Archive for the ‘Strategy and Brand Building’

10 terrific traits of successful digital companies 2

Posted on February 12, 2017 by Rob Petersen

successful digital companies

Successful digital companies are organizations that use technology as a competitive advantage in its internal and external operations.

Many definitions abound but, in a nutshell, this is what makes them successful. Like any major achievement, success doesn’t occur unless the transformation changes the company culture as much as is does the company.

In this article, we study common characteristics. Here are 10 terrific traits of successful digital companies with examples.

  1. ARE UNREASONABLY ASPIRATIONS: Being “unreasonable” is a way to jar an organization into seeing digital as a business that creates value, not as a channel that drives activities. However the vision is described, if you aren’t making the majority of your company feel nervous, you probably aren’t aiming high enough. Burberry, in 2006, was a stalled business whose brand had become tarnished. A series of groundbreaking initiatives, including a website ( that featured customers as models, more robust e-commerce catalog that matched the company’s in-store inventory, and the digitization of retail stores through features such as radio-frequency identification tags leaped frog Burberry over competitors and tripled revenues.
  2. ARE CUSTOMER OBSESSED: Knowing what the customer wants has always been the key to successful digital companies. Advances in technology and data science make it possible to analyze the complete history of customer transactions and identify individual shopping habits, patterns and motives that drive behavior. 86% of consumers say they were willing to pay more for a better customer experience. And 89% begin doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. This mind-set is what enables companies to go beyond what’s normal and into the extraordinary. If online retailer Zappos is out of stock on a product, it will help you find the item from a competitor. While it might seem heretical to buy from competitors, it’s worth it for Zappos because 75% of its orders come from repeat customers.
  3. KNOW CUSTOMER LIFETIME VALUE (CLV): It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one. Successful digital companies recognize that, while customer acquisition is always important, there is often more to be gained be exploring ways to increase the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) of current customers. According to a 2013 study by the Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Amazon Prime members spend $1,340 annually. And that was 3 year ago. More important, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimates that Amazon Kindle owners spend approximately $1,233 per year buying stuff from Amazon, compared to $790 per year for other customers.
  4. ARE SOCIAL MEDIA ADEPT: If your company is customer obsessed, then you’re constantly listening to what your customers have to say about your brand, your competitor and your industry. Successful digital companies not only listen, they are adept at doing something with this data. McDonald’s decision to serve All Day Breakfast may have been a surprise to some customers, but shows how the massive company is trying to move nimbly and take some risks with its messaging. “Customers were saying to us ‘Hey, McDonald’s, this is the next big thing. This is what we want from you,'” said McDonald’s USA Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl. With help from Twitter and Sprinklr, McDonald’s found 334,000 tweets mentioning All Day Breakfast at McDonald’s and found the most “engageable” accounts to send customized messages.
  5. ARE QUICK AND DATA-DRIVEN: Rapid decision making that is data-driven is critical in a dynamic digital environment. A cycle of continuous delivery, experimentation and improvement, adopting methods such as agile development and “live beta,” supported by big data analytics, are characteristics of successful digital companies. U.S. Xpress, a US transportation company, collects data in real time from tens of thousands of sources, including in-vehicle sensors and geospatial systems. Using Apache Hadoop, an open-source tool set for data analysis, and real-time business-intelligence tools, U.S. Xpress has been able to extract game-changing insights about its fleet operations. Data on the fuel consumption of idling vehicles led to changes that saved $20 million in fuel consumption in a year.
  6. PREPARE THEIR INFRASTRUCTURE: To take advantage of all that a digital world has to offer, successful digital companies have to be willing to invest in digital-ready infrastructures that will accelerate their digital strategies and the digital experiences of their customers, employees or citizens. As part of its three-year IT overhaul following a brush with bankruptcy, General Motors closed 23 of its data centers worldwide and moved most of that capacity into two new data center in Michigan. Reducing the distance for data to travel was a huge financial motivator for the company to not only saves on networking costs but improved responsiveness. New data centers are ‘private-cloud-meets-mainframe’ operations that run cloud-ready apps.
  7. KNOW THEIR METRICS: Metrics are a proxy for what matters most to senior management. But the measurements of success varies widely between marketing, tech management, and business unit leaders. This can creates conflict and confusion unless your company is clear about outcomes being measured. P&G created a single analytics portal, called the Decision Cockpit, which provides up-to-date sales data across brands, products, and regions to more than 50,000 employees globally. The portal, which emphasizes projections over historical data, lets teams quickly identify issues, such as declining market share, and take steps to address the problems in measurement the company considers critical to success.
  8. OPERATE IN A DIGITAL ECOSYSTEM: A digital ecosystem is the detailed visual of how all digital and social assets of a brand interconnect and interact. When managing multiple platforms, it’s important to understand how they will all work together to achieve the brand’s goal. Starbucks offers the largest and most robust mobile ecosystem of any retailer in the world, with more than 12 million Starbucks Rewards™ members (up 18% year on year), 8,000,000 mobile paying customers with one out of three now using Mobile Order & Pay, and more than $6 billion loaded onto prepaid Starbucks Cards in North America during the past year alone. Starbucks digital flywheel has also continued to gain momentum with the launch of true one-to-one personalization.
  9. PUT THE RIGHT LEADERS IN PLACE: The fast-moving digital world is exposing gaps in digital leadership, especially with regard to front office disciplines (those related to the customer experience) and head-office disciplines (those related to enterprise strategy). According to Gartner, three types of digital business leader have emerged to fill these leadership gaps: 1) Digital strategist, 2) digital marketing leader and 3) digital business unit leader. “A lot of our digital talent is home grown – mavericks who have their own businesses and have adapted their business in entrepreneurial ways. It is important to find these people and leverage their skills,” says David Crowley, Chief Commercial Officer, British Airways.
  10. SHOW ME THE MONEY: Many organizations focus their digital investments on customer-facing solutions. But they can extract just as much value, if not more, from investing in back-office functions that drive operational efficiencies. Successful digital companies know the value of reducing the costs of doing business. One-third of the digital innovation projects at Starbuck are devoted to improving efficiency and productivity away from the retail stores, and one-third focused on improving resilience and security. In manufacturing, P&G collaborated with the Los Alamos National Laboratory to create statistical methods to streamline processes and increase uptime at its factories, saving more than $1 billion a year.

