01/02/2015
Jane Ayres

When I check into my hotel in San Francisco, the receptionist James, tells me I must download Uber, a new app which orders up a taxi (similar to Halo) and is half the price of the yellow cabs.

Jane Ayres CMO (@jane_ayres12) Make contact

It’s a small window into the world of California, a community based app where the drivers (private cars – most of them hybrids naturally), whiz around the city,  pooling rides and keeping costs down.  And they are friendly, interesting and feel curiously safe.

Communities and engaging with them, is one theme for the Worldwide Marketing Partner Advisory Board I’ve been invited to sit on by HP. 15 marketers from around the globe, sharing best practice and comment with the HP Senior Vice Presidents of HP marketing.  I am flattered to be the only HP Partner from the UK & very aware that some of the topics we discuss will turn into reality some months in the future.

Over the course of 2 days we debate how the ways we interact with our customers is ever changing.  The top 3 digital trends for 2015 - turning customer experience (CX) into a competitive advantage with 44% of companies seeing  customer service/experience as the primary way they will seek to differentiate themselves from the competition; personalisation and content optimisation are all covered. Plus communities appears for the first time.  Communities like Spiceworks, Monkigras and Google where the influencers of tomorrow are getting information today. We’ll be exploring communities here at OCSL in the UK alongside HP, I’d be interested in which you feel are the top 3 today.

The second theme is content – the cornerstone of any marketing activity, but again the language has changed recently – we all want “snackable content”, short social media friendly ways to talk with our customers who use mobile devices more than any other medium.  At OCSL we’ve been talking with our customer focus groups about ways they like to see content from the vendors & us, this could be very short video, infographics or thought leadership in bite sized chunks.

The third theme is creativity, it would be hard to bring a group of creative people together (even if it is in a windowless room!), without some sparks of colour and excitingly we are invited in groups of 3 under strict NDA, to go and meet with the Brand Strategist for HP.  She shows us the final 4 shortlisted logos for HP Enterprise.

As you will probably know, HP are “separating” on November 1st into HP Enterprise (think datacentre, storage, cloud) and HP Inc (the printing, PC and supplies division), the latter get to keep the original HP round blue logo in the split.  The new logos were being shown to the Board and Meg Whitman the following day for sign off, I shall be interested to see which one was chosen!.

At the end of the PAB, I feel energised by the enthusiasm we all shared for the HP vision. Driving back to the airport, the huge billboards promote cloud everything and it’s the same sense of on-going change and adaptation that California makes me feel every time I go.

When I get home, I check and see Uber is also available in London, I’ll be using it and encourage you to give it a try.  I hope to see you at a community or OCSL event soon.

Thought piece