567: How Hewlett Packard Enterprise Personalizes Their Website Experience w/ Bill Mitchell

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Bill Mitchell, Manager of Digital Demand Generation at Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

This episode is brought to you bybound. What if your website responded to your audience better than your best salesrep? Bound helps marketers engage at scale. Learn more at bound. Three hundredand Sixtycom you're listening to the be tob growth show, a podcast dedicatedto helping bev to be executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniquesand strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'mJames Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome backto the B tob growth show. We are here today with Bill Mitchell.He is the manager of digital demand generation at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Bill,how you doing today? So great, James. Thanks for having me.I am really excited to chat with you today. Bill. We're going tobe talking about a really I mean personalization and Hewlett Packard's journey that you guyshave been on for I think you said the last the last three years iswhen you guys really started focusing in on personalization. That's right. Yeah,it might even go back further than that, but we really started to make ourearning roads about three years ago. I love it. And so beforewe get into sharing this journey and what you guys have learned along the way, I'd love for you to just give a little bit more context. IsTo you know, for you know, I think everyone listening to this isfamiliar with with Hewlett Packard. But talk to us a little bit more aboutyour role at the company and and and what the company is trying to accomplish. For Yeah, so heli fact and enterprises the result of the SPINOFF FROMHP a couple of years back now. So you two year old company issome sense, but we also have nearly eighty years of history and heritage tolean on. The split was something that the company went through, but also, from a digital marketing perspective, provided the HPE side of the house anopportunity to do a lot of things differently. We've made a lot of enhancements toour toward digital practice. We had to reset our foundation in turn tothe tools we use. We also had to, I guess, put fortha little more focus on how we wanted to digitally execute. So it's beenan exciting time his last two years as the company has kind of, youknow, started to find its groove. As we moved into a more digitalcentric marketing play all sorts of programs, personalization being a big one of those, and then some of the capabilities of actually driving those programs. So Ilead two groups that are building things that support the site and also driving someof the programs that are are developing the content and execution on the site downa lot of so so build. Talk to us about when you guys firststarted looking at personalization. Could before you know, starting to work with boundwhat were the things that that kind of led you to to making that decisionthat, hey, we need to start getting more proactive in the way thatwe personalize the site. Yeah, so that, I mean, that's theoptimal. Question is, how does that journey get started? And it goingback three years ago, it we were, it was still are, very complexcompany and it's very hard for someone our size, with lots of products, lots of different visitors, lots of different needs for making your way toour site. What are we trying to share with somebody and you, whenyou do that in the default manner, it's very hard to ever be rightwith the guesses you're making with the content that your hand curating to make available. So the inertia around this was how do we put forth a started withthe home page, but, much like probably everybody else that's done personalization,is how do we leas start to tail our home page to cater to folksthat we can recognize, you know, either make a product recommendation or guidethem towards support or or things that would be more appropriate for them rather thanjust the default experience, which hits the mark probably almost never. Okay,so you make this decision that you can't keep depending on just the the guessesthat you guys were making, and so...

