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Integrated Marketing and sales communications used by HP

This research study analyses the marketing communication theories modified by Hp as it advanced to being the world's number 1 pc manufacturer in 2007. Its emergence as a worldwide company in 1957 opened a windowpane of opportunity. The ideas addressed will aid in forming a combination of the main element concepts utilized by Hp because of its global marketing campaign to increase customer loyalty and increase sales. Several practises are seen to have developed along various marketing communications and marketing theories. However, critical evaluation of Hp's 63- time development will show too little adherence for some very useful models by some academics scholars. A viable information of marketing through effective communication was created by Smith (2002), "strategy of preference in a competitive environment is proactive, two -way communication, where organisation arrange for and initiate connections with the folks important with their success, emphasising dialogue over monologue and using various techniques to connect to their publics. "


Hewlett Packard, known as HP, can be an electronics producer which was founded in 1939 in California by Charge Hewlett and David Packard. Since its beginning the company has gained prominence throughout the world, learning to be a major leader on the market of gadgets and technology.

Early product designs produced by the company include inventions such as the resistance-capacitance music oscillator called 'Model 200A'. It is the processing of products including the Model 200A which may have shaped the future for technology and helped pioneer many of today's products.

In 1966, HP presented the world's first computer. In 1968 the company then presented the first desktop technological calculator and named it the 'personal computer' (PC). It had been this event which boosted HP in to mainstream significance during the 1980s and became leading players in the technical industry. This is founded in 1995, when HP entered the home processing market.

In 2001the company merged with Compaq building HP Compaq. This merger ensured initiatives were designed to further build the brand as a leading company in the IT and computer industry. This is done through intense marketing techniques done through the idea of Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC).

1. Critical evaluation of the role of integrated marketing communications in the success of Hewlett-Packard since 2001

Joep cornelissen (2008) definition of corporate and business communication is as follows:

"Corporate communication is a management function that offers a frame benefit the effective coordination of all internal and exterior communication with the overall purpose of creating and retaining favourable reputation with stake holder teams up on that your organisation is dependent. "

But using of the approach is not always good as some critics may say despite of twenty years of argument most practitioner still notice that involved marketing communication is emerging self-control (eagle and kitchen 2000) rather than fully produced concept. Like a great many other concept which may have yet to totally develop it is at the mercy of fully varying plus some times colourful terminology. Thus '360 branding', 'total branding', 'whole egg', 'seam less communication', 'new advertising', 'orchestration', 'romantic relationship marketing', 'one to 1 marketing', 'integrated marketing' and 'included marketing communications' (Pickton and Broadrick 2001) have all been used to describe all or part of included marketing communications ideas promoting the fee that involved marketing communication is another novelty. What most observers acknowledge is that built in marketing communication is good notion but very hard to implement in practice

Like all companies, HP is a company whose major aim is to make a profit. However whilst this is a common company goal, you may still find necessary guideline that ought to be followed to be able to achieve this. Fill (2006) advises that "the process of developing commercial strategy demands that a series of goals be place at different levels within an organisation. "

Grunig et al (1992) says that two-way communication, a form of communication which is also practiced by PR experts, is a helpful tool from which a "mutual understanding" can be developed between stakeholders.

One of criticisms of HP was that the business was centered more on the growth of technological innovation. The corporate image of the company was viewed as being obsessed with innovative progression and undermining the value of its customers.

Shutz et al (1992) cited in Clarke (1997, pg 93) areas that such actions are harming to a business and this customer structured communication must be employed at all times.

'You cannot rely upon the product only to create consumer confidence. It's the rapport, the empathy, the dialogue, the partnership, the communication you create with the customer that makes the difference. These different you from the load up. "

For all of HPs innovative outcome and diverse range of products, its market position was infringed through too little general market trends and poor internal organisation.

Smith (2002) refers to the task of Tom Harris, who's a leading advocate of integrating marketing communications. He describes integrated communications as "an outside-in process that starts with an understanding of the buyer publics, specifically their wants, pursuits, needs and lifestyles. "

Fill et al (2001), however, argues that many practitioners intentionally persuade a market to act in a specific way, while others "persuade" them. In whatever instance it could be, understanding the customers' needs, which might subsequently change their behavioural design, is not really a actually bad evil. Hp intentionally changed their marketing communications strategy to affect the buying behavior in their customer through effective brand campaigns that brought common satisfaction to both consumer and HP.

