Email on Tap Episode 19, with Morgan Chemij, Sr. Director of Acquisition and Retention Marketing for HP.com, HP Inc.

If you’ve seen a printer, you know what Hewlett-Packard (HP Inc.) is, and Anthony Chiulli, our director of product marketing, met with Morgan Chemij, Sr. Director of Acquisition and Retention Marketing for HP.com, to discuss…well…email, of course.

HP Inc. is a titan of the computer world, so they discussed how this technology giant uses email to attract and retain customers, how they analyze and optimize based on data, and where email could innovate for better success.

Check out the video to hear his thoughts!

(Keep scrolling for key timestamps and even a full transcript. Plus, find links to our podcast version!)

Total Run Time: 15 minutes
00:20 – Overview of Hewlett-Packard Inc. (HP Inc.), its products, and Morgan’s role
1:12 – Multiple ways HP Inc. is leveraging email across its business
3:24 – Ways HP Inc. is segmenting and targeting customers, focusing on data signals
5:29 – Advantages of using dynamic content and tools to enhance email user experience
9:13 – Morgan’s view on the opportunities and concerns with digital voice assistants
12:38 – Areas of the email industry where Morgan believes more innovation is needed


Listen and subscribe on your favorite platform:


Transcript

Anthony Chiulli
Hi everyone, and welcome back to another episode of Email on Tap. I’m your host, Anthony Chiulli. And today I’m joined by Morgan Chemij. He is the senior director of acquisition and retention at HP. Morgan, thanks so much for being on the program.

Morgan Chemij
Thanks for having me, man. I really appreciate it.

AC
So tell me a little bit about HP, its products, and your responsibilities.

MC
Yeah. So we’re an 80-year-old company. We were in Silicon Valley before Silicon Valley was a thing. The product line really consists of a lot of everyday utilities, everything from printers and ink to laptops and desktops to imaging technology. And then we get pretty far out into the future with a lot of our 3D printing and medical technology. So we’re a, I don’t want to say jack of all trades, but chances are probably everybody watching this has at least one HP product in their home. I think we’re responsible for something like 50% of things printed in the US these days are printed on HP technology. So it’s cool. We do a lot of great things that help move America and the globe forward.

AC
Very nice. Being responsible in overseeing acquisition retention marketing as well as third-party marketplaces at HP and HP.com, what ways are you leveraging email and where do you find its strengths?

MC
So I mean, I think email is really at a unique position. When you think about identifiers, email is a pretty true identifier. Cookies can be spoofed and manipulated in a variety of different ways. But at the end of the day, we use email for a lot of different things. Obviously from our day-to-day CRM marketing to our email program, but then obviously we’re using email ideas and onboarding them through LiveRamp, for example, to better target existing customers in the display space, for example, or with Facebook. And then we’re also able to use email IDs–we’re able to onboard them and find lookalike audiences, once again, within traditional display, Facebook, Google, other marketplaces.

And then one of the final things as I speak to Google: Email IDs really help us custom cater messages. So for example, in Google we’re able to identify people who are HP customers and how we bid against those audiences for the messaging that we put in front of those audiences is going to be predicated on whether or not they’re an HP customer. And kind of where they are in the life cycle, what types of products they’ve purchased historically. So we want to make sure that our messaging is on brand for HP but then obviously really suits the customer’s needs for where they are in the life cycle and what their interaction with the brand has been historically. We don’t want to put a message in front of you that’s not relevant to where you are. We want to make sure that the customer journey is relatively seamless. And between taking email IDs and understanding what our email cadence is and what kind of touch points you’ve had with our CRM, and then looking at our biddable media. Making sure that those messages dovetail together and you’re having a consistent experience from everything display, search, email, on to your site experience. So it’s a pretty pivotal part of what we do.

AC
So expounding that a little bit, with HP being primarily a PC and printing company, how are you segmenting and targeting those unique audiences, as well as adding value along that life cycle that you that you were talking about?

MC
Yeah, so I mean I think knowing what the customer purchase patterns have been like, understanding usage data, understanding if they’re having PC problems, if they’re running low on ink. Those types of things. How do we actually– I don’t want to sell somebody something that they don’t need. Right? If you’re low on ink– hey, I know how it is. I’ve got kids. There’s things you need to print out: boarding passes every once in a while. There’s things like that where it’s important that– oh, my kid’s got a paper due tomorrow morning and at 7:30 they’re trying to print it and it’s not printing. How can we be accretive to the end-customer’s life, and how can we add a lot of value? We don’t want to just be a brand that’s sell, sell, sell. We want to really enhance people’s life. And so understanding a lot of different data that comes back from devices themselves and understanding customer purchase patterns enables us to really custom cater the messaging and our approach to the end customer to ensure we’re not putting marketing in front of them that’s not relevant, not adding value.

