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PHD Media Worldwide > News > MEET THE MARKETER: Michelle Taite – Chief Marketing Officer, Intuit Mailchimp
August 10 2022

MEET THE MARKETER: Michelle Taite – Chief Marketing Officer, Intuit Mailchimp

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What are the key challenges and opportunities impacting marketers today? In this interview, we hear from Michelle Taite, Chief Marketing Officer at Intuit Mailchimp.

PHD: What are the biggest challenges facing marketers right now?

Michelle Taite: [At Intuit Mailchimp], we market to marketers, and we know that the first need for small businesses (and specifically ecommerce businesses) is to get customers. [We] think about creative ways of winning the game and winning over new customers.

With our platforms, we think about how to continuously [help] marketers get smarter, through AI and Machine Learning. We arm them with a toolbox that allows them to save time and money, providing recommendations on how to write engaging emails, the best subject lines, and the best designs to ensure that people open their emails and interact with them.

The challenges for marketers as a whole, first and foremost, are about getting smarter every day. At Intuit Mailchimp, we use the hashtag #BeatOurBest; it’s about getting better and better every day and it reminds us that small steps make a big difference. We are continuously looking to get better and make a compounding difference to our customers.

PHD: What are your brand’s ambitions for the future?

MT: I would break them into three. The first thing is building a more connected experience, the second is expanding globally, and the third is unleashing the magic of the Mailchimp brand.

[Let’s] think about the first: delivering a more connected prospect and customer journey across all touchpoints. In the next year, you’ll see us [strengthening] the connections between our platforms and products, from Courier (our small business editorial platform) to Mailchimp Presents, our very own entertainment platform for small businesses. [It’s] like Netflix for entrepreneurs with short films and podcasts [explaining] the tools that we offer for small businesses.

[In terms of the] second bucket, expanding globally, we have an incredible global presence that we will look to amplify. Very deliberately, we are in more than 190 countries. We’ve already started marketing full-funnel campaigns and a lot of English-speaking ones, and you’ll see us expand that.

Lastly, [we’ll continue to build on] that combination of customer obsession and authentic connections. You’ll likely see us as the expert absurdist; we’re a brand that goes against convention. We have business acumen like no other, but we don’t take ourselves very seriously. That combination means that we [can] take risks and build extraordinary experiences that connect the magic that Mailchimp is known for, with the performance and the acceleration of the business.

PHD: How are consumer demands are changing in your category? Why do you think that is?

MT: Consumers and customers expect more out of their journeys with brands these days. We’re focusing on delivering a more connected prospect and customer journey and connecting our assets very deliberately. So, whether you start and see an article on Courier, our small business editorial, or film coming out of Mailchimp studios, [you might jump to] a podcast like The Jump with Shirley Manson, or even a Mailchimp video game as a break during one of the usages of our product.

I think if we take a step back, our job as marketers is to connect to customers. I think, in my mind, that connection is built through the right and left brain; so, we’re continuously making sure that we match culture with creativity and brand love.

Post-pandemic, people are living differently and, given people are at home more, you’ll see [our marketing campaigns] shifting away from out-of-home campaigns into more digital and live channels – with lots of experimentation across partners like TikTok and tapping into social influencers, with a more localised approach and more personalised messaging.

PHD: Brands are finding new ways of building connections directly or developing their first-party data sets. What mechanics are you putting in place to do that? How is media helping you bridge that gap and speak directly with your audiences?

MT: Mailchimp’s first-party data is top of mind, especially as we think about that intersection of creativity and performance. We see it as a big competitive edge for Mailchimp. We have an immense amount of organic engagement that’s fuelled by the creative nature that accelerates our business performance.

People might get to know us through our podcast, or our short films, like The Send-Off, which is about a group of teens using prom as a form of self-expression. Then they might see a piece of written content on a quirky business from Courier and they authentically connect to us.

Over time, they will choose us for their business needs, and through that journey, we can collect first-party data that will allow us to get to know them better and nurture them in a way that is personalised, nonintrusive, and a value add.

PHD: How are you building or adapting your infrastructure behind the scenes to service these evolved capabilities and create new experiences?

MT: What many don’t realise is that [at] Mailchimp, we’re marketing to marketers, and marketers are quite a sceptical crew, who cut through the BS quite effectively and expect the unexpected every time.

That requires us to bring a level of creativity and experimentation in marketing that is new and exciting and relevant. Our intent, or our philosophy, is to continuously disrupt culture to drive conversion while staying authentic to our brand, our mission, and values, and we want to do that at speed.

That’s encouraged us to build a lot of exceptional capabilities internally. It’s why we invested in Mailchimp Presents, in Courier, our small business editorial, and in our internal agency, most recently branded as Wink.

Wink handles everything from web advertising and design projects across our brand. It’s a crew of about 40 mighty creatives who believe that with creativity, we have the power to change behaviours and shape the future of entrepreneurialism.

Ultimately, across the platforms, our goal is consistent in how we’re investing in these teams and talent, and that’s to drive growth and brand love and unleash the power of creativity while creating those authentic connections with our customers at speed.

PHD: What do you think will be big in the future? What are your trends for the year ahead?

MT: I think there’s a bunch of things that we’re watching. One is the removal of cookies from Chrome; there’s still more unknown about this than known, and it certainly has the potential to impact our advertising and targeting, and measurement.

The second is the emergence of new ad-supported  video-on-demand platforms – namely, Netflix and Disney Plus. We’re eager and curious to understand these models and the opportunities they present to reach our targets and environments that previously weren’t reachable. We’re also really excited to understand how customers and consumers adopt these new offerings.

Finally, I think that Meta and Twitter are at pivotal moments in their company journeys and the growth of the metaverse will be something we’ll be watching, as well as the platform evolution and potential business model changes at Twitter.

PHD: What do you want to see more or less of in our industry?

MT: I just want to see connections through emotion, because, at the end of the day, all humans seek connection, and that’s what life is about. Marketing and advertising are no different.

This interview was first broadcast on Radio Omnicom, live at Cannes 2022.

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