Are these traits you associate with successful digital companies? Any there others you would add? Is your company interested in developing the capabilities of successful digital companies?

50 digital transformation facts to manage company change 0

Posted on February 06, 2017 by Rob Petersen

digital transformation facts

Digital transformation is “the realignment or new investment in technology and business models to more effectively engage digital customers at every touchpoint in the customer experience lifecycle” according to Brian Solis.”

It’s important because the idea is to accelerate business in a strategic and prioritized way. Digital transformation serves as a major, maybe the ultimate, demonstration of change management.

Regardless of the definition and the desired results, digital transforming takes time (2 years by most estimates, planning and testing along the way. Plus, it requires a significant investment. What should you know to guide the journey?

Here are 50 digital transformation facts to manage company change.

  1. 90% of US consumers feel that organizations are disjointed in their digital connection, forcing them, for example, to repeat steps and information. (Verndale)
  2. 88% of companies report they are undergoing digital transformation (Altimeter)
  3. 88% cited customer experience (CX) as the driver for change. (Aria)
  4. 87% of companies see digital transformation as a competitive advantage. (Capgemini Consulting)
  5. 90% of companies say they will appoint a chief digital officer. (Wall Street Journal)
  6. 87% of companies think that digital transformation is a competitive opportunity. (Capgemini Consulting)
  7. 86% of organizations believe their organization should execute a business transformation initiative regularly just to stay competitive and relevant. (Verndale)
  8. 85% of enterprise decision makers feel they have a timeframe of two years to make significant inroads on their digital transformation before suffering financially and/or falling behind their competitors. (PWC)
  9. 82% of companies say that responsibility for overall leadership of digital transformation has been formally assigned to someone within the organization. (Apigee)
  10. 81% of companies cite their have digital department (Altimeter)
  11. 81% cite innovation is at the top of the digital transformation agenda. Right behind it is the need to modernize the IT infrastructure with increased agility, flexibility, management, and security (80%). (Aria)
  12. 80% of top managers view digital change as crucial for future business models (PWC)
  13. 76% of marketers think marketing has changed more in the past two years than the past 50. (Adobe)
  14. 71% of those responsible for digital transformation cite understanding behavior or impact of the new customer as the primary catalyst for change. (Altimeter)
  15. 71% of leaders said understanding behavior of connected customers is a top challenge they face. (Altimeter)
  16. 71% of digitally maturing companies say they attract new talent based on their digital vision, (versus 10% of early-stage companies. (MITSloan)
  17. 70% of change management programs fail to meet their goals, often due to a lack of planning for what happens post-launch (Verndale)
  18. 70% of executives have started the digital transformation of their supply chains. (Capgemini Consulting)
  19. 62% say their organization is in denial about the need to transform digitally. (Progress)
  20. 59% are worried its already too late (Progress)
  21. 55% of companies without an existing digital transformation program say the timeframe to adopt one is a year or less. (Progress)
  22. Only 54% of have completely mapped out the customer journey. (Altimeter)
  23. 53% of companies cite “growth opportunities in new markets” as a driver to not only reach existing customers in better ways, but also expand markets. (Altimeter)
  24. 52% of senior executives cite a lack of familiarity with technology to be a barrier to digital transformation. (Sant ku)
  25. 51% of executives cited support from leadership as the top reason for success of a business transformation initiative. (Verndale)
  26. 51% of senior executives believe it critical to implement digital transformation in the next 12 months. (Sant ku)
