Marketing Bestie, I have some breaking news.  

I officially have a new favorite part of my morning routine and it’s not my hot boy walk.  Affirmations. Positive self talk is everything.  

You know Marketing is a huge part of my life, so of course some of the affirmations are Marketing related. I wake up and the first thing I say to myself is “niches get riches, niches get riches”. 

Ask Ari, she loves it (no she doesn’t).
(Actual photo of my Marketing affirmations.) Anywho, today’s email is a fantastic story on guess what??

NICHES. Let’s jump back to the year 2001…
Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzius were building a web design business, working with high-ticket corporate clients, and were consistently asked for a way to easily send emails.  

Using old code from a previous consultation project, Chestnut built an email service for his current clients that streamlined their email Marketing processes. 

The service remained a side gig for Chestnut and Kurzius for the next 6 years. The pair then had a hard look in the mirror and realized web design was not their passion. 

Helping small businesses grow was their passion.
Being a cost-effective channel, great for small businesses looking to reach their target customers, Chestnut and Kurzius realized they needed to focus on building their email service.  

And that’s when Mailchimp was born. The year was 2007, a financial crisis was on the horizon, 95% of all emails sent were spam, and competitors were raising 100s of millions in IPOs.  

Everything was primed for Mailchimp to succeed (that was sarcasm).
Trust in email as a viable Marketing tool was waning and Mailchimp had no cash to compete with giants like Constant Contact monopolizing the industry. 

But there was one thing Constant Contact didn’t have that ultimately led Mailchimp to sprint by. A niche. Being a massive company, Constant Contact was not able to benefit from the proximity to customers that Mailchimp had. 

A small business themselves, Mailchimp knew the ins and outs of everything other small businesses were experiencing working with email as a Marketing tool.
The pains, the joys, Mailchimp knew.  

They recognized this unique opportunity and focused on the little guy. Mailchimp positioned all of their Marketing efforts around the idea that they themselves are a small business, they know the struggles you are going through, and they can help you outgrow those problems.
(This is one of my favs. Mailchimp making fun of themselves for outgrowing their name since they now do wayyyy more than just email.) 

This is a hyper targeted OOH ad towards small businesses looking to outgrow their names as well.  

One of the biggest mistakes Marketing departments make is saying their product is for “everyone”.  If your product is designed for everyone, it’s going to be used by no one.
Mailchimp tailored their offering towards businesses and entrepreneurs dedicated to growing their business, solved their problems, and built authority within their niche.  

This created a level of trust between consumer and brand that competitors lacked. Mailchimp became the go-to for all businesses looking to ignite growth and in 2021 was sold for a whopping $12B to global tech platform Intuit, easily surpassing Constant Contacts $1.1B valuation in 2015. INSANE.
Mailchimp provides a valuable lesson to all the Davids out there that there are weaknesses of Goliath you can exploit to gain an edge. 

In the world of Marketing, the most notable is niching down.
Daniel Murray
Daniel Murray
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