Dell leverages the festive season to reveal the potential of technology

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Dell India has been on a roller coaster ride this year. It has not only increased the number of Dell Exclusive Stores from 50 to 250 within a year but has connected with customers through very customer focused campaigns. It has been able to combine the offline experience and the online campaigns seamlessly to provide value to the customer. With new product launches and innovative festive discounts and schemes, Dell India is doing everything right. Rashi Bisaria spoke to Ritu Gupta, Director, Marketing, Consumer and Small Business, Dell India, to know how the brand has been able to achieve so much, in such a short period of time. Edited Excerpts

What are Dell’s expectations from the festive season this year as compared to last year?
We are very excited with Dell’s growth over the last few quarters. A renewed and robust go-to-market strategy coupled with a steadily expanding retail and channel partner network has been visibly paying off, with Dell achieving No.1 position in the Indian PC Market with a 23.1% share across segments in Q1CY2014 and the No.1 position in the Consumer & Small Business segment with a 20.2% (units) and 25.9% (revenue) share in Q2CY2014. This has resulted from various strategic initiatives like increasing the count of Dell Exclusive Stores from 50 to 250 within a year, sequential customer focused campaigns; like our Back to School and Back to College Programs, as well as delivering innovative solutions for myriad audiences, based on their usage comfort and technology requirements. All of this has led us to seeing consecutive share gain over the last 6 quarters.

This year we are encouraging technology users to leverage the connectivity potential of Dell’s portable tablets and Inspiron notebooks, Dell Venue tablets as well as Dell Inspiron All-in-One desktops.

We have introduced this through our festive season campaign – ‘Stay Connected – Dell Se’; with value adds being given along with Dell’s connecting devices specially during the festive season to ensure that customers are able to celebrate with friends and family, wherever they may be. We wish for customers to recognize that technology is becoming embedded in their everyday life, and that the gift of technology is ideal – whether they bring it into their homes, or gift it to the ones they care about.

Considering the growth trajectory we have moved in over the last few quarters, we are looking forward to customers experiencing the wonders and potential of technology this festive season and are expecting a successful third quarter.

What kind of discounts and offers can consumers expect?
Buying a PC is a big decision for Indian consumers and most of our consumers are keen to recognize the value behind their purchase. That is why we have designed our festive offers to empower our customers and address what we believe our customers most desire which is peace of mind. Towards that customers purchasing our PCs (Inspiron Notebooks & Desktops, XPS & Alienware laptops) between 20th September 2014 till 26th October 2014 can redeem gifts worth up to Rs. 8000/- which includes 2 years additional warranty (including Next Business Day Onsite & 24/7 Phone Support, excluding Accidental Damage) worth Rs.5000.00 and gift vouchers worth Rs. 3000/ – from a choice of brands like Peter England, Allen Solly, Van Heusen, World of Titan or Jabong.com.

Running simultaneously, is the festive offer on our Venue tablet range (Venue 7, Venue 8 & Venue 8 Pro) where customers will receive an exciting festive gift hamper worth Rs.5000/-including a Bluetooth headset and power bank.

How is Dell dividing its marketing spends for the festive season between TV, Print, radio and digital?
The PC market sees a trend in a yearly fashion. While, the first half of the year is more about the back to school and college seasons and is dominated by the print medium, owing to the nature of communication required to showcase product specifications and features, the festive season in the second year is when vendors are more inclined towards taking the TVC route, thereby automatically hiking investment in marketing during this time of the year. The idea is to engage with the customers in a manner that will help them make the right decision for their requirements.

During the festive season, purchase is driven by emotion and the spirit of festivity, and marketing efforts are directed towards helping customers recognize how a brand can play a significant part in celebrations which are of immense importance to the customer.

Has the focus on digital increased from last year?
Digital communication adds a unique dimension to engagement with customers. It adds an element of two way conversations between a brand and its customers. We believe in listening to our customers and understanding their needs and requirements better in order to innovate around them. As a brand, Dell is cognizant of the value that can be garnered from consumer insights aggregated through this method of engagement, and we are now ensuring conversational aspects to all our brand activities by making ourselves available on social media. To create a consistent balance between execution and planning, it is necessary to be receptive to customer response and to consistently use this data as consumer insight in order to reinforce future strategy. It is an unending process of execution, learning and recreating while keeping pace with ever evolving consumer needs.

Specifically for the festive season we have designed a Facebook application based on the theme of staying connected. This app lets the fans create a customized greeting card which includes personalized pictures and text message for their friends and family. This card will include a discount coupon that can be used on purchases.
The entire application is mobile compatible so that we can also understand how many of our users and fans are active on mobile.

Which products is Dell focusing more on this time around?
Dell is promoting its consumer category of connecting devices for customers to stay connected this festive season with its products. In the consumer segment, Dell is focussed on its Inspiron notebooks including the brand new 2-in-1 convertible notebooks for the college goers and young working professionals and Inspiron desktop and All-n-One ranges for young school going students and for family use; as well as the Venue range of tablets for both personal and professional use.

Are there any new launches in the pipeline for this time of the year?
Yes, the new festive campaign advertisements will be showcasing our newly launched Inspiron 2-in-1 7000 series convertible notebooks. These devices offer the versatile experience of switching between full-fledged utility of a notebook and the intuitive touch interface of tablet usage. This gives users the flexibility to choose the form factor they seek depending on the purpose of use – be it work or play.

We are also about to announce the next generation of our Venue 7 & 8 Android tablets with features such as improved all-day usage over Wi-Fi, 3G and Voice enabled versions, latest Intel Processor, Android™ 4.4, KitKat® OS, HD display and premium audio in a thin and light design.

These tablets will break into the category of tablets which we have not entered in the Indian market, putting Dell on the map with mobile retailers and consumers.

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