Dell has re-designed their homepage. With much less emphasis on marketing/business segmentation. And it’s a good thing (although the segmentation is still present upon rollovers). Here is what they set out to do according to the Dell blog:
1) Simplicity. It was too cluttered; too many choices. Home page was overwhelming.
2) Show me the products. There were no products on the home page. None.
3) Avoid segmentation. Don't force me to segment myself.
And Here’s a few select quotes from Dell customers:
"The removal of enforced segmentation high up in the buying path is the first step, it's 10 years overdue frankly. It is not however gone, but that is a larger internal organizational problem that Dell has to overcome."
“Make it easy for me to define systems by my work profile and give me more guidance on what technologies could benefit me more than others. If I'm building it, I'm then likely to buy more"
Look, we marketers like our segments. We love packaging people into neat and tidy little nuggets with a bow on top. And frankly, we run the same risk with how we treat Personas if we’re not careful to focus on core behaviors and mindsets. So what are behaviors and mindsets? Well, in short it’s getting into the heads and emotions of your customers. But I’ll define it a little more specifically:
Behaviors: The types of things your customers want to DO . The way they might actually behave on your site. This means thinking about how they behave before even coming to your site and after leaving it. It’s less about what they THINK and more about how they ACT.
Mindsets: This is the context of where your customer is from. Are they logging on from a computer at work, at home, are there kids crying in the background? Are they in “browse mode”? Or do they have laser like focus and just want to complete a task. Getting the customer mindset right is incredibly important to an interactive experience. Much more so than the traditional marketing segment like how much they make annually and what kind of car they drive.
Now, I can go on and on about things like Personas, or coming up with stuff like a behavior grids, which explore all the possibilities of how a user may act. I'm leaving a lot out here. You can write a whitepaper on all of this material and trust me, I’ve worked through this kind of thing many times with clients who want customers to “pick who they are” at the beginning of a site experience and chart a course based on that segment.
This post is intentionally light as I wanted to capture the Dell change and some of the reaction to their new homepage. At some point I’ll do something else about segments from my perspective. So back to the Dell site, they are looking for more feedback on this change. If you are a customer, I suggest you speak up now.