DMNews talks with Scott Ballantyne, VP and GM of consumer direct for HP

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Scott Ballantyne
Scott Ballantyne

Scott Ballantyne, VP and GM of consumer direct for HP, discusses how HP and Buzz Corps, an Austin-based agency, engaged bloggers to spur sales of HP's new HDX Dragon system.

Q. Why did you decide to engage the blogging community for this campaign?

A. The Dragon had been doing well, but was below where we needed it to be. We tried advertising and PR and it just wasn't working. When it was released, the tech and PC blogging community had been very positive about the Dragon and we asked them to help promote the product. We thought it would be an interesting experiment. We chose 31 tech blogs and gave each a Dragon to give away to its readers as part of a contest.

Q: How much autonomy did the bloggers have in this campaign?

A: We left it up to each blogger to come up with their own contest to determine how the prize would be given away. We allowed the bloggers to be very involved. We gave them the product and nothing else. They all created their own content, their own Webisodes and videos. We sat back and watched.

Q. Why did you decide to partner with Buzz Corps?

A. They know how to build a hands-on, ongoing relationship with the blogging community and they embrace new media. They know the high tech and the PC space. These guys were just perfect.

Q: What were some of the results on HP's end?

A: Each of the 31 blogs gave away a laptop each day between May 9 and June 8, while the remaining 30 promoted the contest on their respective sites. During the month the contests occurred, sales for the HDX Dragon system increased 85%. Our Web site saw a 14% increase in traffic and we had a 10% increase in overall consumer PC sales.

Q: Were there any positive results gained by the blogs?

A: Not only did the campaign drive sales for us, but it increased reader­ship for the blogs, as each of them promoted the particular blog that was having the contest that day. Some of the blogs' site traffic was up as much as 300%.

Q. What key point did you take away from this campaign?

A. Doing something fun and differ­ent is good, but the No. 1 thing for me is to produce highly measure­able results. And this campaign really worked.

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