Current Integrated Marketing Communication of Dell Inc
Describe about the Integrated Marketing Communication Audit of Dell Inc.
Integrated Marketing Communication Audit means to identify and measure whether there are no message inconsistencies and strategic gaps in an organizational marketing program implemented to communicate with the customers (Kitchen, P, Pelsmacker, P, 2004). In the present business world market emphasis on customer relation is very essential to retain the existing customers and to attract new customers (Govani, N, 2003). In this report of Dell Inc. we have discussed about the marketing communication strategy used by the company and also the areas where certain improvement is required. A detailed description of the recommendations, implementation plan and; evaluation and control is explained in this report.
Dell Inc. is one of the global leaders in Personal Computers (PCs) (Thompson, 2006). The company is engaged in offering a full line of notebook PCs and desktops that are designed to fulfil the requirements of their customers. They also deal in network servers, workstation, Ethernet switches and storage systems. Dell Inc. sells handheld computers and is engaged in the marketing of third party peripherals and software. The mission of the company is to supply high quality personal computers to home and business computers users with the help of direct marketing strategy. The strategy of Dell Inc. consists of three elements in pursuit of the mission of the company. These elements includes – Minimize inventory, obtain facts and information from the customers and to fulfil their wishes and do not sell their products indirectly.
Dell Inc. has a global objective to generate around 50 % of its sales in all the regions where the company is conducting its business activities on line over the internet. It is becoming a little difficult to achieve this objective. The region that cannot fulfil this objective is Mainland China. Due to this reason, the objective of the company to make online generated sales was achieved only around 15% by the year 2004. After such negative result Dell started to put more focus on this issue.
The attainment of market share at the top most rank in the global market is another important objective of Dell Inc. There is no doubt that the company is a global market leader still it is not being able to lead in all its regional markets. Dell Inc. is functioning effectively in the form of a virtual corporation. Focus and specialization is the main benefit that Dell could enjoy because of such functioning. Due to an increase in the global competitiveness it becomes very important to improve customer satisfaction (CTI Reviews, 2016). The benefit of customer satisfaction is enjoyed by this company by decreasing the delivery time and at the same time increasing the quality. In this report the details regarding how Dell Inc. has integrated its marketing communication plans and its result is clearly mentioned.
Is Direct Marketing Suitable for Dell Inc.?
In Dell Inc. the integrated marketing communication strategy are complex because it has been designed keeping in view the conditions in developed economies. These may not be relevant in present situation therefore it becomes very difficult for Dell to cope up with the changing environment and needs of the customers. These strategies of Dell may not be accurate and relevant in some developing markets as they are in the developed markets and economies. The main IMC strategy of Dell is to make use of direct marketing, media advertising and internet marketing and to maintain public relations. The mix of these applications is proved to be the best for the company to make people aware about its products and uses. This IMC channel has the capacity to influence to a great extent by opting for more of traditional considerations related to market segmentation that can define the targeted market for specific products that company wants to promote and increase its sales (Belch, E and Belch, A, 2003). Dell is currently driving its focus on adopting direct marketing approach in the PC market. (Store.directmarketingturkiye.com, 2016). This will help in eliminating various intermediate elements related to channels of marketing that allows Dell to make sales directly to the ultimate users. Therefore, this approach was not appropriate due to its increased cost. Its marketing strategy is totally based on the concept of build to order that can help in lowering the inventories, lowering its costs and therefore making improvements in the profitability of the company. This will simultaneously boost the level of satisfaction among its potential customers (Roberts, M and Berger, P, 1999).
Direct Marketing is an interactive system of marketing (CTI Reviews, 2016). That makes use of various multiple media to enhance measurable transactions and responses (Linton, I, 2016). This type of marketing at Dell to implement customer strategy focuses on targeted email advertising, direct response advertising and direct mail advertising through newspaper promotions. Direct marketing at Dell has offered more advantage to the company as compared to the traditional form of marketing methods (Dudovskiy, J, 2015).
Some of the advantages enjoyed by Dell because of adoption of direct marketing are as follows:
Response driven: it includes a device that allows making response to a company’s direct form of communication.
Measurability: Quantitative measurement techniques can be applied to such response rates through various media plans, offers, creative executions that can be modified and tested over a period of time.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Direct Marketing at Dell Inc.
Precision Targeting: Direct marketing is that type of targeted medium that keeps focus on communicating to the targets that were preselected. The selective distribution of communication will bring out more efficient allocations that are a part of relatively scarce resources.
Competitive Exclusivity and invisibility: It is a fact that direct mail has less competition as compared to other form of communication. Clutter exists in mailbox, which is less than hundreds as compared to other advertisements that individual are exposed on a regular basis. It becomes difficult for the competitors to control the tactics in a timely manner due to the efficiency of the company to make control on who receives a communication.
The disadvantages of direct marketing are as follows:
Cost per Contact: it will cost a higher charge to reach an individual in the process of direct marketing as compared to the traditional advertising methods.
Developing brand image: keep the focus on generation of response, the process of direct marketing has not been able to create an image generating medium. As we know that generation of image is necessary in the personal computer market because the products move towards commodity and its status.
