Only 1.5% of the population knows about team communication platform Slack — but the company’s CMO, Bill Macaitis, doesn’t think Slack has any competition.
“We don’t necessarily feel we have competitors,” Macaitis said. “There really hasn’t been a company that has come along and focused on messaging and the integration like Slack has, we’re at the front of a new category.”
Slack is a chatroom for offices, meaning it allows coworkers to communicate instantaneously by sending individual and group messages. Slack also has a mobile app, enabling coworkers to stay in constant communication, whether they are in the office or not.
Businesses using Slack typically see between 80% and 100% reduction in internal company emails, Macaitis told Business Insider. “Slack is the new productivity,” explained CiteWorld.
The platform is not the first to try and disrupt the traditional email communication space. For example HipChat, a team messaging platform that launched in 2010, has a similar service but with more than 70 integrations to Slack’s 80.
In fact, Slack’s “integration” is what separates it from similar platforms. Slack users can easily use popular services like Google Drive to share documents, GitHub to review software codes, and Giphy to send images of dancing cats, without ever leaving the platform.
Currently, there are 80 integrated third-party programs within Slack. By the end of the year, Macaitis and Slack are aiming for 300.
Also, Slack enables users to create groups based on their department — and extracurricular interests. For example, if a company has a lot of Yankees fans, they can create a Yankees fan group within Slack to chat about the team.
Macaitis joined Slack as CMO in December of 2014, becoming the company’s,”marketing employee number one,” he said. Since then, he has been focusing on expanding Slack’s user base while maintaining quality of experience.
Among the initial things Macaitis did at Slack was conduct a major study to find out exactly how many people were already aware of the platform, which is when he determined that only 1.5% of the population is aware of the service.
“We live in a tech bubble, but as you expand outward there is still a lot of work to do, to grow,” Macaitis said. “That’s where we look at marketing to move into new verticals, geos, and segments.”
To do this, Slack relies heavily on those users. “We’re really focused on making sure that everyone who comes in contact with Slack has a great experience and recommends it to other people,” Macaitis told BI.
As shown by Slack’s Twitter “Wall of Love,” a page devoted entirely to pro-Slack tweets, this focus is paying off.
The platform is designed to be “customer-centric,” Macaitis said. “We want to know what our customers want and how to deliver a great experience every step of the way. That’s what great about not having to be competitor-centric.”
Macaitis will be discussing these and other elements of Slack’s marketing strategy at the Northside Festival‘s Innovation Conference in Brooklyn today on a panel entitled, “An Unexpected Challenge: How to Market the Next Big Thing.”