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P Krishnakumar

Executive Director – Marketing | 14 May 2012

Using the power of the internet to deliver products and services and connecting with customers in the most direct way possible is a key part of Dell’s heritage. Using social or digital media at Dell is rooted in listening and crafting an engagement with customers first and foremost. Social brings new dynamics to continue to grow the intersection between business value and customer value, to create a connect between Dell and its valued customers.

P Krishnakumar, also known as KK, is Executive Director, Marketing for Dell India. His previous roles during his five years at Dell include Executive Director, Marketing for the Consumer, Small and Medium business segments and APJ, SMB Product and Solutions Director for Commercial Business. Krishnakumar has over 18 years of experience in the IT and consumer industry and has served in various sales and marketing positions, beginning his career with Wipro in its consumer division and spending four years with Pepsico in its sales organisation. Prior to Dell, Krishnakumar was Country Manager, Consumer Desktops in the personal solutions group of HP India.

“Our products are our heroes,” says Krishnakumar in conversation with Priyanka Mehra as he talks about Dell’s focus on empowering consumers with the ‘power to do more’ and treating them as the best brand ambassadors

Q. Though Dell was a brand well known in the overseas market, it had to establish itself in India. Today, it has become a trusted brand. Please share with us some key marketing insights of the brand-building journey.

Globally, Dell has undertaken a significant transformation – to become an end-to-end IT solutions player by leveraging its leadership position in the hardware business. One of the most important things for Dell is customer-centricity – listening to what customers are saying. Dell has a deep, unique customer insight, which is the result of over two billion customer interactions each year. It has an unwavering focus on providing customers the tools and capabilities they need to succeed, the ‘The power to do more’.

We have followed the same customer-centric focus in India delivering enhanced consumer experience, designing SMB-catered products and services for the large enterprise.

Q. What are the challenges faced by the brand?

Over the last few years, Dell has been focused on three strategic areas of change in an effort to ensure that the brand remains relevant to customers, employees and stakeholders long into the future:

Ensuring that the world sees one, consistent Dell brand Putting customers and their ‘outcome’ from technology at the core of the Dell promise Leveraging Dell’s unique differences Today, Dell is at an inflection point that is being driven by a convergence of macro-economic, business and technology trends that we call the Virtual Era. In the Virtual Era, consumerisation is fundamentally altering how people use technology at work and at home and how social/ digital marketing is blurring and redefining lines of personal, social and work behaviour. Virtualisation and cloud computing are redefining the economics of enterprise computing and the demand for secure anytime/anywhere access to data is changing how we treat our information. Dell’s core strategy is to help its customers capitalise on the Virtual Era by offering end-to-end solutions that provide them with the power to do more.

Q. Dell is a brand well known for service as its USP, with competitors such as Lenovo and Sony Vaio aggressive in the marketing space and using Bollywood stars as brand ambassadors. What are your marketing plans?

We at Dell believe that our products are our heroes. It is with this insight that we launched one of our most powerful brand campaigns ever – Take your own path. We made our customers our ambassadors to showcase the way they used technology to scale their business. We believe that the emotional connect with our customers is established by staying true to our solutions promise.

Q. How are you using digital media to build your brand and connect with the youth?

Using the power of the internet to deliver products and services and connecting with customers in the most direct way possible is a key part of Dell’s heritage. Using social or digital media at Dell is rooted in listening and crafting an engagement with customers first and foremost. Social brings new dynamics to continue to grow the intersection between business value and customer value, to create a connect between Dell and its valued customers. It is a tool that has been leveraged across the fabric of the company employing different functions, uses and values; from impacting the course of product development to sales and marketing communications, all in order to understand the customer and be able to deliver customer service and value to them.

Dell has been actively engaged in embracing social media since 2006. We do this by leveraging platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, our Direct2Dell blog, our product ratings and reviews written by customers and embedded within the purchase experience across www.dell.com, and our Social Media Listening Programme where we directly correspond with individuals who may be reaching out for help or offering advice. There is a human element that social media brings to conversations, which makes the relationship between customer and the company stronger. It is a culture, based right from the beginning on an unwavering drive to provide practical solutions that solve real problems, a promise fulfilled by listening and applying our team’s knowledge, creativity and winning spirit to develop innovative solutions that help customers succeed. We rely on millions of daily interactions with customers around the world to develop deep, insightful relationships that lead to innovative technology, rewarding customer experiences and superior long-term value.

Q. How does Dell as a brand position itself?

Our purpose is to enable people to grow and thrive using technology. At Dell, we believe that we’re in the business of productivity and hence we build technology that will equip people with the ‘Power to do more’. The last few years have seen Dell undergo a serious transformation, from a pure hardware company to a technology solutions provider. From a customer point of view, we’re now able to provide end-to-end technology solutions and that is how we’re positioning ourselves.

Q. What is the one tip you have for upcoming marketing managers?

It is imperative that you listen to your customers. There is no better way to get customer insights than talking and listening. This will help a marketer understand customer pain points and help better position the company’s products and solutions.

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