How Airtasker's new CMO plans to make the brand a household name

Newly appointed chief marketing officer, Noelle Kim, shares her learnings from her tenure with Google and Facebook and what it's going to take to build the Aussie marketplace brand

Noelle Kim
Noelle Kim

Building the ‘why’ and personality behind Airtasker’s brand proposition is a key priority for the Australian company’s new chief marketing officer, Noelle Kim.

Kim joined the marketplace for everyday tasks in July and is overseeing a rapid ramp-up in global marketing investment and expansion not only in Australia, but into the UK and US. The scale-up follows the successful debut of Airtasker on the Australian Stock Exchange in March.

Kim is a seasoned veteran of startups and digital disruptors. Her resume includes working in Silicon Valley for five years at both Google and Facebook, where she held marketing-oriented roles across brands such as Google Glass and Instagram. Prior to joining Airtasker, she was head of marketing APAC for Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

“I have always worked in entrepreneurial environments in previous roles – my parents owned several SMBs so that messiness and owning that whole program of work is part of my DNA,” Kim told CMO.  

“It was when I returned to Australia and was at Facebook that I learnt about Airtasker, an incredible consumer brand and a beautiful Australian success story with a model that hadn’t previously worked overseas.”  

Kim was excited about Airtasker’s current position in market and its growth ambitions. She reports directly to co-founder and CEO, Tim Fung.

“I can bring to the business what it needs to continue to scale up and to be a success from Australia out to the markets I have been previously working in,” she said. “Airtasker is at a formidable place in the Australian market. From a consumer-based standpoint, the brand is really strong. But we haven’t doubled down overseas, so building the business in the UK and US is the next real opportunity for us.”

The team Kim inherits is what she described as “a lean team moving at the speed of light”. The marketing approach to date has largely centred around growth marketing, with strong SEO and performance marketing skills internally. The next big opportunity she sees is in brand investment.

“Airtasker is a product people love, but in terms of the brand itself, there isn’t a lot of brand association with consumers,” Kim commented. “We need to start to build the personality of the brand more and solidify why people love Airtasker beyond the product itself.

“We are not in a bad place – even with well-known brands like Instagram, people loved the product first without understanding why they loved the brand. While I was there, we invested heavily in shaping that perception. That was with a lot more scale than Airtasker.”  

In terms of how she plans to go about it, Kim’s first step is an audit of how Airtasker shows up to people and its current voice in market. Airtasker is a two-sided marketplace, so customers represent both taskers providing services as well as the users purchasing them.

“Even internally, it’s about getting a common understanding of what our brand stands for,” Kim said. “Beyond that, it’s looking at our competitive set, understanding what our role is versus those of competitors, and whether it’s direct or indirect. Because one of our competitors is asking your friends for help.

“Then it’s about where we feel we can develop and what can we credibly own, and where we continue to invest in. We can shape the strategy from there.”

With a focus on helping people realise the full potential of their skills, Kim said the Covid-19 global pandemic has presented Airtasker with an environment where people are revaluating their lives and professional and personal choices.

“Many people have quit their jobs and started new ones as its [this climate] made them reassess what’s important. A platform like ours is well positioned to take advantage of where we are at,” she said. “People are thinking about how to create economic value from the skills they have.”  

One of Airtasker’s differentiation points is the ‘open form’ structure, allowing taskers and users to both post any tasks they wish to fulfill or have fulfilled. It’s an approach that hasn’t been successful in the US before, Kim said.

“This is what makes Airtasker unique. We’ll take that product to the US, and although it isn’t necessarily new, we are the only platform that has succeeded with that,” she said. “Taking that city by city to the US will be interesting.”  

Helping inform the offering and feature development is a regular cadence of community roundtables with taskers. In addition, Airtasker employees get $1000 credit to use in the marketplace directly.

“When I was going through the interview process, I hired an Airtasker and asked a bunch of questions on why they’re choosing us over other platforms and what they would change. Those observations across audience is something that’s embedded in the culture of this organisation,” Kim said.  

