Online Marketing of Dell
Currently Dell Computer Corporation is the only major PC manufacturer that does not sell its products at brick and mortar location.. Dell’s online sales account for approximately $12.5 billion in net revenue per year or 50% of Dell’s total net revenue, with the balance coming from direct sales to large end-user customer accounts. While the company has shown rapid sales growth since its founding with sales increasing significantly over the past few years, a more personal relationship may be required to attract the consumers overlooked by this marketing strategy. Dell’s sales efforts are weighted towards business and institutional customers who receive in-person attention when making large enough orders. The needs of these business customers, however, are far different from the less sophisticated needs of home personal computer users. Buyers relatively unfamiliar with computers often prefer the personal sales attention that comes with in-store demonstrations and explanations. By its failure to respond to the perceived needs of this customer base, Dell has permitted other manufacturers to capture a significant share of the personal computer market. To remedy this shortcoming, Dell should develop a separate marketing plan for home computer users.
Dell’s competitors such as Hewlett Packard and Compaq have recently gained large shares of the personal computer market through aggressive marketing plans that include product availability at mass merchandizing outlets, including Staples, Best Buy, and even Wal-Mart. These outlets provide a purchaser-friendly location that caters to the needs of the first time buyer and others who are not familiar with computer technology by providing contact with a salesperson that can immediately answer questions and make recommendations. In contrast, Dell’s marketing plan to individual consumers through the Internet requires that they already have access to a computer and the technical competence to find and order a product online. Through a shift in its strategic marketing plan to embrace traditional sales and marketing techniques, Dell can reach more individual consumers and increase sales to first time buyers.