As consumers, we are inundated with targeted marketing campaigns all day, every day.
But the thing is, there are marketing campaigns — promotional codes, marketing emails, social posts, search ads, and more — and then there’s marketing. campaigns. The ones you talk about or share with others. The ones that make you see a brand in a completely different way. The ones you remember.
Now, not everyone has Spotify or has a billboard-size budget — but we can learn a lot by looking at some of the best marketing campaigns out there. So today, we’ll cover:
- What exactly is a marketing campaign.
- Types of campaigns and marketing requirements.
- Five examples of the best marketing campaigns we’ve ever seen.
Each will come with takeaway tips so you can simulate, replicate, and repeat each of these examples.
What is the marketing campaign?
The term “marketing campaign” is very broad and can mean many things. I defined it here as a project undertaken to drive a particular action and executed through a single channel or a variety of channels. For example, a free marketing campaign may be run and implemented entirely on social media. Or you can send emails about it, write blog posts on it, have the influencer spread the word, etc.
Marketing campaigns are designed to achieve a specific goal, such as increasing website traffic, increasing sales on a specific product or service, or getting more people to try a free tool. They also usually have specific time frames assigned to them for accurate testing, analysis and optimization.
There is a lot that goes into a successful marketing campaign:
- World Health Organization: What audiences are you targeting? New clients? idle clients? Users of a particular service you offer?
- what: What are you promoting, and what assets are needed for the campaign?
- where: Where will you carry out the campaign? Social, email, website, offline?
- whenWhen do you plan to launch, run, and close the campaign?
- Why: Why are you running the campaign? What are your short and long term goals?
- howHow will each piece of content work together to maximize campaign success?
Types of marketing campaigns
There are a lot of ways to take advantage of marketing campaigns to achieve your marketing goals. Let’s take a look at some of the types of marketing campaigns you can run.
1. Launching campaigns
For those of us who love working at startups, you’re probably familiar with the hustle and bustle of trying to launch a new brand in front of the public – whether for a new product, service, or feature.
This is the perfect opportunity for a marketing campaign! Depending on the size of your launch, you may want to squeeze all of your marketing platforms. For launches in particular, consider including:
- press release
- Press or care features
- Blog post written by stakeholders
- Content posted on LinkedIn or Medium
- Advertising campaigns on social platforms
- influencer or network support
The iPod launch campaign has done well, and Apple still uses this type of photo and copy for its wearables.
For tips on this type of campaign, check out 12 ways to effectively promote a new product or service.
2. Sales promotion campaigns
Are you considering reducing the service price for a limited time only? Upgrading your bread and butter product? Seems like a great time to market this with a time-limited marketing campaign.
You will need to reach out to your existing customers to let them know about the discount or new user experience, and you can try to take advantage of them to spread the word.
You will need:
Here is a list of sales promotions you might use for a campaign like this.
3. Event Marketing Campaigns
Conferences are finally back! This hits close to home, as I am very in-depth at planning conference sponsorships, speaking sessions, and designing booths. Not to mention attending webinar after webinar on the “how to” of this and the “how to” of this.
To make sure people attend your webinar, attend your workshop, or buy tickets to your conference, include some of these materials:
- Drip emails
- individual communication
- Landing page with registration form
- Shareable social assets
Blast from the past WordStream.
Need some ideas for event marketing? Look no further than 11 brand building event marketing ideas.
4. Lots of other marketing campaigns
These are just three types of marketing campaigns. The list goes on and on, depending on your goals, business conditions, and what you define as a marketing campaign.
For example, here are some other things to keep in mind:
- Remarketing campaigns: To get idle or former customers to return.
- Product or Service Marketing Campaigns: To promote an existing product or service you need more love.
- Rename marketing campaigns: You don’t like showing your new transformation to the world.
Without further ado, let’s get into some examples! You can use them to inspire your next marketing campaign, spark some creativity for the current campaign, or help you plan a roadmap.
The best marketing campaigns we’ve seen and what we can learn from them
Here are five great examples of marketing campaigns that have been done right. I’ll also talk about how you can apply it to your own campaigns.
1. Two types of people (Apple)
Back when the Mac was a “book,” and when personal computers were a luxury, Apple launched the Lisa – the first computer ever with a mouse. Their launch campaign included a TV commercial starring Kevin Costner.
No, this was not the first influencer marketing campaign. In fact, that was how famous it was.
