Marketing can be difficult to accomplish correctly. It takes a lot of care and attention to understand what challenges your target audience is going through, learn how to solve those problems, and present a solution that works for them.
Your brand is critical to your business’s success. Without a well-planned marketing strategy, it’s hard to make the strides you need to succeed, hard to develop your brand, and hard to stay consistent in how you present your brand across marketing channels.
However, in the end, it’s incredibly rewarding! Your brand has incredible potential, you only need to unleash it with the right tools and marketing efforts!
In what follows, we’ll talk about some marketing strategy examples that you can use as inspiration for your next campaign. We’ll discuss why a marketing strategy is so important, real-life successful marketing strategy examples, and how to measure your success.
What is a Marketing Strategy? Do You Need One?
A marketing strategy is a plan where a company or firm implements promotional tactics with the aim to win prospective customers over to become customers.
Some examples of marketing strategies include promoting brand awareness on the Internet via social media platforms and search engines.
Marketing strategies are powered by a cycle of goal setting, planning, execution, and tracking. They typically include the channels that a company will use to reach its ideal audience, as well as budget constraints, and key performance indicators to monitor for success.
To have an effective marketing strategy, a business must deeply understand its prospects and goals, form a plan to achieve those goals, execute it, and measure its progress quantitatively along the way.
For smaller businesses, this might sound a bit overkill. However, it’s extremely important in a company’s growth and in expanding ground in a competitive marketplace, even if you’re small!
Marketing strategies help businesses stay within their budget and adjust their marketing tactics for effectiveness. Without a marketing strategy and measurement plan, it’s difficult to know what specific efforts are succeeding.
Every business needs a way to know if the latest spike in sales came from their newest social media posts, content marketing, or a jump up in search engine results pages!
If you can measure your progress with data, you can adjust as necessary to achieve your overall marketing goals.
Marketing strategies are needed for your business to thrive, so let’s talk more about some examples of marketing strategies to help you learn how you can make the best use of them!
11 Successful Marketing Strategy Examples
The most successful businesses use marketing strategies tailored to their needs.
What you’ll see below most likely won’t work for your business out of the box, as they are built around an entirely different business’s marketing goals.
Instead, consider these examples as ideas to inspire you to augment your own strengths, audience, and assets to your advantage.
Marketing Strategy Example 1: Marriott
As the world’s largest hotel chain by the number of available rooms, Marriott has solidified its position in the market.
To maintain that position and to advance new features and offerings to its guests, the company needs to connect with its audience. One way of connecting with your audience is to partner with people that are already influential with that audience.
Marriott demonstrated this idea through their campaign with YouTube star Jeana Smith (@PrankVsPrank) to celebrate surpassing one million check-ins on their mobile app.
From this campaign, they threw a huge party for their one-millionth mobile check-in guest at the hotel in Los Angeles! Aside from making that guest’s night much more special, teaming up with Jeana Smith enabled the whole ordeal to be experienced by millions of PrankVsPrank subscribers.
Influencer marketing like Marriott’s partnership with Jeana Smith can work extremely well for businesses that want to connect with their audience. It not only can be rewarding for a prominent member of a community, but it can help elevate your brand’s image! Since influencers like Jeana are already well-perceived by their audience, associating with them can heighten your image as well.
Brands have a lot to learn from influencers. Prominent community members like Jeana Smith already know how to connect with their audience. Teaming up and listening to their ideas and suggestions can help you succeed.
Influencer marketing isn’t just for big brands! If you are a small business look for micro-influencers to partner with. And, consider a tactic that has worked for start-ups like Tailwind and BuzzSumo — begin your influencer marketing by swapping mentions on social media, or including references to influencers in your content marketing strategy.
Marketing Strategy Example 2: Balenciaga
As a high-luxury fashion brand, Balenciaga finds it difficult to target a larger audience. However, it found unique success thanks to a brilliant marketing strategy using memes! This ‘meme baiting’ strategy involved creating outrageous products for stratospheric prices. These products are silly, but they bait a larger audience into paying the soaring prices to take part in the joke.
Balenciaga succeeded by taking advantage of social network sharing online. The more people who saw their ridiculous products like the T-shirt shirt, the more popular the campaign became. Quickly many people became willing to spend upwards of a thousand dollars! Through humor, Balenciaga was able to bridge the gap between its audience and its towering prices.
