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HP converts data into insights

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Hewlett-Packard Co. is converting massive amounts of data about its customers and prospects into insights that inform all its marketing efforts to target buyers at different points in the purchase cycle. “One of our biggest challenges is "Big Data'—how do you take data and analytics and convert it into insight?” said Scott Anderson, VP-customer communications at HP's enterprise marketing group. “At HP, we are using analytics to inform everything we're doing with our audience. We're getting smarter about who we're talking to; and we're using analytics to move buyers across the buying cycle.” He said the first step in the process is setting up “listening posts” to monitor conversations that customers and prospects are having about the brand, as well as specific products and issues. HP does this by tracking social media conversations using tools such as Google Analytics, NetBase and Radian6, as well as monitoring conversations in its own customer user groups and on other media sites (such as CIO's Enterprise CIO Forum, which HP sponsors). “We need to think about how our own editorial fits into the conversation,” Anderson said, adding that marketers need to think much more like publishers when it comes to planning editorial content for use in social media and other marketing efforts. The next step in the process is planning and targeting messages to specific audiences based on the intelligence gathered, Anderson said. Some of these segments include the top customers in HP's key accounts and such industry influencers as analysts. “We are doing a ton of analytics around our customers,” Anderson said. For example, HP discovers the hot topics and language key audiences are using by doing keyword analysis and mapping out campaigns that target buyers at different stages. The final step is executing the campaigns, including asset creation, distribution, audience engagement and measurement. HP uses a trigger-based marketing automation program to send content—such as emails, offers and Twitter feeds—to specific audiences For example, during the “preference” stage, HP might send an email to business decision-makers with an offer to opt in to an HP newsletter where they could read case studies about companies like theirs. “As we get smarter about our customers, we can drive up the conversions,” Anderson said.
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