HP B2B Competitive Landscape

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Competitive Landscape - HP

In 2016, HP spent approximately $44.4 billion on B2B advertising. To market its OEM offerings to B2B customers, HP posted video ads on its website and YouTube channel.



  • HP’s OEM division targets B2B companies from industries such as healthcare, life sciences, media & entertainment, surveillance, manufacturing, and others with the messaging “Built For What You Do”.
  • As a marketing effort, HP provides flexible warranties and service solutions all over the world and no other OEM computing vendor gives such broad coverage.


Video Ads Specific to OEM Division — Website

  • The company shared a video on its official website specific to the OEM division that caters to B2B customers. It was presented by Gagan Singh, Head Security.
  • The video conveyed a message that the world's most powerful workstations are offered to B2B customers where valuable IP is never compromised because devices are hardwired with industry-leading security features.

Video Ads Specific to OEM Division — YouTube

  • A video was created on YouTube, specifically for its OEM solutions where the company mentioned that OEM solutions include portfolio, supply chain, specialists, and services.


  • Denver Broncos, a professional American football franchise, a B2B customer tied up with HP ZBook Studio and Z2 Mini Workstation that helps to run digital video editing and data analysis done by DVSport GameDay software, powered by NVIDIA Quadro graphics.
  • The company displays video ads on YouTube where its B2B customer, Carl Zeiss Microscopy mentioned the way the company relied on high-end, reliable HP Workstations and HP Displays for its microscope laboratory solutions.


  • In 2018, HP spent about $568 million on advertising expenses.
  • In 2017, HP spent $544 million on advertising expenses. The OEM does not separate its advertising expenses between B2C and B2B segments.


Information regarding HP's spending on B2B advertising on their OEM division could not be found. After a thorough search, we were able to conclude that the company has not disclosed exclusive financial details specific to the OEM division on its annual reports.

We started our research by examining the official website of HP. The company's press releases, annual reports, investor relations, services and solutions provided, and other financial statements were looked into. But, nothing pertaining to their OEM division and its B2B advertisement spending was found.

Next, we decided to analyze third-party sources such as Statista, Adage, Adweek, and Kantarmedia to discover the required information. However, Kantarmedia revealed that in August 2016, HP spent $44.4 billion on B2B advertising. Nevertheless, the report did not mention anything about the OEM division. Further, we also checked the market reports found on Emarketer, Deloitte, and PWC. But, no substantial information could be traced.

Since there was no precompiled data available, we decided to triangulate the required data. For this, we tried to identify the % of the revenue share of the OEM division of HP to use the same figure as the advertising expense spent by the OEM division towards enhancing the business. We looked into Financial Statements, Seeking Alpha, and IBIS World. Nonetheless, the sources only mentioned the overall revenue ($58.5 billion) of HP.

As our last resort, we looked for sources that are older than 24 months. The results did not return any substantial information. Hence, the attempt proved to be futile.
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Competitive Landscape - Dell

Dell spends roughly $103.4 million on B2B advertising every year. Recently, Dell has adopted a strategy of "storytelling" to try to humanize its products. These points and more are discussed in more detail below.

Dell's B2B ad spend

  • For the fiscal year ending on February 1, 2019, advertising expenses were $1.143 billion in total.
  • Their B2B ad spend is approximately $103.4 million (see calculation).

Recent marketing efforts to B2B customers

  • In an attempt to humanize its products, Dell EMC launched a storytelling campaign to raise awareness of its new range of PowerEdge servers. The campaign stars a fictional IT manager named Dennis who is ignored by his colleagues but becomes the hero after installing Dell's PowerEdge server.
  • Dell launched an influencer-hosted business podcast called Luminaries where interviews and features are done with innovative tech visionaries. It is part of Dell's overall strategy of using storytelling to market the company.
  • Dell continued its storytelling strategy by launching the "Let's Make It Real" brand campaign on March 27, 2019, to highlight how digital transformation can make an impact. In an ad, the actor Jeffrey Wright presents special effects in a theater and gives this message: "Magic can't make digital transformation happen. But we can. Let's make it real."

Where video ads are being displayed

Examples of "real customer stories" videos

  • Dell has many real-life stories on their Dell EMC channel. One example is a video about how Xavier University uses Dell EMC Data Protection to back up terabytes of data in a 95% virtual environment.


