AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerHow Did Zoom, Zoom into Our Lives?

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How Did Zoom, Zoom into Our Lives?

There are too many video conferencing apps and software platforms. It seems they have have been designed without the voice of the end user in mind: They all come with their own complexity and limitations.  Yet, “new comer” Zoom has eclipsed large operators like Microsoft Teams, Skype or Face Time to become the videoconferencing app of choice? IMG_6522

As Fortune magazine states, “Zoom was zooming even before the coronavirus pandemic.” It’s stock was hot and user were signing on in droves. I was on a recent friend-group call and my friend’s wife, a teacher, was running the technical show for him. That’s because this smart videoconferencing software company laser focused it’s marketing efforts. That positioning put it in position for a surge as the COVID-19 was sending teachers and students home.

Zoom is an overnight sensation that took 10 years to grow. Zoom followed Apple’s lead and tightly focused its efforts on the education market and small businesses.  This helped the company target its marketing efforts and build until the time was right.

What’s Zoom’s secret? It’s the secret sauce to every digital platform including your website. They started by building with the customer in mind, not the business. They assumed that the Internet connection would not be the greatest, like in a school or small business.  And then — they followed the old Apple start-up way — they made the user experience as simple as possible. The co-founder of Zoom said they built the company with the “philosophy of making customers happy.”

Imagine this critical question at your next web meeting: Will this button, link, content, navigation, photo, info-graphic, make our customer-donor-patient-stakeholder happy? If not it’s time to do a Zoom meeting with your stakeholders and find out what will make them happy.



Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.