Category: Marketing Trends


How HubSpot’s Report-Based Acquisition Campaign Hit 150% of Our…

This post is a part of Made @ HubSpot, an internal thought leadership series through which we extract lessons from experiments conducted by our very own HubSpotters.

Acquisition marketing campaigns are critical to bring in new customers and revenue. At HubSpot, we run these campaigns quarterly.

Despite the rapid cadence, every quarter we work to create new, remarkable ways of reaching, informing, and converting our audience.

I wrote this post to share with you how we crafted our latest acquisition campaign to hit and exceed our acquisition targets.

Establishing the Campaign

The beginning of our Q1 2020 Acquisition Campaign started with a blinking cursor. As we brainstormed how to start our research, we had a few inputs to work with.

First, we knew our target audience consisted of marketing managers, as we were re-launching our Marketing Hub Enterprise product that month.

We knew that reports were a content type that worked well for us in the past. We saw our 2019 Instagram Engagement Report and a 2020 Social Media Report successfully attract new audiences.

At the very least, it was a motion that our audience was familiar with, which meant there was less of a barrier to show the value.

Additionally, seasonality played a large role in our planning. We wanted to build content to support marketers planning their strategies for the upcoming year.

With the combination of 1) a target audience, 2) an understanding of high-performing content types, 3) timing, and 4) our additional user research, we wanted to create a remarkable go-to resource for marketing managers building their strategies for the year.

Thus, the idea for “Not Another State of Marketing Report” was born.

In this article, I’ll talk through the report surveys and content, the web experience, the promotion, and the results. Hopefully, it gives you a peek behind the curtain and some inspiration for future campaigns.

Running the Surveys and Creating the Report Content

The first and most important thing about the content of this report was to start collecting survey data for analysis and visualization.

Working with our team at HubSpot Research, we ran our first survey in November/December of 2019 that went out to 3,400 global marketers.

After we sent out the survey, we talked about what might differentiate this content from other reports we had released in the past. While the data was valuable, we knew that data can be dull without human context or insights.

So, we brought in the humans.

Our first criterion for selecting our experts was their subject matter expertise. We had come up with a list of topics we wanted the report to cover (from SEO strategy to content marketing strategy and more) and wanted our experts to have deep and specific knowledge about the topic we chose them to represent.

Our second criterion was seniority. We were crafting a report for higher-level marketing managers, directors, and VPs, so we wanted our experts to have a similar level of seniority.

We are fortunate enough to work with a lot of brilliant marketers at HubSpot, so eight of our experts were internal. The other two, Cynthia Price (VP of Marketing at Litmus) and Ellie Mirman (CMO at Crayon) were generous enough to offer their time when we asked them to share their expertise with us.

We interviewed each of our experts for about an hour, took detailed notes, and recorded the interview. We also shared the survey data with them to gather their commentary about the data points. Finally, we worked with the experts to craft detailed articles with their advice for the upcoming year.

We decided to leave these articles ungated on the web experience, so we optimized them for organic search with extensive keyword research. We’ve seen some exciting results from that play — generating over 15,000 backlinks in the first two months and taking the number three result for the search term “state of marketing”.

When we received the initial survey data, we were thrilled by the results — but knew we needed to take it one step further. So, we ran an additional survey in January to a North American database of marketers.

At this point, with the additional survey data and expert commentary, we sourced some quotes from experts across the industry. We ended up with a great group of contributors from Dropbox, Twilio, and more.

When all was said and done, we had 19,000 words worth of insights and 70+ data points.

Designing and Developing the Web Experience

Differentiating this campaign didn’t stop at the expert insights. We wanted to create an immersive web experience to pair with the report PDF.

The result was a fully custom web experience with a homepage, nine child pages for each article, and custom interactive form that follows the user in a non-intrusive banner. It was designed by an incredible lead designer, and built from the ground up by three developers. (It’s better seen than described, so I’ll leave you with this.)

state of marketing report hubspot

We were curious about what kind of conversion rates this custom web experience could drive.

To date, the homepage of the report is converting at around 35%. This metric is calculated as the ratio of views vs. submission and is measured in HubSpot’s own HubSpot portal.

We’re really excited about that conversion rate, but we’ve noticed that it doesn’t stay as high throughout each page of the web experience.

