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Understanding sponsorship performance for HP Indigo

Written by: Foresight Strategy


For questions about this case study contact Mick Hedberg.

HP Indigo is a pioneer in digital printing technology, developing and manufacturing printing presses, proprietary consumables, and workflow solutions. The company is specialized in high-quality prints such as labels, magazines, packaging, and photos. Operating in a typical B2B environment, HP Indigo relies on a dedicated sales team, leveraging touchpoints like tradeshows and product demos. Its clients purchase large equipment on average once every seven years, however, HP Indigo also provides additional items, such as ink which are purchased more frequently.

Although sponsorship deals are less common in enterprise businesses, HP Indigo has had one ongoing for over 10 years. The sponsorship initiative is designed to encourage positive word of mouth and positive sentiment in the user community and within the company.

“We got to a point when there was a limited quantitative understanding of how and how much this sponsorship contributed to the business,” says Cesare Zavalloni, Head of Global Marketing for HP Industrial Printing. Despite positive word of mouth and good feedback from stakeholders, the company lacked clear, quantitative indicators to make decisions on renewal and future investment.


The team at Foresight Strategy worked with HP Indigo to determine the sponsorship’s ROI and help plan future investments.

The starting points were CRM databases containing leads, opportunities, and conversion rates. Foresight designed an attribution model to weight the importance of different touchpoints in the sales funnel, measuring the contribution of the sponsorship’s touchpoints to the overall outcome. The aim was to answer questions such as: when there’s a lead that has an interaction with the sponsorship, what’s the conversion rate? And how does it compare with other marketing touchpoints?

“The modelling that we do is always as good as the data behind it,” says Mick Hedberg Principal at Foresight Strategy. For this reason, Foresight conducted an extensive data diagnostic and cleaning process before modelling. With a clean dataset, they ran an experiment removing all the sponsorship touchpoints to observe what would happen if leads were re-routed through other touchpoints, testing how win rates would be impacted.

Foresight and HP wanted to understand how direct and indirect impact worked together to drive the business, so it was important to also analyze the indirect impact of the sponsorship on reputation and brand health through NPS. The final result was weighted to account for ‘lifetime value’, also considering the consumables and services offered by selling a printer.

The results highlighted a high ROI, but Foresight wanted to further consolidate these findings and applied the same model to several other marketing initiatives, tracked in the same dataset. This determined that the sponsorship delivered above average return on marketing investment.


The model was built at a regional level, allowing for more actionable findings, pinpointing regions with stronger performance, and finding key learnings to carry across weaker regions to scale sponsorships.

The data also revealed a clear story about sponsorship impact on new business vs returning business, “we found that there were no other top programs that contributed to new business as much as the sponsorship did” says Mick. This learning helped ensure that the sponsorship was properly leveraged by the sales team when working with new leads.

This exercise provided the evidence required to make informed decisions to renew the sponsorship and plan investment levels. The clear ‘proof points’ that came as a result of the study helped HP to refine objectives and create clear KPIs for asset performance.