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Integrating several marketing channels into a unified campaign is generally a good idea. When reaching out to technology purchasers—consisting of multiple decision-makers with divided attention spans—integration can be the difference between achieving real notice or being pretty much overlooked.
That was a key consideration for Hewlett-Packard Co., whose enterprise services division rolled out its “Evolve, Compete, Succeed” campaign earlier this year in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The goal was to hit the target market with a variety of channels, including print and banner ads, a campaign microsite, a CIO video series, live events and custom nurturing of marketing-qualified leads.
“Because of our objectives—both to create awareness and demand generation—we wanted to have all these touch points and elements in the campaign,” said Natasha Sandoval, marketing campaign manager at HP Enterprise Services EMEA. “We wanted to accelerate exposure of our content around messages to potential buyers—the IT audience.”
HP specifically wanted to promote its application services, which help customers update their legacy applications. Sandoval cited the shifting of technology to the cloud, the rapid adoption of mobile technology and the challenge of Big Data and analytics, among other points of concern for these companies.
“We view this as a growth area,” Sandoval said. “Right now, companies are spending 80% of their IT budgets on maintaining these legacy applications and just 20% on innovation. But the world is moving on fast-forward and we want to flip that ratio.”
HP's campaign was created and managed by TechTarget, Newton, Mass.
“Technology marketers need to come to the realization that online media is converging in how it's presented to the target audience,” said Marilou Barsam, TechTarget senior VP-corporate and client marketing. “We tried to provide full-coverage ad formats.”
Despite the focus on updating legacy technology, HP's campaign included a fair share of legacy marketing channels, specifically a partnership with Financial Times. That included print ads in the publication's IT-intensive Connected Business section, with ads aligned with scheduled content.
HP also sponsored Financial Times' CIO Interviewsvideo series featuring large-company CIOs. The online ads within this series linked to a microsite developed by TechTarget, containing other Financial Times videos, white papers and social media links.
A particularly engaging ad unit developed by TechTarget for the campaign featured ways for a viewer to interactive with HP messages. Within the single ad unit, called Demand Engage, were separate tabs linking to videos, white papers and a Twitter feed. This enabled, Barsam said, “immediate nurturing.”
“Technology marketers might look at these as good examples of converging online marketing efforts, but to the prospect it's simply convenient,” Barsam said. She added that technology sales cycles are shorter than ever—down to six months or less—and interactive, multi-ingredient ad units provide access to more material, faster.
HP's campaign is based thoroughly on content, Sandoval said.
“Especially in the areas we're talking about, such as cloud and mobile, you lose credibility if you can't offer something beyond the slogans,” she said. “It's important to get specific, to show customers not only that HP focuses on these areas but also what we have to offer.”
The yearlong campaign is ongoing. HP did not reveal the budget, but Sandoval said this global, multielement program “isn't cheap.”
The results so far, however, have made her happy. Response to the Demand Engage ad units featured a 34% engagement rate (390 white paper downloads out of 1,160 opens), with 11% of viewers going on to open another piece of content—a key indicator of interaction. Sponsorship of Financial Times' CIO Interviews captured 20,246 views per video; a dwell time of nearly 90 second each on average; and a 0.96% click-through rate from the banner ad to the microsite.
TechTarget took all respondents, defined as those who downloaded one item, as well as active leads (those with multiple relevant activities) and prospects (those with multiple downloads) and passed along the top marketing qualified leads to HP sales.
Follow-up emails captured open rates of up to 20% and a CTR of 6.3%. Sales so far are up 16%, according to HP.