While it’s early days, Kim was clear of the need to recruit more taskers on the platform. From a user perspective, the goal is better articulating jobs that can be achieved using the platform.

“As an open platform you’re able to get any job you want. But there are probably a core set of jobs people are doing on the platform. So it’s the storytelling around the breadth of things you can get done we need to focus on,” she said.

“We have also been leaning into Tasker listings, which instead of the open form, allow you to see the list of jobs that are possible for you to achieve. So we will offer both models to market.”   

Kim admitted the biggest challenge is going to be balancing short and long-term priorities.

“When you’re lean, you’re focused on opportunistic things that are short term rather than carving out the time to focus on things that feed into that long-term strategy,” she said. “Making sure you prioritise and carve out time for that is key – otherwise you end up doing the short-term things and not getting closer to your long-term goal.

“Right now, for example, a big question for us is: What do we buy versus build? We’re starting to talk to agencies to see what we can leverage outside the company itself.”  

What Kim said she appreciated most about Airtasker is its Australian roots and international ambitions.

“We have this humbleness and a scrappiness that only Australians have. We are now looking to scale in huge markets, which have very different approaches. Taking that scrappiness, which has helped us succeed so far, and take it outside of Australia is exciting,” Kim added.  

“In 3-5 years, regardless of what country you’re in, I want Airtasker to be a global household name and to be top of mind when you think of local services or need a problem solved.”  

In its most recent financials, Airtasker reported FY21 gross marketplace volume of $153.1 million, exceeding its forecasts by nearly $10m. It also cited a 39.1 per cent lift in Q4 performance year-on-year.

Don’t miss out on the wealth of insight and content provided by CMO A/NZ and sign up to our weekly CMO Digest newsletters and information services here. 

You can also follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page


Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Launch marketing council Episode 5: Retailer and supplier

In our fifth and final episode, we delve into the relationship between retailer and supplier and how it drives and influences launch marketing strategies and success. To do that, we’re joined by Campbell Davies, group general manager of Associated Retailers Limited, and Kristin Viccars, marketing director A/NZ, Apex Tool Group. Also featured are Five by Five Global managing director, Matt Lawton, and CMO’s Nadia Cameron.

More Videos

Great read. I agree that it should be a perfect balance between interacting with your customers and knowing your brand. As a business, yo...

Caroline Scott

7 ways CMOs can improve their customer engagement game

Read more

Very true. Team development helps improve collaboration among the team members. I was able to improve my team's collaboration skills by t...

Quent Sinder

Why empowering others can help make you a great leader

Read more

CRM is a very good software that can help you succeed in your business. In my company, this system has allowed me to improve customer rel...

Anna Janicka

Sensis rebrands to Thryv and brings business software to Australian SMBs

Read more

AI Leasing Assistants have finally arrived for the multifamily industry. With so many to choose from it can be hard to figure out which i...

Alice Labs Pte. Ltd.

CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 6 May 2021

Read more

Nowadays, when everything is being done online, it is good to know that someone is trying to make an improvement. As a company, you are o...


10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

Blog Posts

Why if marketing is all you do, you’ll never be very good at it

OK, so you’re probably thinking: “Here comes another article to badger me about living in my bubble.” And also, “I bet this bubble-bashing piece will go on to explain how I can achieve better results through some heady dose of new life experiences, new routines and annoyingly different opinions on social media.”

Dane Smith and Toby Harrison

Ogilvy Australia

A leader’s role in rebuilding a culture of confidence

Every day, there are new predictions and studies on the future of work, the state of the economy and the unfolding global pandemic. All of which creates uncertainty and heightens the imperative of effective leadership.

Michelle Gibbings

Workplace expert, author

Confused About Your Customers?​

​I've worked in brand and marketing for more than 20 years. But there’s one area where I’ve found myself going around in circles and I must admit I'm becoming increasingly confused.

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in