Slack tests the growth effect of advertising

Stephen Whiteside

Slack is a cloud-based digital platform seeking to transform the way people communicate at work by encouraging real-time group interactions, rather than a strict reliance on email.

And the San Francisco-based enterprise, which launched in 2013, has recently turned to advertising to spread this message beyond its current base of 2.4 million users. "We're spending money on advertising now to see how effective it is for us," Stewart Butterfield, Slack's Co-Founder/CEO, told delegates at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2016 in Austin, Texas.

"If it is effective, then we'll probably spend more. But we're still at the very early testing stages."

The company's debut campaign, in November 2015, leveraged 680 out-of-home units in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Charlotte, N.C. In order to capture attention, this effort combined vivid colors and imagery with headline findings from research among Slack's audience, which, it claims, typically enjoy a 48.6% decline in email traffic and 25.1% fewer meetings … as well as a 32% productivity increase.