Making marketing a competitive advantage for partners

LAS VEGAS – The theme of Hewlett-Packard Co.’s annual Global Partner Conference (GPC) is driving growth, and the vendor is ramping-up its marketing programs to help fuel further growth for HP’s channel partners.

HP has been working to drive further alignment and consistency across business units within its ParterOne channel program, and one area that has been completely unified is partner marketing. As senior vice-president of demand generation and channel marketing, Lynn Anderson is the first executive to lead HP’s entire partner marketing, which is shared across the entire business – software, enterprise group and printing and personal systems.

The goal is to have accessing marketing services be a seamless experience for partners, no matter which HP business unit, or units, they might have a relationship with, Anderson told CDN in an interview this week at the partner conference.

“Our goal is to make marketing a competitive advantage for HP,” said Anderson.

HP rolled out a number of marketing initiatives for partners at GPC, including the hiring marketing managers to work with partners to leverage HP’s new marketing programs.

Among them is a partner co-marketing zone with thousands of templates partners can leverage, be it for a banner, a telemarketing script, an email blast or literature. The templates will be easily customizable by partners, allowing them to drop in their own information and logos and have production-ready assets.

Platinum partners will also get access to an internal asset, HP Asset Hub, with tens of millions of dollars in stock photos of videos of devices and lifestyle shots as well as articles they can use to drive their campaigns, saving them the cost of buying stock images.

“It allows them to take all our assets and customize them to their own look and feel,” said Page Murray, vice-president of worldwide channel marketing. “Videos, animations, everything they could need to drive their marketing.”

HP also plans to use its worldwide procurement power to create a stable of marketing services agencies (MSAs) around the world, and attract the best people in their fields to staff them, as a service provider to HP partners. Anderson said the MSAs will work with HP partners to design customized marketing campaigns for HP partners, based off of approved HP collateral, and even have it printed or implemented.

The advantage, said Anderson, is that because HP pre-approved materials are used the projects won’t need to wait for HP approval if it’s part of their existing marketing business plan, and the MSAs will bill HP directly from their market development funds so partners don’t need to front the initial cost and then bill it back to HP themselves.

Murray added while partners can get as granular with the MSAs as they like, it can also be as simple as going to a catalogue, saying I want to market ink in the office with these two ads, here’s what I have left in MDF, and the MSA takes it from there.

“The program has been running for three years in EMEA and the partners there are thrilled,” said Murray.

The goal is effectiveness and efficiency, added Anderson.

“With the power of HP procurement we’ll get a list price most companies won’t be able to negotiate, and that will free up more money to drive more campaigns,” said Anderson. “We will distance ourselves from the competition.”

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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