How Mailchimp Shows Up Authentically

mailchimp on brand

Mark DiCristina is the Vice President of Brand Experience at Mailchimp, where he focuses on ensuring that the brand shows up for customers in authentic and truthful ways. We covered everything from their famous sponsorship of the Serial podcast to their innovative and, again, authentic user experience during our conversation this week on the On Brand podcast.

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About Mark DiCristina

Mark DiCristina is the Vice President of Brand Experience at Mailchimp. He and his team are responsible for ensuring that Mailchimp’s brand shows up in thoughtful and authentic ways. During his time at Mailchimp, Mark spearheaded many of the brand’s largest marketing initiatives such as the launch of Wink, Mailchimp’s in-house agency, and has been fundamental in the creation of Mailchimp’s creative ad campaigns; most recently Guess Less, Sell More.

Mark was responsible for the company’s first major ad campaign, “Did You Mean Mailchimp?” which won the Cyber Grand Prix at the 2017 Cannes Lions Festival, and the legendary “MailKimp” ad on NPR’s “Serial” podcast, which landed mentions on “Saturday Night Live,” “The Colbert Report” and “Funny or Die.” Before joining Mailchimp, Mark worked as a production manager at Paste Magazine and was named one of AdAge’s 40 Under 40 in 2017.

Episode Highlights

“Mail … kimp?” We all remember that infamous sponsorship message at the beginning of the original season of Serial, which was famously included in SNL’s sendup of the podcast. That’s why I had to ask Mark for a bit of an oral history of how this zeitgeist-making moment happened.

One of Mailchimp’s biggest lessons from this moment? “We kept quiet and didn’t insert ourselves into it. We just let it happen.” While this advice sounds easy enough, more often than not most marketers look for ways to create more content and conversations around these special moments—which can ruin them.

Where do you start with brand experience? Brand experience can be vast. “You have to start with empathy for the customer. Pushing that send button can be a big moment. Same with the moment after you hit send.” That’s why Mailchimp has some fun with these moments with the messages in their interface. “We want to show up as a brand in a way that makes people feel like someone’s home.”

What brand has made Mark smile recently? Mark pointed to a big one—Yvon Chouinard, who recently made headlines by declaring that his company Patagonia had a single stakeholder—planet Earth!

To learn more, go to the Mailchimp website or connect with Mark on LinkedIn.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!