...talk to us about kind of thedecision process and how you landed on choosing bound to be, to be thepartner, and then and then from there, I want to get into kind ofthe nitty gritty of the story of what you started a personalize and theresults that you started to see. But as far as kind of choosing,choosing a vendor and choosing someone that you knew you wanted to partner with onthis initiative, walk us through with that looked like for you. Yeah,so we were at the time, I was in our software business unit,which in and of itself was a pretty large, substantial quickprint but what wewanted to do is find some tools that would allow us to manage that programright from our business unit. You know, we were attached to a corporate entityat the time that had its own tool set or how they delivered differentcapabilities, but they weren't very conducive for us to start making, you know, agile, smart decisions that were tailored to what we needed to accomplish.So when we're looking for a tool, we need something that was easy toget off the ground, you know in sort of Pixel and off your runningtype of capability, something that was easy to maintain with very little hand holding. We didn't have an IT group that would support setting up, test orconfiguring things on our behalf. So we were looking for something that was easyto deploy, easy to use and, you know, would allow us toget a pretty quick return on our investment, as we're able to stand up asimple model and see how it was returning value to us. Okay,so so you guys ultimately decided decided to use bound and and in doing so, as we were talking offline, you mentioned that the first type of personalizationthat you started to focus on was on your home page. Talk to usa little bit about what you guys were personalizing there and what the results werefrom that, from that personalization of course. So yeah, I can't imagine we'rethat much different than anyone else. Like I said, it's been onthis journey. But we picked a, you know, premier spot in ourhome page and what we attempted to do at the time was to inject replacementcontent based on some simple rules that we had set up around different industries.And if we'd seen return visitors, obviously we could then tailor it a littlebetter paced on what they had done in a prior visit. So we carvedout that real estate on the page. We built out some some different contentoptions that would be replaced based on whether or not someone triggered those those differentrules. So the return visitor or someone that came in from particular industry wouldsee now something different. So we were starting to tailor the page, youknow, of minor part of the page visible, but minor in the sensethat there's maybe a hundred things of click on a page and we were tailoringone of them to those individuals that were were visiting our site that we coulddrop into a segment and at the time that was extremely beneficial. I meanthe results we're seeing there were triple digits. You know, the people clicking ondefault content versus the personalized content was well over a hundred percent. Imean, depending on what segment and what piece of content, we were seeingsometimes near two hundred percent. There we findings were very helpful to help uskeep that program moving along. And you so you mentioned this earlier bill.You said that the criteria for kind of what triggered the personalization was, youknow, one of them was have they visited the site before? What weresome of the other criteria that were triggering the types of content that they wouldsee? Yeah, I mean beyond that, initially we were looking at previous visitand Industry and industries based on the IP of the visitor to the page. So if we could detect the IP and use that, that insight todrive a company or an industry, we're using those to help us create thosesegments that our content would be married up against. Gotta okay, and soyou you obviously saw a significant results there, but but that's not kind of theend of the journey. You guys saw results there and then and thenyou wanted to take it once you know, another step further. Talk to usabout kind of the next evolution in...

...the journey beyond the results you sawfrom the home page. Yeah, so the whole page, like I said, we were seeing great results. They were just they're limited because there's lotsof things to do on a home page and even though that particular content elementwas was thriving, you know, we either need to go down a pathwhere we were updating dozens of content elements on our home page and trying toincrease the impressions in the footprint of our personalized approach. Well, what wedecided to do is, let's go into one of our most popular product pageson the site. It an area where we already know what people are interestedin. They've already predetermined that based on their they're showing up on that particularpage. But how can we make the content on that page more appropriate forthem? And this was a pretty cool, at the time anyway, concept whereif it was a new person or someone that had not done anything toshow engagement yet, we isolated early stage content for them. We kind ofmapped our content along the buyers journey and what we had attempted to do isto isolate the visitors to the site into three buckets. You know, earlystage, awareness, rousing type of individual, someone that's returning to the page orin that visit, is showing active engagement by clicking on various things.or The the later stage, folks that is, you know, have clickedon and even maybe converted. So at that stage, those types of individuals, we're looking to pull them closer to sales and or showing different types ofcontent to get them to reveal themselves or to raise a hand and show thatthey have, you know, sales intent in their particular visit. To thosethree categories is what we broke our content around. You know, took thatone page and we're drastically changing it to provide those types of content options forfolks based on those those predetermined segments. Got It okay, and so talkto us about the results that you saw from from that next evolution of personalization? Yes, another so now we're personalizing multiple spots on the page and itstarted to get and this is probably a couple or maybe six months into ourefforts, and bound and released a new capability, let us fly content intothe page, which was a really attractive way for us to start to presentcontent that didn't have to be injected in the page that you're dealing with flickerand you have to have a massive backlog of content that would a support sucha type of path. But with this new capability that, and it's notnew anymore, but at the time, this new capability would let us createa you know, series of Promos, if you will, almost banners thatwere literally floating into the page, and those types of content on us we'regetting on this particular page. Some of them were getting two to four percentclicks, you know, some of them as high as small double digits.And, you know, cumutively, now I've got content flying into the pagewith, you know, those different segments and we're starting to, you know, gather clicks both on that page and we're also able to take those samefly and offers and present them on any page in our site. So whenI knew someone had interest in that product and that that visit or a returningvisit that they are saying on our home page, I could fly in anoffer back to that particular piece of content. So allow us to extend the footprintof that page across our entire of site. Once someone had stepped intoone of those segments and those those two to four percent or, you know, eight to fourteen percent types of clicks you are getting. We're occurring ontheir home page, but, you know, basically crediting a click back to thatparticular product, which now now we're getting to a scale model, whichwas really encouraging and it led us to really appreciate how well chat was doingfor us. Chat was something that we made available but had included. Nowis one of those content elements and we're seeing out standing results for it,which kind of triggered the next generation of our approaches where we took chat andstarted to run with it. So,...

