Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) launched five years ago. It was spun out of Hewlett Packard to focus on enterprise solutions, helping companies capitalize on transformative technologies like edge, hybrid cloud, and supercomputing.
Despite being at the forefront of pioneering technologies (AI, cloud, IoT) and world-changing solutions (space travel, Alzheimer’s research, vaccine discovery), the broader industry sometimes categorized HPE as a hardware and server company. It became imperative to celebrate the breadth of HPE’s diverse and compelling portfolio, plus elevate the extraordinary brain trust of technologists and experts who were helping our clients transform their businesses every day.
Central to HPE’s business is its purpose of ‘advancing the way people live and work’. HPE has deep roots in sustainability and championing a circular economy, and it’s enacted some of the most progressive employee policies supporting inclusion and diversity. During COVID-19, HPE emerged as a leader amongst industry peers, launching initiatives to expedite vaccine discovery and rapidly enabling businesses to migrate to work-from-home IT solutions.
Our objective was to position HPE as a strategic technology leader in the industry among critical audiences like C-suite, Senior IT, and business decision makers. We needed to emphasize that HPE has the expertise, technologies and solutions modern companies require to digitally transform and succeed in business. And finally, we needed to ensure the broader market understood HPE is a company that’s truly a force for good.
We launched Enterprise.nxt—a thought leadership digital publication from HPE, laser-focused on creating best-in-class brand journalism about business and technology. Through the power of storytelling and effective thought leadership, Enterprise.nxt helps position HPE as the strategic technology partner that will lead customers into the future.
Enterprise.nxt lives within HPE.com and publishes 3-5 articles weekly about business-critical topics like AI, edge, security, and cloud that build credibility with senior IT and business decision makers. It’s also an editorial platform to share stories about culture and innovation that reflect HPE’s mission to advance the way people live and work. While stories do not pitch specific technologies or products, Enterprise.nxt shares practical advice on digital transformation through the lens of customer stories, executive perspectives, and subject matter expert insights. Enterprise.nxt also publishes The Doppler, a quarterly print and digital thought leadership magazine (a recent issue titled “The New IT Playbook: From Recovery to Resurgence” addressed the seismically shifted business landscape and the role of technology in the wake of COVID-19).
We work with a dedicated editorial team that has roots in technology and journalism who bring an outside-in perspective and marry HPE’s core business strategy with the topics our audiences cared about most. Equally important, we execute a comprehensive, always-on campaign to get our stories in front of relevant audiences.
Since Enterprise.nxt doesn't promote products or marketing messages like many of HPE's other campaigns, we implemented a unique media approach as would a truly editorial platform. We built a three-prong distribution strategy: an owned email newsletter, a partnership with tech industry newsletters, and a native editorial program.
First, Enterprise.nxt launched a weekly email newsletter spotlighting the most recent stories published. This email is critical for content delivery and boosting reader retention, and it remains the leading driver of onsite engagement.
In addition to our owned newsletter property, we piloted a native newsletter initiative where Enterprise.nxt could share its thought leadership stories and point of view with relevant, engaged readers. It was a unique opportunity to create visible ‘in the news’ HPE brand presence through association with authoritative, influential tech journalism. Partnerships with Axios, Morning Brew, MIT Tech Review, The Hustle, and others, allowed us to reach new readers while they were already engaging with credible content of a similar theme. Through this program, we slowly, but strategically built awareness of Enterprise.nxt (and HPE) amongst audiences outside of HPE’s owned and operated ecosystem to drive repeat, long-term readership.
Lastly, Enterprise.nxt leveraged a broader in-house HPE program called Responsive Ad Desk (RAD) with the intent of taking a more editorial, news-desk approach to content distribution, creating greater agility and quick-to-market amplification of timely content based on industry conversation. It targeted relevant audiences as they scrolled through their favorite news sites or their twitter feeds – and delivered timely attention to HPE’s perspective and technologies.
Enterprise.nxt has become a customer-lauded thought leadership platform. In 2020, Enterprise.nxt published 160 articles and 5 industry reports, accumulating over 1.25 million onsite visits. The site successfully drives highly engaged audiences to HPE.com, indexing above other internal programs for “Propensity To Buy” – a key benchmark used to determine reader quality.
The Enterprise.nxt email newsletter has steadily grown in subscribers and engagement. The weekly email has over 700,000 subscribers and boasts an open rate of over 30%, far surpassing average industry open rates of 18-21%* and drives approximately 8% of all Enterprise.nxt traffic. Readers coming to Enterprise.nxt via the newsletter spend the most amount of time with content when compared to other readers: Average read time is 2:45 minutes, compared to 5:30 minutes via newsletter.
Enterprise.nxt’s partnership with industry newsletters consistently outperform CTR benchmarks by 2-3x compared to other B2B organizations. In 2020, we drove approximately 60,000 qualified new readers to Enterprise.nxt via these partnerships and drove direct “warm” leads resulting in immediate business opportunities.
Our native advertising (RAD) program has been critical in driving off-site engagement and exposing millions of targeted readers to Enterprise.nxt content. Native placements have become 7.8x more powerful than traditional tactics, and RAD social placements have averaged an engagement rate of 2.5% versus industry benchmark of .34%. Readers spent 3:17 minutes with Enterprise.nxt content, 4x the industry provided benchmark. This program has grown beyond the original vision and become the foundation for HPE’s agile marketing mindset.
*https://mailchimp.com/resources/email-marketing-benchmarks/ and https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/guides/email-marketing-benchmarks/
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