The Da Vinci Code | Dell’s innovative marketing strategy

News from all over reports that Dell has partnered with marketing behemoth WPP to create a new agency who’s sole client, for now, will be the formerly maligned Dell.

**Disclaimer – iStudio parent company, Omnicom, was in the running for this partnership and is a direct competitor with the WPP group**

In return for WPP creating this new, cross-functional marketing leviathan, code name Da Vinci, Dell will commit a truly monstrous $4.5bn in marketing billings over three years. Wow.

There must have been some champagne popping over at WPP when they heard about that!

From Dell’s POV, this is a great move. Now all their marketing data (direct, email, advertising, promotional, mobile, interactive, experiential, PR, emerging media etc) can be housed in one data treasure trove and, more importantly, will be STANDARDISED.

No more comparing the ROI of one campaign versus another campaign based on the executing agency’s fuzzy reporting metrics. With WPP’s help, Dell will be able to track, to last dollar, cent, yen, rupee, pound and penny , how its marketing has affected sales.

Which means more efficiency, less “account management”, less time spent on inter-agency politiking and hopefully, a renewed focus on the customer.

If Dell can wade through all of this marketing data and somehow tie it in with its Customer Relationship Management systems, it will be able to have something that all organisations dream of. The single view of the customer. The one true truth of what makes up a purchase; not fragmented versions of the truth on customer interactions stored in various different silos around the organization.

If Dell/Da Vinci can get it right, they will be able to tell exactly what my past purchases are, what marketing I’ve been subject to, what articles I *may* have read, ad’s I’ve seen (on and offline) and whether I’m an “influencer”.

So, if you’re Mathew Ingram and you order a Dell, they may, in a perfect world, know that you:

  • live in Canada
  • already have the latitude XYWotsit (basic CRM)
  • have received Y emails (email marketing)
  • received M pieces of mobile marketing
  • live in Canada and will have (likely) seen commercials ABC (advertising creative/planning/buying
  • have a very influential, high-ranking blog AND newspaper column (PR)
  • linked to/commented on/voted on IdeaStorm or Direct2Dell

If you can tie all this together – wow.

Just the fact that you can tell whether an “influencer” is buying from you gives you a huge advantage. Let’s say Mat is processing the order for a top of the line XPS m1330. The system flags his past orders and offers him some discount/product to make his new purchase compatible with his old purchase. THEN, the system flags that he is a journalist/respected blogger – bang, it gives him a discount/upgrade (without telling him).

Then, when he get’s the purchase and the invoice, he sees the discount/upgrade. How much goodwill does that generate? Will Mat blog about it? Would you?

…and if all this is tied in with Facebook’s Beacon/other social networks? Gameover.

Clearly this will take more than hard work, but if it works it’ll be a blueprint for other billion dollar organisations, who dream of truly integrated marketing, to follow.

For more on Dell, check out Dave Fleet‘s write-up of RichardatDELL‘s talk at last night’s Third Tuesday Toronto.

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One Response to The Da Vinci Code | Dell’s innovative marketing strategy

  1. Wow! I’m anticipating for the next word on this big leap from a controversial company. Though I cant help but assume that Dell is betting their bottom dollar in exchange for this new strategy, which I hope isn’t the case because things could still go wrong as far as implementation is concerned. Its also interesting how much discounts are they willing to slash off in return of an excellent publicity – calling to all the influencer out there, Dell has something great to offer!! Ha-ha! This is really interesting, keep me posted w/ this one. Thanks

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