Hewlett-Packard tries paperless approach

Printers might be a large part of Hewlett-Packard's business, but in a recent marketing campaign, the company didn't use a lot of paper. Instead, the Mississauga, Ont.-based vendor - consistently a top-ranked inkjet and laser printer manufacturer, according to industry analysts...

Printers might be a large part of Hewlett-Packard’s business, but in a recent marketing campaign, the company didn’t use a lot of paper.

Instead, the Mississauga, Ont.-based vendor – consistently a top-ranked inkjet and laser printer manufacturer, according to industry analysts – teamed up with Toronto-based FloNetwork (formerly Media Synergy) to implement a permission-based e-mail marketing campaign. It was HP (Canada)’s first foray into the permission-based e-mail marketing medium.

The results? Not bad. Not bad, at all.

‘If we could do anything differently, it would have been to increase the customer target,’ says Cathy Malgi, programs manager for HP (Canada). ‘It shows one-to-one marketing can be a competitive advantage if it’s done right using a soft-sell approach.’

Peter Evans, marketing vice-president for FloNetwork, says HP’s approach is the most cost-efficient way to establish a direct connection between the customer and the database.

‘And once marketers start increasing their use of segmentation models with behavioural feedback they can get through e-mail marketing, they can start to cross-sell and upsell because they can target better,’ he adds.

In HP’s case, Malgi says the company ‘had an exciting message to tell,’ and it wanted to tell it in a hurry.

The campaign revolved around a number of value-added initiatives offered to its customers that go beyond the sale to round out what Malgi calls the ‘HP total experience.’

The permission-based e-mail marketing campaign was designed to drive traffic to HP’s Creative Print Contest, an online promotion developed to motivate people to use their HP printers and HP supplies. The contest also encouraged people to visit ‘Printsville’ (www.printsville.com), an HP Web site filled with ready-made templates and creative print project ideas – especially suitable for the small office and home office user of HP colour inkjet printers.

According to Malgi, HP gathered customer information, including e-mail addresses, through its HP Idea Kit promotion, aimed at personal printer users. Customers who bought a personal printer or ink cartridge could, using a reply card, send away for the HP Idea Kit. The kit contained two desktop publishing software CDs, sample papers and special media, and a project booklet with step-by-step instructions.

‘We were able to collect a database of customers interested in creative printing ideas from the Idea Kit,’ says Malgi. ‘We sent out the Idea Kits twice a year over the past three years, so the information we collected fit in well with our Creative Print Contest campaign. We knew they would likely be interested in the ideas Printsville could give them.’

HP ended up with 19,000 opted-in names with e-mail addresses for its campaign, which began last spring. The e-mail messages gave recipients a choice – they could either download the message in plain-text format, or as an animated attachment. In either case, HP customers who received the e-mail were directed to Printsville, where they could download and print various projects, such as T-shirt iron-ons, gift-wraps, greeting cards and picture frames.

Three-quarters of the e-mail was successfully sent, with Malgi attributing the returned messages to respondents changing their Internet Service Provider (and thus having a new e-mail address) or data entry errors. But what of the remaining 75%?

‘Sixty-eight per cent of the original 19,000 actually responded to our call to action,’ says Malgi. ‘We had an unsubscribe rate of only half a per cent. We were obviously respectful of not sending out the message if it wasn’t wanted.’ Several hundred recipients also forwarded the e-mail to friends and associates, she adds, noting that HP was projecting a response rate of about 30%.

An impressive result, and one that seems to support a study by Stamford, Conn.-based IMT Strategies which says that permission-based e-mail marketing, when done properly, may well be the ‘killer app’ of the direct response industry.

‘Unlike Web banners, e-mail is an elegant and universal ‘push technology’ that puts the marketer back in control of what messages the customer sees when,’ states the report, which surveyed more than 160 e-mail marketers and 400 customers. ‘At a cost of pennies per message sent, permission e-mail offers marketers the chance to improve their marketing economics by five times or more compared to direct mail, and as much as 20 times Web banners.’

But permission-based e-mail marketing is still relatively new and that means marketers haven’t yet worked out their expectations. HP improved its chances of success by targeting people who already owned printers and crafting a message that was relevant to them.

‘I don’t think HP believes that this is the right marketing tool for [every] initiative,’ says Malgi. ‘Reputable businesses will do their research when it comes to this type of tool – a lot of the success depends on it.’

Corner Officer Shifts: Martin Fecko leaves Tangerine

Plus, PointsBet Canada and Thinkific name new marketing leaders as Lole gets a new ecommerce VP.
Corner Office

Martin Fecko departs Tangerine 

After roughly two years of serving as Tangerine’s chief marketing officer, Martin Fecko has a new gig. And this time, the financial services vet will apply his marketing leadership to a new sector, having been named CMO of Dentalcorp.

Fecko will lead the dental network’s end-to-end patient journey, support its overall growth, and work to maximize patient experiences across every touchpoint, the company said in a release.

“Martin’s in-depth expertise in engaging and retaining customers through a digitally enabled experience will be valuable in realizing our vision to be Canada’s most trusted healthcare network,” said Dentalcorp president Guy Amini.

Prior to joining Scotiabank’s digital-only banking brand in late-2019, Fecko was country manager for Intuit Canada and spent 10 years at American Express in consumer and digital marketing.

PointsBet Canada nabs former Bell marketer as it pursues expansion

Dave Rivers has joined PointsBet, an online gaming and sports betting operator, as Canadian VP of marketing.

Rivers joins from Bell, where he was most recently director of brand marketing and sponsorship, responsible for driving the company’s national sponsorship strategy and portfolio. He will report to PointsBet Canada chief commercial officer Nic Sulsky.

According to Sulsky, Rivers will “play a key role as we prepare to launch a business that is unique to our roots here in Canada.”

PointsBet has a significant presence in Australia, where it was founded, and in the U.S. In July, it named Scott Vanderwel, a former SVP at Rogers, as CEO of its Canadian subsidiary, one of several hires aimed at establishing the company’s presence locally.

Thinkific names first CMO among other executive appointments

Vancouver’s Thinkific, a platform for creating, marketing and selling online courses, has appointed Henk Campher as its first chief marketing officer as it invests in marketing to support its growth plans. It has also upped Chris McGuire to the role of chief technology officer and moved former CTO and co-founder Matt Payne into the new role of SVP of innovation.

Co-founder and CEO Greg Smith said Campher and McGuire “will play key roles building high-functioning teams around them and optimizing investment as we continue to carve out an increasingly prominent and differentiated position in the global market.”

Campher joins from Hootsuite, where he was VP of corporate marketing. Before that, he was VP of brand and communications at CRM giant Salesforce.

Lolë names new VP of digital omni-commerce as parent company exits bankruptcy protection

The Montreal-based athletic apparel and accessories retailer has appointed Rob French as VP of digital omni-commerce.

French will lead Lolë’s efforts in consumer insights, supply chain-to-consumer models and online customer journeys. In what is a new role for the company, he will also work to grow the company’s retail brand. He arrives with sixteen years experience in ecommerce, having spent the last few years as chief digital commerce officer at sporting goods retailer Decathlon.

In May 2020, Lolë parent Coalision Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection, citing several years of losses as a result of a downturn in the retail clothing market, increased competition and excess inventory – problems exacerbated by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of the filing, Coalision was seeking an investor or purchaser of its assets.

It successfully exited bankruptcy protection last year and is currently rebuilding its executive team, according to a spokesperson.