Product Usage: The Hot New Marketing Channel

Where do  marketing strategies end and product design begin?

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.

facebook_photo_product marketing strategies(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?


Profile photo of Adam Broitman

Named Brand Innovator’s 40 under 40, iMedia’s Internet Marketing Leader to Watch and having founded, and award winning creative agency, Broitman is one of the most sought after minds in modern marketing. Having recently left his post as VP Global Digital Marketing at MasterCard, Broitman relocated to the SF Bay area where he is Managing Partner of MEC Global. He has also advised various startups on product marketing growth. Startups include moment marketing platform, Kiip and cause related digital coupon company, GoodShop.

At MasterCard Broitman led a team responsible for overseeing social, mobile, search, content and other channels across MasterCard’s various regions around the world. Broitman oversaw the launch of award winning campaign Priceless Surprises as well as partnerships with the Rugby World Cup and dance music giant SFX.

Prior to joining MasterCard Broitman founded and successfully sold creative agency, a firm specialized in creative, tech-driven communications. Clients included Red Bull, American Express, Ford, Cisco and many others.

Broitman started his career as a media planner at Digital and made his way to Morpheus Media where he was the second employee. While at Morpheus Broitman helped the company with key wins such as LVMH and A&E.

2 Comments for “Product Usage: The Hot New Marketing Channel”

Polo Aristoy


I appreciate your comments entirely. I do however think there’s information missing. First and as always, what’s the alternative? So you argue this is not a ‘need’, but is this part of a larger communication effort? If so, it may be right?

But let’s take it only for what its worth, and I still think that if they got a good price for animation, its sticky enough in its cuteness to perhaps share and 2nd, it does in the end communicate the collaborative, speed and creative push that you get by using slack. Atlassian’s tool might be better, but no one knows about it, and everyone thinks Slack is much easier. This does achieve the goal.

I do however love when these things get deconstructed because you’re right, many times its just vanity vs marketing oomph.

Profile photo of Adam Broitman



First, thanks and welcome to my new project.

Regardless of what the price tag was, I feel the communications instrument used here was a blunt one. I feel that the communications were not acute enough to address those NOT familiar with the product and I would venture to guess that there are still a lot of people not familiar. In the tech world, sure the penetration is likely high, but I am not sure this type of storytelling was meant for the tech community. This feels more of a mass play to me which begs the question, what type of penetration does Slack have amongst the greater population and is this communication enough to drive interest.

My next post addresses your initial question of “what is the alternative?” I am putting some final touches on an will post Monday latest. I hope you stop by and check it out to continue the conversation.


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