Dell, a US-based computer company that sells desktop computers and laptops, is running an online banner ad campaign across major portals and search marketing to drive traffic to a microsite called Takeyourownpath.com.
The site is targeted at entrepreneurs and small and medium size businesses (SMBs) and is a part of Dell’s first brand-building campaign in India. The campaign comprises online, print and out-of-home media.
Though Dell has always used the online medium to push its sales or sell its products directly to consumers, this website is not intended for any such purpose. In fact, it does not even display Dell products.
Instead, it carries the real-life success stories of five Dell consumers who have established themselves as entrepreneurs. It shares the challenges they faced and how Dell helped them to evolve and grow in their industry.
The entrepreneurs whose success stories are chronicled on the website are P Rajendran, cofounder and chief operating officer of NIIT; Raman Roy, who founded Spectramind and now runs Quattro, a BPO company; VK Prakash, a filmmaker and the founder of Trends AdFilm Makers; Prasad Bidappa, a fashion consultant; and Sanjan Ratnam, a bridal fashion designer.
The website indicates clearly that there has been a change in Dell’s sales strategy in India. Speaking to afaqs!, Krishna Kumar, director, marketing, Dell India, reveals, “A year ago, Dell changed its sales strategy worldwide. It decided to focus more on emerging countries and to target entrepreneurs and SMBs as its prospective customers, in addition to large business organisations.”
He adds, “There are 7.5 million entrepreneurs and SMBs in India and they form the backbone of the Indian economy. Out of these, 3.9 million entrepreneurs are information technology addressable or our prospective customers. Their planning to purchase cycle is short as compared to that of large business organisations.”
Kumar says, “Our research indicated that every entrepreneur or SMB has great aspirations and they are always thinking of competing and becoming the best in the world. Takeyourownpath.com talks about real-life heroes who started small on their own and grew over a period of time and how Dell, as a technology provider, helped them to scale up their businesses. We want to convey that Dell has products and solutions which can help SMBs to grow.”
He adds, “We opted for real-life heroes, instead of using celebrity endorsements, because we wanted to make our campaign more credible. And we think that the best way of conveying the benefits of using Dell computers or laptops or how Dell technology can help you grow is by narrating real-life success stories.”
The company claims that the entrepreneurs used in the banner ads and website are actual Dell consumers. Kumar says, “We went through our list of customers and shortlisted different people from different segments and approached them for the campaign.”
Apart from the success stories, the website also provides tools that will help entrepreneurs to run or set up their business. Information on ways to write a business plan, calculate return on investment, find customers and motivate employees is also available on the site.
Dell India was not ready to share the traffic and budget details of the campaign, but it indicated that it was spending a large chunk of its advertising budget on online communications.
The online campaign was conceptualised by Dell and Enfatico, a WPP agency created specially for Dell Worldwide. Interactive Avenues helped Dell in the execution of the campaign in India.