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Dell Becomes Latest Software Company to Chase Marketer Dollars

Company Introduces 'Digital Transformation' Business Offering

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Dell is the latest legacy software company to set its sights on marketer dollars, joining Oracle, IBM and others.

The company will soon introduce a "digital transformation" business offering, which includes consulting services and technology tailored to organizations revamping their digital operations. Dell is expected to reveal the new offering at its Dell World conference this week in Austin, Texas.

"It isn't just a marketing buzzword," said Dell CMO Karen Quintos of digital transformation. "But it really is the practical ramifications of how we are learning, selling, buying, engaging in a digital type of way."

At its heart, Dell's offering will include its current social listening and social strategy tools, along with a new analytics platform that will help marketers and other departments make sense of the data they collect. Dell will also offer consulting services to help its clients map and improve their interactions with customers.

The market for these types of services is building. By 2016, 89% of companies will compete mostly on customer experience, according to Gartner. The research firm also expects the CMO's influence over corporate software spending decisions to grow. Marketers, often first to communicate with customers, are being looked at for software purchasing advice across departments.

When Ms. Quintos was asked why Dell is getting into this business, she pointed to increasing technology budgets. "You see the unbelievable increase that's been happening from a marketing perspective when you look at the role of digital, when you look at how much of the IT spend now that marketers are more directly controlling," she said, before listing other factors including the new ways customers are interacting with brands.

The idea for the offering stemmed from Dell's own marketing department and is largely based on how the company interacts with customers, Ms. Quintos said. When asked if Dell would sell the offering to direct competitors, a spokeswoman declined to comment.

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