Dell Consumer Group Explores Segmented Marketing

By Richard H. Levey, Chief Marketer.com, Dec. 3rd, 2010

Dell will, of course, sell a computer to any interested prospect. But “You Can Tell It’s Dell”, a current campaign from the company’s Consumer and Small and Medium Business unit, is moving the focus away from mass marketing in favor of targeting four specific segments.

Each of the four groups – families with kids, mobile professionals, gamers and Gen-Y consumers – is being targeted with ads designed to appeal to it, and which additionally move away from price-focused, transactional advertising, according to Paul-Henri Ferrand, the CMO of Dell’s consumer and small and medium business unit.

Ferrand has his work cut out for him: The consumer business represents more than 19% of Dell’s overall revenue, and is the fastest-growing business unit within the company.

The creative design behind each segments’ ads reflects a variety of psychographic information: The quest for self-expression and connectivity among Gen Y-ers; the need for value and enhanced productivity among families with kids (where mothers tend to make most of the purchase decisions); gamers’ desire to own high-performance equipment; and the freedom offered by mobile devices to those in the workforce.

“At the heart of our efforts is the realization that no two consumers are the same,” Ferrand wrote in an e-mail. “Ultimately, it’s about delivering a positive customer experience and encouraging emotional connection to our brand rather than winning our customers over solely on price.”

The campaign launched in late October in the U.S., and since then has been put into play in Brazil, the U.K., Germany and China. Japanese, Australian, Indian, French and Canadian will also see variations of the ads, which will be tailored to each market. The integrated efforts will appear in a variety of channels, including digital media, out of home, television and print.

“We have a clear strategy of where we want to go, and we’re aligning efforts to ensure that this isn’t just a U.S.-centric transformation,” Ferrand wrote.

“We have to focus on closing perception gaps in terms of our product differentiation, reliability, best services and support that will resonate with our customers,” Ferrand continued. “’You Can Tell It’s Dell’ was designed to connect with customers on an emotional level built on the fact that it is an experience designed [for them].”