And then when we think about content and the content framework, how do we put content inside of an email that’s going to be relevant to that end customer? If you’re a gamer, for example, and we know that you’ve engaged with our gaming emails historically, I don’t want to send you an email that shows you our latest laser jet printer for businesses. I want to send you product recommendations and content that’s relevant to gaming, that’s relevant to Fortnite or Overwatch League or whatever you happen to be into. And so we play pretty close attention to customers and what they’re engaging with and our own content production life cycle to ensure that we’re putting content that adds value, whether it’s purchase or purely just to inform the customer and keep them engaged with the latest HP products and services, or general concepts around how we can help benefit their lifestyle.

AC
Talking about content and email, dynamic email is certainly a hot topic especially with the recent developments with AMP for email. In what ways are you envisioning HP leveraging dynamic email and content?

MC
Yeah. So I mean, we operate in a very unique marketplace where pricing changes on a variable basis, inventory changes a little bit here and there if we’ve got a product– our Spectre line is very popular. And when we launch a new Spectre product, sometimes we’ve run out of stock or we run short on stock. And so I don’t want to put an email in front of you that promotes a new Spectre when maybe we’re low on inventory or maybe it’s more convenient for you to get it from Best Buy versus buying it direct. I want to be able to put relevant messaging in front of you. And so when we look at third-party technologies, for example, in Movable Ink where we’re able to dynamically swap content out real-time. We look at those types of content enablers as something that really enhances the overall customer journey. And frankly, it does reduce some friction in our overall production cadence and life cycle.

So we need to work with a variety of different aspects of HP in order to even push an email out. And so if pricing changes or if inventory changes, rather than cancel an email altogether the technology exists these days where if you haven’t opened the email we can dynamically swap out product content. So maybe we’re running low on the gold, so instead of featuring the gold color for one of our laptops we can feature the aluminum, or white gold if you will, color for our product. And so things like that. So the customer journey is not interrupted, the overall experience is not interrupted. We might be putting something on sale. And so when we sent the email that said at X dollars but we decide to reduce pricing by $50, we can go ahead and dynamically make those changes leveraging third-party tech. And so those types of elements are really important to us.

The other piece is we can go ahead and do really incredible split testing where we test two different images simultaneously within the email, and then based upon a read at the 10% level we can see who the winner is and we can swap out the image that’s served to the winning image. And so things like that, once again, just enable us to do what we do better, enhance the user experience, and really engage consumers with our content.

AC
I would imagine with the number of SKUs and products within HP and the dynamic business that you were speaking of in some of the use cases, that would be something that certainly would add value not only to your side of the business in keeping those emails relevant and up to date, but also from a consumer standpoint, like you said, if you haven’t opened it.

MC
Yeah. I mean, and there’s nothing quite like getting an email where something fails to load appropriately or an image is pixelated or whatever the case may be. And it’s great that these new third-party technologies that we could only dream about a decade ago enable us if something goes out. And it doesn’t happen often, frankly. We’ve got a pretty stringent QA process. But if something is wrong, the ability and go ahead and swap that. Because once it’s out there in the ecosystem it’s out there. Right? So the ability to go ahead and swap things out in real-time is great. It doesn’t reduce the level of scrutiny that any types of marketing assets go through when it pertains to our email program, but it is nice to have that additional safety net in the event that something isn’t executed 100%.

AC
Another thing that I’m really curious about your point of view on is the rise of digital voice assistants: Alexa, Cortana, Siri, and others. And recently, developments in the email marketing use cases for those technologies. What do you see as the opportunities for digital voice assistants, and perhaps any concerns about the rise of those?

MC
That’s really funny. Every time I travel and I’m at a hotel, I mean, and it’s always on my phone, but. I have this weird instance of just saying, we’re an Android household generally, and so we have Google. And I’ll, “Hey, Google.” And it’s weird. Two or three years ago, that’s something that you wouldn’t get a response. And now you’re starting to see some of the hotel properties actually start to integrate some of this tech. A lot of the TVs have Chromecast built in now. As it pertains to HP, I think voice is a really exciting new frontier. I think people buying from voice is– it’s on the cusp. And I think what people need to realize is, voice isn’t what it was two years ago. Voice was talking to a device. Now voice is talking to a screen. And the majority of voice devices sold these days, I mean, yeah certainly Google still has their little pucks, but the majority of voice devices being sold have a full image. So you can go and you can read reviews. You can get an email from HP and immediately ask about product specs, whatever the case may be. And with Google’s knowledge graph and how we’re actually pushing data out in a somewhat standardized format, you can actually go and see those specs.