And no, Lisa never took off.
It’s the text of this commercial that makes it such a standout campaign: “This is why we make the most advanced personal computers in the world. And why soon, there may be two types of people: those who use computers and those who use apples.”
Watch the ad here.
The Takeaway: Stay committed to your brand voice
You see, “Think differently” may be Apple’s current marketing slogan but that’s been their message since the 1980s. Includes the history of their brand messages. You really can’t brand your business without consistency, and Apple has done due diligence in this area for the past three decades.
2. Operation Santa (USPS)
I’m fascinated by the USPS. I mean, how absolutely amazing it is that you can put cheap sticky paper on an envelope, put it in a box outside your house, and it will magically end up thousands of miles away?!
But I digress. Through Operation Santa, the USPS encourages children to write letters to the “North Pole,” also known as a collection center that posts pictures of the letters online. The participants can then read these messages and answer one or more of the requests in the message by sending a mail packet to the child.
So while this marketing campaign helped drive more business to the USPS, it was in a charitable way that everyone felt good.
Benefit: Involve a third benefactor in your campaign
All marketing campaigns are technically a win-win: Your customers get the valuable offer you’re promoting, and you get their business. But with a charitable marketing campaign, you can go for a mutual profit. The third benefactor here – children of disadvantaged communities – gives both the USPS and its customers an incentive to get the most out of this marketing campaign. We all love to buy products that also have a positive impact on our community.
Head here for more cause-related marketing campaign ideas.
3. What did Agnes see (Tokyo Olympics)
This inspiring commercial features the oldest living Olympian (Agnes Keleti) as well as the many great Olympic moments that occurred during her lifetime. “What Agnes Saw” represents her seeing the torch light and thousands of athletes like her.
If this doesn’t stress your heart strings or make you want to get up and do something, you may not have heart. I’ll be honest, I had no plans to watch the Olympics this year. Mostly because I don’t own a cable TV (unlike an OTT). But after I found sweet memories of Agnes, I stole the login to my dad’s cable plan.
Benefit: Try the Look Back campaign that showcases your accomplishments, challenges, or even mistakes
The Olympic Games is an event like no other. And every year they are held is very different from the last year; Locations, cultures, geopolitical events, and athletes influence the formation of the Games.
What this marketing campaign from the Olympics shows us is how to embrace different challenges and achievements. Don’t be shy about where you’ve been and celebrate where you’re going.
In practical terms, this means apologizing for any wrong doing and showing your clients how you corrected it (admitting your mistakes has its benefits, you know). Or perhaps it would be better to illustrate this by showing the generations of the family that have worked to develop the ideal formula for your business.
4. Prime Day (Amazon)
In 2015, Amazon celebrated the first Prime Day as a campaign to attract more Amazon Prime subscribers. And boy, did you succeed? So good that they still have several Prime Days after six years.
The takeaway: offer a little something extra for loyalty
If you’re a subscription-based business, take a page out of the Amazon book and offer subscribers something extra for their loyalty. Something that will make their friends and family very jealous, and they will want to sign up for your service as soon as possible.
I always suggest free stuff, because people love free stuff. In fact, the gym I go to recently had a “Member’s Day” that focused on fun games and gifts for its members. They even made a signature beer for this event!
5. Where are my docks?
How can we not include an influencer marketing campaign here? And no, I will not mention a specific gum/tea/food supplement to lose weight…
Where are my Quays is the ultimate influencer campaign. Does anyone remember when Chrissy Teigen totally blew out her Quay sunglasses in 2019?
Everyone had to *own* a pair of these giant sunglasses after comedian/model/mama baby John Legend endorsed them through a series of commercials and social media outlets.
Great movement, berth. Although my kid’s face was unfortunately too small for any of their products, I fell victim to the campaign. You can find my sunglasses on Poshmark, please take them off my hands.
The takeaway: Look for a real endorsement
First of all, know your audience. Who do you want to reach? Who is in their sphere of influence? How do you match the person in their circle of influence with your product?
Working with influencers is not easy. But, in my experience, sometimes the right influencer will fall into your lap (aka send you an email). You want someone who loves your product as much as you do, because a true endorsement cannot be faked.
What are the best marketing campaigns you have seen?
While these are just some of my favorite marketing campaigns, it’s certainly not an exhaustive list. And you crazy marketers keep coming up with creative ideas. So send us your favorites and we may add them to the list!