Within these markets they have been able to develop segments and market effectively to them. They are also making steady progress into the educational market. Dell's primary competitor in the PC and peripheral market is Hewlett-Packard; HP #1 in the peripheral market and #2 in the PC market (Davis, 2001). Other rising competitors are Sony, Microsoft and E-Machines. Dell still has a prominent place in the marketplace, but will need to leverage peripherals to stay ahead f the pack.
Products are Dell's forte and are targeted at very specific markets. Their placement is based on their direct sales model and more recently through non-traditional efforts like kiosks. Dell's promotional efforts have been effective through the use f traditional advertising on TV and direct mail, while also maximizing the effectiveness f email and the Dell web site. Price is a key differentiator for Dell and the use f state f the art production facilities has enabled Dell to keep their prices very competitive.
Dell has been carried through the wave f technology the last 20 years without really contributing any new technology. There is very little spent on research and development, both viewed as crucial for the livelihood f major tech firms. A recent threat is the emphasis on non-traditional competitors, notably Sony and Microsoft, entering the fray and innovatively integrating various digital components together (PDAs, digital cameras, computers, video, etc). To maintain its competitive advantage, Dell must enhance and diversify its line f products offered to consumers and corporations. This will enable Dell to differentiate their offerings from the competition could give Dell a fresh look and enhance their reputation f providing cutting edge technology first.
The initial stages f research questioning are key as they set the tone and focus for the final objective and/or opportunity. Clearly determining the end goal is crucial, otherwise the study may be a waste f precious resources (time and money) - or worse, the data analyzed may be misconstrued in such a manner that it would lead to poor business decisions. How do organizations avoid making these costly mistakes By employing the practice f research design to properly structure the study to achieve the desired objectives. Good research is derived, in part, from the following characteristics: clearly defined purpose, detailed research process, thoroughly planned research design, and maintaining high ethical standards.
One f the final stages f research questions is deriving the research problem statement. This can be done by generally brainstorming ideas for organizational improvement, such indicating known problem areas f concern, and outlining goals for the organization. For example, Dell has the following goals: (1) conduct research to gather and analyze research new markets, and (2) make new products available to customers who are already intent on purchasing a base computer system. Combining these goals into a problem statement,
"What (new) ancillary products could be sold to drive revenue, when combined with (existing) product lines"