...just to camp out here because Iwant to make sure I'm understanding this and in our in our listeners are understandingit. So the the flying functionality that bound released, whenever a user wouldcome to your site, they would they would click through to one of theproduct pages and then maybe they they would leave. When they come back,bound essentially allowed you guys to bring a piece of content to the home pageof that next visit that would essentially draw them back to kind of a deeperelement of the product that they had looked at before. And I am Iunderstanding that right? Absolutely, yeah, that's exactly the model. So whatwe're doing is trying to lead people through the buyers journey and we could havecontinued to do that on that particular page, but we did quite frankly. Butit also now how this flying approach, I didn't have to manipulate content oneach and every page. I could fly in over the page and thatthat gave us a lot, that opportunity to get some scale, because nowany page in our site where we recognize those visitors was an opportunity to extendcontent to them. And again, they've shown interest in that pigular product.They identify themselves in the model that we set up a where they sit inthat journey. So we were able to go into that bucket of content andmake an offer to them to try to pull them back to that initial productwhere they've shown that early interest. And so each each time that they comeback to the site, it puts another piece of content in front of themthat pushes them a little bit further down that journey. Yes, Yep,that's the approach and that that now we're starting to see great results from.Is I'm already taking someone that shown interest in that product. I'm now breakingmy content into these three buckets where I'm either I'm with you, if you'restill unawareness, and I'm going to present content to you that's hoping you getmore aware about what that product has to offer. I'm either trying to getyou to engage now and move you further into the buyers journey, or I'mtrying to get even with sales motion as you've shown further interest and we startto extend different offers that are trying to pull you from left or right,if you will, if you're looking at a linear journey about it. Okay, so, so that that's that's super interesting to me. But now Iwant to as we as we in the interview today. I want to talkabout this, the way that you guys have been able to personalize the invitationto get users on your site to engage with the chat tool on your site. Talk to us about that. You alluded to it before, but Ireally want to go deep here because I think this could be really powerful.Yeah, so that's that's one of the findings we saw out of that productpage approaches, the offers we made. One of them was chat and itwas by far surpassing what we were getting from chat in out of the boxwith the tools we're using at the time. Double triple the amount of clicks we'reseeing, which quickly led us to say, well, why aren't wedoing this in more places and how do we capitalize on this more effectively?So we quickly kind of put together a program around how do we extend chat? Essentially turned off the capability in the default tool that was extending the offersand we moved abound to deliver that capability and it blew the doors off whatwe're seeing. In the past we were seeing two to three hundred percent morechats based on the the imitations were saying. So we were still using that flyand approach, no different than the default tool, but now with theirabilities to extend their reach across the whole site as well as personalized that basedon some, you know, various simple factors. You know we have agentscan speak to you about this industry. Welcome back to the site. Wouldyou like to chat with us again? You know, all these types ofthings that were communicate getting in a much more specific way. We were,like I said, seeing to the three percent more clicks and we double thenumber of chats that actually ended up as leads with our presales teams. Sothat's the moment for us where personalization was no longer, you know, niceto have or a cute side product project. It was now leading to direct revenuethat I could that could I tribute...