To find facts about Dell's B2B advertising, we focused most of our efforts on Dell's website. In trying to find its B2B ad spend, we looked at their latest annual report and found its overall ad spend. The document did not break down their ad spend so it was difficult to determine how much they spend on B2B and B2C, hence we had to search for it elsewhere. We searched business news sites such as Forbes, Business Insider, etc. to see if we could find a percentage or a hard figure that Dell spends on B2B ads. This was not successful, so we changed strategy.

Our next thought was to try to calculate this figure. We found how much money businesses usually spend on B2B services, hence we used this to make a rough estimate on how much Dell spends on B2B advertising. There was nothing in our searches that threatened the assumption that they spent between 8.9% and 9.2% of their overall marketing budget on B2B products and services, hence we found the median between 8.9% and 9.2%, and used that to calculate what their B2B ad budget might be. The calculations that we used can be seen below:
  • B2B product marketing budget based on overall marketing budget = 9.2%
  • B2B services marketing budget based on overall marketing budget = 8.9%
  • Average marketing B2B budget based on overall marketing budget = (9.2+8.9)/2 = 9.05%
  • 9.05% of 1.143 billion = $103.4 million
After we did this, we looked for their ad campaigns through advertising websites such as Ad Age, DM News, and B2B Marketing. We used this information to determine where they play their video ad campaigns and their "real-life stories" through customer testimonials.
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Competitive Landscape - IBM

Throughout this research, no information on IBM's spending on B2B advertising, specifically on their OEM division, could be found. To market its OEM offerings to B2B customers, IBM posts its video advertisements on its website content pages and its YouTube channel: "IBMBusAnalyticsOEM".


IBM Industry Solution Integrator / Reseller program

  • IBM considers its B2B OEM customers as "Industry Solution Integrators/Resellers". As part of its effort to market to resellers of the Industry solution, IBM is driving a program under which it is enabling IBM Remarketers to expand their reach by becoming IBM Industry Solution Integrators (IBM ISIs).
  • Through this scheme, IBM Remarketers may receive approval to market IBM Power Systems and other associated IBM storage products. This is part of an integrated industry solution that qualifies its Industry Solution Resellers (ISRs) to resell to end-users or a reseller channel.

Content marketing and new models for OEM Support Portfolio

  • Through its website, IBM markets resourceful content related to OEM support and how its IT support provider can offer services to help customers with their multi-vendor environments.
  • As part of efforts to promote its OEM Support Portfolio, IBM recently added 11 branded-Brocade End of Service networking models to its IMS supported products.
  • By this addition, its B2B customers will benefit from receiving pricing information immediately, with no requirement of machine configuration and no special SOW.
  • Also, through its new model to OEM Support Portfolio, IBM has added US Citizens support (CZ) to 467 HP-supported models via Integrated Multi-Vendor Support (IMS) under various B2B machine types.


  • Website content page: IBM posts video links on its website through its content pages. The videos are related to OEM knowledge sharing for its B2B customers. Some of these videos include "Streamline your data center maintenance", "Fortis Healthcare: Streamline IT Standardizes Care", and "IBM Augmented Reality for Technology Support Services".
  • YouTube Channel: IBM's official YouTube channel, "IBMBusAnalyticsOEM", was created specifically for its OEM licensing Program through which the company shares regular updates on its OEM customer success stories, tutorials, and other webcasts. The channel has 680 subscribers and 121,678 views.
  • One such customer success video, "IBM and Availity — OEM Partner Success in Healthcare", shares the references and testimonies of Availity, a leading provider of healthcare solutions that leveraged Cognos Business Intelligence in their applications.


  • A publication from 2012 revealed that IBM had been a part of the top 10 B2B advertisers, during which period its advertising spend specifically related to B2B was $145.3 million.
  • IBM specializes in B2B marketing campaigns and focuses most of its advertising spending towards it. In 2018, the company spent $1.466 billion on promotions and advertising globally.
  • The 2018 Annual report of the company highlights that it had raised its Advertising and promotional expenses, including media, agency, and other promotional expenses by 1.5%, compared to 2017 ($1.445 billion).
  • A news article by BusinessWire reported that IBM had decided to wind-down its OEM commercial financing through its Global Financing program which provides client and commercial financing for its Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) hardware, software and services.
  • In 2018, IBM's revenue from its overall segments showed steady growth and profitability, as well as its Selling General & Admin Expenses ($19.617 billion) and R&D Expenses ($5.450 billion).


