HP, the technology giant, has driven sales of its secure printers through the smart use of customer insights and leveraging the power of online video with a narrative content initiative entitled “The Wolf: True Alpha”.

Shuchi Sarkar, global marketing head for HP’s graphics solution business, discussed this subject at the 2019 Brand Marketing Summit held by the Incite Group in San Francisco.

The firm’s original assumption, she explained, was that its secure printers would be of most relevance to chief information officers and IT managers. But its research identified another key source of demand for these products.

“It was actually the chief security officer in the company,” Sarkar said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How action-packed online video boosted demand for HP’s secure printers.)

And the underlying reason for this interest was as simple as it was compelling: “If he failed on security, he lost his job,” she further reported.

In reaching this audience, HP utilised an online video series – starring actor Christian Slater as “The Wolf” and Jonathan Banks as “The Fixer” – which brought security risks to life in a powerful, engaging way.

This content play generated millions of YouTube views in countries such as the US, UK and Canada, with many IT professionals then visiting the campaign’s digital hub.

HP also offered links to useful information for IT executives, such as research papers that examined security threats and provided assessments that might help ascertain levels of risk.

“IT managers and CCOs and CIOs constantly underestimated this threat … They never prioritised printer security, and this was a struggle for us,” said Sarkar.

Positive testimonials enabled HP to make its case, too. “It was about using a lot of customer advocacy, and people who have actually been through breaches, have done the changeover to HP, and how they benefited from this,” she added.

The results included a lift in purchase intent that more than doubled the initial target – and a spike in printer sales that was over three times ahead of the company’s original goal.

The latter metric, Sarkar asserted, was the most significant indicator. “The success of a B2B [business-to-business] activity is nothing but a sold product,” she said.

“Nobody cares how many engagements or ‘likes’ you have. What really matters is how many products you are actually selling.”

Sourced from WARC