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 by bound. What if your website responded to your audience better than your best sales rep? Bound helps marketers engage at scale. Learn more at bound. Three hundred and Sixtycom you're listening to the be tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping bev to be executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to 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 to be talking about a really I mean personalization and Hewlett Packard's journey that you guys have been on for I think you said the last the last three years is when 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 our earning roads about three years ago. I love it. And so before we 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. Is To you know, for you know, I think everyone listening to this is familiar with with Hewlett Packard. But talk to us a little bit more about your 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 FROM HP a couple of years back now. So you two year old company is some sense, but we also have nearly eighty years of history and heritage to lean on. The split was something that the company went through, but also, from a digital marketing perspective, provided the HPE side of the house an opportunity to do a lot of things differently. We've made a lot of enhancements to our toward digital practice. We had to reset our foundation in turn to the tools we use. We also had to, I guess, put forth a little more focus on how we wanted to digitally execute. So it's been an exciting time his last two years as the company has kind of, you know, started to find its groove. As we moved into a more digital centric 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 I lead two groups that are building things that support the site and also driving some of the programs that are are developing the content and execution on the site down a lot of so so build. Talk to us about when you guys first started looking at personalization. Could before you know, starting to work with bound what were the things that that kind of led you to to making that decision that, hey, we need to start getting more proactive in the way that we personalize the site. Yeah, so that, I mean, that's the optimal. Question is, how does that journey get started? And it going back three years ago, it we were, it was still are, very complex company 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 to our site. What are we trying to share with somebody and you, when you do that in the default manner, it's very hard to ever be right with 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 with the 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 folks that we can recognize, you know, either make a product recommendation or guide them towards support or or things that would be more appropriate for them rather than just 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 guesses that you guys were making, and so...

...talk to us about kind of the decision process and how you landed on choosing bound to be, to be the partner, and then and then from there, I want to get into kind of the nitty gritty of the story of what you started a personalize and the results 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 on this 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 we wanted to do is find some tools that would allow us to manage that program right from our business unit. You know, we were attached to a corporate entity at the time that had its own tool set or how they delivered different capabilities, 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 to get off the ground, you know in sort of Pixel and off your running type 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 or configuring things on our behalf. So we were looking for something that was easy to deploy, easy to use and, you know, would allow us to get a pretty quick return on our investment, as we're able to stand up a simple 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 personalization that you started to focus on was on your home page. Talk to us a little bit about what you guys were personalizing there and what the results were from that, from that personalization of course. So yeah, I can't imagine we're that much different than anyone else. Like I said, it's been on this journey. But we picked a, you know, premier spot in our home page and what we attempted to do at the time was to inject replacement content 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 little better paced on what they had done in a prior visit. So we carved out that real estate on the page. We built out some some different content options that would be replaced based on whether or not someone triggered those those different rules. So the return visitor or someone that came in from particular industry would see now something different. So we were starting to tailor the page, you know, of minor part of the page visible, but minor in the sense that there's maybe a hundred things of click on a page and we were tailoring one of them to those individuals that were were visiting our site that we could drop into a segment and at the time that was extremely beneficial. I mean the results we're seeing there were triple digits. You know, the people clicking on default content versus the personalized content was well over a hundred percent. I mean, depending on what segment and what piece of content, we were seeing sometimes near two hundred percent. There we findings were very helpful to help us keep 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, you know, one of them was have they visited the site before? What were some of the other criteria that were triggering the types of content that they would see? Yeah, I mean beyond that, initially we were looking at previous visit and 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 to drive a company or an industry, we're using those to help us create those segments that our content would be married up against. Gotta okay, and so you you obviously saw a significant results there, but but that's not kind of the end of the journey. You guys saw results there and then and then you wanted to take it once you know, another step further. Talk to us about kind of the next evolution in...

