Dell readies tablet drive to revive sales

Dell is to place its sponsorship and partnership deals at the centre of its marketing strategy for the Windows 8 tablet as the company looks to the forthcoming hardware release to reverse its flagging fortunes.

Dell

The computer maker hopes that its range of partnerships in the music, film, fashion and gaming space will help it acquire new customers at a time when its traditional laptop and PC sales are at risk from competitors selling cheaper entry level products.

Dell’s revenue dropped 4% to $14.4bn in the three months to 4 May, with its consumer division reporting a 12% decline in the period. Founder Michael Dell has said to analysts he expects sales to pick up once Microsoft releases Windows 8 software later this year.

Charlie Tebbs, Dell’s EMEA executive director of marketing told Marketing Week that while the exact details of the communications strategy for the forthcoming Windows 8 tablet have yet to be decided on, the device is likely to be aimed at the “prosumer”.

Dell defines this audience as the type of people who use a single mobile device for both their business and entertainment needs.

Tebbs said historically it would be fair for observers to say that Dell had “held back” with its marketing, preferring traditional media and direct targeting, but now the company takes on much more of a “direct to consumer” approach.

He added: “That’s where partnerships are such a big opportunity. Media consumption has changed so much, so our marketing is now far more on digital and social media so we can get closer to our target markets of prosumers, families and generation Y.”

Dell sponsors the MTV Awards, the WiFi lounge in the American Pavillion at Cannes Film Festival and runs the Alienware Arena online gaming portal. It also has a partnership with fashion site My-Wardrobe.com.

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