Dell turns focus to small businesses in latest effort

NEW YORK: Dell Inc. has launched a global campaign to reach the niche small business market, a lucrative market for the Austin-based PC-maker.

NEW YORK: Dell Inc. has launched a global campaign to reach the niche small business market, a lucrative market for the Austin-based PC-maker.

The campaign, called "We Believe," was launched July 10 with a global Web cast from founder and CEO Michael Dell , followed by media briefings and supported by an advertising push, said Jennifer Davis, manager of small business communications at Dell. Communications surrounding the new campaign was led internally, with assistance from OutCast Communications and GCI Group.

This week, the company unveiled a new line of desktops and notebooks designed specifically for small businesses. The new Vostro PCs includes easier network connectivity and data storage, as well as simplified maintenance and repair tasks to make up for the lack of IT staff at many small businesses.

"Before Vostro, small businesses - especially those with one to 25 employees, no dedicated IT person, maybe a simple network in place - were really having to choose between a consumer product or a corporate product," she explained.

The small business product line is based on consumer feedback, she said.  The company also partnered with the International Council for Small Business and conducted a 12-country survey to identify the "pain points" for small businesses and how they could be addressed, she said.

"Dell's had a dedicated department focused on small business for more than 10 years, and we have sales and support people dedicated exclusively to small business, but we didn't have a product line and brand just for the very small business," she added.

The key themes of the press coverage were Dell's niche in the small business market, the enhanced IT services and the elimination of the trial software, Davis noted. She added these were the messages the company wanted covered in the press. 

"I think the executives that were involved in the events did a very good job of zeroing-in on what it was we wanted to convey," she added.

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