To obtain the required information on IBM's spending on B2B advertising, specifically on its OEM division, we started by examining the company's annual reports along with their financial statements, investors call transcripts and other related press releases. Additionally, we searched through various news articles such as BusinessWire, Forbes, CNBC, etc. in an attempt to find any executive interviews on the company's strategies regarding its current or future B2B advertisement spending or relating to its OEM division expansion plans through marketing. Throughout the search, it was found that the company did not provide any division-specific or department-specific information regarding advertisement expenses. Also, the news article mostly covered stories relating to IBM's partnerships with various resellers/OEMs. Hence, no relevant information could be found using this strategy.

Next, we attempted to gather relevant information by searching through various market research reports and analyses published by industry consulting firms such as Deloitte, PwC, Accenture, eMarketer, etc. We also searched for IBM's advert spending analyses from sources such as MediaRadar, Statista, Marketingdive, etc. We had hoped to find relevant insights on the company's B2B OEM marketing expenditure. However, this search could only yield limited information, as most of the information found was related to the company's cloud adverts spending, as well as the company's overall advertising and promotion spending, with no details on B2B-focused advertising. Also, we resorted to expanding the research scope to include sources that are older than 2 years, but this only led to a 2012 publication that provided some insights on IBM's overall B2B ad spending, which was $145.3 million.

Furthermore, we attempted to triangulate the information by trying to identify the percentage share of IBM's revenue that was generated from its OEM division. We sought to use the information as a proxy to estimate the proportion of its overall expenses being spent on B2B-focused advertisements. However, it was found that IBM did not publish segment-focused revenue details. Hence, we could not proceed with this strategy.

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Competitive Landscape - Lenovo

The company spends about $75.81 million on B2B advertising. Here is a link to Lenovo's 'real customer story' video about their OEM solution.


  • Lenovo spends approximately $75.81 million on B2B advertising.
  • In 2018, Lenovo spent about $842.37 million on advertising expenses. The OEM does not separate its advertising expenses between the B2C and B2B segments.


  • Lenovo recently turned to influencers to reach specific B2B customers in several verticals, including " architecture, engineering and construction; media and entertainment; oil and gas; and healthcare."
  • As Lenovo partners with Influencers in these verticals, they intend to "build trust with prospects as they are in the market for new systems." For example, it partnered with a Japanese digital artist, Hideo Kojima, who creates video games to connect with media and entertainment pros.
  • Lenovo also built TechRevolution, a mobile-digital content hub "that delivers latest and most-trusted tech news to IT decision makers" in B2B companies, to increase brand awareness and trust. The strategy has led to "$30m attributable sales (in just 9 months)."
  • Lenovo's Chief Marketing Officer states it specifically targets CIOs in its B2B marketing messaging. One campaign focused around the "search" for the top 25 ThinkPad laptops, an OEM division solution, "that changed the world".
  • It uses stories to give the brand a more human appeal, focusing on its personality and how this can be connected to current trends in the market.


  • Lenovo runs a Twitter page specifically for business customers in which they display video ads to reach this segment of consumers.
  • The company also displays its B2B video ads on YouTube via their page Lenovo Think.
  • The B2B video ads are also displayed at Lenovo's website.
  • CEO & Founder of TechsoMed, a medical imaging company, give a real customer story on a video on how Lenovo's ThinkStation Workstations, an OEM division solution, allow them to gain real-time feedback during the early-stages of tumor removal.


The research team searched through the company's annual reports, press publications, and credible media sites, including Media Post, B2B Marketing, Chief Marketer, and more, for Lenovo's B2B advertising spend. Although statistics exist around its B2B advertising; for example, it spends up to 38% less on traditional B2B activities as a result of deploying social selling, the company does not disclose the amount spent on advertising to this customer segment.

Therefore, the team attempted to triangulate Lenovo's expenditure on B2B advertising using the following approach: determining the company's overall advertising spend and then locating the percentage of advertising spend attributed to businesses solutions by other B2B marketers. A common rule of thumb is that B2B companies spend between 8.9% and 9.2%, or 9% on average, (8.9+9.2)/2, of their advertising budget on B2B solutions.

Lenovo's advertising spends: 842,365,000
% of advertising spend attributed to B2B solutions: 9%
Total B2B advertising: 842,365,000*9% = 75,812,850