What marketers should learn from Stripe Atlas

Stripe’s a payment processing company. But their mission isn’t to do loads of payment processing. It’s to grow the GDP of the Internet.

The GDP of the Internet.

It’s bold enough to set the bar insanely high. And it’s broad enough to be about the outcomes that really matter to their customers.

To grow the GDP of the Internet, you have to make it easier to start and run a profitable, productive business online.

Yes, that may be about making things like payment processing easier. But it’s bigger than that.

A broad, bold and coherent mission is, to my mind, one of the most powerful drivers of great marketing. Because it focuses marketing efforts on what really matters.

At Stripe*, it’s resulted in some of the most interesting B2B marketing I’ve ever seen.

They started the gorgeous Increment magazine for devs.

They started a custom publishing arm that’s putting out some of the most interesting content on tech including the High Growth Handbook.

But most impressively, they started Stripe Atlas. It’s a starter toolkit that significantly lowers the bar for forming an online business that’s registered in Delaware and getting it going (so it’s easier to do things like issue stocks).

It’s such good marketing it’s hard to even call it marketing.

It isn’t just a bunch of pieces claiming Stripe makes it easier to start an online business. It’s actually making it easier to start an online business.

It’s an extension of the business strategy itself. Not just a mouthpiece for it.

This, I think, is how high modern marketers need to aim.

First, because it makes marketing more valuable to the business. Stripe aren’t just doing marketing. They’re building a market. Every new online business is a growth opportunity for Stripe.

And second, because it makes marketing more valuable to the end-user. The marketing isn’t just broadcasting messages at people.

It’s giving them real, tangible value. (And, critically, the value they’re delivering is intrinsically tied to Stripe’s own value.)

But aiming this high means changing the questions you ask of your marketing strategy.

It’s not just about figuring out the story. It’s about figuring out the problems the business helps solve. And figuring out how marketing can help solve those problems too.

It’s about making marketing so valuable it’s hard to even call it marketing.

*Stripe is NOT a client. They’re just very good at this.

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