Clarke (1997) described that for talking to organizations to effectively manage marketing and marketing communications they must reflect the overall aims of the company. Today's market calls for a strategically designed approach to marketing and sales communications. Hp would have to reorganise its marketing communication s division in to the one which is coherent to attract customers. Oliver (2001) defined this as the machine Theory "- which she said "evaluates the relationship and structure as they relate with the whole. " Market research develops the right notion and recognise the needs and behaviour of current and future customers; evident in the idea of cognition.

The background of HP confirmed there was lack of proper planning and changes on marketing and communication constructions were needed. During 1960s, consumers probably didn't know any better or didn't have a chance to choose; and this could pressure them to stick to HP products. However, now a days Kotler et al (2008) affirms consumers receive thousands of information per day.

In this context, in 2002, HP understood that the company needed to invest in its corporate image. So, the company launched brand advertising campaign promotions. In 2006, they create the 'Computer is personal again', which possessed concentrate on personal relationship that public have with its pcs. By analysing the challengers, this advertising campaign was established to convince customer that the best way to buy a Computer is at a retail shop, where they could touch it. This was an opportunity to distinguish from its main competitor Dell, which has a strong internet sales record.

Fill (2009) thinks that the marketing segmentation is necessary to meet the consumer need also to have a 'functional and competitive-level' strategy. The 'Computer is personal again' plan was set up to charm to young technology, that your company believed to be customers with similar needs and responses. HP targeted the young ones market and position itself as a customer loyal corporation. In this particular situation, the marketing communication strategies merged channels online and offline and included all marketing work such as PR, sales, advert. Shimp (2000) states that combining marketing communication elements is decisive to attain the target public and a specific purpose. Also. HP emphasized advertising campaign and sales campaign in order to maximize the sales, building a 'Synergistic effect'. Doubtlessly, every channel employed by this campaign acquired a consistent concept, which complemented one another. Cornelissen (2008) says the company should communicate on ongoing basis and themed messages reinforce perceptions of how a business wants to be observed.

Marketing Integration

Holm (2006) claims that Smith (1999) developed an instrument, that there are seven levels through where marketing integration can occur. Holm says these seven levels are:

Vertical targets integration

- It means that communication objectives fit with marketing goals and the overall corporate aims.

Horizontal/functional integration

Marketing communications activities fit well with other business functions of developing, operations and human tool management.

Marketing combine integration

The marketing mix of product, price and place decisions is constant with the advertising decisions, e. g. with the mandatory communication emails.

Communications blend integration.

All the 12 marketing communications tools are being used to steer the customer/consumer/client through each level of the buying process and most of them portray a steady message.

Creative design integration

The creative design and execution is uniform and constant with the chosen placement of the product.

Internal/external integration

All internal departments and everything external employed businesses are working collectively to an arranged plan and strategy.

Financial integration

The budget is being used in the most effective and useful way making certain economies of size are achieved and this long-term investment is optimized.

Let us verify "personal again" plan at each one of these seven levels:

Vertical Objective Integration: degree of coordination between communication target, corporate goal and marketing target.


Corporate objective: Customer devotion, profit, progress, market leadership, determination to employees, leadership capacities and global citizenship. (Source: www. hp. com)

Marketing objective: To increase market share, contend with Dell, goal young generation

Communication target: Focus on personal connections to Laptop or computer and show consumers the various tasks made possible by HP technology

Synergy is seen among these goals. All adverts were bottom on same theme where superstars from different field were chatting about how HP PC and technology is part of their life. Faces weren't shown in virtually any of the commercials and concentrate was on different duties that HP makes easy. It reinforces customer loyalty which is corporate and business objective of HP. Advertising in this marketing campaign were appealing to young era and through sociable media viral result HP reached clients which were otherwise non-respondent to traditional marketing, thus increasing market show.

Horizontal/useful Integration: fit of MarCom and business functions like businesses and HRM

HP had power in offering through retail stores in consumer sections rather than advertising online that was Dell's central competence. New campaign communicated that PC is a item which is close anyone's personal life, it's a part of life alternatively. It pressed customers to go to the nearest shop to touch, feel and learn how HP technology can be useful to them.

Marketing blend integration: How well the advertising (with communication communication) complements the other 3 Ps of marketing mix

Although the general theme of the plan was general throughout the 100 countries where HP was doing business, some variation is seen according to place and price. For example in India 'personal again plan' was recognized by 'Business is Personal Again' marketing campaign that targeted SMEs. Although the basic theme continued to be unchanged, local superstars and eminent personalities were used for advertising in particular places.