For example, on a sample article page, we noticed the conversion rate was about 5%. The leading theory right now is that people are downloading the offer when they land on the homepage, and then they explore the rest of the experience after downloading, so they aren’t converting on the offer pages.

Overall, though, we’re very proud of how the web experience turned out and think it’s a strong differentiator. After all, 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content doesn’t look pretty on the page.

How We Promoted the Campaign

When it came time for promotion, we had to decide on three things: the story we wanted to tell, our creative promotional assets, and the channels we wanted to pursue.

1. The Story

The literal offer that we were marketing was a report. However, the emotion that we wanted to portray was confidence. This was the story we wanted to report and campaign to tell.

For some marketing managers, feeling confident about a strategy can prove difficult. Are other people in the industry doing this? How will I know if it will work?

Data can help ease those concerns, as can long-form articles from deep subject matter experts.

So, we wrote 20 headlines around that concept. This was a good exercise because, although most of them ended up unused, we found this process sharpened our writing “muscle”.

One of the early headlines we landed on was, “A report for marketers who use data to outperform their goals.”

2. Our Creative Assets

The design of this campaign was important to us. We wanted it to feel cohesive across the web experience, the PDF offer itself, and our promotional efforts.

So, under the guidance of our lead designer, we put together a detailed brief for a freelancer, and he came up with some beautiful stuff.

not another state of marketing report hubspot

Our learning here is that cohesive design across all campaign assets makes the campaign feel larger than life.

3. Promotional Channels

On the Global Campaigns Team here, we like to bucket our promotion into three categories:

  • Paid : What channels can we activate that we have to put direct dollars into?
  • Owned: What organic channels and established HubSpot audiences can we leverage?
  • Earned: What are some additional free promotion and placements (e.g. organic SEO) can we leverage?

For our paid channels, we chose to focus on Facebook Ads (historically the lowest CPL for us) and LinkedIn Ads (typically more expensive but more effective targeting for the audience we wanted to attract). For this channel, we built a more standard landing page to drive conversions.

For our owned channels, we activated our brand channels (social media, email, etc.), our solutions partner channels, our customer channels, our HubSpot Academy Channels, and Sales Channels (our BDRs used the report as a conversation starter). We also asked our authors to promote it on their personal social networks, and we gave them personalized assets to make that promotion remarkable.

For our earned channels, we focused heavily on the organic SEO value of our ungated articles, the promotion from our partners in the report (Litmus and Crayon), and media placement in marketing publications.

Tracking and Analyzing the Results

This campaign was quickly successful: We hit 100% of our net new lead goal in 16 days and 150% of the goal in just over one month.

As of April 21st, there are 15,800 backlinks to the report. We are ranking for over 350 organic keywords and secured the #1 result for the search term “state of marketing.”

The custom homepage is converting at over 30%, and the paid landing page is converting at 25%.

About 50% (48%) of the net new leads for the campaign came from paid social media. We are hoping to see that percentage decrease as organic traffic continues to gain traction.

There were a lot of factors to our success, but we’ve identified the following as the main ones:

  1. Spend time in the strategic planning process. It’s tempting to rush a campaign out the door, but a well thought out strategy goes a long way. Use qualitative, quantitative, and search data to inform the direction you choose.
  2. Think about how you can contribute to a conversation that’s already being had in a new way. There are a lot of State of Marketing Reports out there. We focused on providing that same value but took it a step further.
  3. Help your creative team by giving them strong creative guidelines. This makes the design more cohesive and powerful in the end.
  4. Identify at least three channels you can activate for promotion. You should prioritize the ones that will most help you with your goal. Since we were looking to attract a new audience, our paid channels made the most sense to invest in.
  5. Double down on the details of your content. If someone is willing to give their information for your content, you better make sure it delivers on value.

Best of luck with your future campaigns!


Most Consumers Changed Brands in 2020: Research Explains Why

Now that 2020’s global pandemic has taught most of the world how to live and work completely from home, marketers planning their 2021 strategy are asking one big question:

“Will this uncertain time change the way people spend money?”

McKinsey — which recently polled consumers in over 48 countries about their 2020 spending habits — says, “Yes.”

One of the biggest findings in the McKinsey study was that 75% of consumers have changed brands at least once during the pandemic.

McKinsey’s research also noted four other key shifts in consumer spending behavior that could majorly impact brands in the near or far future.

