Dell’s marketing boss on why brands can measure ‘too much’

The goal at Dell is to ensure marketing effectiveness is not analysed in silos, although global brand boss Liz Matthews insists the art is in measuring what matters.

Dell has focused over the last five years on brand strategy, explains senior vice-president of global brand, creative and experiential marketing Liz Matthews. 

Sitting down with Marketing Week at Cannes Lions, she says that at its core the strategy “boils down to showing the world who we are and what we do”.

But when it comes to measuring effectiveness, for Dell it is essential to know marketing is “breaking through and making measurable impact” on the business in both the short and long term.

Impact is what Matthews is focusing the marketing work on, noting that Dell is “not just in it for the awards or the storytelling, or the flashy things”.

Indeed, the brand focuses “heavily” on measurement.

“We love to measure,” she says. However, this can mean Dell has “so many measurements” that sometimes the team has to stop and say “let’s really look at this and bring it back”.

I’m not sure there’s anything we shouldn’t be measuring. For me it’s how do you make sure you’re not measuring in a silo.

Liz Matthews, Dell

“Sometimes you can measure too much and you want to make sure you’re measuring the right things, top to bottom,” Matthews states.

At Dell, effectiveness is measured through a “whole bunch of metrics”, including ROI, as well as how much it costs to acquire and grow customers. Matthews describes the “bigger metrics” as brand health and engagement, while attention is a “new one” for the company.

“I’m not sure there’s anything we shouldn’t be measuring. For me it’s how do you make sure you’re not measuring in a silo,” says Matthews.

She argues effectiveness is not about only looking at one measurement and deciding that is the sole determent of what’s successful or not.

“We like to say when you use AI, when you use machine learning and these things, at the end of the day it’s data, but humans make the ultimate call on the insights,” says Matthews.

She argues marketers need to step back and “look at a larger data set” in order to see what is working or not, instead of judging success on a click-through rate, for example.

Marketing Week will be publishing a series of content exploring how marketers measure and communicate effectiveness. As part of the series, we have launched a survey and would be grateful if you could spend 10 minutes offering us your opinion on how effectiveness is defined, measured and communicated within your business. Or to read the latest content, click here

Language of Effectiveness



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