DELL, success story or flop?


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“DELL makes millions on Twitter” how cool is that. OK sounds cool and as a social media guy I can take a success story any time. But this one? Not so sure.

What is it what DELL does? They give out promo codes that are only available in Twitter to get a discount for your next DELL. Is that a “social media marketing campaign” – it looks like but it has nothing to do with social media. It is one of those very unfortunate stories. It has nothing to do with social. It has nothing to do with conversation, it has nothing to do with dialog between business and their customers, there is no collaboration or sharing – all there is is a stupid discount campaign that was moved from traditional media to social media.

Why is it bad? Because you don’t need social media to do that, you can give out discount coupons on gas stations, on toilets, in news papers – anywhere. But what is even worst: If a customer wants to leverage the offer, they have to go to Twitter, find out where to get the key, then buy the computer. Why would you do that to your customer? Are we all insane now and accept this as a pleasant customer experience? And here is the worst of all: All it did was it took profitability away from DELL, because they had to give a discount to incent a customer to go through a maze to finally buy the product.

And just a short comment on math. $3 Million for a $30 Billion company is 0.001%. $3 Million from 40 Million population is also nothing. It’ s like Dell Spain would do $3Million in revenue. So I vote for a tripple flop:
1) Flop because financially just not successfull
2) Flop because it has nothing to do with “social”
3) Flop because Dell marketing thinks customers are like rats you can send through a maze

Hey Michael (Dell) come on, you know that 60-80% of purchase decisions are based on recommendations. You built this great company and that model. So instead of blowing your profitability with those idiotic campaigns, invest in the listening process and act on your customers suggestions to build an even better product so that your customers recommend you more. THAT is the way to get to recommendations in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Youtube and all the other social media places. OK? Next time – right 😉


Republished with author's permission from original post.

Axel Schultze
CEO of Society3. Our S3 Buzz technology is empowering business teams to create buzz campaigns and increase mentions and reach. S3 Buzz provides specific solutions for event buzz, products and brand buzz, partner buzz and talent acquisition buzz campaigns. We helped creating campaigns with up to 100 Million in reach. Silicon Valley entrepreneur, published author, frequent speaker, and winner of the 2008 SF Entrepreneur award. Former CEO of BlueRoads, Infinigate, Computer2000.


  1. Good post – and a very good point that the significance of Dell’s revenue generation through Twitter seems to be overplayed, though I guess it may be a case of acorns and oaks here. Not sure I feel strongly about Dell using the Twitter channel as a means to make offers though. Seems to be a sensible way to encourage people to elect to follow them.


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