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through all five shifts noted in the McKinsey study, while giving our insights on how marketers and brands can navigate them.

How Purchasing Behaviors are Changing in 2020

1. Brand loyalty is being tested.

At the beginning of the pandemic, as entire cities began to close non-essential businesses, consumers raced to stores or hopped online to order essential products they’d need in the coming months. This caused a major disruption in supply chains and product shortages around the world.

And, even in the earliest days of the pandemic, consumers were paying heavy attention to how companies handled shortages and bursts in product demand.

While some brands saw an influx of new customers that they once lost to bigger competitors, other companies lost customers to because they simply couldn’t keep up with a high demand.

“Over 60% of global consumers have changed shopping behavior, many of them for convenience and value. In the US, the percentage was 75%,” the McKinsey study notes.

When it comes brand shifts outside the U.S., a whopping 91% of Indian consumers and 82% of Chinese consumers say they’ve changed brands at least once since the beginning of the pandemic.

Image Source

According to McKinsey, the top three reasons consumers changed their habits or brands were value, availability, and convenience.

As you can guess from the data points above, the risk of losing a customer to another brand is higher than usual in 2020. Even if a product appears essential or valuable to a prospect, they might not buy it if another brand can deliver a similar item faster.

How Brands are Navigating

At this point, some large brands are working to better align teams to ensure that products can be discovered, ordered, and delivered quickly — even in times of high demand. Meanwhile, some smaller brands are making their products more available online and in-stores to prospective customers who can’t get an item quickly enough from brands they’ve used in the past.

According to a post from Repsly, which included data from anonymous name brands, companies that thrived in 2020 used data and company-wide communication strategies to identify areas at risk of high product demand around March and continued to align with teams including marketing, service, and supply chain teams to ensure their shelves and warehouses stayed stocked.

In another recent report from McKinsey, researchers similarly predict that successful high-demand brands will develop an integrated approach between their supply teams, sales, and marketing departments. McKinsey also discourages brands from raising prices in times of high demand and focusing on other vital business and customer experience strategies instead.

“Operational concerns may be even more important than pricing strategy, including stabilizing the supply chain, keeping products on the shelves, addressing customers’ urgent needs, and maintaining quality,” the McKinsey report explains.

2. Consumers aren’t rushing to grab their wallets.

Before the pandemic, Gen Z was the major age group that prioritized essential products over other purchases. Meanwhile, other generations were more likely to splurge on products based on their brand name or non-essential perks.

But, after business closures and financial uncertainty related to the pandemic, consumers in all generations are reconsidering spending habits.

Even as cities, businesses, and workplaces slowly reopen, shoppers plan to stay cautious about their budgets.

In the U.S. alone, 40% of consumers say they’ll continue to be mindful of where they spend money, while 31% plan to buy less expensive versions of items to save money. And, whenever they make those purchases, 21% of consumers aim to do more brand and product research than they had for pre-pandemic purchases.

chart shows global change in shopping mindsets related to budget, health, and other purchasing behaviorImage Source

How Brands are Navigating

While consumers might have made purchases with motives related to fun, entertainment, brand name, or other perks before the pandemic, many are now more budget-conscious than ever.

For the most part, consumers are primarily zoning in on essential product purchases. And, if someone does buy a less essential product, such as an item that entertains them, they’ll do thorough research to ensure they’re getting the best value for their money.

At this point, many essential and non-essential product companies have caught on to consumer budget concerns and have begun to leverage online marketing strategies to ensure that consumers can discover their products, learn about their value, and determine that they’re worth purchasing.

Particularly, companies that sell essential products have created campaigns, advertisements, and messaging reminding consumers of how important the items are. Meanwhile, companies that sell less essential items are getting creative to identify new value propositions for their products or brands.

For example, in the ad below, Procter & Gamble acknowledges the COVID-19 crisis, explains how it will be donating products to families and philanthropies in need, emphasizes the importance of their household and health items, and reminds viewers of how its brand has helped consumers disinfect their homes for generations:

The P&G ad is effective because it highlights that the brand offers affordable and available products that people trust for cleanliness, shows how the company is actively aiming to help people impacted by the pandemic, and reminds audiences of how essential its products are to global households.

