Are you looking for some marketing inspiration? We can’t blame you. The marketing ecosystem is dynamic. New trends, tactics, and technologies emerge too frequently to keep up. If you’re stuck in the past and use obsolete marketing strategies, you can’t succeed.
2019 saw a number of new marketing methods and the resurgence of some old ones. Digital marketing trends like podcasting, chatbot marketing, voice/visual search optimisation, and brand storytelling occupied centre stage. 2020 promises to bring in newer and more disruptive marketing strategies. Sales and marketing tips, research material, and statistics can help you formulate a formidable marketing plan for yourself and your clients. But there’s nothing like marketing strategy examples to get those creative juices flowing.
In this post, we’ve covered 10 brands that nailed their marketing strategies. They either came up with an entirely new tactic to hook customers or gave an innovative twist to an existing strategy. In all cases, the results were stupendous. Let’s dive in.
Are you at your wit’s end trying to make your marketing methods work? It can be frustrating to watch your full-proof marketing plan fail. But it’s not the end of the world. The bottom line? There are many marketing methods you haven’t tried yet.
The brands in this post might not be in the same niche or be the same size as your brand, but their marketing strategies can be replicated for your business. Or you can pick the example that best aligns with your business. In any case, it never hurts to take a look.
10 Awesome Marketing Strategy Examples to Inspire You
- 1. Bounty: Surprise Your Audience
- 2. Myfix Cycles: Retarget Consistently
- 3. GoPro: Leverage User-Generated Content (UGC)
- 4. Warby Parker: Monetise Your Brand Story
- 5. Vogue: Power Your Loyalty Programs
- 6. Coca-Coca: Champion a Cause
- 7. Frito-Lay: Be Original, Be Fun
- 8. Taco Bell: Be Where Your Audience Is
- 9. Heineken: Ace the Sponsorship Game
- 10. World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF): Be Creative
1. Bounty: Surprise Your Audience
Paper towel brand, Bounty, uses guerrilla marketing techniques to surprise people. In simple words, guerrilla marketing means putting your brand in front of people in unexpected ways. Bounty put up life-sized “spills” in busy downtown areas of New York.
Knocked-down cups of coffee and giant melting ice creams are sure to catch people’s eye. Bounty placed hoardings of their paper towels next to the mess to convey their messaging in a visual yet minimalistic manner. They could have used a billboard but it wouldn’t have created an impression as lasting as this one.
Your takeaway: Think of unconventional ways to reach out to consumers. Highlight their pain point and the solution that your brand offers.
2. Myfix Cycles: Retarget Consistently
All marketers will agree on one thing. Today’s internet users have short attention spans. Between messaging apps, window switching, and “real world” duties, it’s almost impossible to get users to focus on one thing.
Retargeting is like a second chance at converting lost customers. You can also use it for activating dormant users or upselling to existing customers. This is done by sending strategically-timed alerts via SMS, emails, ads, and pop-ups to targets.
Canadian cycle brand, Myfix Cycles, uses retargeting brilliantly. They partnered with Webrunner Media to run a Facebook retargeting campaign. They installed a tracking code called Facebook Pixel on their website to follow site visitors doggedly around the web.
They targeted three demographics: people who visited their sites in the past 14 days; people who added items in their carts but left without checking out; and customers who made a purchase in the past 180 days.
They flashed ads to tell their targets that items in their abandoned carts had been marked down. They sweetened the deal by adding free shipping.
Your takeaway: Every customer matters. Invest in a retargeting ad campaign and reduce customer acquisition costs.
3. GoPro: Leverage User-Generated Content (UGC)
GoPro cameras are a hit with adrenaline junkies who love to capture their daredevil stunts on film. GoPro makes it super-easy for customers to create and share branded videos shot by their cameras.
Their video editing program automatically appends the company’s logo and branding elements to each clip. Then, GoPro shares this UGC on their social accounts. This has a snowball effect and spurs other GoPro users to create branded videos.
GoPro raises the stakes by their GoPro Awards. They reward owners of the best content with gear, cash prizes, or “social stokes” (a term they’ve coined for shoutouts and reshares on GoPro’s official social accounts). The results? Customer loyalty and authentic social proof for no extra cost.
Your takeaway: Use UGC extensively in your campaigns to convert your customers into brand advocates.
4. Warby Parker: Monetise Your Brand Story
Warby Parker was founded with a mission. The eyewear company wanted to sell premium-quality glasses at affordable prices. They are the common man’s answer to Gucci and Armani. But, they don’t just sell glasses, they humanise their brand story.
Their site’s History page talks about how the brand owners had less than 20/20 vision but couldn’t afford to buy glasses. They created the brand to break the monopoly of high-end brands and provide quality glasses at low prices. That’s a convincing story of a genuine brand championing a good cause.
Check out their Instagram page. For every pair of glasses they sell, they donate a pair to the needy. In this way, they involve customers in their brand story. People feel good that they’re associated with a humanitarian brand.
Your takeaway: Don’t shy away from sharing your brand personality. Customers like to engage with a human brand rather than with a faceless entity.
