The Best Creative Marketing Campaigns: What We Can Learn from Them

Sep, 19 | 55 min read
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When it comes to creating a marketing campaign, it’s often viewed as all about the end result. How well did a given campaign perform? What was the increase in sales? How many new customers did it bring in?

We often try to quantify things after the fact, because that’s what informs us about the success of the campaign.

While we are actively putting a campaign together, however, we can take the opportunity to learn detailed lessons from campaigns that have gone before us. While it is, ultimately about what works and what doesn’t, these five campaigns can teach us marketing aspects that help us to craft a creative campaign with a greater chance of success.

Ikea’s First :59 Campaign: Engage With Your Customers

ikea first campaign

This campaign from hugely successful home goods and furniture warehouse-style store Ikea centers on content directly from customers. Specifically, the company asked their customers about the details of their morning routine (especially the first hour of it) and how that beginning typically impacted the remainder of their day.

This allowed Ikea’s customers a platform to speak about the things near and dear to them, such as family life, pets, and hobbies. In turn, the answers and input that Ikea received gave them deeper insight into their customers, allowing them to create content that would be helpful.

This content, as seen on the First :59 page on Ikea’s website, includes videos, tips, and how-tos that help with everyday tasks and to-dos.

With a finger on the pulse of its customers, Ikea is able to reach them where it counts.

The lesson: Good marketing reaches to the heart of your customers, giving you insight into what is really important to them.

American Express’ Open Forum: Show the Value

American express open forum

The Open Forum page via the American Express website is doing what many companies claim to do: offering valuable insight and actionable content.

Community is a big deal to a lot of people. So much so that many sites and companies include message boards for discussion.

The difference here, and one that AMEX has definitely advertised, is that the content created through the Open Forum page is created by experts who are offering valuable advice to their customers.

Not just someone within the company, toeing the company line.

By making valuable third-party content available to all, American Express goes the extra mile to show their customers that they’re invested in their success.

The lesson: Good marketing highlights the value of a product or service.

Lyft’s Incentives: Don’t Underestimate Word Of Mouth (And Incentives)

Lyft is right up there with Uber in the non-taxi-taxi market. As a rideshare company with decent prices, how much would you estimate that they need to spend on extensive marketing campaigns?

Well, as a matter of fact, Lyft has grown almost entirely due to word of mouth.

But they aren’t completely reliant on a rider remembering to act as an advocate for the service. Lyft offers incentives to those who use the service, granting free rides for the use of referral codes.

The referral system has worked a treat, as might be expected. Everyone likes to earn free stuff, right? And, as a matter of fact, positive reviews and word of mouth advertising is worth more than any amount of coverage and traditional advertising.

So the lesson for this one is twofold.

Lesson: Sculpt your campaign to increase word of mouth, and look for chances to include incentives.

Airbnb’s Instagram Campaigns: Dial Your Social Media Up To Eleven

Airbnb instagram campaign

Airbnb has taken a little flack over the past few years, for things like getting a company logo redesigned to reflect branding change-ups with policies.

But there’s at least one thing that it does very well.

Social media is a pretty common way to operate a marketing campaign, and there’s a good reason for that. Sheer numbers don’t lie: more than one in every three internet users report turning to social media platforms for further information on any given brand.

We’re just used to social media, now. We’ve come to expect a presence from any legitimate company, which renders social media a perfect opportunity for promoting a particular campaign.

Airbnb has hit the nail on the head with their Instagram campaigns, over and over. Since it is a company that covers areas worldwide, it’s natural to use travel and exploration as jumping-off points for campaigns. And Airbnb has been incredibly successful with their photo-based campaigns, creating one million backlinks, and garnering huge numbers of new followers.

Lesson: Social media is the perfect spot to launch and operate a campaign for maximum interaction.

Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Eleven Herbs And Spices: Keep It Simple

This last one is good for a laugh, and a great example of how campaigns don’t need to be expensive and complicated to be effective.

Simply put, KFC narrowed its Twitter followers down to eleven people: the five Spice Girls, and six guys named Herb.

They didn’t announce that they were going to do this. It was first pointed out a few weeks later, in a tweet breaking the subtle nod down: “Eleven herbs and spices!” That tweet alone was re-tweeted over 300,000 times.

It was subtle, cute, funny, and it got people talking. And it cost virtually nil to actually put the “campaign” into action.

Lesson: Think outside the box, and keep it simple!

Whichever lesson you plan to opt for, make sure they match with your business strategy and worth the dollars you invest in it.

Author Bio

Graphic designer by night and writer by day, Cara Thomas thrives in sharing her expertise through fun and engaging content. “Why hate anyone when you can kill them with chocolates” is her motto.

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