Masked businesspeople celebrating success

2021 Marketing Success Stories – What tactics worked well?

Marketing Success Stories from 2021.

As another year draws to a close, I like to reflect on the successes marketers have had from which others can learn. After all, the pandemic has had its ups and downs, causing organizations to have many stops and starts and make tough last-minute decisions.

“Should we have an in-person event?”

“Should we ask employees to come back to the office?”

“How can we best make a hybrid model work?”

In the midst of continued uncertainty, I asked some fellow colleagues for their 2021 marketing success stories. What programs and tactics worked well for them during this year? Here’s what they had to say.

Find new ways to recruit in a tough market

Barbi Green, Sr. Director, Brand and Content Strategy at Intelligent Medical Objects (IMO), found success with new ways to recruit for crucial positions.

“One of the keys to succeeding as a high-growth company is recruiting the right talent – at scale. This summer, IMO Marketing partnered with our People and Culture team to spread the word about open positions through Hire and Higher. A 4-week campaign that tapped into our internal and external networks to fill roles across the organization.

“We used Teams and email to create excitement and educate employees about generous referral bonuses, and incentivized social sharing with weekly gift card draws. On social media, we promoted posts (including talking-head recruiter videos and animated GIFs) with the #GrowWithIMO hashtag.

“The results were impressive: our Careers page traffic increased by 322%. We brought in 53 referral applicants – 11 of whom were hired. And across the board on social, IMO gained 179 new followers while generating more than 13,700 impressions and almost 1,100 engagements.”

Cut through the clutter with short emails

Jodi Sniegocki Kerhulas, Education and Events Director at Modern Healthcare, found marketing success by saving her audience time.

“People are busy and, even with the best intentions, get sidetracked. ICYMI [in case you missed it] emails are an easy way to get four or five key pieces of information in front of your audience with a succinct message.

Whether it’s a white paper to download, access to a past webinar or event, or podcast, readers have another opportunity to interact with content designed for them.”

sending an in case you missed it email
Sending a short ICYMI email can contribute to marketing success.

Take time to meaningfully reconnect with customers

Lisa Smith, Marketing Leader at IBM Watson Health, worked with her team to find new ways to meaningfully connect with customers.

“With the pandemic still impacting our work styles, many could see customers in-person to have meaningful business discussions and get to know each other. Just as with our own teams, we needed to reinvent our styles of communication and think of new ways to stay close to customer needs and changing landscapes.

“While some industry events started to happen, we had to really approach them both safely and thoughtfully. Knowing in advance which customers were attending and pre-planning meaningful interactions were critical.

We thought hard about how to engage remotely. Getting more innovative on how you can keep engagement and understand the needs of your customers was critical in 2021 and will continue to be.”

Balance messaging to ensure success

Heather Vana, Senior Director of Communications at Avnet, advises ensuring a balanced message given the ongoing pandemic.

“Avnet celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2021. And it was a tall order for our team to create a campaign that recognized this unique accomplishment in the midst of a global pandemic and component shortage.

To create the right balance of message consistency and tactical flexibility, while keeping things fun. We established quarterly themes and planned out a mix of virtual and in-person activities. Customized and executed in each of our regions and businesses.

“As the semiconductor shortage thrust the electronics supply chain into the spotlight, we focused our messaging. To position Avnet as a leader whose adaptability and experience can guide companies through the shortage and help them establish more sustainable supply chain programs.

In addition to receiving more top-tier business media coverage, more top-tier global customers are coming to us for help with their supply chains.”

There’s a common thread among all of these marketing success stories. Every single one focused on the benefit to their target audience. Design your marketing with the benefit to your target audience in mind. You’re much more likely to get your message heard.

That’s why I always recommend creating and using a Message Map to get your story heard.

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