HP Gets Personal
The tech leader’s one-to-one e-marketing program fulfills the promise of the Internet.
The promise of e-marketing has been, by and large, theoretical. Yes, many companies have made good use of Web-based and e-mail initiatives. Some have thrived using little but e-marketing.
But in the aggregate, most companies still e-mail the way they mail—ignoring the rich dynamic capabilities of the medium—and many Web sites function as little more than static, online brochures.
Part of the problem is that e-mail and Internet are easy to use, but hard to use effectively.
It’s a truism that was not lost on the team at Hewlett-Packard (HP) charged with overhauling the technology solutions company’s e-marketing initiatives. Even before HP merged with Compaq in May 2002, efforts had been put in place to reel the efforts of some 87 different product lines—each essentially doing its own product marketing—into a unified system.
But more than streamline a bunch of product lines, HP wanted to architect a one-to-one marketing platform that would span online channels and ensure that customers’ interests and preferences were recognized and represented consistently, whether on the Internet or in a newsletter.
It’s a relatively simple concept—view the customer the same way across channels—that’s confounded marketers since day one of the Internet.
“We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for customers to interact with HP,” says Stephanie Acker-Moy, vice president of HP’s Internet and marketing services organization. “We’re trying to make it relevant, and we’re trying to address the total customer technologylifecycle with information about purchasing, using and supporting the product or solution that the customer purchases.”
In essence, HP set out to build an e-marketing system that runs on information and that keeps customers engaged—providing notice of new products, support, driver updates, etc.—over the course of multiple purchase cycles.