Image by Britt Selvitelle via Flickr
Drew’s Note: Here’s part two of Sandy’s grab the mic guest post. (see part one here)
Without further ado…enjoy Sandy Carter!
Twitter allows people to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing? Businesses like Dell (and IBM) are using Twitter in more corporate instances.
Dell Outlet has inventory based only on equipment that is returned to Dell, which therefore can fluctuate quite a bit. When there is a large inventory "bubble" of a particular model, there may be time to generate an e-mail campaign to promote that particular system and generate more demand.
However, when the bubble is smaller, the major lever to drive sales has been to lower the price of the overstocked model.
Dell Outlet came up with the idea that Twitter may be a solution to the challenges presented, by offering Twitter-specific promotions and featured products. The goals were:
- To drive increased traffic and thus increased demand for particular products for which Dell Outlet has inventory greater than desired levels
- To grow the pool of Dell Outlet’s Twitter followers to the point where it is sizable enough to have an impact on specific demand-generation postings
Dell Outlet’s Twitter strategy revolves around regularly posting Twitter-only offers. When a new tweet is posted, it generally provides followers a coupon code to obtain a discount on that particular model in the Dell Outlet. Typically, this coupon is exclusive to Twitter, so they are able to measure the redemptions and know that it was due to being posted on Twitter. Twitter followers may share coupons easily with Twitter friends in a viral fashion.
For Dell, Twitter represented a new way to reach customers. Ricardo Guerrero, a key visionary for this work at Dell, claims that per their latest surveys, a significant portion of people who bought through Twitter were not aware of the Dell Outlet before Twitter. And by tracking the coupon code, in the first year utilizing Twitter as a promotional tool, Dell Outlet generated over $500,000 in revenue in sales of refurbished systems.
Sandy Carter is author of the new book, The New Language of Marketing 2.0, which leverages the ANGELS methodology (ANGELS stands for: Analyze the Market, Nail the Strategy, Go- to- Market socially, Energize the Channel & Market, Leads and Revenue, and Scream with Technology.) Sandy is IBM’s Vice President, SOA and WebSphere Marketing, Strategy, and Channels. She is responsible for IBM’s cross-company, worldwide SOA initiatives and is in charge of one of IBM’s premier brands, IBM WebSphere.