Dell’s journey to listening – IdeaStorm
September 27, 2008 12 Comments
Whenever anyone asks me what my favourite campaign is, I always answer with two: Dell IdeaStorm and Nike+. The reason I love Dell IdeaStorm is that Dell were a brand that was is a really bad position (financially and from an advertising/marketing perspective). Their batteries were blowing up, their customer service was really bad and there was so much negative chatter about them in the blogosphere. Rather than being a defeatest, they started to trial new marketing ideas and got involved with the online community – a community that was losing trust in the brand (see examples below) quickly.
There was so much negative chatter and it was continuing to build momentum, so many other blogging celebrities were getting involved and channeling their negativity towards Dell. I am assuming at this point that Dell knew they had to do something drastic, so they started Direct 2 Dell (see initial screen grab below). A blog that was set up to provide an insight into Dell and some of the problems they were trying to overcome. However, rather than this being a proper blog (two way dialogue) all comments were moderated and edited prior to them appearing live.
This caused even more uproar in the blogging community and Dell had to do something desperate to respond to the situation. Introducing IdeaStorm. One of the best crisis marketing responses. Awesome. IdeaStorm not only invited comments and feedback from consumers, but it was an ideal way to try and contain the negativity. It also provided users the opportunity to share thoughts around product improvements and enhancements. The perfect new product development or market research tool.
Since launching Dell have updated the creative for both Direct2Dell and IdeaStorm, so they feel like they are from the same family.
So the Dell negativity (Dell Hell) started in July 2005 and in just over three years Dell have managed to turn it around. To show Dell’s progression over the past three years, have a look at the following presentation.
What can a client take out of Dell’s learnings? A lot.
Although, for something like this to be implemented and deemed a success there needs to be a fundamental change to the way a company works. Before any company starts a blog or an online research/support centre, the following must be considered:
- Feedback loop – what is the process, internally, that will be implemented to ensure that the customer feedback is not falling on deaf ears and customers are kept updated on progress within the company.
- Customer service (support centre) – when are the majority of comments being made? When are they being responded to? What time period or response time has been agreed within the company? Can the support lines (call centres) be trained to answer some of these questions?
- Moderation – what happens with negative comments? How will they be answered? Will they remain on the site/blog?
- Transparency – how transparent are you willing to be with the audience? What are you prepared to share? Where are the boundaries?
- Owner – this needs to be driven internally by a project owner. A dedicated person within must be driving this and ensuring it is used to its full potential.
- Campaign duration – is this going to be a short-term thing or will there be a company-wide change to ensure listening to the customers is ingrained into the company culture?
- Traffic drivers – how are consumers going to know the site/blog exists? Will it be an online only, integrated or piggy back off the back of another campaign?
- Measurement – how will success be measured? What will be used as benchmarks?
- Optimisation – how will the site/blog be optimised? How often? What is the plan?
- Shared learnings – how will the learnings be shared with the rest of the company?
Overall, this is an awesome marketing campaign and shows Dell is listening to its customers.