...back to our abilities to personalize intorun that program at scale. It's incredible. So so you were. You werepersonalizing that invitation to chat in similar ways that you are doing with thehome page. You're doing it by industry or, you know, by youknow, a something that says like welcome back, indicating that hey, weyou know, we know this is isn't the first time you've been here.Where there any other ways that you were able to personalize that chat box thatyou saw significant uptick in, or were those the two primary ones? Thoseare two. There's a third one we had now that in it we're probablyeighteen months ago, where bound had built a relationship with Linkedin, which ledus, let us appreciate, where busitors to our site that had linkedin accountsthat we could trace back to their roles, which now we've open up to thedoor to someone's function at work. You know, what kind of rolethey have. It's not titles or anything DII oriented per se, but itgave some insights into what area of the company that person worked. And sothen we looked at what are the biggest footprint of people on our site from, you know, those linkedin profiles and what types of job roles they have. So we even built out chat imitations that would speak to you as asomeone in the Qway Department or someone that you know has been worked in themarketing function or something like that. But message is again that we're trying totailor, in this case still chat, but, you know, using itas a using the messaging and a much more one to one manner. Thishas got my my brain racing bill on just different ways that you can capitalizeon personalization. I love this last piece of the tangible results that you guyshave seen as a result of customizing each kind of chat window. So ifI'm if I'm picturing this right, so it kind of POPs up in thebottom right corner or whatever it would be, and it is it is it likethe ones that I've seen. It's almost like an agent is starting theconversation with you, and so it's just that kind of first message that theperson on the other end of the chap box is sending, and you guysplayed with I don't know, probably what fifteen to twenty different different messages thatpopped up in that initial message. Yeah, that was actually a thanks for remindingme. So that that's another thing that bound allowed us to do isbe because now we're using a not just a personalization tool, but it hastesting capabilities as well. So we were just sending out one message per segmentand, you know, resting on a laurels, we're actually able to testdifferent messages, different copy, different creative. You know, we had different shouldwe use our company logo or picture of an agent or some other typeof creative to actually help these invitations stand above the full? So yeah,you're right, it was just a simple you know, fall into the page, I think on the on the lower left or what have you. Butmess you know, manipulating the creative and multiple different iterations gave us even morelearnings and help us optimize the program so for a particular segment, we haveprobably two recipes running in any point in time and as we saw which onewas was drawing better results, we were able to solidify around that or even, in many cases, roll that particular winner into a new test where wetry to extend even further to see again how far can we push? Youknow what? What is the maximum number of chats we can get from thesegiven audiences when we have the right timing, the right creative the right messages,all those things working in harmony. What did you guys find? Bill, just curious from a creative standpoint. Did you find that that agents faceworked better with their particular message? That ended up working better for you,that you'd be able to share are yeah, funny, you mentioned that. Sothe three things that we were really rolling around was a picture of anagent, which look like a pitch of...

