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Case Study: How HP Boosted Product Sales 84% by Letting the Blogosphere Run Its Online Marketing Promotion

by Kimberly Smith  |  
October 14, 2008

Company: Hewlett-Packard
Contact: Scott Ballantyne, VP & General Manager for Hewlett-Packard's Personal Systems Group
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Industry: Information Technology, B2C
Annual revenue: $104,286,000,000
Number of employees: 172000

Quick Read:

Hewlett-Packard Personal Systems Group VP and General Manager Scott Ballantyne simply handed over a $5,000+ computer prize package to each of 31 bloggers, asking them to give away the prizes to their readers in any way they saw fit. He trusted their influence over the market he was hoping to reach.

It was a promotion designed to increase sales for the company's HDX Dragon Entertainment Notebook, and it involved zero advertising and not a single new marketing message from HP. With the exception of a couple of minor stipulations, each aspect of the giveaway was designed by the blogging community for its readers—a risk that paid off in spades.

More than 50 million impressions were registered during the 31-day promotion, leading to an 84% increase in HDX Dragon sales, a 10% increase in overall consumer PC sales, and a 14% jump in Web traffic (comparing the five-week period before the contest to the five-week period after it).

"The results were stellar," Ballantyne said. "Sales went through the roof."


In mid-2007, Hewlett-Packard introduced its Pavilion HDX Entertainment Notebook PC. Nicknamed the "Dragon," the system—which boasts HP's first 20.1-inch widescreen display, an HDTV tuner, a subwoofer and four Altec Lansing speakers, a low-light Web camera, a dedicated ATI HD2600 XT graphics card, and fingerprint reader technology—is one monster of a machine and, not surprisingly, carries a hefty price tag, starting at $3,000. Accordingly, it attracts a fairly niche target market: 25-34-year-olds with plenty of disposable income.

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Kimberly Smith is a staff writer for MarketingProfs. Reach her via

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