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10 most inspiring digital marketing stories of 2016

Posted on December 18, 2016 by Rob Petersen

Digital marketing is an umbrella term for the marketing of products or services using a digital strategy, technologies and tactics that include search, paid advertising, social media and many other properties.

But channels and technologies don’t do justice to the ways some brands are putting it all together.

Here are the 10 most inspiring digital marketing stories of 2016.

  1. ALWAYS: Girls’ confidence takes a nosedive once they hit puberty, Always’ commercial launched an efforts to  help teach confidence to girls and young women through a variety of means. They’ve partnered with TED to create a series of educational videos on confidence that are shared with teachers and students worldwide, and even created the Always Confidence Curriculum, which was unveiled at the Always #LikeAGirl Confidence Summit. Meanwhile, the company continues to push out short, inspiring message via the hashtag #LikeAGirl.
  2. AMERICAN EXPRESS: Open Forum is a collaborative website, on which American Express invites guest authors from a variety of sectors to share their business knowledge and wisdom.  The result of this digital marketing is a content-rich mega-site that’s popular with the search engines – all created without American Express needing to shell out cash to content contributors.
  3. DACIAS: A subsidiary of Renault is one of Europe’s fastest growing car brands. Best known for their functional cars that offer amazing price-to-value ratios, the customer market grew by 60,000 cars in the last three years. By using Facebook’s boosted posts, Dacia placed ads related to their Sandero, Logan, and Stepway models. They focused on both desktop and mobile users. By incorporating data from past activity, the company ensured that a wide variety of ad testing was done, essentially optimizing the advertisement’s impact based on where their customers were in the buying cycle.
  4. DALLAS PETS ALIVE: Renamed shelter dogs after the most searched and trending topics to increase their chances of adoption — with pooches being named everything from Obamacare to Kim Kardashian’s Butt. The push was promoted by a funny online film and a Paid Search campaign. The digital marketing campaign grew traffic to its website by 98% and increased adoptions year-on-year by 200%.
  5. DOMINO’S: Really wants to make it easy to order pizza. The company let customers request delivery of their favorite pizza by tweeting to the @Dominos Twitter account, or by using the hashtag #EasyOrder. The tweet-based order system earned Domino’s media coverage from the likes of USA Today, Forbes, and Good Morning America, not to mention a Titanium Grand Prix award at Cannes. More than 50 percent of Domino’s orders come from digital marketing channels today.
  6. GIRL SCOUTS: Noticed that a lot of customers had issues with finding their nearest Girl Scout Representative when Cookie Season was in full swing. They wanted to drive cookie booth searches on their official website and also boost the number of downloads for their Girl Scout Cookie Finder mobile app. This would not only benefit the organization but also, be a massive help to consumers looking to buy cookies. @GirlScouts used an App Card (showcasing their delicious products) in a Twitter App Install campaign, which easily and conveniently allowed users to download and open the Girl Scout Cookie Finder app from their Twitter account. The result was 19,500+ Twitter-driven app installations.
  7. KRYLON: A spray-paint company, sent “DIY experts” to buy 127 “worthless” items along the route and transform them into something desirable, according to the company. After the yard sale ended, Krylon listed all of its transformed items for sale online, becoming the first brand to use Pinterest’s buyable pin feature. All of the proceeds (roughly $2,000) went to charity.As a result, Krylon’s Pinterest following increased by 4,400 percent, and the company estimates it gained $2.7 million in earned media on a $200,000 budget
  8. PWC: Has managed Oscar balloting for 82 years. For the 2016 awards ceremony, the company sought “to create a modern and savvy campaign” aimed at millennials by using Snapchat “to generate buzz internally and increase external visibility around the firm’s involvement with the Academy Awards,” according to the company. In its first two weeks, PwC’s Snap Story on Snapchat jumped to over 700 views. Within three weeks, the campaign received 1,062 related tweets on Twitter and 406 Instagram mentions.
  9. SPOTIFY: Created a very clever personalized video in December of 2015. They called it ‘A Year in Music, what did your 2015 sound like?’. This message was posted across the companies social channels, along with a generic video supporting that message. It then encouraged users to login to listen and watch their personal video, which was comprised of the users most played and favorite sounds of the year. The benefits for Spotify were that this built elements of customer loyalty, making users feel a little bit special – and it also made a lot of their users login when they may not have planned to previously.
  10. THE WIRECUTTER: Affiliate marketing can be a bit sleazy, but it can generate big results when done properly and genuinely. The Wirecutter has set the standard since its launch just five years ago. Labeling itself a simple “list of the best gadgets—like cameras and TVs—for people who don’t want to take a lot of time figuring out what to get,” the site generated $150 million in e-commerce transactions in 2015.

Do these make your list of best digital marketing stories this year? Are there any others you would add to the list? Do they inspire you to create a digital marketing story for your brand next year?

4 to “10 most inspiring digital marketing stories of 2016”

  1. gregjarboe says:

    Great list. The only digital marketing story that I could add is WestJet Christmas Miracle: Fort McMurray Strong: https://youtu.be/y7qZclJIjOM

  2. robpetersen says:

    gregjarboe Thanks Greg. Appreciate the addition. Great example. Happy Holiday to you and your family. Look forward to working with you at Rutgers next year.

  3. gregjarboe says:

    robpetersen gregjarboe Happy holidays to you, too, Rob. Catch you on the flip side.

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