As you can see from the leaderboard, the first round of the Officejet Pro Challenge is too close to call in this final fourth week of feedback from our five small businesses. Who do you think has delivered the most useful insight into how the HP Officejet Pro 8500 Wireless can help small businesses get professional quality color printing with significant cost and energy savings?
If you haven't voted, be sure to head on over and check out this week's collection of blog posts. We asked the five companies to test-drive the HP Creative Studio for Business and use the free customizable templates to make some simple marketing materials for their own business. From business cards and flyers to trifold brochures, I think you may be pleasantly surprised by what these business owners were able to create within a short amount of time using the HP Creative Studio -- and by their feedback on the quality of the printouts.
So make your opinion count and vote for your favorite posts. The winning small business will receive a prize package that includes keeping the printer, 1 year's worth of Original HP ink and paper, and a professional design package from Logoworks by HP.
And I currently work for HP (which is ranked
#9 in the most recent Fortune 500
listing). So I've seen my share of marketing and brand-building efforts - both
good and bad.
Here's one marketing secret I want
to share: You don't need a dime in your marketing budget to successfully launch
and build your brand. You simply need the right resources, a bit of time, and
the commitment to learn, improve, and share.
Free DIY Marketing Resources
The adoption and acceptance of
social media is very good news for small business owners. The quality of
marketing expertise that's available via blogs, communities and online
conversations is staggering and could cost you thousands of dollars were you to
actually pay for it out of pocket (I did when I had a business). But why would you, if you can get the same
expertise for free (or at incredibly affordable rates)?
Your brand's "story" (the mission statement, logo, brochure, web site) is
often the reason customers decide to spend money with you. Start building the brand story for your
business by checking out these free resources:
- Small Business Marketing Guide:
Top small business marketing experts such as Guy Kawasaki,
Campbell of Small Business Trends, and Duct Tape Marketing's John Jantsch share their expertise,
to help you develop and evolve the compelling story of your business . (As
of this writing, the Small
Business Marketing Guide also offers free marketing webinars, too.
Webby-Award winning site offers dozens of free, professionally designed templates that you can download,
customize, and print for your business within minutes, including:
cards and Business Identity Kits
and Blog Templates
Creative Studio is also a great asset to find tools, access to discounts,
and other DIY and affordable design services (such as Logoworks
Layouts) that professional marketing
agencies use every day.
Get expert advice, get
opinions and share your expertise with world (or just your neighborhood) -
in real time. Any marketing expert worth
their salt is on Twitter, and you get their sage advice for free. Better
still, many experts will follow you back and respond to your questions.
Even better still, when you're ready to test drive your new marketing
materials, the Twitter universe is a great place to ask for feedback and
opinions. (Author and marketer Tara
Hunt asked her Twitter followers to rate the jacket design of her new
book "The Whuffie Factor", and she got hundreds of opinions plus free
designs in response.)
Use the following resources to get started and put
Twitter to work for you (I've also included links to the resources'
How to Use Twitter to
Grow Your Business (via @Copyblogger)
Ideas on using Twitter for Business (by @ChrisBrogan)
We Follow (@wefollow): This is a user-powered
Twitter directory that makes it extremely easy to find people by topic, company
or interest. (You'll find me in WeFollow's
Take the first few steps to launch
your brand - there's a world online ready and willing to help. Including me.
Just because your company is classified as a small business, it doesn't mean your marketing can't rival that of a Fortune 500 company.
You want and need impact, yet you need to save money while your technology works to make you money. We get it. And we want to help.
Here are my Top 5 reasons small businesses can hit print -- affordably -- with HP and the Wireless HP Officejet Pro 8500 system.
1. Look big. Save big time.
The Wireless HP Officejet Pro 8500 delivers professional quality
COLOR printing for up to 50% less cost per page than laser.
It's easy to economize because the Officejet Pro
has four individual ink cartridges, which means you only need to replace cartridges
that run out. The water-resistant HP 940 Officejet Inks also offer premium durability (so they hold up to weather and heavy handling -- why do I think of realtors and pizza delivery menus?)
- With the HP Creative Studio for Business, Marketsplash and other key HP partners, you can affordably create, customize, and print agency-quality marketing materials yourself.
2. Be kind to the Environment (and your
The Wireless HP Officejet Pro 8500 can save up to 50% energy vs.
With its auto-duplex feature (geek-speak for
double-sided printing), you can print on both sides of the page, saving paper
and cost, and avoid print-shop minimum charges.
messy cords + get bonus points for sharing.
When you have an Wireless HP Officejet Pro 8500, you are now officially untethered from your desk
so you can print from anywhere in the house or office within range of your
Anyone on your wireless network can share a
single printer. (It supports Ethernet, too.)
wear a lot of hats. Your printer should, too.
Print. Scan. Copy. Fax. The Wireless HP Officejet Pro 8500 is a versatile HP
All-in-One. No more need to buy and supply separate machines.
Print photos without a PC. Insert your camera's
memory card, use the color display, select and print your photos. Yes, it's
of mind: It's HP. It's reliable.
Get first-class support 24x7 toll-free or via
email in as little as an hour through HP's renowned Total Care support.
Get exclusive offers and discounts on supplies,
plus get free next-business day shipping with My Print Rewards.
For more info, check out these related links:
- Computer Shopper Reviews gives the Wireless HP Officejet Pro 8500 an Editors' Choice award
- Check out the specs, features, fine print and more in the HP store and find an authorized reseller near you.
- See my colleague Bret Bottger's post in the HP Inkjet Blog for more expert tips and info.