  27. 50% of organizations surveyed do not have a well-established process for managing change to organizational structures and business processes based on new BI functionality. (Verndale)
  28. Only 48% say they feel highly proficient in digital marketing. (Adobe)
  29. 48% of companies are not prepared to execute business transformation. (Verndale)
  30. 48% of respondents say their companies don’t have the necessary capabilities to ensure that change is sustained. (Verndale)
  31. 45% of executives expect digital to grow their revenue, and 25% of executives expect digital to create better customer experiences. (PWC)
  32. 45% of companies trust third-party vendors to support its digital transformation initiative to provide a better customer experience. 43% choose to do so to reduce burden on internal resources, and 40% do so to reduce liability and risk. (Verndale)
  33. 41% of leaders surveyed said they’ve witnessed an increase in market share due to digital transformation efforts, and 37% cite a positive impact on employee morale.
  34. 39% say their digital transformation efforts have helped them make strong progress in enabling real-time transactions. (Accenture)
  35. 39% of marketers plan to increase their digital budgets without increasing overall marketing spend, essentially reallocating existing budgets into digital channels. (CMO Council)
  36. Only 36% of CMOs have quantitatively proved the short-term impact of marketing spending; for demonstrating long-term impact, that figure drops to 29%. (Convince and Convert)
  37. 33% say that their digital transformation efforts have helped them make strong progress in creating new sales channels; 25% say it has helped them make strong progress in accelerating product development. (Accenture)
  38. 33% of organizations see digital transformation as a huge challenge. (Sant ku)
  39. 32% say it has helped them make strong progress in improving the efficiency of operations. (Accenture)
  40. Only 29% feel that implementing digital metrics and measurements was a critical component to enabling digital business. (Verndale)
  41. Just 29% of companies have a multi-year roadmap to guide to digital transformation evolution. (Altimeter)
  42. 28% say it has helped them acquire new customers. (Accenture)
  43. 27% of senior executives rate digital transformation as now being “a matter of survival.” (Capgemini Consulting)
  44. Only 27% of companies say that their executives possess the skills necessary for digital transformation. (Verndale)
  45. Only 26% of managers at large global enterprises agreed that their analytics program had met or exceeded their expected business outcomes, and only 31% felt their digital initiatives did the same. (Verndale)
  46. 25% of companies have a clear understanding of new and underperforming digital touchpoints (Altimeter)
  47. Only 22% of those surveyed cited having a content strategy in place that addresses customer needs at all journey stages. (Altimeter)
  48. Mere 20% of leaders are studying the mobile customer journey/behavior. (Altimeter)
  49. Only 5% of executives surveyed were able to claim they have a seamless customer experience across channels today. (Verndale)
  50. $100 billion is wasted each year on digital and analytic business transformations that do not deliver what they promise. (Verndale)

Do these digital transformation facts guide your company’s journey. Does your company need help with digital transformation?

Organic vs Paid Social Media. 12 myths vs realities 1

Posted on January 23, 2017 by Rob Petersen

organic vs paid social media

Organic vs paid social media.

Organic social media is the use of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat along with the use of free publishing tools like Hootsuite and Buffer to build a social community and interact with it – publishing posts, sharing others’ posts and engaging in conversations and comments.

Paid social social is paying any of these social networks to boost the reach of posts, display ads and videos or sponsor messaging. Paid social media is charged on a cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-thousand (CPM) basis. Measurements showing the path to conversions, transactions and sales are also used.

The social media landscape is constantly evolving. Which one to use? Why? What is right balance?

To understand organic vs paid social media, here are 12 myths vs realities.


