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Encouraging digital marketing excellence for the Dell partner network

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Company overview

Dell Technologies are well known around the world for computer hardware – primarily workplace desktop and laptops – and have been big players in the technology industry for almost four decades. During that time, they’ve developed a huge network of partner businesses to help market and distribute their products over the world.

Dell Technologies takes an interest in supporting and developing these businesses, ensuring those selling their products have the tools and skills they need to compete in a crowded market.


Dell Technologies has a vast partner network that stretches across the globe. In the Asia, Pacific and Japan region, Dell was planning to hold their second annual marketing competition for partner companies. This year however, they wanted to update, modernise and professionalise their approach.

Vitally, it was also important that this year’s competition could assess how effectively entrants bought digital marketing strategies into their marketing plans. They also wanted to update their competition brief and scoring system, so their criteria could effectively reflect what a good marketing strategy looked like in 2020. To achieve this, they needed help from a company who understood digital marketing for technology providers inside out. It was only natural, therefore that they turned to Fifty Five and Five.

Dell Guide to Digital Marketing Excellence


For this year’s marketing competition, we went back to the drawing board. Working together with Dell, we came up with an entirely new brief, criteria and scoring system to judge this years’ entrants, with digital marketing maturity playing a crucial part. It was our job to ensure that the competition fairly reflected what effective digital marketing means today.

In creating the new criteria, we were conscious there shouldn’t be a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer, in terms of the types of digital marketing activities explored and the budget required to achieve it. But it was important to assess how many different types of marketing activities were used, and if they were an effective use of the budget toward achieving the stated campaign goals. To do this, we established a S.M.A.R.T strategy, assessing partners on how specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based their answers were.

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Dell Guide to Digital Marketing Excellence report

The outcome

With the new criteria and scoring system established, the competition opened. And when the submissions arrived, we were ready to help Dell start assessing the entrants. During this second phase of the project, our job was to provide each entrant with a score and narrow down a shortlist from which the team at Dell could pick their winner.

As well as this, we were also responsible for providing the partners with feedback. For Dell Technologies, it was important that the competition could be a learning experience for everyone who submitted, regardless of how they scored. For that reason, we held one-on-one feedback sessions with each of the partners, providing an opportunity for us to discuss how we assessed the plans in plenty of detail, and give each partner personalised feedback.

This was a vital opportunity for the partners to learn from our expertise. They could ask questions and gain deeper insights into what makes for a successful digital marketing strategy. This ensured that the experience was a constructive one for everybody who submitted – regardless of how they performed.

Roelof Holwerda, Global Director at Dell

As our valued knowledge partner, Fifty Five and Five played a vital role in taking the Dell Technologies Digital Marketing Contest for partners to the next level. They provided vital guidance in elevating and professionalising our scoring system and in helping provide a valuable learning experience for each of our partners.”

Roelof Holwerda
Global Director at Dell

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