Going Internally Berserk with Excitement: Mark Browne and the Dell EMC Elect — EP009

Mark Browne, manager of the Dell EMC Elect Program has used his graduate studies to measure the value of their successful influencer program.

Today we are delighted to share our episode with Mark Browne. Mark serves as the manager for the Dell EMC Elect Program and the Community Manager for the Dell EMC Community Network. The (then) EMC Elect Program was started by Mark and another colleague, Matt (Brender) Broberg who came together from different parts of EMC with the same goal of recognizing others for good work. Now with the program combining both the Dell TechCenter Rockstars and the EMC Elect, Mark sees himself in a trustee role for the members, making sure they have help getting what they need within the program. The Dell EMC Elect overall has a huge ROI for both members and for the company through the trusted peer-to-peer influence of these micro-influencers.

Mark has a Master’s Degree in Data Business, and is currently building a guide to the value of advocacy program and measuring their value. Thank you for sharing your time with us, Mark!

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Key Takeaways:

[2:22] Dell EMC Elect is an annual recognition program for advocates internally and out of the field who get recognized for sharing information about Dell. This can be in person, over podcasts, speaking, panels, etc. They have a passionate following and are micro-influencers.

[3:40] The program started in late 2012 when Mark butted heads with Matt Broberg on trying to start a recognition program. Mark was in a customer support role and Matt was looking at it from a marketing background. Once they sat down together they realized they had the same goal: recognizing those for doing the good work they are already doing. They sat down, worked out a platform, and got it approved.

[6:59] Mark was focused on internal members and Matt was focused on the outside audience, including bloggers, people tweeting, etc.

[8:28] There are pros and cons for how each advocacy program is designed: some are based in marketing, others engineering, customer service. Mark now feels like the program is collaborating between different organizations more than ever.

[9:57] Mark gives his tips for people just getting advocacy off the ground. Being fearless, showing value, and focusing on people already doing great work are some important suggestions.

[12:51] A micro-influencer is someone who has 30,000 followers or less. This is more peer-to-peer than a larger star with 4 million followers, which lends to having a bit more influence on others, because it’s more personal and easy to trust each other. The rise of micro-influencers is very pertinent in 2017.

[15:47] The members are chosen through the community by the community. Once they get that recognition and are approved in the program, there are many benefits and a concierge type service! They get access to road maps and betas, ability to use the logo, invited to exclusive in-person meetings, swag, access to briefings, access to private peer forums and possibly some online or face time with Michael Dell.

[18:46] One of their members came to a roadmap meeting for Dell EMC Elect Members and had access to see some road map items that even his manager hadn’t seen yet.

[21:27] Mark acts as a trustee to makes sure the members are facilitated with the industry higher ups, or business units they may not have a connection already with.

[23:57] The elect members get recognized in February. Mark works with the go-to-market group with events and product launches, briefings and content that could utilize the elect.

[28:47] Mark gives advice on building influencer engagement.

[32:04] Communicating the value of the program was daunting at first, but over time he felt like he was successful in developing a sense of the values the program was bringing to the company.

[35:33] Sharing anecdotal successes and hard data with management on the program is very important and often gets overlooked.

[36:24] Mark is creating a framework for people to show management within their program.

[36:56] Mark is a social person who enjoys building rapport. This quality, mixed with a technical and geek background, helped him create the position now.

[39:36] Mark is completing his Master’s program on how to create an influencer marketing program.

[42:43] Looking back lightning round!

About our guest, Mark Browne

Mark has more than 15 years of experience in the IT industry, in technical and customer support. Mark serves as the Community Manager for the EMC Community Network (ECN) Support Community Forums, which have over a quarter of a million members, including customers, partners, and EMC employees.

Mentioned In This Episode:

John on Twitter: @jtroyer

Kathleen on Twitter: @dailykat

To Join the IMC or for more information: info@influencemarketingcouncil.com

Mark Browne

Matthew (Brender) Broberg

EMC Community

Michael Dell


The Influence Marketing Podcast, a podcast brought to you by the Influence Marketing Council, an industry council for B2B brands who innovate in influencer, advocacy, and community marketing. Your hosts, John Mark Troyer and Kathleen Nelson Troyer, are co-founders of the IMC. The Influence Marketing Podcast is part of the research program of the IMC. For more information, go to influencemarketingcouncil.com.