In another example, Ice Breakers, a mint company that sells products that might be considered less essential, made an ad to highlight how eating mints before you put on a mask can prevent smelling your breath.

While the P&G campaign acknowledges why its brand’s products are essential to people around the globe, the Ice Breakers ad cleverly places new value into a non-essential mint product that people might not be rushing out to buy at this time.

3. Shoppers need ecommerce.

McKinsey notes that “most categories have seen more than 10 percent growth in their online customer base during the pandemic.”

Additionally, across most product categories, at least 30% of U.S. and U.K. consumers expect to make even more online purchases after the pandemic.

How Brands are Navigating

While many bigger brands are amping up their ecommerce strategies, a few prominent tech giants have begun to offer solutions that can help smaller or medium-sized brands, such as boutiques, retailers, or restaurants, generate revenue online.

For example, Facebook recently launched a tool called Facebook Shops, which enables any company with a Facebook or Instagram Business page to create a mini-online store that links with all platforms owned by the social media brand. Meanwhile, meal delivery apps like DoorDash temporarily reduced commissions of local restaurant orders so those business owners could sell food virtually while earning fee-free revenue for each order.

4. Health plays a role in purchasing decisions.

With the pandemic impacting thousands of Americans, people began to consider their health and safety more than ever before — even when purchasing products.

In the past, health-conscious consumers might have glanced at back labels of various products, the interest in health and safety has gotten even deeper. Now, they might ask, “What’s the packaging process for these products?”, “Are the cashiers in the grocery store given PPE?”, or “How are businesses actively preventing the spread of germs?”

While health and safety of consumers and brand employees might not be the biggest purchasing motivator, it’s one people are thinking about much more in 2020.

Ultimately, when big or small businesses take action to show that they genuinely care about people, consumers might identify with, trust, and value them more.

How Brands are Navigating

Although it might sound easy to buy an ad spot with a commercial that simply says, “Our brand cares about you,” this approach might not convince your audiences that the message is authentic.

Many of the brands that are thriving in this time demonstrate how they care, rather than just saying it.

For example, as global mask shortages occurred in the early days of the pandemic, fashion companies like Louis Vuitton and Burberry diverted clothing production to make face coverings.

Aside from creating PPE, other companies have donated to causes related to the pandemic or taking extra steps to keep their customers and staff safe.

Target, which is considered an essential business, has been publishing online content about how the company’s aiming to help customers, employees, and communities at this time.

Rather than centering its YouTube page around content that highlights products, sales, and deals, Target features a playlist aimed to help shoppers and communities during COVID-19.

Along with health and safety tips related to shopping, videos on the playlist explain how Target is working to create safe in-store experiences and smooth online shopping options for customers.

Target Homepage of Youtube with playlists shown

Aside from creating videos on how the chain is aiming to help customers navigate COVID-19, the brand has also created a $10 million pandemic relief fund which dedicates $1 million to assisting Target employees. This demonstrates that Target is taking action to help its community, customers, and employees who work in essential in-store roles.

5. Shoppers have become homebodies.

According to the survey, 70% of consumers don’t want to resume activities or work outside of their homes just yet, despite pushes to reopen the economy. If they won’t leave home to work, travel, or dine out, McKinsey notes that many won’t leave home to shop either.

When looking into the near future, “More than 3 out of 4 [consumers] who adjusted their behaviors due to the pandemic said that easing government restrictions will not change their cautious behaviors. Consumers are following guidance from medical experts for reassurance,” notes McKinsey.

How Brands are Navigating

Brands can’t just assume that people will flock back to stores as businesses reopen. While some consumers might not feel comfortable or safe leaving the house immediately after a pandemic, others won’t want to shop in physical stores because they know they can buy almost any product they want online.

At this point, successful brands are trying to continue to meet customers where they are, even if they don’t leave the house.

While some brands are building out online stores and digital services, others that don’t sell a physical product are launching online events or virtual experiences to gain awareness, continue to generate revenue, and delight their customers.

One example of a brand that made an in-person experience into a virtual offering was an animal sanctuary called Sweet Farm. When the California-based farm, which runs on donation revenue, closed to the public amidst the pandemic, its owners created a virtual offering where businesses or individuals could pay $65 to $750 for a farm animal to guest star in their virtual hang out or meeting.

