Friday, January 11, 2008

Will Dell be the first to understand the power of peers

One of the crusades I have been on for some years now is to try and help the channel industry understand the power of peer groups, user groups and community to drive their business. It has been a slow and painful process. Microsoft sort of gets it - at least at a user group level. But most channel partners are very slow to promote community. They fear losing control of their partners, which they really don't have anyway but have convinced themselves they "own" their channel. What a surprise when I ran across this from a post on BuzzMachine about Dell - the one company I would expect to be last to the community party. (

"Mark Jarvis, Dell’s new chief marketing officer, acknowledges that customers are now influenced by peers, not marketers: “The challenge is how you create a network of advocates for your business….""

That is a big part of the power of peers - to be advocates for vendors in not only selling and servicing their products - but understanding the true value of partnership in meeting customer needs. It is not an "us/them" relationship with our vendors any longer. It has to be a "we" relationship. The channel needs to figure out that peer groups and other community groups aer their secret weapon to succeed and grow. And do it before Dell does. Is anyone listening? You have a chance as channel vendors to build your own group of advocates. Dell gets it and is coming after us. They have "re-embraced" the channel because of this reason - not because they love partners. Get on the bus before it leaves the station with the wrong people at the wheel.

1 comment:

Stuart R. Crawford said...

All I have to say is WOW! to this posting, this is amazing.

As a loyal DELL partner for almost 9 years, I have to say that this is awesome news. I need to figure out away now to leverage this.

I know that there are many DELL partners out there, some vocal like I am, I am proud to work with DELL even with the tongue lashings at our HTG3 meetings :-)

I had an awesome interview with Kevin Peesker from DELL today at and we discuss DELL's SMB strategy and PartnerDirect.

Great Posting Arlin

Stuart Crawford
Calgary, AB