Dell | Take IT Easy
Win the Hearts of the IT Administrators to win the Contracts from the IT Decision-Makers.
We needed to get Dell’s corporate IT solutions on the consideration list for Germany’s IT Decision Makers, with specific objective of obtaining 12,000 leads with this hard-to-convince B2B audience. However, to do so, we needed to overcome long-held prejudices that Dell was just a bunch of Americans who sold value laptops.
Insights – Dell wasn’t trusted in Germany. It needed to form a better, special relationship with it decision makers
For many consumers, Dell is simply a maker of great value laptops and desktop computers.
However, half its business revenue comes from providing IT infrastructure products such as servers and related expertise to corporate IT departments.
But those IT Decision Makers (ITDMs) do not behave like consumers:
- Their decision-making process is much, much longer.
- Brands have to work extra hard to earn their trust. After all, this isn’t just their money, it’s the company’s cash, and bad decisions cost jobs.
The bottom line is that the key budget holder is highly risk averse, brand loyal and reluctant to change.
Our research indicated that Dell was not seen as relevant or trusted, particularly among the country’s key medium-sized businesses.
The brand wasn’t even on the consideration list for the vast majority of ITDMs, lagging behind HP and IBM. Consideration levels were stuck at 27%, just above half the level of its key competitors, which both scored 52%.
The main problem was that Dell hadn’t ever spoken to this audience.
The lack of dialogue had allowed prejudice to grow and Dell was widely seen as an American company that did not understand the German market.
We needed to get Dell talking to Germany’s IT geeks. Due to the long decision-making process, we didn’t expect our campaign to convert to sales immediately but without that conversation, Dell wouldn’t even be considered.
Strategy – Win the hearts of the IT administrators to win the contracts from the it decision-makers
We spent hours talking and listening to IT Decision Makers and discovered that they weren’t actually our key target market!
Our startling insight was that most ITDMs don’t actually know that much about IT. IT is just one more thing to buy, alongside company cars and managing the facilities.
We discovered that ITDMs relied on an informal network of colleagues to advise them. The critical link in the chain was Dell’s reputation among IT Administrators, the savvy people who maintain IT infrastructure every day.
Understanding IT Administrators meant entering a slightly odd world of error messages, tricky software updates, but most of all, the hideous challenge of dealing with people who don’t work in IT.
If IT Administrators were to relate to Dell, we had to embrace the Administrators’ view of the world and realize that they were all too often surrounded, exasperated and frustrated by computer illiterates.
Demonstrating that we understood their pain would enable us to build a better relationship and start to put Dell on their decision journey.
To make Dell part of their daily world, we would create somewhere for them to let off steam. Our message was “Life was Tough Enough, Take IT easy”.
We’d let them talk to other IT Administrators in a way that only fellow IT geeks would understand.
Rather than talk to them about servers or back end infrastructure, we’d entertain them instead. We’d make them laugh (mostly at all the people who knew nothing about IT… their colleagues) and make it easy for them to share their stories.
Dell would be the heartbeat of a new community where IT Administrators could tell each other how they felt about the rest of the office.
Execution – You know how much you like to moan about the IT department? That’s exactly how much they like to moan about you. So we let them!
We created a 16-webisode sitcom, telling the day-to-day stories and struggles that only our target could truly understand.
We promoted the sitcom via Germany’s biggest IT websites as well as via tightly targeted Facebook video ads and blogger outreach.
All our messages were designed to drive our target to Dell’s new Tumblr page where IT Administrators could create memes and contribute their stories of the “Dumbest Assumable User” in their companies, and use our bespoke DAU generator to turn their stories into gifs that could be shared.
Integrated with Facebook and Twitter, the highly visual site was a magnet for the funniest stories that IT Administrators could provide, ranging from users that couldn’t type their password in to those who didn’t know that home WiFi wouldn’t work outside the home (duh!).
We offered merchandise such as mugs and buzzers featuring the worst DAU stories to IT Administrators who gave us their contact details in return – allowing us to generate meaningful leads.
Finally we linked our Tumblr site to Dell’s business website where we ran interviews with IT Administrators talking about the challenges they faced in their daily lives.
We didn’t totally forget IT Decision Makers, and let them peek behind the IT door via carefully targeted print and outdoor designed to reach them on business trips. QR codes encouraged them to connect with our content.
Our unorthodox sitcom approach created a 213,000-strong community and secured thousands of targeted leads
In just four months we grew a community of more than 213,000 IT people, with 20% of them returning regularly.
The sitcom was a massive success with more than 1.5m video views, half of them earned. Content from rival brands such as HP have earned just a few hundred views.
The first episode was the most successful Facebook post in the whole IT category ever. In one week we generated more than 120,000 organic views, 3,000 shares and more than 1,000 comments.
More than 650 DAU-experiences and over 220 memes have been created, while earned media was valued at 32% of the total budget. In fact, we exceeded regular buzz about Dell B2B by 1,288%, and 76% comments are positive compared to an industry benchmark of just 10%.
Our merchandise became a must-have for IT Administrators, generating more than 15,000 qualified business leads, saving the client more than 50% on the normal cost per lead and beating our target by 25%.
We put Dell back into the IT conversation and made it a real contender the next time our audience considers a new hardware purchase.