Balenciaga proves that good marketing can help you sell anything! However, it requires a deep understanding of your audience and your brand. Knowing how to take advantage of how information can travel within your audience is incredibly important for your success. Take advantage of social media channels to help your content spread to the people who need to see it. Engage with them and watch your brand grow!
Marketing Strategy Example 3: Nordstrom
As a luxury department store chain, Nordstrom is known for its high-quality products. This reputation extends to social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
Nordstrom saw the opportunity to integrate these two social media platforms to help sell its products in-store and online.
The strategy they chose is called Retargeting, a way of showing visitors content on social media or your website based on the content they had previously seen on your website.
It’s an ingenious way to engage with your audience to help them find what they need!
One of the most important parts about the company strategy was to integrate their Instagram and Pinterest accounts to share the same content. Users would first see the item there, and then they were encouraged to visit one of the company’s physical locations to purchase any item that they saw online.
One of the most important reasons why this campaign by Nordstrom was so successful was that they deeply understood their customer’s journey. They had a vision of the funnel from discovery on social media all the way to checkout.
By better understanding your audience in this way, you can build better loyalty which increases the chance that a customer will return to buy more.
For example, many audiences seek inspiration on social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to help them find what interests them. If they encounter a brand’s content while browsing social, they may search for it later in an organic traffic channel like Google, and if search ads are part of your marketing budget, you can snag people who are searching for terms related to your brand.
By meeting your target where they spend time, Nordstrom built better relationships with their audience to achieve success! You can do the same thing with your audience!
Marketing Strategy Example 4: Allbirds
This eco-friendly footwear and apparel company makes waves with its audience through consistent and on-brand communication across all channels. No matter where you look, Allbirds uses its recognizable humor and tone of voice.
Not too long ago, this billion-dollar shoe company was a simple startup that worked its way up in the world. Aside from its consistent brand presentation, there are a few other ways that their marketing strategy carried them to success:
· Unique value proposition: sustainable high-quality shoes.
· Listening to feedback on social media: improving their products based on audience voices
Allbirds highlights its unique brand proposition consistently in all its social media promotions. They also actively engage with their audience and respond to their questions.
The above conversations show that whoever is at the reins of the Allbirds Instagram account knows how to care for their audience!
Having a consistent brand image across all channels is essential for your success. Although the strategy Allbirds uses may not fit your business perfectly, following that basic principle is extremely important.
In addition, be transparent. Sharing information that matters to your audience will build trust with them and will raise the quality and recognition of your brand.
Marketing Strategy Example 5: Twitch
As one of the world’s most popular video streaming platforms, Twitch has built an empire of active users. The platform has heavily capitalized on the fear of missing out (FOMO), a pain point that livestreaming can resolve. This is effective because Twitch creators build entrenched relationships with their audience.
The language that Twitch uses to advertise their platform is synonymous with event marketing. Phrases like “don’t miss” are common.
This doesn’t just apply to gaming. Twitch’s breadth allows it to focus down to many different niches to attract audiences. Health and fitness, fashion, cooking, and more are topics that users leverage Twitch for every day.
The fear of missing out is a pain point for an audience. Every business’s audience has unique pain points. It’s your responsibility to identify those pain points and come up with ways to resolve them. Putting yourself in your audience’s shoes by considering their problems is a fantastic way to learn how to connect with them more effectively.
PRO TIP: When building your marketing strategy, think about ways to increase FOMO for your audience. This is especially effective for Bottom of the Funnel campaigns like sales or special offers. Don’t be afraid to remind your audience that time is running out!
At Tailwind, our marketing team includes a “last chance” message whenever we have a special offer. We have tested the results over time and offers that include this kind of urgency always perform better than those that don’t.
“I used to hate adding urgency to our marketing campaigns,” says Susan Moeller, Tailwind marketing director. “But our data has convinced me that keeping an eye on FOMO is good for our bottom line. Now, it’s a big part of our marketing strategy.
Marketing Strategy Example 6: BuzzFeed
Over the years BuzzFeed has become universally recognizable around the world for its content. Their marketing strategy has narrowly segmented its audience by interests for its content, especially in its email marketing campaigns. In fact, it gives users the power to choose exactly what they want to receive in their inbox.
For example, Buzzfeed provides numerous newsletters that users can opt into such as cooking recipes, style tips, news, and learning courses. Users can also choose how often they want to receive content to their inbox. This accomplishes the following:
- Allows users to receive content they want and are excited about.·
- Content is highly targeted, allowing for more effective promotions.
