Dell IT

How Marketing Can Re-Brand IT from Villain to Hero with New Communication Strategies

Pat Quigley By Pat Quigley Vice President, Team Member Experience, Dell Digital April 7, 2020

If you want your IT organization to go from backroom gatekeeper to valued partner of your modern workers, you need to redefine your image and user relationship—not just your technology. You need to make marketing an essential element of how IT delivers digital transformation.

Over the past two years, Dell Digital (Dell’s IT organization) has shifted its focus from providing IT hygiene and break fixes to enabling the modern, mobile, collaborative tools and services to deliver a work environment that lets users to be connected and productive whenever and wherever they are.

But equally as important, we have succeeded in getting the users we serve to dramatically change their view of who we are from the folks who fix technical glitches, set restrictions and keep the lights on to transformation leaders who listen to their needs and give them a better way to do their jobs.

I’m convinced we wouldn’t have made that connection with our users without the help of our professional marketing team.

From targeted messaging, to a reshaped narrative to totally rebranding IT, Dell Digital’s decision to provide marketing resources for our IT transformation was and is vital to our relationship with our users.

Amateur Marketing Won’t Cut It

As I noted back in a blog in 2018, when I returned to Dell’s IT End User Computing operations earlier that year after a stint in another role, I found IT’s role had evolved to that of a strategic business partner, a driver of workforce transformation and a force to attract and retain talent.

As my organization, renamed Team Member Experience (TMX), got to work evolving that new role, we tried to communicate our efforts to users. We did PowerPoints. We did roadshows. We told ourselves we were doing communications and marketing. In fact, we were playing amateur-hour marketing.

The reality is that it wasn’t until we brought in Dell professional marketing experts and ingrained them within our program of work—into our operations cadences, that we began to change how we were perceived. That is when we really started to win and see the difference.

After all, IT professionals aren’t marketers. When we are behind the curtain doing a lot of work that takes time, IT doesn’t always communicate that fact. And when there is radio silence, it’s human nature for people to assume we aren’t doing anything. They conclude we are not empathetic, don’t understand or care about what they are struggling with.

The marketing team helped Dell Digital create a campaign to effectively tell people what we heard when we listened to them, and how we were addressing the things they told us about. We ran a pulse survey assessing whether the things we said and did lifted their view of IT. If it didn’t, we had to recalibrate what we were doing and how we were marketing. And if it did, it reinforced our actions and the messaging of how we listened.

We quickly came to understand that communication in this instance was really marketing, promoting, evangelizing, advocating for the transformation journey we were on. It was informing our team members about what we in IT were doing behind the curtain and finding ways for them to share their voice.

Our marketing team did this by helping us disseminate targeted messaging via email, digital signage, banners, and intranet content. We launched a series of how-to and user-evangelist YouTube-style videos, posted blogs, and created new ways to interact with users, including a web listening post to field their comments. We also held open-door sessions in highly-visible areas across our campuses to share information and answer questions.

We continue to iterate on our approach to keep it fresh, ensuring a multifaceted delivery.

We even rebranded IT as Dell Digital, promoted via a unified visual design. The campaign was internal and external, promoting our modern work environment to help attract and retain talent.

From Villain to Hero

In marketing terms, Dell Digital has gone from villain to hero over the past 18 months—a fact supported by the feedback from team members and business partners.

The IT sentiment score on our IT Pulse, our quarterly user experience survey, has climbed steadily. IT sentiment—which is ‘how do I value IT’—has gone from 57 to 73 in seven quarters. That’s not CSAT break fix rating but the voice of our end users saying, “I really like what IT is doing; I like the technologies they are giving me.”

In other rankings, our Tech Central walk-in services score 84, service desk 75, and mobile connectivity and email are in the high 70s, compared to 40s and 50s when we started.

Summary

Amateur-hour marketing and communications in IT may be okay if you want to tell someone you just gave them a new widget. But if you want to bring people on a transformational journey, you’ve got to have a much broader canvas. You’ve got to invest in professional marketing to get and stay connected to your modern workforce.

To what extent are you employing your marketing team to promote, evangelize and advocate your transformational journey to users?

Pat Quigley

About Pat Quigley


Vice President, Team Member Experience, Dell Digital

Pat joined Dell in November 1999 as a member of the EMEA IT team based in Limerick, Ireland and over the past 18 years Pat has held IT & Business regional and global leadership positions in EMEA and the US.

Pat is currently based in at Dell HQ in Round Rock, Texas and leads the Global IT Team Member eXperience organization of 600+ team members. Under Pat’s leadership the TMX function reduce End User incident resolution time by 80% and developed a Standard Client catalog based on user/work persona profiles, reducing new client provisioning time from 16 days to 2 days and reducing the average client cost by 10% while significantly improving Dell Team member satisfaction with IT services. The team launched 13 “TechCentral – IT User Experience walk-in Centers” across our global campuses – providing a one stop destination for end user IT support and transforming the on-site user support experience. Pat led a similar transformation as VP IT Operations, reducing P1 & P2 incidents by 40% YoY, reducing incident time to restore service by ~30%, reducing cost by 20% while improving team eNPS from 20 to 51.

Prior to this, Pat held various leadership positions in Dell including roles in IT, Global Operations, Business Operations and Sales Operations. Having completed an assignment as Business Operations Director for Global Consumer End-to-End Order Management in the US, Pat made a permanent move from Dell EMEA to the US in 2011 to become Director of NA Consumer Sales Operations and Global FGI & Ocean Control Room Lead.

Prior to joining Dell, Pat has 13 years of International IT software and services experience spanning Manufacturing, Distribution, Telecoms and Retail.

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