Why You Might Buy Marketing Services From Your PC Vendor…and more

It seems like only a few years ago, when the lines of products from one’s PC vendor was pretty clear cut. PC vendors sold computers, computer accessories, but not much else. However, more and more traditional PC vendors are recognizing that just selling computers is not good enough.
Many of them are selling much more. For example, HP has for some time been pushing its various design services, such as logo works and aggressively encourage small businesses to do their own printing for marketing material. As an evolution to this move to selling more and more design and creative services HP has brought together its various offerings under one roof: HP Creative Studio.
The HP Creative Studio is an online resource that provides consumers and small businesses with a single entry point to HP’s web services – such as Snapfish by HP, Logoworks by HP and the HP Activity Center.
the HP Creative Studio ­for business expanded this month to include a new set of small business marketing services with MarketSplash by HP, a one-stop, web-based shop that provides premium do-it-yourself online templates and award-winning custom design with some of the industry’s lowest pricing and fastest delivery times for design and fulfillment.
I find this expansion by HP, quite interesting. They are now in direct competition with Vista Print, 48 Hour Print, Kinkos, Staples and a variety of other traditional printing/design only vendors.
Last week I was in a meeting with Dell, as they briefed us on the awarding of their inaugural Global Dell Small Business Excellence Award. The mention of Dell computers was NEVER mentioned. It was all about Social Media. UK based Wiggly Wigglers won based on their extensive use of social media to market their business to new customers and most importantly keep new customers.
Think about Intuit. Sure their biggest selling product is Turbo Tax and QuickBooks, but they will be moving into providing a powerful platform of online services as well. They already have QuickBase, an online database, HomeStead, web design templates, and look for much more.