Communications mix integration: Different communication tools portray a steady message

Every channel used to converse message delivered regular message. TV advertisements, internet promotion, PR program, newspapers, billboards, fact shows etc. whichever medium was used for MarCom in 'personal Again' plan was match to one another and got same build/message.

Creative design integration: creative design is relative to the setting of the product

With this new campaign HP wished to acquire a trendier brand image. They wished to target junior market and position itself as a consumer faithful company. "Personal again" campaign was quite definitely at risk. It relied heavily on animations. Side gestures were used to mention connectivity, confidence, and mental connect. Stars shown in the industry were those, who are accompanied by young generation. Situations which were of special interest of youth, like Super Bowl and actuality show "meet or Delete" were concentrated for marketing communication.

Internal/external integration: Internal departments and exterior organizations work in synergy relating to a agreed plan

"Personal Again" advertising campaign was created by GSP, which is HP's advertising company since 1996. All past campaigns were also treated by same company. Although not much evidences about the amount of coordination of HP and GSP are provided in the case but due to this long period of relationship; shared trust and understanding between both should be expected.

Financial integration: successful utilization of budget making sure long-term investment optimization

Not sufficient information is provided in the case about budget allocation of "Personal Again" campaign

Also, HP used superstars in its advertisement in order to emotional hook up the public. Load (2009) citing Patzer shows that 'the physical elegance of the communicator, especially if it is the source, contributes significantly to the effectiveness of persuasive communications' (Patzer in Load, 2009, p. 43) Superstars from different field indicated how Computer makes their lives easy. The identification of teenagers with celebrities encouraged the sales and reinforced customer devotion. The brand value of HP increased 9% following the campaign. 'The stars enables the subject matter to stand out one of the clutter and noise that typify many market segments' (Fill up, 2009, p. 509). This concept was used by HP to persuade the sales and making the product more attractive to the mark public through connection with MTV route. However, Fill up (2009) adverts there are two main concerns about the use of stars on promotions. The first one is if the movie star easily fit into the image of the brand and if they will be satisfactory by the target audience. The other is the fact the general public may bear in mind the celebrity, but not the brand.

The use of stars and the creation of the realty show 'Meet or delete' on the plan 'Computer is personal again' affected the consumer behaviours as it motivate those to buy. Dibb et al (2001) say there are several factors that can persuade a purchase such as personal, psychological and social effect and describe purpose as 'energy giving someone's activities towards fulfilling a need or where reaching a goal' (Dibb et al, 2001, p. 133). Shimp (2000) affirms that advertising may impact consumer to buy items they might not exactly need. The buyer buying decision process has 5 phases: problem acceptance, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase and post-purchase analysis, according to Dibb et al (2001). HP created recognition to young people by offering a PC not as item, but as expansion of person life. The 'hype' generated by starting first videos on the internet and after in Tv set made consumer looking to get more detailed Knowledge about the merchandise. However, the primary goal of this marketing campaign was to connect to consumers, which could be helpful in the post-purchase analysis phase as customers could trust that HP would be there if indeed they need anything.

Instead of fabricating a marketing campaign to compete straight against Dell, HP could did a public connection strategic planning. Smith (2002) citing Al Riel and Laure Riel clarifies that 'The purpose of advertising is not to create a brand, but to defend a brand once the brand has been built by other means, primarily public connection []' (Al Riel and Laure Riel in Smith, 2002, p. 9). A PR plan could identify and evaluate the organization viability and reputation, where a mutual beneficial romance between company and consumer could be build, corresponding to Smith (2002). The lack of general market trends and planning were the key issue of HP. By recognizing a SWAT analysis, the company can have set clear objectives and create a marketing and communication targets that might be the building blocks for a nine steps tactical public relationship plan. This plan would be good for HP as company goal would be predicated on research and analysis. Also, it could allow the HP to screen the competitor as a point of guide.

HP used or may potentially use the following marketing tools to assist their "Personal Again" plan.


Communication Tool


Broadcast: Tv set (Meet or Delete) Print out: Newspapers, Magazines

Internet: Social Networking Sites, Blogs, Interactive websites, Viral Video tutorial,

Direct Response and Interactive

Online ads presenting celebrities

Adverts on websites such as: Yahoo, MTV, MySpace, MSN, Weather Channel, CIO, Forbes, Entrepreneur, InfoWorld, CNet.

