Monday, July 31, 2017

Did You Mean MailChimp?

In January of this year, MailChimp began rolling out what I think is, frankly, one of the best digital campaigns I have ever seen. The Company came up with nine “uniquely engaging experiences” that all sort-of-sound like “MailChimp,” and created a paid search campaign around each so that no matter which of these experiences/terms people were searching for, Google would say “Did you mean MailChimp?” when executing the search and populating the results. Each of these experiences searched for is hip, trendy, mildly ridiculous, and appealing to targeted audiences.

So why do we care? We care because this campaign uses search advertising in its most effective form. It takes advantage of the knowledge of human behavior – that people will Google these slightly strange names (“MailShrimp; “KaleLimp”), and when seeing “Did you mean MailChimp” at the top of the results page, would appreciate the Company’s creativity, cleverness, commitment to quality (each of these nine experiences – whether song, film, food, or other content – is very well produced), and clear abilities for strategic communication across channels. A company that is, itself, a marketing tool, went ahead and created de novo products (i.e. “FailChips”) and media, got people talking about the coolness of MailChimp (a product that otherwise wouldn’t be expected to be trendy) and the Company’s overall creativity. This campaign increased brand awareness, and got people searching and clicking at the same time. Also, since the campaign was not rolled out in one fell swoop, it left people guessing, and kept people searching.

This serves as a reminder that a great digital ad campaign should have two key components for success. 1. The campaign MUST be in the voice of the brand/company. This is critical to come across as authentic and genuine, which fundamentally builds trust among users/consumers. 2. A great campaign will take advantage of already-programmed human behaviors (i.e., like MailChimp did with search). This will enable a campaign to grow more quickly and also reach more people., 

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