Slack launches new marketing campaign for the age of hybrid working


A Silicon Valley tech darling and member of Salesforce, seeks to change its reputation as a messaging app and broaden its appeal beyond tech as hybrid working becomes the norm.

To support the transition, it’s launching a new marketing campaign featuring case studies from delivery startup Deliveroo and nonprofit loan Kiva. The ads show how Slack can be used by teams ranging from finance to logistics to coordinate complex projects.

The company declined to disclose the budget for the campaign, which will run on


TV, podcasts and social media, although Colin McRae, Slack’s vice president of global brand marketing and creative strategy, said it would be “meaningful”.

Slack spent 47%, or $95 million, of its first-quarter 2021 revenue on sales and marketing, its chief financial officer said in its latest earnings call available as a public company.

McRae said that as businesses adapt to a hybrid workforce, it’s important for Slack to show it can work for all kinds of teams and businesses of all sizes.

“This work means a shift in how we go to market thinking about positioning our products,” he said. “It’s a huge organizational pivot.”

Slack was bought by enterprise software giant Salesforce for $27.7 billion last year as the startup took off with the rise of hybrid working in the pandemic. Salesforce expects Slack to generate $1.5 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2023, up from about $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022.

In the acquisition announcement, Slack said it aims to create “a single platform to connect employees, customers and partners with each other and the apps they use every day, all in their existing workflows”.

“I see our customers like Nike sees its athletes,” McRae said. “We don’t make people great at their jobs. We just enable people to do amazing things.”

Slack adapts its marketing to a rapidly changing category of work tools

From its beginnings as a messaging tool that founder Stewart Butterfield developed for his now-defunct gaming startup, Slack has been embraced by companies like Uber, PwC, and Sky News. It comes with additional features such as video calls and audio messages, and offers a plethora of integrations with third-party apps, such as

Google Drive

Jira and Salesforce.

McRae wants companies to see Slack as they once saw their physical headquarters, as places that “bring people together and drive conversations and results.”

“We’ve moved from a simple messaging platform to a much more robust digital headquarters,” McRae said. “It’s really about celebrating how we’ve evolved as a brand and how our category has changed.”

He pointed out that the app now offers features such as “huddles” intended to replicate spontaneous conversations in the office, and “clips”, which allow users to record items such as presentations.

“This asynchronous work idea celebrates a fundamental shift in how we position our product,” McRae said.

Slack bets on a hybrid workforce

Slack wants to educate people on the nuances of the product through real case studies.

One of its new ads details how non-profit lender Kiva organizes a customer loan by bringing together its cross-functional teams from around the world in a Slack channel, while another shows how UK delivery startup Deliveroo sent 1 million of pizzas to doctors in England during the pandemic.

“This idea of ​​a digital headquarters for us is really powerful and we think very sustainable when we look at our product roadmap and think about what else we want to roll out,” McRae said.

“I’m not going to pretend to say that we have it all figured out,” he added. “But I feel like we’re at a tipping point where we kind of understand, okay, that’s the landscape we live in. We’re going to be a hybrid workforce.”

Slack is one of the category leaders in enterprise messaging, competing with Microsoft’s Teams app. While he’s made a name for himself in Silicon Valley startups, he’s now eyeing sectors beyond tech, such as financial services and healthcare.

“Based on our awareness numbers, we know there are people who don’t know what Slack is, and if you know Slack, you might not know how it works,” he said. -he declares.

As tech stocks have plunged recently, McRae insisted that Slack’s pivot to attract companies from all sectors was not reactionary. “I will say there is sustainability in diversifying your portfolio [of customers],” he said.

William L. Hart