HP's own interactive websites: www. meetordelete. com and www. fingerskilz. tv

Social networking and blog sites




Celebrity endorsement

2. Discuss the value of branding, branding strategy and brand placement to Hewlett-Packard in developing competitive advantage

Brand can be explained as 'identifiable product, service [. . ] augmented in such a way that the customer or individual perceives relevant, unique added values which match their needs' (Chernatony and McDonald, 2005, p. 25). Xie and Boggs (2006) believes a brand is an outcome from product differentiation and strategy of market segmentation. Organizations are changing their communication strategy to keep carefully the consumers attention on the corporation and not any more on the products. Until 2002, HP had not developed a unified image as the business used to get significantly less than 10% of its advertisements budget on brand ads. HP has focus to being progressive and also to diversify its products collection, but absence in general market trends and constantly in place itself to obtain a competitive advantage from the competitors. Having concentrate on the corporate branding means the business behaviour will have significantly more exposure and be more obvious and translucent in its activities. When corporate and business branding works, 'it is because it expresses the prices of desire that catch the attention of key stakeholders to the organisation and cause them to become feel a sense of owned by it' (Hatch and Schultz, 2001, p. 1046). So, in 2003, this company introduce 'Operation one Tone of voice' to be able to have a consistent meaning and an recognized image for the exterior and internal open public.

Chernatony and McDonald (2005) believe an effective brand has as objective to build a positive romantic relationship with costumer, where feelings of commitment and owed are presented. For a long period, HP has negligence the importance of hook up with consumer. Just in 2006, to differentiate from competition, HP redefined the Laptop or computer as personal rather than anymore as item. From decades, HP comes with an advantage from competition for investing in technologic research. However, initially of 90's, the consumers had more options and the opponents like a Dell revelled themselves with a strong presence on the market.

A positive point is the fact HP has a monolithic identification structure to reinforce the organization brand, where all the products carry the corporate name. That strategy is a fundamental tool to build a strong reputation. The good thing about using a corporate branding is to use the perspective and culture as part of sales promotion and to add a unique organisational value. Cornelissen (2008) is convinced that structure primary emphasises the positioning between vision, culture and image. Also, he suggests using the toolkit produced by Hatch and Schultz to analyse the alignment or gap between eyesight, culture and image, by questioning the interface between those tree elements.

Hatch, M, and Schultz, M. (2001) "Bringing the corporation into corporate and business branding",

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 37, no. 7/8, pp. 1041-1064.

HP vision aims to be innovator in its section, to invent technology and services that add value to business and also to create social gain to consumers lives. Its identity seeks to be an innovative company, which produces selection of quality products. Within this context, there isn't an alignment between eyesight and culture, because HP hadn't differentiated its strategies from opponents, imitating Dell immediate sale techniques. Also, it appears to have a difference between culture and image as consumer never have perceived HP as an organization worried about their needs, but more concerned about develop new technologies. However, vision and image seem to be alignment as the company has a clear idea who's its main stakeholders and it understands the value to communicate with them on ongoing basis. HP also is involved in corporate social responsibility jobs and those help to communicate and reinforce its vision to its stakeholders.

For an extended period, HP prioritized its goals, instead of the clients needs. Its products were advertised separately and oddly enough didn't use less price tatic as competitive advantages. Regarding to Sengupta (2007), the positioning of a brand is determinate by the prospective consumers. 'Position then symbolizes the substance of the brand as perceived the target consumer in a multi brand market'(Sengupta, 2007, p. 17). So, HP strategically 'reinvented' the computer, presenting a personal touch. In this particular context, the organization added 9% value to brand in 2007. Sengupta (2007) adverts that the business need to find out who they are first and then create understanding in order to put the brand. By interacting with costumers through sites and website, HP is changing the way how the community recognized its brand.

The importance of position correctly a brandname can be identified in Sengupta citation: 'Position creates uniqueness, reliability, sustainable and respected place in consumer's brain for brand' (Sengupta, 2007, p. 17). Chernatony and McDonald (2005) affirms a successful brand is because how much value the customers add to a product or a service. HP repositioned the brand, by differentiating the concept of Computer. Xie and Boggs (2006) affirm that products and services are 'quickly imitated and homogenized, keeping credible product differentiation is progressively more difficult, requiring the positioning of the whole corporation rather than simply its products' (Xie and Boggs, 2006, p. 349).