  1. SOCIAL MEDIA IS ABOUT CONVERSATIONS AND CONTENT: Myth. Yes, it is but it’s also about commerce. Research from Crowdtap revealed 64% of 3,000 people surveyed use social to find inspiration for shopping (up 51% vs. prior year). Nearly half (46%) of social media users are already using social platforms while thinking about making a purchase. 40% of users are actively deciding what to buy based on what they have seen on social media platforms, including reviews and recommendations. This is set to grow.
  2. AS MY SOCIAL FOOTPRINT GROWS, SO DOES ORGANIC SOCIAL MEDIA REACH. Myth. Organic Facebook Reach has been on a steady decline. EdgeRank chronicled the decline.  From 2012 to 2014, it went from 16.00% to 6.51%, a 60% decline. The studies showed brands that struggled to engage their audience, when measured against brands with “Social DNA” were hit the hardest.
  3. LARGE BRANDS WITH LOTS OF LIKES HAVE GREATER ORGANIC SOCIAL MEDIA REACH: Myth. According to a Social@Ogilvy analysis of more than 100 brand pages, Ogilvy also concluded Facebook organic reach hovered at 6%. For large brand pages with more than 500,000 Likes, organic reach hit 2%. Facebook sources were unofficially advising community managers to expect it to approach zero in the future.
  4. ORGANIC IS MORE EFFECTIVE THAN PAID BECAUSE IT’S MORE AUTHENTIC: Myth. Paid social media is believed to be more effective than organic for nearly 60% of social media marketers in helping their business achieve its goals, according to recent research from Clutch. Some 59% of respondents say they agree with the following statement: “Paid social is more effective than organic social.” Some 33% of respondents are neutral about that statement, and 8% disagree with it. Plus, 45% of marketers planning to increase spending on paid social this year according to a study from SocialCode and the CMO Club.
  5. MOST COMPANIES USE EITHER ORGANIC OR PAID ONLY SOCIAL MEDIA: Myth. The great majority of companies us both. According to the Clutch study, 86% of B2B and B2C marketers use both paid and organic social media.
  6. THERE ARE FEW LARGE COMPANIES THAT USE ONLY ORGANIC SOCIAL MEDIA. Myth. 13% of larger companies only do organic social media according to Clutch.


  1. SOCIAL MEDIA LISTENING REQUIRES ONLY ORGANIC SOCIAL MEDIA: Reality. Organic is ideal for community management. You don’t need paid campaigns to listen to what people are saying about you. It’s always a good idea to listen and monitor mentions and conversations about your brand to guide any social media activity or plan.
  2. ORGANIC SOCIAL MEDIA IS EARNED MEDIA: Reality. Just like organic search, the benefits gained from organic social media such as Likes, Followers and Advocates are earned and not likely to go away in the near term.  With paid social media just like paid search, the benefits are likely to be there as long as you keep paying for them.
  3. SOCIAL MARKETERS HAVE TO ENGAGE GROUPS OF PEOPLE BASED ON SHARED INTERESTS AND PASSIONS: Reality. Regardless whether you’re thinking organic vs paid social media, targeting to people with shared interest and values is a requirement of both. And is the way build an audience, relationships and conversion activities. Hashtags, for example, are equally appropriate for organic and paid social media messaging.
  4. COMBINED ORGANIC VS PAID SOCIAL MEDIA DELIVERS BETTER RESULTS: Reality. In a case study for Castrol Motorcycle Oil, the first phase involved an organic social media marketing campaign for six months. It delivered 5,000 Fans, a good level of organic growth and 26,000 social interactions showing great engagement potential. But Castrol was focusing on North America and only 20% of the audience came from the U.S.  When paid social media was added, this hiked up the number to 36,000 Fans and 140,000 social interaction and 50% came from the U.S.
  5. SOCIAL MEDIA REQUIRES A STRATEGY AND MEASUREMENT PLAN: Reality. As the Castrol case study showed, organic social media helped develop a strategy for a combined effort and measurements guided success. There is no generic formula to determine the right balance of organic vs paid social media. But a strategy and measurement plan leads you to one.
  6. TESTING HELPS ACHIEVE THE BEST ORGANIC VS PAID SOCIAL MEDIA BALANCE:  Reality. Response on social media in general is almost instantaneous. In as little as a couple of days, paid social media can be tested. Variations to ads and messaging can also be tested. A small investment in time or money generates a large amount of learning very quickly in social media.

