Catalog Blends HP, Compaq Strengths

Hewlett-Packard completed a 2 million-piece mailing of its Small and Medium-Business Solutions Guide, its first major outreach to small and mid-sized businesses since its merger with Compaq in May.

“Catalogs were the single asset that both companies had that worked very effectively before the merger,” said Leslie Adams, vice president of marketing services at HP's Personal Systems Group. “We felt it was critical to integrate the two of them quickly. This catalog is the first physical thing we put together to show this audience we are going forward.”

A first drop went in late August with further mailings the first two weeks in September. The company also distributed another 2 million copies to resellers, distributors and other partners who in turn will mail the catalog to their customers.

The HP Small and Medium-Business Solutions Guide will be issued quarterly.

Both companies had focused on the small and mid-sized market in different ways. Compaq relied heavily on direct sales while also using resellers. Hewlett-Packard's strength was in its work with resellers.

Adams said the two companies spent the time since the merger determining which resources from both companies were most effective in targeting this group.

The size of this mailing was comparable to what Compaq used to send with its small and mid-sized business catalog, but smaller than what Hewlett-Packard used to produce. The 2 million names mix both companies' databases.

“It's a good mix of both lists,” Adams said. “And it is not weighted one way or the other. Businesses usually never buy all of their equipment from one particular company. So in some cases we had an overlap with some names.”

Businesses from a wide range of verticals are being targeted with the catalog. The key targets among smaller businesses are owners, while owners and IT managers will receive the catalog at mid-sized companies.

The 31-page catalog offers 10 product and solution categories, including desktops/workstations, notebooks, pocket PCs, networking solutions, printing and imaging, and software and peripherals. The products represent a cross-section of the two companies' products.

A key difference between this catalog and HP's pre-merger catalogs is the direct aspect. HP's former catalog was designed to drive customers to its resellers, Adams said, while this new one provides customers with a Web address and phone number to place orders directly from HP. Comparing this catalog with Compaq's previous efforts, there is an increased focus on services.

“In our old catalogs, Compaq pushed the solutions and not so much the services we offered,” she said.

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