And if you look further out, there’s a lot of really interesting innovations with Google shopping where you have the capability of certainly purchasing products directly via Google. And if you think about the life cycle of products starting to talk more to each other when a 5G’s going to enable, the notion of your HP printer running low on ink and the ring around the top of your Alexa, if we were to talk about somebody that doesn’t have video-enabled technology. The ring around the top of your Alexa strobing red so you know there’s something wrong. “Hey, Alexa. What’s going on?” “You’re at 10% of your ink capacity. Now is a good time to order more.” And, “Okay, Alexa. Go ahead and order more.” And it goes ahead and places that order with Amazon because it has the access to your Amazon account, it knows where you live, it knows what kind of printer you have because a lot of our newer technologies are Amazon or Google enabled. That’s kind of where we see things going. And then obviously having that same kind of trigger-based email functionality where, “Hey, you’re running low on ink. Click here to buy more, or ask your Alexa or Google Voice to re-up.”

AC
Timely notifications.

MC
Yeah. And once again, it’s really not about us pushing product. We’re not when you’re at 50%. It’s when you need it so you don’t run out, so it doesn’t interrupt your life.

AC
It’s the convenience play, right?

MC
Yeah, and these are the types of products where, look, I’ve got kids. They do, occasionally the printer is running low on ink. I happen to have HP Instant Ink so it re-ups automatically. It talks to our systems and knows when to send us new stuff. And it’s very affordable. It’s a few dollars a month and you can never run out of ink. But those are real things that happen in everybody’s life and the idea of technology that makes it a little bit easier so that you don’t run into those circumstances– it’s really powerful. It’s great. It’s great to work for a company that develops that kind of technology.

AC
I also have kids, and a quick, funny anecdote story about our printer. We have an HP printer. But that is the place where you can get arts and crafts white paper. So whenever they want to color, whenever they want to build something, they know to go to Dad’s printer, open up the printer drawer, grab all the paper. So whenever I need to print, it’s not ink. It’s paper [laughter].

MC
Paper. We’re working on that, too. We’re working on that, too [laughter].

AC
You’ve been in this space a long time. Industry vet. What are some of the things that you wish you would see more innovation in? And we’ve talked about digital voice assistants, we talked about dynamic email. Are there areas of the industry that you wish, personally, you would see more innovation and development?

MC
Yeah, I mean it’s one of these things where, I remember it was the year of mobile. It was 10 years in a row at Ad Age, right? It was like, “The year of mobile: 2008. 2009. 2010. 2011.” I think we’re getting there with voice. I don’t think it’s getting there as quick as I would hope. Because it is pretty pervasive. I think specific to CRM and email, we’re running into some really unique challenges and in the future, if you think about CCPA and some of privacy laws that exist in Europe. It’s going to change really quickly, and I hope that brands are really understanding consumer privacy and understanding how to change their approach accordingly. Because I think the brands that are leaders and understand how to abide by some of the new restrictions and still get their message across and still do good proactive marketing–I think those brands are going to kind of surge ahead, versus the brands that kind of sit by the wayside. I think we’re kind of in this unique ecosystem right now where there’s a lot of wait and see.

And I do feel privileged to be at HP where I do feel like we’re genuinely innovative and we kind of push the envelope. If I was to look back at myself 10 or 15 years ago, or 20 years ago, I think I would probably push myself to take more calculated risks. Because sometimes by following the herd you miss out on big opportunities. And we see it pretty frequently in all sorts of different types of marketing. And I’ve got a chap that works for me and he’s 24 or 25 years old, and I look at him and the energy he has and how he pushed the envelope. And I wish that I pushed authority a little bit more and that I challenged the status quo a little bit more in how I did marketing when I was a little bit younger. And so now I feel like I’ve learned from that as a gray hair, and I’m doing my best to kind of roll that forward and kind of promote that ethos within my team.

AC
Morgan, thank you so much. This has been a great opportunity. I appreciate you sitting down with me.

MC
Absolutely. Thank you again for the opportunity.

AC
No problem.

MC
I do appreciate it.

AC
And thanks everyone for tuning in. We hope to see you on another episode of Email on Tap.

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

Check Also

how-microsoft’s-filtering-changes-impact-your-marketing-email.

How Microsoft’s filtering changes impact your marketing email.

In January, Microsoft decided to shake up the way their filters look at mail and elevate their anti-spoofing and anti-phishing filters, potentially impacting email marketers’ email campaigns. For those of you who’ve been around long enough will remember Microsoft always tries to push their own way, with initiatives like SenderID rather than supporting industry initiatives like SPF. After fully supporting SPF, DKIM, and DMARC standards…

>