Product Usage: The Hot New Marketing Channel

What makes for great marketing strategies? Sure, you need to achieve awareness but awareness of something people do not like will land you in a negative place. In addition, the more people that use your product, the more they are likely to talk about it, and subsequently become the best marketing vehicle around. I recognize this is a bit obvious, but these days I see a lot of marketing that seems unnecessary. Take this video from Slack.

While cute, it does not seem like an essential marketing tactic.

There are three potential groups this video can be targeted at:

  • Slack Users: If you are already a slack user you likely don’t need to see this video. It may serve as brand building tool and could be a nice retention vehicle, but by and large, this does not seem worth the money it likely cost to create it.
  • Non Users (aware): If you don’t use Slack but have heard of it, this could be the hand that pushes you over the edge; though somehow, given that it really does not focus on product, I doubt it. Furthermore, the savvy audience that this is targeted at has, in my experience, a general distrust of this type of advertising. Perhaps the ad is aimed at a broader audience, in which case I see more of a reason for the existence of such a video.
  • Non Users (unaware): For these users this video is useless as I don’t think it defines how it solves a needs in a specific enough manner to get people to act right away. That said, it could be a good first impression. If retargeting is used to follow this up with a more tactical sell, this might make a bit more sense.

In contrast to this ad product enhancements can be viewed as marketing in that they get people to use a product more and more–so much so that it becomes habitual and the addictive nature of the product becomes fodder for word of mouth marketing. Facebook is king when it comes to this strategy. A recent update to the Facebook app (picture below) detects when new images have been shot on a device–the app asks if you want to add them to Facebook.

(shout out to JR Badian for being top of my feed)

Insanely simple, but effective. One might ask, “is this a marketing strategy?” In my opinion it is as it addresses a market need with a response aimed at growing business.

What do you think? Is this marketing or is it simply product design?

Originally published at on January 8, 2016.

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