How Dell EMC's marketing chief is getting the martech stack to work

Following the biggest merger in technology history, Dell EMC VP of marketing shares the challenges he faces in integrating marketing technologies and what he's doing to drive high-tough sales

Gaurav Chand
Gaurav Chand


The US$67 billion takeover in 2016 by Austin-based technology maker, Dell, of its Boston-based rival, EMC¸ represented the largest merger in the technology industry.

In the months that followed, the two companies worked to bring disparate products and cultures together, relaunching as Dell EMC. Much of that integration work has now been done.

But for Dell EMC’s senior vice-president of marketing, Gaurav Chand, the biggest challenge now is not in getting the two parts of the company to work together, but in getting the marketing technology stack – particularly from Adobe and Salesforce – to work together.

He cites one example in his competitive intelligence team.

“They have to go to one portal – the Adobe DAM – to get a list of assets,” Chand says. “Then they have to get out of that, and get into Salesforce win/loss to collect that data. Then they have to marry those two things, understand what the gaps are, and address those gaps. And then they have to go to a completely different tool to share it with sales and get their feedback.

“That coordination requires so many program management resources. And when I think about my job, I would rather hire a messaging person or a creative person than a bunch of program management people.”

While there has been significant expansion in the capabilities of marketing technology providers in recent years, the experience at Dell EMC shows there is still some way to go.

“That is where I would love to see a lot more coming from vendor integration, to be able to provide that forward and background integration, to create a stack that the entire team can use,” Chand says. “Building the APIs to connect that stuff is major IT work. IT never has the time, because it is not a priority for them.”

Delivering high-touch engagement

The requirement for integration is especially apparent in the merged entity. Chand describes the traditional EMC model as ‘high touch’, whereas Dell’s model was much more about ‘at-scale’.

Chand believes there is a clear need for tools that enhance collaboration between those two models; ‘something that enables marketers, sales, ops and other key pieces that touch our customers to truly collaborate in a much broader ecosystem’.

“The constituents that live in marketing, sales, ops and those other functions are hungry,” Chand says. “The tools are not mature. They are difficult to implement, they are difficult to adopt, they are difficult to train on.”

While digital advertising has enabled the creation of immediate feedback channels, Chand is yet to see anything that rivals that capability for high-touch engagements such as face-to-face meetings.

“High touch is all about one-on-one engagement, and that process is much more effective for that class of customers, but slower in terms of iteration,” Chand says. “It is anecdotal feedback.

“Wouldn’t it be awesome if I go for a briefing, and instead of taking notes on a piece of paper, I get on to a tool that allows me to shoot a two-minute video and broadcast that in a secure manner to the right set of owners that can then get that feedback and then use it. Some of those tools don’t exist, some do, but they are separate, and it is difficult to bring them together.”

One area where Chand sees breakthroughs being made is in data triangulation. The company is deploying customer analytics from 6sense to assist in find customers that are in-market.

But how to determine which customers in that tier would be worth the additional investment?

 “What are their watering holes, what information are they seeking, what stage in the lifecycle are they?” Chand says. “That requires a tonne of data triangulation.”

Last year, Dell EMC commenced a six-month pilot program with 6sense to uncover key opportunities, and Chand describes the results as ‘incredible’. Whereas traditionally Dell EMC might blast out a message to millions of customers and hope for an attach rate of 0.3 per cent, using 6sense it can target a specific population and achieve results of 30 per cent of greater.

“We have started using them pretty extensively, and are now going global with them,” Chand says. “You are not going to see any lesser noise in the market, and more companies are going to come. How you hyper-target in the future is going to be critical.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu            

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

The versatility of Live Chat is really what surprises me. I’ve seen it being used not only for customer support, but also as a tool to in...

Drishti Shah

Why Bupa tapped WhatsApp for new customer messaging channel

Read more

Hi This is George, Thanks for sharing this nice information about foodpanda blockchain. During this pandemic situation food delivery indu...

George David

foodpanda launches blockchain-based out-of-home advertising campaign

Read more

Did anyone proofread this document before it was published?

Beau Ushay

CMO Momentum 2020: How to embrace agile marketing

Read more

An honest and hardworking conveyancer doesn't need a marketing strategy. His past clients will spread the word for him. These days the ho...

Bagen Andrea

What this millennial marketer is doing to shake up conveyancing

Read more

Love the post. It is so insightful for companies getting stuck in their habits and missing out on the role innovation can have on revenue...

Alessia Del Genio

How Lego built its culture of innovation, brick by brick

Read more

Blog Posts

Innovate or die

It’s hard to know if famed management and marketing guru, Peter Drucker, coined this phrase for dramatic effect. My belief is he was emphasising the notion that few products and markets are static and few organisations can survive without innovation.

Michael Valos

Senior Lecturer, Department of Marketing, Deakin University

Commissioning personas that get used

How to avoid the bottom drawer, and how to get value from the work you’ve paid for

Melanie Wiese

Chief strategy officer, Wunderman Thompson

Why It’s Going To Be A Bumper Holiday Season Despite the Pandemic

Behavioural science expert Dan Monheit, co-founder and strategy director of creative agency, Hardhat, writes that marketing chiefs should hold their nerve, as they have reason to be optimistic

Dan Monheit

Co-founder, Hardhat

Sign in