...the journey beyond the results you saw from 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 lots of things to do on a home page and even though that particular content element was was thriving, you know, we either need to go down a path where we were updating dozens of content elements on our home page and trying to increase the impressions in the footprint of our personalized approach. Well, what we decided to do is, let's go into one of our most popular product pages on the site. It an area where we already know what people are interested in. They've already predetermined that based on their they're showing up on that particular page. But how can we make the content on that page more appropriate for them? And this was a pretty cool, at the time anyway, concept where if it was a new person or someone that had not done anything to show engagement yet, we isolated early stage content for them. We kind of mapped our content along the buyers journey and what we had attempted to do is to isolate the visitors to the site into three buckets. You know, early stage, awareness, rousing type of individual, someone that's returning to the page or in that visit, is showing active engagement by clicking on various things. or The the later stage, folks that is, you know, have clicked on 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 of content to get them to reveal themselves or to raise a hand and show that they have, you know, sales intent in their particular visit. To those three categories is what we broke our content around. You know, took that one page and we're drastically changing it to provide those types of content options for folks based on those those predetermined segments. Got It okay, and so talk to 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 it started to get and this is probably a couple or maybe six months into our efforts, and bound and released a new capability, let us fly content into the page, which was a really attractive way for us to start to present content that didn't have to be injected in the page that you're dealing with flicker and you have to have a massive backlog of content that would a support such a type of path. But with this new capability that, and it's not new anymore, but at the time, this new capability would let us create a you know, series of Promos, if you will, almost banners that were literally floating into the page, and those types of content on us we're getting on this particular page. Some of them were getting two to four percent clicks, you know, some of them as high as small double digits. And, you know, cumutively, now I've got content flying into the page with, 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 same fly and offers and present them on any page in our site. So when I knew someone had interest in that product and that that visit or a returning visit that they are saying on our home page, I could fly in an offer back to that particular piece of content. So allow us to extend the footprint of that page across our entire of site. Once someone had stepped into one 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 on their home page, but, you know, basically crediting a click back to that particular product, which now now we're getting to a scale model, which was really encouraging and it led us to really appreciate how well chat was doing for us. Chat was something that we made available but had included. Now is 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 and started to run with it. So,...

...just to camp out here because I want to make sure I'm understanding this and in our in our listeners are understanding it. So the the flying functionality that bound released, whenever a user would come to your site, they would they would click through to one of the product 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 page of that next visit that would essentially draw them back to kind of a deeper element of the product that they had looked at before. And I am I understanding that right? Absolutely, yeah, that's exactly the model. So what we're doing is trying to lead people through the buyers journey and we could have continued to do that on that particular page, but we did quite frankly. But it also now how this flying approach, I didn't have to manipulate content on each and every page. I could fly in over the page and that that gave us a lot, that opportunity to get some scale, because now any page in our site where we recognize those visitors was an opportunity to extend content 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 in that journey. So we were able to go into that bucket of content and make an offer to them to try to pull them back to that initial product where they've shown that early interest. And so each each time that they come back to the site, it puts another piece of content in front of them that 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 breaking my content into these three buckets where I'm either I'm with you, if you're still unawareness, and I'm going to present content to you that's hoping you get more aware about what that product has to offer. I'm either trying to get you to engage now and move you further into the buyers journey, or I'm trying to get even with sales motion as you've shown further interest and we start to 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 I want to as we as we in the interview today. I want to talk about this, the way that you guys have been able to personalize the invitation to 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 I really 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 product page approaches, the offers we made. One of them was chat and it was by far surpassing what we were getting from chat in out of the box with the tools we're using at the time. Double triple the amount of clicks we're seeing, which quickly led us to say, well, why aren't we doing 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 offers and we moved abound to deliver that capability and it blew the doors off what we're seeing. In the past we were seeing two to three hundred percent more chats based on the the imitations were saying. So we were still using that fly and approach, no different than the default tool, but now with their abilities to extend their reach across the whole site as well as personalized that based on some, you know, various simple factors. You know we have agents can speak to you about this industry. Welcome back to the site. Would you like to chat with us again? You know, all these types of things 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 the number of chats that actually ended up as leads with our presales teams. So that's the moment for us where personalization was no longer, you know, nice to have or a cute side product project. It was now leading to direct revenue that I could that could I tribute...

...back to our abilities to personalize into run that program at scale. It's incredible. So so you were. You were personalizing that invitation to chat in similar ways that you are doing with the home page. You're doing it by industry or, you know, by you know, a something that says like welcome back, indicating that hey, we you 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 that you saw significant uptick in, or were those the two primary ones? Those are two. There's a third one we had now that in it we're probably eighteen months ago, where bound had built a relationship with Linkedin, which led us, let us appreciate, where busitors to our site that had linkedin accounts that we could trace back to their roles, which now we've open up to the door to someone's function at work. You know, what kind of role they have. It's not titles or anything DII oriented per se, but it gave some insights into what area of the company that person worked. And so then 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 a someone in the Qway Department or someone that you know has been worked in the marketing function or something like that. But message is again that we're trying to tailor, in this case still chat, but, you know, using it as a using the messaging and a much more one to one manner. This has got my my brain racing bill on just different ways that you can capitalize on personalization. I love this last piece of the tangible results that you guys have seen as a result of customizing each kind of chat window. So if I'm if I'm picturing this right, so it kind of POPs up in the bottom right corner or whatever it would be, and it is it is it like the ones that I've seen. It's almost like an agent is starting the conversation with you, and so it's just that kind of first message that the person on the other end of the chap box is sending, and you guys played with I don't know, probably what fifteen to twenty different different messages that popped up in that initial message. Yeah, that was actually a thanks for reminding me. So that that's another thing that bound allowed us to do is be because now we're using a not just a personalization tool, but it has testing capabilities as well. So we were just sending out one message per segment and, you know, resting on a laurels, we're actually able to test different messages, different copy, different creative. You know, we had different should we use our company logo or picture of an agent or some other type of 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. But mess you know, manipulating the creative and multiple different iterations gave us even more learnings and help us optimize the program so for a particular segment, we have probably two recipes running in any point in time and as we saw which one was 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 we try to extend even further to see again how far can we push? You know what? What is the maximum number of chats we can get from these given 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 face worked 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. So the three things that we were really rolling around was a picture of an agent, which look like a pitch of...

