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Hewlett-Packard + Johnson = results

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Allison Johnson, senior VP of corporate marketing at Hewlett-Packard Co., has been named the BtoB Marketer of the Year for leading innovative enterprise marketing efforts at HP, including a major new b-to-b campaign, rigorous analytics and experiential marketing with enterprise customers.

Johnson is responsible for HP's corporate marketing organization, including corporate advertising, brand management, sponsorships and events, media relations, internal and executive communications and corporate messaging.

A big part of her job over the past year has been a rebranding campaign following the merger of HP and Compaq Computer Corp. in 2002. The campaign, developed by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, kept the original HP tagline of "Invent," but added a new visual logo of a plus sign and elements incorporating "plus" to demonstrate the strength of partnerships.

The consumer campaign, called "You + HP," was launched in October 2003, and the b-to-b campaign, called "Change + HP," was launched in February 2004.

The b-to-b campaign was one of the largest enterprise efforts ever for HP, including its first major TV advertising for the enterprise audience. The campaign's budget was not disclosed.

"Rolling out the campaign globally was a major accomplishment this year," Johnson said. "We've done a good job taking a global campaign and tailoring it in local markets."

"Change + HP" has been launched in 15 countries to date. HP will continue to roll out new ads this year and into next.

HP's marketing department, under Johnson's direction and working with Goodby, introduced some unusual experiential media components to the effort, including a billboard that appeared to grow ivy, and ads on interactive locations in airports and other venues. For example, HP ran ads on sliding glass doors in airports, with the text "Change happens" on each door. The doors opened and shut to reveal the message.

"We've been very creative in our use of media," Johnson said.

Experiential marketing encompasses more than just advertising at HP. One of Johnson's primary goals is to create partnerships with customers that demonstrate the role of technology and help improve their bottom line.

One of the most notable experiential marketing programs is a partnership between HP and Starbucks under which HP provides the technology for "Hear Music," a CD-burning service in select Starbucks locations. The service was first rolled out in a Starbucks store in Santa Monica, Calif., and resulted in the store doubling its sales, Johnson said.

On Oct. 14, Starbucks announced plans to roll out 45 "Hear Music" stores in Seattle and Austin, Texas, as the first phase of a national rollout.

"One of the things we're doing with our major enterprise customers is create innovation labs, where we collaborate together to think about new business models," Johnson said.

"The relationship with Starbucks is an enterprise relationship. [Starbucks Chairman] Howard Schultz wants to think about how to sell more coffee," she said. "Our team meets with Howard and his team to brainstorm the role of technology in helping them achieve their business goals."

Now, she added, around 35 enterprise customers in the hotel, travel, entertainment, retail and other industries are seeking the kind of partnership HP has with Starbucks."We are moving from technology and product marketing to experience marketing," Johnson said. "That is a big shift."

To accommodate the transition, HP implemented a change this year in its marketing organization, moving top marketing executives from product groups to customer groups, including enterprise, SMB and consumer segments.

"Now we have the best marketing people in those segments, and it helps us become much more customer-focused," Johnson said.

Another major challenge for Johnson this year was implementing a new analytics system to measure the effectiveness of HP's marketing efforts. The marketing resource management system provided by Siebel allows HP to measure marketing ROI across marketing resources and projects.

"The system ensures that all of our projects, programs and initiatives are managed through a single system- so we have visibility into every project we undertake and can measure ROI," Johnson said. "It helps us make smarter decisions about how we spend money and where we spend money."

She said about 80% of HP's total marketing spend in now tracked, measured and managed through the MRM system.

In terms of other new tools and technologies, HP is increasing its online spend, Johnson said. "Online will become an increasingly important part of the mix, particularly in the enterprise space, where so many of our customers rely on the Web to get their information," she said.

HP uses its own Web site to provide extensive product information, white papers and technical resources, and it uses e-mail, e-newsletters, online advertising and custom portals to communicate with customers. It also uses Weblogs, such as a blog for the software developer community.

Johnson joined HP in 1999. Previously, she was director of corporate communications for IBM Corp. and also for Netscape. She has held marketing and communications positions with Apple Computer, Wells Fargo Bank and Chemical Banking Corp.

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