It’s no secret that delivering content that’s relevant to your audience can be challenging.
Diving deep and learning about their interests is time-consuming. For a more niche audience, this is achievable and rewarding. However, for a company the size of Buzzfeed trying to deliver content to a huge audience with a variety of different interests, this is much more difficult.
They creatively got around this by giving users a variety of content categories to choose from for themselves.
By choosing these newsletters, Buzzfeed can learn more about its audience. Look for opportunities to take advantage of the different niches that exist within your audience.
It can be daunting for small businesses to think about adding email marketing to their strategy. But, it’s worth the effort!
Need a little help with your email marketing plans? Consider an AI tool that will write part or all of the content for you. Tailwind’s Ghostwriter includes a full suite of AI-powered email copywriting.
Marketing Strategy Example 7: Zara
As an international retailer from Spain, Zara’s fast fashion may surprise you in that it spends almost nothing on advertising. Instead, Zara focuses on market segmentation. The company leverages a tool called a BCG matrix.
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Matrix is a way of understanding a company’s position and the influence they have on their audience:
Each quadrant of the BCG matrix refers to a product category sold by Zara. They involve two dimensions: market growth rate and relative market share.
The most valuable quadrant is the stars, which have a high relative market share and high market growth rate.
Zara understands which products fit each category and how its products impact its customers with data.
Instead of directly advertising to their audience, they place products exactly where they need to be at in-person stores.
This is how they are so successful at having customers come to them for products instead of pitching products to them through advertising.
Zara’s success hinges on understanding its audience and how to engage with them. Apply qualitative and quantitative techniques to your marketing strategies to achieve comparable results. Understand what your product means to each part of your audience.
Be aware as well of positioning of your products and your audience. You need to know where they are located geographically, and how you can best reach the most valuable parts of your audience.
PRO TIP: Touch base regularly with your customers, paying attention to the language they use to describe your products and why they buy from you. This information can supercharge everything from search engine optimization to paid advertising to social media marketing.
It’s a powerful thing to speak to your audience with the same tone and style they use to describe you!
Marketing Strategy Example 8: Etsy
The key component is how they cater to audience pain points that drove them to Etsy in the first place. For example, much of their audience is searching for gift ideas for loved ones or house decorations.
Etsy is focused on cutting down on spam and adding more value to its emails. In fact, Etsy offers an entire field guide on how its creators can utilize marketing to engage with their customers! By empowering its creators to use email marketing for themselves, Etsy benefits by capturing the many niches of its larger audience.
Just as Etsy educates its creators on how to use email marketing successfully, you can incorporate those lessons into your own campaigns. Avoid spam, and especially avoid only being promotional in your emails.
Give users quality content that’s relevant and useful to them. After you’ve gotten their attention, promote your content to engage with your audience effectively.
PRO TIP: Center your marketing efforts on helpfulness wherever possible. From TikTok, to Instagram, to Pinterest and email, people love getting information that will make their lives easier or solve their problems. When your brand does that, you will become a go-to source for your audience, and sales will follow.
Here’s an example of a TikTok post that reflects one of our marketing objectives for that channel. It’s part of a series we are calling Marketing 101. In it, we are answering some of the basic questions people have about marketing.
We recognized that our own favorite posts on the For You results page were all helpful/actionable tips. So we developed a series of TikToks covering marketing basics.
If paid ads are part of your marketing strategy, don’t forget to reuse organic social content that performs well in your ads campaigns!
Marketing Strategy Example 9: Airbnb
As one of the largest online marketplaces for finding places to stay, Airbnb is highly influential in the market. One of the most important marketing elements that has contributed to its success is its use of social media ads.
The company does a fantastic job of generating sales with attractive social media ads that showcase destinations and places to stay. They specifically target travelers and potential new hosts. In these ads and sponsored posts, Airbnb often takes advantage of user generated content.
Airbnb also utilizes retargeting to connect with social media users. If users have visited the website but not yet made a reservation, the company can retarget content to those users to encourage them to make their first reservation.
Airbnb succeeds thanks to its understanding of audience preferences. The company also does a great job of understanding how to use the communication channels that its audience favors. This helps them find exactly what their customers need.
The platform also has the unique advantage of having user-generated content to leverage for their ads. This gives the company a unique advantage in that they can save money on marketing by utilizing content created by its hosts. Understanding how you can use the resources you have at your disposal is important for your success.