...a person, a picture of an agent which looked more like an illustration, so a person, but just an outline, you know, a drawing if you will, and our company logo. And you know our initial bets where the the picture of the human would draw better. He faces tend to draw better in terms of clicks. Turned out our logo work better than really either. ARE THOSE WHO aiden based perspectives and I obviously we work a pretty powerful brand. So you know, there's something about that that probably skew things, but it was. It was very interesting because our initial impressions and what we thought would be most successful turn out not to be interesting. And the other thing that you mentioned that I that I love that you talked about, is you guys didn't just land on a winner and camp out there. You guys are continuing to Ab test, taking those winners, rolling those winners into new tests. Is that something you guys are 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 guys are testing? Yeah, our program is very, very intertime with testing and has been since the beginning, but pretty early on, and we do testing in isolation of personalation, but you're you're typically using the same tool. So it'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 to manage some of the testing and we run them. We kind of always on and the n the timing will differ depending on how quickly you can get to statistical significance. So if you know things like chat, where it's hitting virtually every visitor to the site. We have pretty quick learnings, you'll know, and days, two week where your winners are. But again, depending on how many segments you have and how many people you know show up in those various segments, we may have a default segment where you learned the two days. You may have a micro segment around a particular industry tied to return visitor, where I could take you two months to learn what's the winning recipe just based on volumes. But it's ongoing. We're constantly adding and removing things as we 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 to keep testing. who prove comes best. I Love I love that mindset of continually testing. And is it something that you've you've empowered your entire team built to say hey, always be thinking about different, different ways that we can test in and iterate and move or do you guys have like a a weekly stand up or where do you see a lot of those ideas for four different types of creative popping up? It's both. We definitely have a week lie or BI weekly. CADEN's where our teams will get together to look at results and to explore new opportunities. But it's also sat hawk as well. Literally today I have a conversation through email with a few folks around a different idea and it happened to be with with chat actually, and I flow to the idea by our chat admin who's leading our personalization around that programming. Today is warning was kind of funny the time here, but he was working up a couple examples that would allow us to explore that different idea. So, you know, we definitely have the you know, the methodical cadence of how we manage the program and look at testing opportunities. But you know, you never know where who ideals will come from and we're always looking to jump on those and take advantage of the learnings. You know, I want my team to always be looking at ways to improve our our performance and we're pretty pretty data driven around here. So that, I think, approach leads to people looking for ideas, looking for new opportunities and always and always driving for, you know, 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 interview as well. If there's somebody out there listening, may they want to stay connected with you. They want to learn more about hpe. What's what's the best way for them to go about doing...

...both of those things. So learn about company. Definitely check us out. HPCOM and accuraed you to check guys out from like a mobile device and maybe on your work computer and and see if you can appreciate some of the differences that are occurring in depending on your industry 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 some differences. And Scroll to our site to reach out to me. I can be found on Linkedin. When linked the name is GW Mitchell. There's lots of Bill Mitchell's, but I think I'm the only GW Mitchell. So our g Williams are where you can bind me. There, wonderful head. And if you're interested in bound at all, you can go to bound three hundred and sixtycom and check out all the solutions that we've been that we've been to a 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 like really great success. So go to bound three hundred and sixtycom to check that out. Bill. Thank you so much for your time today. This has been fantastic. I really appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you for having me. If you're a BEDB marketer, we want to feature you on sites like Huffington Post, social media examiner and chief marketer. Every week we send out a question related to be to be marketing. We use the responses to those questions to fuel the content we write for really popular websites. So head over to sweet fish MEDIACOM backslash questions and sign up today. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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