The campaign was cleverly titled, “Goat-2-Meeting,” a play on GoToMeeting — a popular video meeting software.

farm tour virtual conference callImage Source

According to Sweet Farm, the campaign, which began in March, was so successful that there was a waitlist for animal meet and greets by April, Sweet Farm has also partnered with more sanctuaries to increase meeting availability and share donation revenue with other organizations that care for animals.

How Marketers Can Navigate 2021 — and Beyond

This year, marketers and businesses were tested by the global pandemic and economic landscape. As you consider what’s next for your brand, keep these consumer behavior trends in mind:

Consumers crave value and availability.

More than ever, consumers will choose to shop from a company because of product value and availability, rather than brand loyalty. Business owners who’ve relied on loyalty and credibility to make sales should also monitor their supply chain and pricing to ensure that their products are worth the price and accessible to customers. Meanwhile, lesser-known brands can use a competitive analysis or other tactics to learn where they can help consumers that are struggling to find affordable or high-demand products.

Digital transformation is key.

Brands can no longer assume a billboard or foot traffic will generate vital revenue. At this point, many companies that were once mostly physical are building online stores, leveraging different online channels for marketing, and thinking outside of the box to create virtual offerings that will delight and retain customers.

“Human” brands will reap benefits.

In 2020, customers began to care more about how businesses treated employees, how they kept customers safe, and how companies stepped up to help others in times of uncertainty. Ultimately, brands with leaders who genuinely care about people will get better reviews, word of mouth, and positive awareness than brands that throw caution to the wind.

Looking to learn more about how businesses are evolving in 2020? Below you’ll find content from HubSpot’s Adapt 2020 series:

  • Adapt 2020: An Educational Series
  • 5 Ways Go-to-Market Strategies Will Change in the Post-Pandemic Economy
  • 4 Pivots Companies are Making in Light of COVID-19 [New Data]


5 Brands That Won Australian Advertising Awards [+What Marketers…

With all the work marketing teams are responsible for, it can be hard to make time to get reinspired and capture a spark of creativity that leads to a new, marketing strategy. This can be even more problematic for brands in physically isolated areas.

Take Australia for example. Its distance from other English-speaking regions like America and Europe can make it challenging for marketers to spread brand awareness globally. Ultimately, to gain even regional awareness, Australian brands must build competitive and innovative marketing strategies to stand out and grab attention from audiences.

So, what do you do when you work for a brand in a place like Australia, and just can’t come up with a marketing idea that takes your company to the next level?

Look to award-winning brands for inspiration.

One great place to start could be country-specific award ceremonies. By following these competitions, you can learn more about how brands in your area are effectively working towards national or global awareness.

In Australia, one major advertising and marketing award competition that brands and agencies look to is The Effies.

The Effies is a marketing and advertising competition that includes regional and global ceremonies. Each year, brands are awarded for advertising strategies, rebranding tactics, effective marketing techniques, and innovative campaigns. Brands that win the Grand Effie in their region are also eligible for the global competition. Past global winners include major brands like Dove, Coca-Cola, and Microsoft.

While this year’s Global Effie Awards have already been announced, Australia’s 2020 Effie Winners will be revealed at the end of October.

To help inspire innovative strategies or campaigns from marketers, advertisers, and agencies in Australia or similar territories, here are five past Effie Award winners, plus two 2020 nominees to learn from.

5 Australian Effie Award Winners Marketers Can Learn From

Great Northern Brewing Co.’s 2019 Ads – Carlton & United Breweries

Awards: 2019 Gold and Grand Effie Award

Way back in 2015, Carlton & United Breweries’ team launched Great Northern Brewing Co. But, the young brand found it difficult to compete with beer brands that already had decades of Australian credibility and brand loyalty behind them.

But, after the new beer brand teamed up with Clemenger BBDO to launch ads targeting young adult adventurers and older Australian beer lovers — Great Northern became the top-selling beer in Australia.

Great Northern’s effective advertising strategy involved video content and commercials that embraced young and old beer drinkers, as well as Australia’s great outdoors. One of the most memorable pieces of content within the Great Northern strategy was a video called, “The Great ReCamp.”

The mini-documentary, which launched ahead of Father’s Day in 2019, tells the story of a real father and adult son who go camping after a life-threatening cancer diagnosis.

The video begins with the words, “For most of us, our first memories of the great outdoors begin with our fathers.”

