I was recently introduced to Slack when it was initiated by a new hire where I work as a way to communicate with other employees within the office. For those not familiar with Slack, it’s a collaboration tool that allows teams to not only communicate, but to also share files, all on the same platform (Siu, 2019). It’s grown pretty quickly in popularity, with just 15,000 users at launch in 2014 to around 2 million active daily users today (Siu, 2019). Interestingly enough, Slack didn’t launch a huge marketing campaign, but focused on customer relations and delivering high-quality customer experience. Bill Macaitis, former Chief Marketing Officer of Slack, participated in a Q&A article, “The Smart Marketing Strategies behind Slack’s Extreme Growth” and I found it extremely interesting because he offered advice regarding his career in marketing and marketing trends. This article is from 2015, but some of the trends he discusses from then are still relevant today in 2019 and are discussed in the article we read for class, “Top Digital Marketing Trends You Need to Know in 2019.”
One of the questions was “What are the three biggest trends that you see in B2B marketing today? What do you envision for the future?” (Bagish, 2015). Macaitis answered with testing and elaborated that “So much of what we do in marketing can be tested and quantified now: ads, homepages, content, pricing, positioning, channels, etc.” and said that companies need to let “data help drive informed decisions” (Bagish, 2015). He explained that data can be used to help marketers “understand what is working and what is not” and marketers should be able to measure brand metrics (Bagish, 2015). The second trend he mentioned was content lifecycle nurturing and stated that “Content can play an extremely significant role in that lifecycle and marketing plays a key part in distributing that content throughout their lifecycle. Content should be genuine and helpful, not crappy brochureware” and he says that at Slack, one of the things they focus on is being authentic and that “A big part of building trust with your brand is being transparent, which should be the basis for every interaction” (Bagish, 2015). In the article from 2019, it describes how authenticity and trust are a major trend for 2019 and elaborates by citing a survey conducted by Stackla, which received responses from over 2,000 global consumers on the topic of what they value most when deciding which brands to support (DeGruttola, 2018). 86% of the respondents answered that authenticity was important (DeGruttola, 2018). There have been several posts about authenticity, customization, and transparency related to ads and I think this ties into those ideas because individuals want to rely and trust brands and feel like the experience is personalized; however, if a brand is not honest about its methods or how they are targeting individuals, this personalization can become “creepy” as evidenced by Kat’s post, which references the article “Online Ad Targeting Does Work — As Long as it’s Not Creepy” and the research it mentions!
He explains that marketing tech has the potential to deliver “a great experience” and that a company can use data and tech to more efficiently and effectively target customers (Bagish, 2015). He is quoted saying that there is “great software right now that allows you to target the right people, test messages and experiences that work, score leads so you understand when is the right time to reach out to them, nurture people through the buying process and onboard them successfully into your product” (Bagish, 2015). Finally, he described customer centricity as being the third trend and said the “brand is the sum of every experience a customer has with your company, and a strong brand will always generate long-term growth and revenue” (Bagish, 2015). He elaborates on that when he says “The voice of the customer has never been stronger with the rise of social” and ties this back into creating great experiences for the customers when they interact with a company (Bagish, 2015). Companies like Domino’s (referencing Emily’s post!) are working hard to positively interact with customers via social media platforms, like with their current promotion, and this can attract new customers and increase loyalty of current customers, thus demonstrating the power of digital platforms.
These platforms can also provide free marketing and promotion when customers discuss their positive interactions with the companies. The 2019 marketing trend article agrees in that consumers are using their voices on these platforms to create their own brand content (user-generated content), and describes how “social media platforms have been steadily taking over the Internet,” so having positive interactions with consumers is paramount if a company wants them to create content that reflects well on their product/service/company as a whole (DeGruttola, 2018). This then ties into authenticity because the 2019 article states that “people are 3x more likely to say content created by a consumer is authentic compared to content created by a brand” and positive content created by a consumer for a particular brand then helps that brand acquire more trust with potential consumers and continue to grow its positive brand reputation (DeGruttola, 2018).
Do you guys agree with any or all of the trends he discusses? Do you agree with their importance? The one article is from 2015, but as mentioned, I still see relevance with what he thinks companies should focus on and which marketing trends remain relevant, do you? Additionally, do you agree with his advice pertaining to always improving interactions customers have with your company and making it a priority? Does your company focus on customer relations? If yes, is it beneficial for your company, or do you think there are other aspects that your company should/does focus on that are more important to maintaining a company’s brand?
Bagish, C. (2015, December 07). The smart marketing strategies behind Slack’s extreme growth. Retrieved from https://mashable.com/2015/12/07/marketing-strategy-slack/#640mJDFY3uqz
DeGruttola, M. (2018, December 19). Top Digital Marketing Trends You Need to Know in 2019. Retrieved from https://stackla.com/resources/blog/top-digital-marketing-trends-you-need-to-know-in-2019/
Siu, E. (2019). 10 Companies with the Best Digital Marketing Campaigns. Retrieved from https://www.singlegrain.com/digital-marketing/best-online-marketing-companies/