HP upgrades partner marketing with Co-Marketing Zone, new Social Media Center

The HP Co-Marketing Zone now allows partners to track the performance and ROI of campaigns as well as create them, while the Social Media Center is designed to establish partners as thought leaders by providing content that goes beyond HP materials.


Vincent Brissot, vice president and head of channel marketing and operations at HP

BOSTON – At its Global Partner Conference in Boston, HP Inc. has announced significant improvements to its marketing resources available to partners. The HP Co-Marketing Zone, which existed before, and allowed partners to launch campaigns, now lets them monitor and track the results as well. HP has also added a new Social Media Center to help partners who want to become involved with social media to do so.

“This is all about our efforts to retool and provide the best possible enablement tools for partners,” said Vincent Brissot, vice president and head of channel marketing and operations at HP. “These enhancements combine channel marketing and operations together.”

The enhanced HP Co-Marketing Zone Plus (CMZ+) is a one-stop portal to let partners create customized, co-branded marketing materials. They create campaigns by uploading target customer lists into the system and launch local or global outreach using one of five online modules – co-branded collateral marketing; electronic direct mail marketing; microsite marketing; event marketing or search marketing management – directly from the portal. This much will likely be familiar to many partners, for it existed previously.

“The limitation of the system before was it was limited just to the creation of the campaign,” Brissot said. “This added significant value, as it let partners doing joint co-marketing with us add their own layer of content and their logo, and cut the time to create campaigns in half. But they couldn’t use the tool to see how the campaigns were performing.”

That capability, Brissot said, is what is new in CMZ+.

“Now, in addition to being able to create the joint programs, they can also run them right from the tool, and track the performance of each campaign, so you can see how they are working, and know which ones work best and have generated leads.” ROI, performance and pipeline development can all now be tracked.

The new Social Media Center is part of HP Sales Central.

“Only a limited number of partners have got into social business,” Brissot said. “We believe as a vendor that our role is to help more of them.”

Brissot said that social media as a sales tool has become what the phone, fax and email were to prior generations of sellers.

“If you aren’t engaging where your customers are, you aren’t a serious seller,” he said.

Brissot indicated that most partners are interested in using social media, they say they simply don’t have the time to get into it.

“They want HP to enable them to become a thought leader,” he said.

The Social Media Center helps them do this by providing customizable content on many topics and HP news that partners can push out through multiple social media channels.

“It provides more than HP-specific information,” Brissot stated. “If you want to be a strong social seller, you have to be industry-wide. You have to demonstrate you know what’s happening in the broader market.”

HP has tested this as a pilot in the U.S. and Canada over the last two months, with 400 partners participating, and says the results were extremely strong.

“After one month, one partner in the U.S. increased their number of followers by 3,600 per cent, and got 70 per cent more mentions,” Brissot noted.

The Social Media Center is now live in North America, It is scheduled to become available later this year in Latin America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

“As usual, some partners will get on board with this, and some will not bother with it, but we believe it will have value for those who use it,” Brissot said.

HP has also redesigned its online portal experience in Sales Central to provide partners with easier and more direct access to content, using a simplified search process that directs them to specific landing pages.

“With this, we are re-inventing how partners can find information,” Brissot said.

While the intent is to make this global for all their offerings, Brissot acknowledged that they are far from that point.

“We are starting with the A3 portal [for the new printing devices being developed through the Samsung acquisition] because it is new,” he said. “Once this is done, we will be experimenting with the larger portal system.”