Does this help you understand the use of organic vs paid social media? Does your company need guidance to help identify the right combination for your business?


10 best intranet platforms to help any business get more done 1

Posted on January 08, 2017 by Rob Petersen


Intranet is an internal website that helps employees get more done.

Today’s intranet does this in 5 key ways:

  • Delivers content
  • Is key communication tool
  • Enables collaboration
  • Supports the culture
  • Creates efficiencies for business activities

While an intranet is often associated with large enterprises, the availability of cloud-based solutions mean more companies can benefit from a sophisticated and cost-effective intranet. One that doesn’t require huge IT support, is easily scalable, accessible and from any device.

If this peaks interest on work productivity for your business, here are the 10 best intranet platforms to help any business get more done.

BLOOMFIRE: Is trusted by hundreds of teams and organizations large and small for their secure, internal web portal needs. From training to document sharing to company announcements, Bloomfire makes uploading, authoring, sharing and managing easy and secure. The Bloomfire SaaS web portal solution allows anyone to get a business portal off the ground in just a few minutes.

COMMUNIFIRE: is a modern, fully featured social intranet software that supports your employees and your business. 99% of Communifire Intranet customers are still actively using the platform after 5 years. From connecting your people and streamlining communication to enhancing collaboration and managing content, the full suite of integrated tools helps an organization be more informed, quicker to take action and prepared for tomorrow.

EXO PLATFORM: Is an open-source social-collaboration software designed for enterprises. It is full featured, based on portal standards, extensible and has an amazing design. eXo helps companies connect their employees, customers and developers through social, collaborative and content-driven intranets, websites and dashboards.

IGLOO SOFTWARE: Specializes in social intranets for document management, including version control and commenting on all content types. Community channels for ongoing employee interactions called Spaces can be administered by specific functional group, like HR, sales, or engineering. One of its customers, a wireless company, utilizes 60 spaces, which they call team rooms for various departments and project teams. Igloo Software is a 100% cloud-based platform, and also deploys extranets, external facing communities or a mixed hybrid of public and private areas.

JOSTLE: Makes it easy to inform and connect employees to get more work done. It’s easy to share news, align teams, recognize contributions and invite participation. Engagement rates are reported to be 5X higher than both traditional employee portals and social intranets to help employees get things done. Software runs in the cloud and requires no customization. So you can be up in running in one week.

MY HUB: Is a low-cost intranet solution that provides an out of the box intranet with a range of powerful business tools designed improve internal communications and employee engagement. Such as staff directory, profiles, secure login, mobile friendly, document/file storage, blogs, forums, custom pages.

PODIO: Owned by Citrix Systems, Inc. is a contemporary model for intranets, providing ready-built and build-your-own apps to fill the employee’s workspace. The Employee Network is the common area where interactions in real time in the activity stream provide visibility for employees online. Groups can get creative using the Intranet App Pack, presented as a collection of apps to share documents, host meetings, and track corporate communications. A creative use of Podio is shown by Pilnga, a social games publishing company, that provide access to various assets through their departmental apps, which eliminates emails and streamlines workflow across the company.

SALESFORCE CHATTER: Extends Wave Analytics to channel partners. While Salesforce has had a collaboration offering in their cloud platform — in the form of Chatter — for a good while now, the recent introduction of its Community Cloud product has transformed the company into a versatile and capable new contender in portals, intranets, and social collaboration.

SHAREPOINT: Still the most used platform for intranets, portals, and digital collaboration in medium to large enterprises today, Microsoft SharePoint began life as a document management solution over a decade ago. The new features in its latest incarnation, the brand new SharePoint 2016, show the continued vitality of the platform and it remains the proverbial 800 lb gorilla in the industry.

YAMMER: Used at more than 200,000 organizations today, Yammer is not quite as popular as it once was yet is still quite common to encounter in companies large and small. Yammer has apps like Slack, and though its ecosystem is not as vibrant or large, Yammer makes a good effort to appeal to developers and supports some key open standards. As a workhorse general purpose enterprise social network, Yammer is very capable, but it’s lack of support for specific business use cases or a well-established way for companies to create them, is a growing oversight. Yammer Everywhere is one particularly notable feature that allows the service to be easily embedded elsewhere, in intranets and other internal Web experiences, to make them more social and collaborative. Yammer does have a very good mobile app as well.

Do these platform convince you that an intranet could help your business get more done? Are there any others you would add? Do you need help finding the right intranet solution for your business.

10 most inspiring digital marketing stories of 2016 4

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?

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