After presenting footage of a young boy camping with his dad, the documentary flashes forward into the future where that boy, now an adult, talks about how he loved going camping but eventually lost touch with his family when he moved away to focus on his career.

After years away, the son explains that he rushed home when his father was battling life-threatening cancer. When his father recovered, the son says he decided to take him on the same camping trip they used to go on.

The documentary shows visuals of the father and son bonding by the fire, fishing together, swimming in rivers, and subtly drinking Great Northern Beer at multiple points.

As the camping montage comes to a close, the son narrates, “We don’t need everything we’ve got these days. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of that. Camping does that. — You can’t bring everything with you.”

The video ends with the two men sitting at their campsite. The father passes his son a Great Northern and asks, “You know that happy place?” He looks out at the grassy Australian landscape before clinking beers with his son.

Text appears that says, “Sometimes you need to go far and wide to stay close. — Go camping with Dad this Father’s Day.”

With content like that above, Great Northern positions itself as a beer for Australian adventurers of all ages. By telling the story of a nostalgic father-son journey, Great Northern ties emotion, relatability, and Australian pride to its beer. This enables the beer to compete against major breweries that have decades of brand loyalty.

When the Grand Effie was announced, the Judges’ statement said, “This is a classic case of how good marketing and advertising can still build a minor brand into a market leader.”

“In 2015, XXXX Gold outsold Great Northern by a factor of six to one. Four years later, Great Northern became Australia’s top-selling beer. This was achieved through well-considered insight, strategy, and execution,” the statement added. “The Great Northern case study is a model for all students of advertising.”

“Help is Who We Are” – NRMA Insurance

Award: 2019 Gold Effie

After seeing customer decline since 2014, NRMA insurance, a home insurance policy company, teamed up with The Monkeys to create a campaign that brought a “new purpose” to its brand and product.

As Australian forest fires rendered koala’s nearly extinct, NRMA’s campaign aimed to market an initiative where the insurance company would plant a tree for every home insurance policy sold. Unsurprisingly, the campaign’s mascot was an adorable koala bear.

The title of NRMA’s campaign, which ran across TV, radio, print, and social media was, “Help is who we are.”

NRMA help is who we are campaign

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One of the campaign’s commercials, titled “Every Home Is Worth Protecting,” tells the story of a boy who befriends and tries to save an endangered koala.

At the beginning of the ad, the boy’s riding his bike down a street with no trees when he sees the scared bear holding a wooden powerline pole. After stopping, wondering if he should do something, and ultimately riding away from the bear, the boy lies awake at night with guilt as he stares at a picture of a koala in his bedroom.

When he returns to the powerline the next day with a wagon, he sees no koala and gets angry — assuming that it was hurt or killed.

Luckily, he turns around to find the koala peacefully sitting in his wagon.

The boy brings the koala to the wilderness, where multiple new trees are planted. The bear climbs up a fully-grown tree as the boy waves goodbye. A text overlay on the screen reads, “We’re planting a tree for every home insurance policy.”

By working with Conservation Volunteers Australia to plant trees in Queensland and New South Wales, as well as marketing the initiative on multiple channels, NRMA demonstrates that it’s an insurance company that cares about its clients as well as the environment.

Additionally, by planting a tree for every policy sold, NRMA gives prospects more motivation to choose its insurance company. When customers buy a policy, they protect themselves from home damage, but can also feel good about helping a koala in need.

“When it comes to reviving your brand, its original purpose can be easily overlooked. This is an important reminder that sometimes it’s best to go back to your roots, and that exceptional value can be unlocked by reinterpreting what made your brand great to begin with,” NRMA wrote in its Effie submission.

According to the submission, “NRMA Insurance reversed 8-years of declining customer numbers and reached customers for the first time since April 2014, despite a growing price premium.”

“For an insurance brand synonymous with helping Australians, it made so much sense when we landed on the idea of home insurance for koalas. A campaign dedicated to protecting the homes of our furry friends,” said Vince Lagana, executive creative director of The Monkeys, in a statement to Campaign Brief.

“Coolest Suit on the Planet” – M.J. Bale

Award: 2018 Gold Effie

Through market research, M.J. Bale, an Australian men’s fashion brand, discovered that 82% of male shoppers think of wool as a winter fabric. Because of this association, M.J. Bale feared that prospects might sacrifice a wool suit’s classic and professional look for more comfortable attire — especially in hot climates like Australia.

