Connect with 'intent-driven' users

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Evan Minskoff
Evan Minskoff

About.com's Minskoff on the Web portal's branding campaign derived from ‘timeless human behavior'

Q: About.com launched a campaign last month. Can you explain the new tagline?

A: Our new tagline is “Need. Know. Accomplish.” It's a kind of timeless human behavior along the lines of “man needs fire.” He has to acquire or find activating knowledge to accomplish fire, and then having been activated by that knowledge, he has a pathway to go and accomplish fire. Driving that need, know, accomplish value for the user is what helps us drive the need, know, accomplish value for the advertiser.

Q: What was your previous tagline?

A: “Guidance, Not Guesswork.” It's really important to show how we are helping users navigate that timeless human process that always arises when a need arises. We did a lot of research and have tested the line.

Q: What kind of movement are you seeing with the self-motivated Web user?

A: It's a really good question because it's one of the other reasons we've done the campaign and used the tagline. The intent-driven user has always been the About.com user. This is somebody who is highly motivated. Our users come through search with a high level of intent, and we help them get the knowledge they need to accomplish the goal they came with.

Q: There are business-to-business and business-to-consumer elements in the campaign. Why?

A: The initial goal is to communicate to our marketers that we connect their brands and deepen the relevance of them to the users in their moment of need. One of the critical elements was to come up with a tagline that represented that. However, the other component of that is the media and the channel mix that speaks to the marketer and the agency professional where they are. The campaign that we have created, which has almost 40 pieces of creative, is out of home — everything from targeted phone kiosks that are within proximity to agencies and subway platforms. Online advertising will be coming out in the fall that will be targeted and measureable so we understand who is and how people are responding to it.

Q: What are some of the direct marketing elements that you've used?

A: We've created a two-and-a-half minute “brandumentary.” I call it that because it's basically a documentary on the brand. It really gives a nice inside look to the opinions and the feelings about the campaign among our senior team and other colleagues across the company.

Q: Does this campaign mark a change in direction for About.com?

A: We haven't been overly communicative about the value of it as a marketing channel to connect marketers and advertisers to their best prospects in the perfect moment — and we want to take the chance to do that. It's really a recommitment to what we've been doing and taking an opportunity to communicate it more broadly.

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