Dell pushes social prowess

Dell's CMO of less than a year, Karen Quintos, presided over an intimate dinner of about 40 Tuesday night at the three starred Per Se at the Time Warner Center in New York.

Dell's CMO of less than a year, Karen Quintos, presided over an intimate dinner of about 40 Tuesday night at the three starred Per Se in New York's Time Warner Center. Quintos was there to introduce the results from a survey it conducted with Forrester Research, which asked 200 US-based marketers at medium and large companies about their social media efforts. She was joined by fellow Dell cohorts Kelly McGinnis, VP of global communications, and Jason Duty, who leads the technology company's social media teams.

Peter Burris, VP and research director of Forrester Research, helped unveil the research during the four-course dinner. Among the findings, a few highlights stood out, including: 80% of marketers monitor customer comments and conversations online; 50% referred to their social media efforts as "serious but not a core function," while another 20% say social is "at the core of our marketing efforts." In addition, 31% improve sales through incentive programs that encourage customers to engage through online channels.

The survey release coincides with Dell's ongoing branding efforts that seek to "rebuild an emotional connection" with consumers and demonstrate its "full suite of services and products" to the IT and business community, according to Quintos. A brief appearance from author and technology and social media evangelist Guy Kawasaki at the dinner seemed to serve to reaffirm Dell's commitment to this new order. He also participated in a Dell panel discussion on the results Wednesday.

Among attendees were journalists from the Financial Times, Portfolio, and GigaOm, as well as Dell partners, including David Sable, global CEO of Y&R, Shane Steele, director of sales and marketing at Twitter, and Paul Bascobert, president of Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Dell's PR firm Axicom organized the event.

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