PRO TIP: If your potential customers are on TikTok, consider Spark Post Ads — these enable you to easily advertise existing User Generated Content created about your company by other TikToker’s!
Marketing Strategy Example 10: 67 Shades of Dior Campaign
Dior is a luxury fashion house from France, a part of the largest luxury group in the world, LVMH. In celebration of Dior’s Forever Foundation product line launch, the company decided to present an ambassador that represented each of the 67 new shades.
They chose influencers to be these ambassadors which created content that was later shared on Dior’s social media channels. The campaign launched with the goal of representing the world’s diversity.
When considering all the influencers together, the 67 Shades of Dior Campaign had an audience reach that totaled up to 2.66 million. The campaign resulted in 1.85 million impressions and 592 thousand different engagements.
67 Shades of Dior connected emotionally with a substantial audience. It’s important to acknowledge the power of engaging audiences with real world social issues. Combining this strategy with influencer marketing helped Dior reach a wider audience that could relate to their new products. Learn what your audience cares deeply about and connect with them on those issues.
Marketing Strategy Example 11: Glossier
Founded in 2014, Emily Weiss’s company is a remarkably successful cosmetics startup. The brand committed to Instagram early on, netting themselves 13,000 followers before the release of their first product.
Glossier works hard to deeply understand and dedicate themselves to their audience’s needs and wants. Their tagline “Beauty products inspired by real life” reflects its marketing style as well. Instead of wildly edited photo content, Glossier instead opts for a more realistic approach, depicting real people in ordinary situations.
As an example of this in action, for a product launch, Glossier gave away the product for free to 500 fans who promoted it on their accounts. This resulted in an authentic and successful social media campaign.
It’s important to connect with how your product alleviates the pain points of your audience. Think carefully about how to do this through your audience’s main communication channels. In addition, it’s important to consider that the social capital that you raise may be just as important as sales. Glossier demonstrated that gaining a following can even precede sales. Building that following can be extremely beneficial for your business.
How to Measure Success
Now that we’ve looked at examples of successful marketing strategies in the real world, it’s time to see how you can measure your success! Tracking your results and progress is important for knowing if your marketing strategy is working. This is especially important for building a marketing strategy for social media. There are two elements you should monitor to keep track of your progress:
- Activities and times
- Key Performance Indicators
Let’s talk about each of them!
Activities and Time
This is all about stuff you put on your calendar for your marketing strategy.
It’s important to make a list of all the activities and events you plan to put on for your marketing strategy.
At the end, examine all the activities and events that you’ve held. Think about if they’ve gone according to plan or if things didn’t turn out like you expected. If not, consider why that might be.
PRO TIP: Develop a retro habit as part of your marketing strategy work. At Tailwind, we try to conduct retros for specific campaigns as well as monthly, quarterly, and annual lookbacks. It can be remarkably helpful to gather all of your key learnings from a specific marketing campaign into one place. The next time you run a similar campaign, you won’t be starting from scratch!
This is a critical component in keeping your marketing strategy time bound. At the end, think about if you’ve managed to meet your expected deadlines for your marketing strategy. If deadlines shifted, think about what caused those changes.
Delegating responsibilities is an important part of executing your marketing strategy. At the conclusion of the strategy, reflect on how everything was carried out. If responsibilities needed to be covered by people that you didn’t expect, consider reasons why.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Measuring KPIs is critical to quantitatively evaluating your marketing strategy’s performance over time.
Businesses have unique metrics that matter to them. If you aren’t sure what to measure as a marketer, talk to others in your company about the overall business plan. Think carefully about what metrics you want to keep track of over time to set as your KPIs.
Set a Cadence to Measure
Consider how often you want to keep track of your KPIs. This may be weekly or monthly.
Adjust Strategy Accordingly
If things aren’t going well, adjust your marketing initiatives. If things are going well, study your data to discover why. This is the key to growing your brand.
Build Your Own Marketing Strategy!
Now that you have seen examples of marketing strategies in the real world and have a sense of how to track your progress, you’re ready to build your own marketing strategy for your brand! Every business has unique needs and audiences, so it’s natural that you’ll have a unique marketing strategy. However, it’s a good idea to find inspiration in other successful campaigns to help guide your own.
If you’re looking to make the process of setting up your marketing campaign even easier, consider using social media management tools like Tailwind to help you schedule and optimize your content for your audience!