August 3, 2018

Why a Digital Brand Relies on Outdoor for Growth

One of the most memorable Simpsons’ moments has to be Homer’s excitement for “new billboard day.” His car screeches to a halt on the highway, causes a major traffic jam, and he sticks his head out the window to take in the first new billboard: A romantic message, accompanied by decorative swirls and a picture of a man presenting a thrilled woman with a gift, reads: “This year, give her… English Muffins”. Homer squints, reads, and responds enthusiastically: “Whatever you say, Mr. Billboard!”

First and foremost, it’s a great laugh. Beyond that, however, it points to the widely-held notion that audiences are always out there and will be receptive to brands that deliver a strong, meaningful promise. In the non-animated world, that means going further than english muffins or Krusty’s Clown College, where Homer ends up.

In past 18 months, Pelosi and Zoom put forward the simple but powerful message “Meet Happy” to build awareness of their online meeting platform. Then they shared it with the world, but not just through ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google. They invested heavily in billboards and transit ads across major US and European markets. The results? Weekly web traffic has grown 1600% since Janine joined Zoom. From the Spring of 2017 through Spring of 2018, the company has seen 100% year over year revenue growth and 135% year over year user base growth. That Simpsons gag was released in 1995, but Janine’s team is proving that billboards and outdoor advertising can still be powerful, as long as the message is right.

In this episode, Drew and Janine talk about effective, honest messaging and how to broadcast it to the world. Janine talks through Zoom’s success, its challenges, and her high-level thoughts on the role a CMO should play, especially in being an advocate for their team.

Click here to listen now.

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What You’ll Learn

Zoom’s latest brand awareness campaign is “Meet Happy,” and it works wonders without digital marketing

With an ever-increasing number of companies using Zoom to meet virtually, Janine and her team realized that meetings were a critical piece of modern business. They sought out to create a brand awareness campaign that would generate demand in a unique way. That’s why they stayed away from typical digital marketing strategies such as Facebook ads. Instead, they put outdoor marketing pieces across the world on buses, billboards, taxis, etc. Now, Zoom hosts over 39 billion annualized meeting minutes and provides services for 58% of the Fortune 500, over 75% of the 2017 Forbes Cloud 100, and over 96% of the top 200 US universities.

The “Meet Happy” campaign speaks to so many prospects because it encourages a positive emotion and interaction with a product. Delivering happiness and great meeting experiences are what Zoom does best, and it shows.

Generating demand is one thing, delivering on a promise is another. Zoom succeeds at both!

The “Meet Happy” campaign simply generates demand. It doesn’t capture that demand and turn it into leads and sales. For capturing the demand, Janine still relies on digital tools. By using this form of promise-based marketing, Janine creates positive connections with prospects even before they visit Zoom’s website. Their team follows through on that promise by always focusing on perfecting their product and having exceptional customer service.

Internally, the 1,300+ employee Zoom team keeps “be happy” as a company culture pillar. It focuses everyone around a central mindset and has bonded the team together as they grew.

Janine shares her main ideas for successful marketing, company culture, and innovation

At Zoom, having a supportive CEO is one of the biggest ingredients in their “secret sauce” of success. Janine explains that without the support and encouragement of top company leaders, organizing successful campaigns is difficult.

Are you interested in achieving the same amount of success as Zoom? Janine encourages all marketers to keep marketing practical, keep it simple, and stay focused. Don’t chase after all the tools on the market and don’t overthink your messaging. Simply know your brand, believe in your product, and trust your intuition.


  • [1:15] How Janine’s work has increased Zoom’s marketing success in just 3 years
  • [2:35] Janine’s Renegade Rapid Fire segment
  • [11:49] How Zoom’s “Meet Happy” brand awareness campaign works wonders for capturing demand
  • [20:07] The “secret sauce” behind Janine’s marketing strategy at Zoom
  • [23:34] Delivering on the promise of the “Meet Happy” campaign
  • [26:45] Learn from the challenges Zoom’s marketing team has faced

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Resources & People Mentioned

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Quotes from Janine Pelosi

We're marketing to people. These are humans, at the end of the day, and I think that's forgotten too often.
We're marketing to people. These are humans, at the end of the day, and I think that's forgotten too often.
We're out there making the promise to the world, screaming from the rooftops.