Part of the Hewlett Packard marketing strategy was to go beyond ad hoc sales of its printers to selling total print solutions to companies on the scale of AT&T. Although the company had a great face-to-face sales force the problem was how to get past the gatekeepers, such as PAs and assistants, to reach the MDs and FDs themselves to arrange a meeting .
We sent something that the gatekeepers just had to pass on to their superiors – the business guru books that their bosses had apparently written. For instance AT&A MD Andy Cunningham received a book entitled Now You’re Optimising! How I ensured the printing structure at AT&T Business Services helped the company adapt to change and gain a competitive advantage. Meanwhile his FD received Just when you thought there were no more costs to cut…how I optimised the printing infrastructure at AT&A and saved £1,000,000!. In both cases digital print was utilised to feature their company in the title and their names as authors along with other personalised facts worked into the back cover copy. Inside the book was a single line of copy carrying their personalised URL.
As soon as the MDs and FDs accessed their personalised URL the sales team received an alert and were able to follow up with a phone call. The calls were now accepted by the gatekeepers and the sales team later reported an unprecedented number of meetings with decision makers at the highest level. It was also awarded in the business-to-business category at DMA.