Dell (Sort of) Infiltrates HP Partner Event
Forget viral marketing. It’s time for some guerrilla marketing at Dell. Sure, the company’s Direct2Dell and IdeaStorm Web sites generate considerable online chatter. But Dell’s feet on the street are also making noise. A case in point: Dell rolled out a “Partners Wanted” advertising campaign at HP’s big partner conference in Las Vegas last week. Now, Dell Chief Marketing Officer Mark Jarvis (pictured) is joining the fun.
Like so many other high-tech execs theses days, Jarvis writes for Dell’s corporate blog. And now he’s recapping last week’s HP event.
In a classic tongue-in-cheek blog entry, Jarvis writes:
“Only the highly efficient and professional Caesar’s Palace security staff prevented our team from reaching all 1,100 HP partners in attendance.”
When Jarvis joined Dell in April 2007, The VAR guy told readers that he would transform Dell’s marketing efforts. Nearly a year later, Dell’s messaging is getting sharper. (Though the company’s financials continue to disappoint.)
At a time when so many corporate blogs are dry and distilled, Jarvis has some fun as he strives to position Dell’s partner program. Plus, he reveals that Dell thinks it connected with roughly 800 HP partners at last week’s event.
But will this Dell effort convince HP partners to give Dell a look? Actually, the point may be moot. Instead of winning over HP partners, Dell needs to win over small business owners and enterprise CIOs. Once Dell convinces customers that its products are of high quality, partners won’t hesitate to recommend them more aggressively.
Also, Dell needs to convince managed service providers (MSPs) that a friendly partner strategy awaits them. Some MSPs expressed concern that Dell’s buyouts of Silverback Technologies, MessageOne and Everdream would lead to channel conflict. The VAR Guy is betting Dell gets its partner strategy right. Because without partners recommending, selling and support Dell’s solutions, the company won’t regain momentum on Wall Street.