HP has been buying technologic research since 1960. Initially, the company had target in hospital equipments and it appears HP looked just to niches, rather than looking the entire market for a long term strategy. However, its brand has increasing to personal computers, printers and digital camera models. Because HP was named an ground breaking company, this image was used in the news products lines. 'Consumers realize the name and make associations that enable them to lessen the perceived risk and in doing so provide a system to try a new product' (Fill up, 2009, p 508). HP expertises in personal computers were expanded to printers and digital cameras. Chernatony and McDonald (2005) says that certain factor of success on brand expansion is to create and preserve a favourable reputation for a mother or father brand. Reputation is an essential requirement on consumer's devotion. After generations, HP understood the value to look the particular brand methods to the customers. By knowing the main associations that consumers identified the brand, it is much more likely to be successful in an expansion. HP targeted young consumers as this open public and the business share values such as interest for technology and innovation. That really helps to create a interconnection. In 2006, a blog, that was part of HP association with FIFA World Cup website, captivated more than 180 hundreds visitors.

HP got certainly done good job on the front of built in marketing communication by introducing the new campaigns and other promoting promotions. But while doing that there have been some areas that have been not addressed

HPs ability to recognise the need to change its marketing and communication strategy purposefully resulted in its development by 2007. Smith R. D. (2002) described "campaigns as systematic sets of public relations activities, each with a specific and finite goal, sustained over a amount of time and coping with goals associated with a particular issue. " Management was able to change the structure, process and relationship within the business to establish prolonged partnership with its customers. The advertisements were able to persuade customers directly into buying by evoking an inherent need to be part that a superstar group. However, to be able to sustain this stream, Hp must develop long-term strategic marketing and sales communications programs through continual general market trends and development.

Extensive use of movie star endorsement - by having a long-term association with stars there is a risk that any indecent behaviour of celebrity may affect the business's image.

Company was over centered on advertising and under used other components of communication combination like personal selling, sales promotion, PR.

As the company grows in size and market tell large numbers of customers, company also needs to dwelling address the retaining of existing customers.

As small and medium business sector is emerged very attractive portion company should make an effort to acquire quantity of customers in this portion as in the last plan some critics said that the campaign was more centered on consumer sector alternatively than SME and commercial.

In the current period of globalisation the economies are interlinked and interdependent on each other. You will find new obstacles arsing out of this kind of trend. To overcome out of this kind of situation Doole and Lowe (2001) identify the companies are adopting a long-term strategies, where marketing programs and process are standardised and at the same time it's been adjust to local needs. It's important to understand the dissimilarities and similarities between local marketplaces.

Due this globalisation where new marketplaces are starting like India, China, Brazil the business must adopt the strategy according to the culture of the countries

Fill (2009) state governments 'from marketing communication perspectives, the prevailing culture in an area must be reputed, otherwise it is likely a brand and or corporation will be declined' (Fill up, 2009, p. 842).

Kotler (2002) Multi-brand strategy: Multi-brand strategy permits a company to secure more distributor shelf space also to protect its major brand by setting up flanker brands


Use the multiband strategy in future to obtain a lot more shelf space and beat the competition.

Use personal advertising as tool to improve sales.

Use combination of thrust and pull strategy.

More emphasis on sales campaigns in store

Use of PR to maintain existing customer and keep maintaining good marriage with stakeholders.

Become more interactive with consumers through new advertising (develop message board and message boards)

Focus on commercial advertising as well as consumer advertising

Continuous development of ground breaking new products

Integrate at Different Levels of management. Put 'integration' on the plan for various types of management conferences - whether total annual reviews or creative classes. Horizontally - ensure that managers, not merely marketing managers understand the importance of a consistent subject matter - whether on delivery trucks or product quality. Also ensure that Advertising, PR, Sales Campaigns personnel are integrating their text messages. To do this you must have carefully planned inner communications, that is, good inside marketing.

Think Customers First. Wrap communications across the customer's buying process. Identify the levels they go through before, during and after a purchase. Select communication tools which are right for every stage. Develop a sequence of marketing communications activities which help the customer to go easily through each stage.

Build Associations and Brand Prices. All marketing communications should help develop stronger and stronger interactions with customers. Ask how each communication tool helps to do this. Bear in mind: customer retention is really as important as customer acquisition.

Develop an excellent Marketing Information System which defines who needs what information when. A customer data source for example, can help the telesales, immediate marketing and sales team. IMC can help to define, collect and share vital information.

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