To prove that people can comfortably wear suits in any hot climate, M.J. Bale created a line of wool suits — called “Cool Wool” and teamed up with TBWASydney to launch a partially immersive campaign called, “Coolest Suit on the Planet.”

Half of the campaign featured a video series that was aired in M.J. Bale stores and on its social media channels. This content followed Good Morning Britain weatherman Alex Beresford as he tracked and traveled to the hottest places on Earth wearing M.J. Bale’s Cool Wool suit.

As the weatherman traveled to areas like China, Africa, and India, which were often over 43 degrees Celsius, M.J. Bale shoppers in Australia could go into the brand’s shops, put on a Cool Wool suit, and stand in a heating chamber that enabled them to experience wearing the suit in hot locations around the world.

You can check out a reel that highlights the overall campaign by clicking here.

According to its Effie submission, ‘The Coolest Suit on the Planet’ campaign increased M.J. Bale suit sales by 78%, rose foot-traffic by 54%, and delivered a 344% ROI

This was a great example of how videos, influencers, and immersive marketing tactics can be used to address prospects’ concerns about a product and persuade them to buy it anyway. By combining in-store experiences and video content, M.J. Bale increased store visits that led to purchases.

Ultimately, If audiences aren’t persuaded to buy an M.J. Bale Cool Wool suit after seeing a weather expert comfortably travel through hot terrain in it, they might be convinced once they actually get to stress-test the outfit for themselves.

Dare Iced Coffee’s Nonsensical Ads – Lion Dairy and Drinks

Awards: 2017 Gold and Grand Effies

Have you ever felt confused and in a fog before drinking your coffee in the morning? This is a feeling that Dare Iced Coffee played up to extremes in a series of funny ads that led to Gold and Grand Effies.

Beginning in 2016, Dare Iced Coffee, and its owner Lion Dairy and Drinks, partnered with AJF to create commercials where everyday people do something completely nonsensical because they haven’t had their daily dose of iced coffee yet. Once the protagonists in each ad take a sip of the product, they instantly start thinking clearly again.

In one of the campaign’s funniest ads, a father named Dave carries his dog in a baby carrier instead of his infant.

When Dave’s friend sees him, waves, and looks confused, an Australian narrator says, “Uh oh. Dave’s got his fur child mixed up with his real child?” Dave looks down startled to realize the predicament he’s placed himself in. Meanwhile, the dog looks up at the camera and barks, “Dave-o!”

From there, the ad cuts to product shots of iced coffee being poured as the narrator explains the taste-related benefits of Dare’s product.

The narration ends with, “A Dare fix’ll fix it!”, as viewers see the father confidently drinking his coffee with his child back in the carrier.

Dare’s ads were short, sweet, and memorable for their humor. They also impressively manage to fill short 30-second slots with full comedic storylines and valuable facts about Dare coffee. Not only are the ads entertaining, but they also differentiate Dare from its many competitors.

“Dare successfully took on Australian iced coffee brands and international pick-me-ups by creating a new consumption occasion: becoming the habitual choice for whenever people are not thinking straight,” notes an article on the Effies’ official website. “Effie judges noted that the strategic challenge was significant given the breadth and strength of competition in the category. The objective was both clear and ambitious, and delivered outstanding growth and ROI.”

Narellan Pools’ Data-Driven Ad Campaign – Narellan Pools

Awards: 2016 Gold Effie

Because most of its customers only consider installing pools in the summer months, Narellan Pools wanted to create a marketing strategy that would increase conversion earlier in the year.

Narellan worked with Affinity, an Australian agency, to build a database of market research, their company’s conversion history, and weather data to determine the times of the year when interested pool prospects were getting serious about home installations.

Through the data-backed strategy, Narellan and Affinity discovered that the most optimal time for pool-related conversions was during the first two consecutively warm days of each calendar year. From there, Narellan increased ad spend and targeting of prospective pool buyers just before the weather started to get warm, with some of the heaviest spend being used during the first two consecutive hot days.

The content within the targeted ads emphasized the “bliss” one feels when diving into a pool. Here’s one of the ads, titled, “A Splash of Bliss.”