5. Vogue: Power Your Loyalty Programs
Vogue Australia launched Vogue VIP, a super-charged loyalty program that rewards loyal customers with many perks. They include doorstep-delivery of the magazine, sneak peek at premium content, limited-time offers, VIP invites to Vogue events, and a free subscription to Vogue’s e-magazine.
While many brands have some sort of customer loyalty system in place, they don’t always publicise them. As a result, customers are neither able to redeem their rewards nor promote the program. Vogue displayed commitment by having a dedicated website to track how well their customers are responding to the initiative.
Your takeaway: Make your clients feel valued by having a robust members-only program. Promote it via newsletter, emails, SMS, website, and social accounts.
6. Coca-Coca: Champion a Cause
56% of consumers feel that brands use social causes as a marketing ploy. This is one of the reasons why people don’t trust brands much. But Coca-Cola has broken the stereotype by spreading “happiness.”
Coca-Cola launched “The Happiness Truck” campaign in Brazil, where a red truck roamed around the streets and distributed free merchandise to whoever presses the red button on the truck. They launched a 30-second commercial on YouTube to spread awareness about it. When the commercial became a hit, they repeated the same feat in Armenia and Istanbul.
The “sharing is caring” themed drive helped position the brand favourably in international markets. They also bagged a number of awards for the campaign.
Your takeaway: Align with a cause that you’re passionate about or that is relevant to your brand. Make a sincere effort to champion the cause and involve your customers in your journey.
7. Frito-Lay: Be Original, Be Fun
We all will agree that PepsiCo is a marketing powerhouse. Frito-Lay is one of their verticals that has a product portfolio consisting of Doritos, Lay’s, and Cheetos. Have you noticed how Lay’s comes up with innovative flavours (gyro and truffle fries, grilled cheese and tomato soup, etc.)?
They crowd-source new flavours through a perennial contest called “Do Us a Flavor.” They invite customers to submit flavours and ingredients they would like Lay’s to develop. They pick up the three best flavours and give a huge cash reward to the winning entrants.
Their “Turn Up the Flavour” contest resulted in three limited-time flavours that were inspired by three genres of music, Hip Hop, Pop, and Rock. According to Lay’s, "The sensorial experience of each ‘Turn Up the Flavor’ chip flavour aims to give fans the same sensorial experience of listening to each genre of music."
To make the contest more popular, Lay’s teamed up with music artist, Beba Rexha. She created a theme song for the campaign, Right Here, Right Now. In return, Lay’s included a unique code on the new chips packets, which let buyers unlock Beba’s new tracks.
Your takeaway: Make customers feel valued by including them in the strategic decision-making process.
8. Taco Bell: Be Where Your Audience Is
Knowing your audience’s tastes and preferences is a fundamental rule of marketing, but Taco Bell takes this maxim very seriously. They realised that a large part of their customer base is comprised of students who stay in college dorms and don’t own a TV. So they needed to reach these people through other channels.
They intensified their social media campaigns. They started spending a large part of their marketing budget on exploration so that they can respond quickly to changes in buying patterns. Competing with McDonald’s and Wendy’s was not easy but they managed by being active on almost all social platforms.
By digging deep into their buyer’s psyche, they got insights about the kind of social content that strikes a chord. Their Twitter handle, @tacobell, is full of witty and edgy content that young audiences dig. They also post hilarious replies to comments about them.
Your takeaway: Don’t skimp on customer research. The better you know your audience, the more on-target your marketing campaigns will be.
9. Heineken: Ace the Sponsorship Game
The popular beer brand, Heineken, focuses their ad campaigns on millennial males, who are their key demographic. They target men who are interested in sports by sponsoring events like the UEFA Champions League.
The Dutch beer brand also sponsors Coachella, the summer festival which is one of the largest gatherings of millennials. This consumer group is particularly averse to the idea of advertising. So, event marketing works well with them.
Associating with an event popular among millennials strengthens the brand’s positioning as a youthful brand. Plus, they get a chance to be up, close, and personal with their consumers.
Your takeaway: Evaluate your sponsorship opportunities carefully. Pick the ones that will resonate with your audiences and strengthen your brand image.
10. World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF): Be Creative
WWF’s ad campaigns are always very creative. In the “24 Hours in the Life of WWF” campaign, the organisation posted an interactive map on Twitter. On that day, whenever anybody from WWF posted anything on Twitter, a miniature of the post appeared on the map pinpointing the person’s geographical location.
The aim was to highlight the global reach of WWF and the kind of work they undertake in various parts of the globe. To popularise the idea, WWF promoted a custom hashtag #wwf24.
Their #EndangeredEmoji campaign converted tweets into donations every time their custom emojis were used in a post. The fund-raising campaign was based on the rationale that 17 of the animals included in a standard emoji set fall in the endangered bracket. So, every time a person used an emoji, the fact that the animal is endangered hit home.
Your takeaway: Think out-of-the-box to come up with ideas that haven’t been explored before. This way, your content can stand out in the saturated social space.
Over to You
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to marketing strategies that will work for your brand. But the examples in this post will open new avenues for thinking and experimenting. The best advice is to keep trying different ideas till you get it right.