...a person, a picture of anagent which looked more like an illustration, so a person, but just anoutline, you know, a drawing if you will, and our company logo. And you know our initial bets where the the picture of the human woulddraw better. He faces tend to draw better in terms of clicks. Turnedout our logo work better than really either. ARE THOSE WHO aiden based perspectives andI obviously we work a pretty powerful brand. So you know, there'ssomething about that that probably skew things, but it was. It was veryinteresting because our initial impressions and what we thought would be most successful turn outnot to be interesting. And the other thing that you mentioned that I thatI love that you talked about, is you guys didn't just land on awinner and camp out there. You guys are continuing to Ab test, takingthose winners, rolling those winners into new tests. Is that something you guysare doing on a weekly basis? Are you running these different AB tests quarterly? What's that look like as far as the cadence of how often you guysare testing? Yeah, our program is very, very intertime with testing andhas been since the beginning, but pretty early on, and we do testingin isolation of personalation, but you're you're typically using the same tool. Soit's a smart place to not just personalize the page but, you know,test what you're personalizing and and vice versa. You know you can use personalization tomanage some of the testing and we run them. We kind of alwayson and the n the timing will differ depending on how quickly you can getto statistical significance. So if you know things like chat, where it's hittingvirtually every visitor to the site. We have pretty quick learnings, you'll know, and days, two week where your winners are. But again, dependingon how many segments you have and how many people you know show up inthose various segments, we may have a default segment where you learned the twodays. You may have a micro segment around a particular industry tied to returnvisitor, where I could take you two months to learn what's the winning recipejust based on volumes. But it's ongoing. We're constantly adding and removing things aswe see winners appear and as we have new ideas that test the creative, constantly challenging that we can assume we know it's best. We have tokeep testing. who prove comes best. I Love I love that mindset ofcontinually testing. And is it something that you've you've empowered your entire team builtto say hey, always be thinking about different, different ways that we cantest in and iterate and move or do you guys have like a a weeklystand up or where do you see a lot of those ideas for four differenttypes of creative popping up? It's both. We definitely have a week lie orBI weekly. CADEN's where our teams will get together to look at resultsand to explore new opportunities. But it's also sat hawk as well. Literallytoday I have a conversation through email with a few folks around a different ideaand it happened to be with with chat actually, and I flow to theidea by our chat admin who's leading our personalization around that programming. Today iswarning was kind of funny the time here, but he was working up a coupleexamples that would allow us to explore that different idea. So, youknow, we definitely have the you know, the methodical cadence of how we managethe program and look at testing opportunities. But you know, you never knowwhere who ideals will come from and we're always looking to jump on thoseand take advantage of the learnings. You know, I want my team toalways be looking at ways to improve our our performance and we're pretty pretty datadriven around here. So that, I think, approach leads to people lookingfor ideas, looking for new opportunities and always and always driving for, youknow, the next best recipe that's going to push us further towards our goals. Love it, Bill. This has been fantastic. I've learned a ton. I know our listeners are going to get a ton out of this interviewas well. If there's somebody out there listening, may they want to stayconnected with you. They want to learn more about hpe. What's what's thebest way for them to go about doing...

...both of those things. So learnabout company. Definitely check us out. HPCOM and accuraed you to check guysout from like a mobile device and maybe on your work computer and and seeif you can appreciate some of the differences that are occurring in depending on yourindustry and various things. Wouldn't be surprised if you noticed, you know,looking at our citing your desktop and your phone, you'll most likely see somedifferences. And Scroll to our site to reach out to me. I canbe found on Linkedin. When linked the name is GW Mitchell. There's lotsof Bill Mitchell's, but I think I'm the only GW Mitchell. So ourg Williams are where you can bind me. There, wonderful head. And ifyou're interested in bound at all, you can go to bound three hundredand sixtycom and check out all the solutions that we've been that we've been toa lot of what we've been talking about today with Bill. They have.They have been using it bound for the last three years to what seems likereally great success. So go to bound three hundred and sixtycom to check thatout. Bill. Thank you so much for your time today. This hasbeen fantastic. I really appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you for havingme. If you're a BEDB marketer, we want to feature you on siteslike Huffington Post, social media examiner and chief marketer. Every week we sendout a question related to be to be marketing. We use the responses tothose questions to fuel the content we write for really popular websites. So headover to sweet fish MEDIACOM backslash questions and sign up today. Thank you somuch for listening. Until next time.

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