The short video shows a woman diving into a pool as a narrator describes how magical an early morning swim can feel — especially in a Narellan Pool.

Through Narellan and Affinity’s data-driven strategy, Narellan reduced its annual media spend by 30% while increasing sales by 23%.

Below is a video case study that describes how the paid ad strategy worked:

Narellan’s strategy is a great example of how brands can leverage data to learn more about prospective buyers and make their advertising tactics even more effective.

“Our data-driven targeting allowed maximized exposure of our insightful campaign to exactly the right audience – and only at their tipping point of purchase consideration – delivering game-changing results,” Affinity notes on its website.

Australian Effie Nominees

“You don’t need Australia’s Best Network — Until You Do.” – Telstra

In 2019, Telstra — a telecommunications brand used by millions of Australians — partnered with The Monkeys for a series of advertisements showing how people benefit from a strong network.

One of the campaign’s most emotional and inclusive ads follows a man coming out about his sexuality to his parents by telling them he’s engaged to his partner.

At the beginning of the ad, the couple sits in their car following a proposal. The man who was proposed to nervously wonders how he’s going to tell his parents as his supportive partner says, “You’ll have to tell them sometime.”

When the nervous man whispers, “I’m gonna do it,” and pulls out his phone, he sees he has no reception. His partner says, “It’s okay. Use mine.”

Using his partner’s smartphone powered by Telstra’s network, the man successfully reaches his parents and nervously reveals he’s engaged to a male partner. The parents happily congratulate and accept the son for who he is.

Telstra’s campaign and the commercial above is effective because it highlights the major milestones or moments when we all want or need our phone service to work properly. Not only does the ad show us how well the service works, but it also allows us to relate to the brand and its mission on a more human level.

“Whether it’s sharing big news, changing plans in a hurry, or quickly looking up something important, it’s nice to know that Australia’s best network is there for you when you need it,” said The Monkeys’ Creative Director Stuart Alexander in an interview.

“The Bedroom Report” – Bedshed

Working with the Australian agency Rare, Bedshed — an Australian bedding chain — launched a campaign that merged great video content with market research data.

The first portion of Bedshed’s initiative involved a two-year study where the brand surveyed consumers all over Australia about sleeping habits.

Once the survey was complete, Bedshed launched a web page — which looks like a large interactive infographic — to highlight interesting findings. Many of the facts revealed in this study explain how important sleep is to overall health, what gets in the way of it, and how purchasing a great bed and mattress can help prevent insomnia.

For example, Bedshed’s study found that “23% of men talk in their sleep,” while 66% of their partners lie awake listening to what they say. It also revealed that 1.7 million people wake up in the middle of the night due to bad pillows or mattresses.

the bedroom report bedshed campaignAlong with creating a data-fueled web experience, Bedshed launched a series of ads that present key study findings and direct prospects to its store to learn more or try a new mattress:

Bedshed’s campaign is a great example of how a brand can draw audiences with data-driven content. Its detailed research also positions the brand as an expert in the crowded bed industry.

When a prospect is shopping for an expensive product — like a bed — they might want to get recommendations from a person who knows a lot about the product. After seeing Bedshed’s content, these prospects might think that a company that knows so much about its industry will sell good quality products.

What We Can Learn From Effie Winners

Even if you don’t have a huge budget or an agency to help you market your brand, here are a few strategies that any brand can use to spread brand awareness and engage new audiences — just like the companies above:

  • Be human: While Great Northern Brewing embraced fatherhood and Australian Pride to market its product, Dare Iced Coffee made ads that were comedically relatable to coffee drinkers. When your brand’s content is relatable, it can also be memorable. Not to mention, people who find brands more relatable and authentic trust them more.
  • Embrace a bigger purpose: Although NRMA sells home insurance, they realized helping the environment would allow them to fulfill an even greater purpose. And, through their marketing, people might trust their brand more because they care about something more beyond policy purchases.
  • Leverage data: While M.J. Bale’s campaign was inspired by market research, Narellan Pools’ advertising strategy was fueled by analytics. While creativity is key to drawing attention from audiences, data can help you optimize your content and share it at just the right time.

To learn more about the latest Australian marketing tactics, check out this list of the country’s most innovative website designs, or these fascinating Australian Instagram stats. Or, download the offer below to get more expert tips on creating a winning campaign.

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