Reaching Young PC Customers – and Their Parents – Through Celebrities

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Dell Junior Chief Blogger with Jeanette McCurdy and Miranda Cosgrove of iCarlyRecently my daughter, aka “Junior Chief Blogger,” tagged along on a business trip with me. At one point during the event we attended, I noticed she was shaking and I asked if she was cold.

“No, I’m just excited because I’ve never been this close to famous people!” she replied. So, I got her even closer to them for the photo on the right. 

For a just-turned-12-year-old, simply being in the same room with the stars of Disney and Nickelodeon television shows was the birthday present I’ll never be able to top.

But you may be wondering why Dell, which has been transforming our business with the addition of software and services, and a renewed focus on enterprise solutions, would invite Miranda Cosgrove, Jeanette McCurdy, Dove Cameron, Debby Ryan, Lauren Marano and James Maslow, as well as Jason Alexander, Denise Richards, Ashley Greene, Julianne Hough, Amber Riley and Chris Colfer to a private event. (Yes, I did some naming dropping there.)

“Some companies have been getting out of the PC business, saying that PC business was dead. We absolutely believe in the PC business,” Michael Dell recently told attendees of our Dell Solutions Summit in Brussels. “It’s certainly changing, it has new forms – the virtual PC, the tablet – but we’re in this, consolidating, gaining share and growing.”

And, quite often, that PC or tablet is our entry point into discussions with business customers about their broader technology needs. That’s what we mean when we talk about being an end-to-end solution provider.

But do technology decision makers read Celebuzz or JustJared? Do they care if a celebrity they follow on Twitter recommends a certain product?

It’s entirely possible. It’s also even more likely that the “Junior Chief Information Officers” out there carry a lot of weight when it comes to influencing their parents and spending their own discretionary funds. Teenage influence is especially felt by parents during the back-to-school buying season.

A study by one of the networks that is home to some of the celebrities at our recent event showed “parents are asking their kids for their opinions and taking them seriously." And, at our annual analyst conference, Jeff Clarke noted that 70 percent of new Dell customers are first-time PC buyers. To reach the younger segment of those buyers, we want to make sure the celebrities they follow understand the portfolio Dell offers by giving them the chance to go hands-on with the products at a casual, fun event.

“Marketing today is about a balance of establishing an emotional connection and relationship with customers but also using technology and data to best meet their needs and deliver business results,” says Karen Quintos.

So while VIP events help us build relationships with television, movie and Internet stars that our potential customers have an emotional connection with, we will also continue to work on technology that meets the needs of businesses from their end user to their data center.

And as Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group noted, we’re going to do so with an eye on design and “bringing to market some of the most attractive products the company has ever fielded.”

Dell's "Junior Chief Blogger" goofs around with the web comedy team of Smosh.

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