Step Inside Dell’s New Integrated Stack: 70% Decrease in Advertising Risk and 45% Increase in Digital Performance


Dell’s mission is to drive human purpose and human progress—bringing digital transformation to communities around the world.

But Dell knows that transformation starts from within.

With market disruptions like third-party cookie deprecation on the horizon, Dell took that as their opportunity to build a better martech foundation, from the inside out, designed to match their culture of human progress—and get more human in the process.

Below, we’ll take a look at how Dell built an integrated martech stack built on first-party data. You’ll get a look at their new stack, see their approach to planning and implementation, and discover the 5 key work streams for a new advertising strategy.

Dell’s Long-Term Vision and Short-Term Goals

Dell wanted to mitigate risk from third-party cookie deprecation and media advertising, but also to remove reliance on Chrome, which represented 60% of revenue in key business segments.

And beyond that, the team at Dell wanted to create a connected, cohesive customer experience, from the first interaction through repeat purchase. But to effectively redesign the martech stack, they would need a well-defined execution plan with short-term goals, a long-term vision, and a laser-sharp focus.

Dell’s Customer-Centered Vision

Dell’s ultimate vision is all about the customer—providing a connected experience across each stage, from the very first touch. This involved engaging customers at the right stages and boosting operational efficiency. Dell wanted to leverage first-party data to get to know their customers better and stay ahead in a competitive market.

They wanted to deliver their message to the right audience with content that matters, and measure that impact to optimize their investment and keep a competitive advantage.

Dell’s Goals and Non-Negotiables

At the heart of Dell’s strategy is their focus on operational excellence and keeping things customer-centric.

But Dell didn’t want to sacrifice growth while they implemented a new, integrated marketing strategy. They also wanted to be practical about how they were improving human processes not just for their customers, but for their own teams—how does this process improve the lives of those producing and creating and operationalizing at Dell? So when they started their journey to a more integrated stack, they kept three non-negotiable goals.

Preserve revenue-driving marketing tactics
While moving to a first-party solution, Dell didn’t want to sacrifice on revenue-driving use cases like retargeting.

Improve overall customer experience
Everything is about making the lives of their customers better. They didn’t want to cause any kinks in the customer experience.

Drive operational efficiency
They wanted to give their team more efficiency tooling to be able to do their jobs more easily.

Finding a Partner to Support Strategic Change

Dell didn’t want to partner with just any technology solution. They wanted to find someone who would reflect their values and a continuous culture of growth and collaboration—with a maniacal focus on business outcomes and a consistent customer experience.

Rather than relying on old, siloed technologies like the DMP that slowed their team down, Dell looked for a partner who would collaborate closely and step into a more flexible advertising future.

Bringing Their Goals, Vision and Tech Together

After building a strategic approach, Dell was ready to put their plan into action.

With the North Star of first-party data, they adopted ActionIQ to help them achieve that North Star with all of the goals laddering up to it. This meant bringing together a team from adtech, field marketing, data science and more to get it right.

Building an Integrated Stack Around First-Party Data

It starts with enterprise data. Because activation, content and measurement ladder up to their data from identity to engagement and transactional.

Dell wanted to build a full and flexible warehouse. They have a lot of propensity models and acquisition models. Without getting that and bringing it through modeling teams, they weren’t going to be leveraged by marketers.

With ActionIQ, they can bring in first-party data then start making attributes combined, in different ways. So it’s not just a single data play — they can get really creative with their audience segmentation, built on all those models, ready through ActionIQ for activation. With easy, self-service, no-code audience segmentation, the data is democratized.

By feeding intelligence through ActioniQ to activation channels, campaign setup is a breeze. Every time a team member goes in there is a centralized campaign setup with standardized variables.

Another important piece of the stack was media activation to programmatic, search, social, website, and customer journeys fueled by first-party data. They needed the flexibility to interoperate among identity spaces.

With ActionIQ, Dell has a new omnichannel strategy to connect channels and touchpoints for a better experience. Now they have that agility and automation.

Setting the Plan in Motion Through 5 Key Work Streams

Dell’s strategy revolved around five key workstreams:

  1. Build on Dell’s Universal ID: The first thing Dell explored was building the Universal ID, an ID graph owned and operated by Dell that sourced first-party data in real-time to identity partners. Migrating to cookieless is all about the technology. With ActionIQ sitting as a hub on top of the first-party data, the Dell team could harness the strength of their first-party data.
  2. Partner With ID Solutions: With a flexible ecosystem, Dell can now collaborate with various ID solutions to enhance data integration and usage.
  3. Migrate to Cookieless Technology: By moving past their DMP, Dell is able to mitigate risk with technologies that don’t rely on third-party cookies to ensure seamless customer experiences.
  4. Integrate Data Clean Rooms: Part of mitigating risk is understanding strategies that can help flexibly navigate a cookieless advertising world. That meant integrating with data clean rooms. Data exchangers have evolved in different ways, and partnering with more than one helps Dell understand the growth of each option.
  5. Enable Cookieless Measurement: Part of understanding revenue risk is understanding those tactics that are currently employed for advertising strategies. That meant the team needed to dig into how many audiences were first-party, second-party or third-party and measuring back on that return.

The Results: 70% Less Risk and 45% Higher Performance

With the shift to first-party data, the team was able to see amazing results.

By leveraging first-party data as the foundation of their program, they were able to reduce advertising risk by 70%. With a stack that provides the flexibility to interoperate among identity spaces, they have a future proof solution with less reliance on Chrome.

With a solution that enabled omnichannel marketing and better audiencing, their team was able to simultaneously increase their performance by 45% and increase their efficiency by 70%.

With results like that, Dell is ready to move confidently into a first-party future.

If you want to learn more about how leading brands are building an integrated marketing stack, reach out to our team.

Amy Touchstone
Amy Touchstone
Senior Manager of Product Marketing
Amy is a product marketer driving thought leadership and customer programs at ActionIQ. With over a decade of experience in media planning, digital marketing and data strategy, she helps educate the market on how customer data can unlock excellent omni-channel customer experience and drive revenue growth.
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