Dell’s Hit (And Miss) In Small Business
When Dell launched its own small business blog earlier this week, the PC giant had a golden opportunity to capture the attention of channel partners. Instead, Dell’s initial blog posts marketed directly to small business owners and their employees — and ignored the partner community. That was foolish. But Dell also made a very smart move.
Indeed, Dell continues to eliminate craplets — annoying, free trial software — from its small business systems. In a video, Vostro team member David Ruth reaffirms that Dell has eliminated trialware across its Vostro desktops and laptops: “We’re the only commercial PC company committed to offering no trialware on our small business systems,” said Ruth in this video.
Translation: Dell is listening to customers through its IdeaStorm web site, and acting on their feedback. Thousands of customers have told Dell to stop offering so-called “craplets” on PCs. And at least in the small business market, Dell continues to honor that request on Vostro.
Nice job listening to customers, Dell. Now, start listening to small business partners, and start promoting them on your blogs.
Here’s What’s Missing
The Dell Small Business Blog — at least initially — ignores the partner community. Yes, the blog could evolve to include thoughts and messaging from partners. But clearly, the partner concept still isn’t part of Dell’s DNA. Otherwise, partner messaging and perspectives would have been on the small business blog from Day One.
Dell needs to start acting more like partner-savvy tech companies. For instance, whenever Microsoft or Cisco Systems launch small business-oriented content, both companies think of their core partners. In Microsoft’s case, the company promotes its ISVs (independent software vendors) like crazy. In Cisco’s case, the company works overtime to promote SMB solutions providers.
But in Dell’s case, a quick scan of the Small Business Blog initially reveals no big surprises. There’s a video describing why small businesses are shifting to laptops (did anyone not know about this shift?) and some product-oriented content focused on Dell’s new Vostro laptops.
Dell needs to start promoting people and partners as aggressively as it pushes hardware boxes.