Humor, Humility, and Human Connections: How Zendesk Became a CRM Marketing Superstar

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is a staple of remote work. In a competitive market, Zendesk stands out with its creative marketing geared towards real human connection.

Companies like Zendesk are in high demand as businesses continue to navigate remote work. Through unconventional marketing strategies, Zendesk adds vibrancy to a seemingly dull industry, setting themselves apart from the competition by proving they’re more than just a CRM company.

Remote work is the new normal—which means businesses are hunting for tools to help with working from home. There are plenty of examples, but CRM software (and CRM marketing) is arguably the biggest. After all, it’s the largest software market in the world and is expected to reach more than $80 billion in revenue by 2025. 

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software organizes and manages customer data, making it easily accessible by connecting data from various departments, like marketing or sales. Helpful tools like this are in high demand, which is why the industry consists of countless CRM companies who all seem to look the same. So how do these companies find ways to stand out?

Zendesk builds CRM solutions that improve customer relationships, are easy to implement, simple to use, meet business needs, and grows as your company does. Founded in 2007, in Copenhagen, Zendesk now has over 150,000 paying customers across 160 countries—and they’re still growing. 

With unexpected marketing tactics, a strong online presence, and human-centered branding, Zendesk became a top CRM marketing competitor. 

It’s about creating real, human connections

The CRM software industry is growing, which means Zendesk constantly has to find ways to set themselves apart from the competition. By creating original marketing campaigns, Zendesk’s “more than a solutions provider” attitude allowed it to prosper.

This 2014 commercial features an older couple sitting on a couch, When Harry Met Sally style, discussing their relationship. The man represents a business and the woman represents a customer, as they talk about the rough patches of their figurative relationship. “That’s when I got Zendesk for my customer service,” says the man. “Zendesk helped me become the business I always wanted to be.”

Zendesk also have a video on their YouTube channel titled “Why Zendesk?”, which humanizes customer service. A customer and customer service representative are interacting online about an issue when they make a personal connection, which we’re led to believe is romantic. The end of the video reads “have better relationships with your customers…Zendesk.”

Both of these ads are silly and creative, which increases Zendesk’s approachability. The technical terms and lifeless graphic design that make up certain CRM branding can make them look intimidating and dull. By not taking itself too seriously, Zendesk is able to show customers that they’re just regular people. 

One of the unique marketing approaches they’ve taken is called Zendesk Alternative, a made-up alt-rock band. When they noticed that customers were finding other CRM companies to work with by searching for “Zendesk alternatives,” company marketers played on the phrase by creating a website that would show up for that specific search. 

The website states that the “band” joined forces with Zendesk to create a concept album about customer service, but “underneath, it’s about so much more.” The site even has lyrics to one of the “songs” on the “album.” 

This tactic not only showcased Zendesk’s creative marketing strategies, it showed that they don’t give up easily and they care about their client’s business. While this client retention solution may be unusual, it’s a one-of-a-kind approach that’s sure to turn some heads and regain some interest. 

Learn why the best return on your marketing dollar comes from copywriting.

Relate, retain, repeat   

Zendesk’s marketing is also repeatable, which allows them to build and maintain customer relationships. They created Zendesk Relate, a global user conference scheduled for March 2020, which fell through because of the pandemic. Instead, customers can sign up for a newsletter or check out upcoming virtual events to connect with Zendesk and their users. 

Zendesk also has a blog consisting of articles about customer experiences, tips, and resources. They’ve made themselves a go-to source of information by posting helpful information on the blog, and they’ve even branched out into the podcast realm. 

The blog is separated into three categories for easy navigation: service, sales, and culture. Each section includes articles on these topics that provide ways to keep companies at the top of their game. Even if someone visits the blog for advice and doesn’t sign up, the goal is that they’ll tell someone else about the blog, which leads to more business. 

Zendesk’s ability to create a network of people centered around CRM software is a testament to how strong their branding and marketing is. When consumers come across Zendesk, they find that on top of being a solutions provider, they’re a major voice in the industry. They really position themselves as experts, which makes people trust their business. 

MarketSmiths Case Study

A leading platform for collaborating in-house to generate beautiful regulatory and shareholder-facing documents, Tangelo needed help building up its international audience—with clear, engaging copy that even non-experts could understand. MarketSmiths was soon on the case, quickly grasping Tangelo and its complex B2B product positioning. Our early website copy for the Dutch firm helped secure its first Australian client, while a recent LinkedIn campaign got the company around 40 leads. Combined with quick turnarounds and it’s no wonder we’ve been so instrumental in getting Tangelo noticed in such a crowded market. 

>Read the full case study

A CRM marketing solution that works and plays hard  

In the process of creating original customer service marketing campaigns and cultivating an online presence, Zendesk created a CRM brand that’s in a league of its own.

Visually, their branding is simple and inviting with fonts, colors, and images that align with modern graphic design. At the end of the day we’re humans and we like consistency, so when we recognize something, we’re drawn to it. 

Zendesk is confident enough to not always have their product at the forefront. Their multi-platform resources make Zendesk an easily accessible company to not only work with, but to seek out in times of need. They’ve solidified their position as the go-to for CRM needs by marketing themselves as more than just a business solution. Zendesk encourages companies to go above and beyond, like they do, to cultivate better, more long-lasting relationships—with everyone.  

Looking for unique copywriting that will help your company stand out? Our team of experienced creatives are ready to take on any writing challenge to deliver content that outshines the rest. 


Katie Bashista

Katie Bashista

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