VMware Certified Associates.

While offering a discount on these new exams for the first four months, VMware knew through customer insights that IT pros are great procrastinators. The discount itself wasn't enough, VMware needed to create a greater sense of urgency by setting an artificial end date to the discount offer. They dubbed this strategy “Crying Wolf.”

By “crying wolf” on the campaign duration, they increased the sense of urgency. In doing this VMware was able to drive increased frequency by adding a layer of retargeting media which helped serve reminder messages. And they succeeded! By early November, they had exceeded their goal by 37%, and over 29,000 exam certifications were issued across all regions---which translated to 230% of the campaign goal.