Merchant-services platform provider Shopify Inc. on Monday launched its first North American brand campaign, a marketing effort aimed at entrepreneurs that could have the side effect of making Shopify one of those rare payment processors that has a modicum of brand recognition among consumers.
The reason for that is that some of the campaign will use media seen or heard by consumers—presumably aspiring business owners—including television and radio. Other components include digital video, social-network marketing, and so-called out-of-home advertising.
Dubbed “Let’s Make You a Business,” the campaign will run in 12 markets in the United States and Canada from now until mid-July, though some components will continue throughout the year. The markets are Atlanta, Austin, Texas, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, New York, Ottawa, Ontario, Philadelphia, Portland, Ore., Tampa, Fla., and Toronto, a spokesperson for Ottawa-based Shopify tells Digital Transactions News by email.
Shopify’s two main businesses are an e-commerce platform and other services for merchants through recurring subscription plans, and payment processing, including point-of-sale services.
“Shopify exists to help merchants every step of the way, and our new campaign is meant to inspire future entrepreneurs to start their own journey,” chief marketing officer Jeff Weiser said in a news release. “This is a major milestone for Shopify as we grow our brand and continue working to make commerce better for everyone.”
Out-of-home advertising can include everything from billboards to ads on buses. Shopify didn’t give details about the out-of-home component, but the release says one execution called “That Storefront” will “tap into available storefronts to inspire entrepreneurs to think big and envision their business ideas coming to life.”
The spokesperson says the company is launching the campaign because “while Shopify has built a reputation for powering more than 800,000 merchants around the world, we are now investing in building the Shopify brand into one that’s known and loved globally. We believe entrepreneurship makes for a more inspired world, so we wanted to use our platform to encourage those who dream of launching their own brand to take that next step.”
The campaign’s creative aspects were developed by Shopify’s in-house marketing staff and New York City-based advertising agency R/GA.
Advertising and marketing efforts from payment processors and independent sales organizations rarely bubble up to channels seen by consumers. Square Inc. is probably the only payment processor with any degree of consumer awareness, in part because of its initial appeal to part-time sellers and very small businesses, its Cash App person-to-person payment service, and also because its chief executive, Jack Dorsey, is famous as the co-founder and CEO of Twitter.
Shopify said in a recent a financial filing that its merchant-solutions revenues grew 67% to $608.2 million in 2018 from $363.3 million the year before.