Junk mail Perceptions: In the process of direct marketing, the communications are not requested by recipients. Unless the offers are targeted in an appropriate way, they are generally perceived to be irritating as a junk mail. Poor production quality and ineffective targeting can also be responsible for causing irritation.
The advertiser and the agency of Dell Inc have many challenges in an individual basis related to the culture and tradition of the customers. Therefore, both theses parties should collectively find out ways to resolve these organizational issues. They must face the obstacles together by redefining the shared ownership in the decision making process of the organization related to the integrated marketing communication plans. Each must be willing to integrate the new tools and policies that are capable to provide qualified results in those areas where traditional marketing system is not being followed, that can be judged and managed in an effective way. Dell should always be ready to adopt new ideas to bring customer satisfaction. At this stage which is very delicate to accept adoption of innovative ideas, the data quality is of significant importance. This is mainly because at this critical stage scrutiny will be at the highest level (Schultz, D, Patti, C, Kitchen, P, 2013). In some cases the outcomes were not really successful and require proper communication plans, education and testing, team work in order to overcome these obstacles emerging in the organization.
Does Dell Inc. require any organizational change?
IMC is that concept of marketing communication that recognizes the value and importance of comprehensive plan that helps in evaluating the roles of various communication strategies that are disciplined, consistent, clear and bringing maximum communication impact (Swain, 2004). Within the PC industry, Dell Inc. should take into account the status of the company that are unique in order to bring development of an IMC plan in the organization. As it is already mentioned above that Dell is a virtual company, it is not that typical company that is totally engaged in the manufacturing process. The more focus is put on made-to-order goods within the framework to improve customer strategy. The company is not involved in the manufacturing of PCs that it sells. Whereas the company makes purchases of such components for the vendor supplying quality products and assembles them to provide those products to the customers in the form of made-to-order PCs (Warkentin, M, Bapna, R and Sugumaran, V, 2000). The main requirement for improvement is to customize the direct marketing strategy of the company. When a new plan will be developed it must be able to define the new strategy of marketing adopted by the company.
Mass customization should be the main strategy in being able to compete rationally in the market and implementing marketing theory of the company (Rautenstrauch, C, Eggebert, R and Turowski, K, 2012). Mass customization here means to practice of mobilizing innovations technologies in communications and production process, designed to fulfil the demand of the targeted market segment (Hilton, 2008).The new designed concept of Dell Inc. is that it will be following the made-to-order strategy strongly to reduce loopholes available in the previous marketing plans. Mass customization will provide economies of scale in the organization (Westbrook and Williamson, 1993). Mass production is that type of production that produces standard products in bulk maintaining the stability in production process there was an urgent need to implement new mass customized concept so that the company can maintain its position in the global market. The company can embrace globalization by applying this new concept and can become a leader in the globe for PC market.
We all know that the high level delivery of customer satisfaction is actually very difficult for any organization, as the customer behaviour is such that they can never be satisfied their demands and needs keeps on growing day by day (Egan, J, 2014). To tackle this problem Dell Inc. should integrate marketing and communication plans in a proper and most efficient ways.
The strategic role of various communication media can be evaluated by an integrated marketing communication plan (IMC) (Shanahan, K, 2014). These various types of media are media advertising, interactive or internet marketing, public relations, media advertising, personal selling, etc (Kliatchko, J, 2005). Dell is successful in integrating marketing communication plan with the help of direct marketing strategy. Therefore, due to such an achievement the company will be continuing to follow direct marketing process making it as an important element of the communication strategy. Dell’s internet marketing will fulfil the following functions and roles of the company.
- Customer communication medium
- Customer service
- Customer technical support
- Direct product customers sales
In order to meet the sales objectives, Dell Inc. should formalize a monitoring system that can collect information and facts for the evaluation of IMC plan. Proper evaluation and control system will enable the company to develop plans in a perfect manner according to the nature and objectives of the company. Reports should be evaluated on a monthly basis that will facilitate better comparison and performance while determining the performance of the company. Quarterly control reviews are also important to bring necessary modifications in the implementation of the newly customized mass plan.
From the above discussion, we can say that Dell Inc. is a global leader in personal computers. The main marketing strategy of the company is to follow direct marketing while making communication with the customers to find out what are their needs and demands. Direct marketing is the main reason behind the company’s success. Now due to change in the needs and wants, the company should strongly follow the concept of mass customization to bring changes and to integrate various communication media. The concept of mass customization has brought positive changes in the company and that can help Dell Inc to achieve their desired goals by satisfying the wants of customers even at the regional areas. It is true that the future of marketing communication desires for greater measurement and accountability. To achieve these objectives of the company, there must be a clear understanding about how to plan and to apply the plan. The challenge of advertisers and agency does not stop here; they still have to find ways to manage the rapid and large delivery of various data.
Integrated marketing communication is that approach of managing and planning communication which can help in reducing marketing costs. Due to this concept, in an integrated campaign, various tools can feature the same treatment in a creative manner. IMC brings creative consistency in the activities of the organization, and this can further help in cost saving. All the necessary details are being forwarded to the potential consumers and business customers so that they are updated with the new technologies and advancements introduced in the products of the company. This approach can help in creating customer satisfaction and build customer loyalty by retaining them with the company by satisfying all their desires.
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