Ask a room full of marketers about the most important element of a marketing strategy and you’ll get many different answers. Answers range from buyer personas to clear marketing goals to consistent messaging.
One thing they will agree on is that there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy.
As B2B marketer Jason Bradwell puts it, “Every company is different. Whether it’s what they want to achieve through marketing, common marketing approaches from the sector they operate in, how their buyers research and buy new products, or if the internal infrastructure can support a modern strategy, there are a thousand variables that influence whether a plan will work or not.”
That being the case, how can you come up with effective and custom marketing strategies and campaigns for your company?
Learn from these 30 exceptional marketing strategy examples.
Let’s take a look at how marketing teams of some of the world’s top brands generate brand awareness, create lead generation machines, and acquire new customers.
1. Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Strategy
Walmart doesn’t try to convey luxury, be fancy, or attract celebrity customers. Walmart knows its audience is the everyday person looking for a carton of milk and some after-work snacks, and it embraces it.
Walmart’s marketing strategy focuses on low prices, convenience and accessibility, and bulk sales. Here’s a video Walmart made for Instagram targeting the hashtags #budgetmeals and #easyrecipes.
2. Business-to-Business (B2B) Strategy
Border States Electric serves the construction, utility, and industrial markets. Border States has a lot of competition within its niche, so to stand out, the Border States marketing team promotes that the brand helps clients keep supply chain costs low without sacrificing efficiency.
The role Border States plays in its community is also a common theme in its marketing. Check out this post about the Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity home build, for example:
3. Market-as-a-Platform Strategy
Market-as-a-platform connects two or more audiences through a network. Another term for this is a two-sided marketplace.
Uber connects travelers with people willing to drive them from one location to the other. This rideshare app has 93 million riders and 3.5 million drivers on the two-sided marketplace platform.
Uber’s market-as-a-platform strategy allows both audiences to benefit from each other. Riders get from point A to point B, while drivers earn extra income.
4. Mass Marketing Strategy
Taco Bell has over 7,000 restaurants to promote, so its marketing focuses less on individual communities and more on the shared experiences customers have at all stores. One thing that unites all Taco Bell ads is the use of conversational language—this helps a big brand feel small.
5. Local Marketing Strategy
Mama Dut’s, a Portland-based vegan restaurant, is popular partially because of the owner’s clever use of food photography on Instagram. Mama Dut’s photos emphasize the freshness and deliciousness of the food, and they make the restaurant look unique. It’s a clever strategy.
6. Sponsorship Marketing Strategy
Athletic-wear brand Gymshark is known globally for its sponsorship of local sporting events. Local sponsorships give Gymshark direct access to its customer base, and customers can touch, feel, and experience Gymshark clothes up close. Win-win.
7. Advertising Strategy
NetSuite by Oracle advertises itself by targeting the everyday work problems people deal with and positioning NetSuite as the ultimate solution. NetSuite’s ads also emphasize benefits like the referral discount or the rich resources it offers customers.
8. Content Marketing Strategy
If you’ve read many articles about marketing, you’ve probably seen HubSpot’s content marketing. HubSpot produces ultimate-guide-style articles that cover the A-Zs of topics in simple terms. Here’s a classic example of a piece of HubSpot’s content marketing:
9. Social Media Marketing Strategy
Koko Black is an Australian company that creates luxury melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. Koko Black is famous for its clever use of social media marketing on Instagram and Facebook. Koko Black also emphasizes the special ingredients in its chocolate—often in aesthetically-pleasing infographics.
10. Email Marketing Strategy
Furniture retailer Early Settler has a robust email marketing strategy built on excellent product photography and aesthetics. Its emails have very little text and rely on striking images that capture your attention. Here’s a portion of an Early Settler email that’s particularly pretty.
11. Influencer Marketing Strategy
Who Gives a Crap, a recyclable toilet paper brand, uses influencer marketing to spread the word about its mission. The brand has partnered with influencers like Pattie Gonia, Leena Norms, and Stefanie Millinger, as well as celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Leenda Dong.
12. Affiliate Marketing Strategy
Shopify hosts an affiliate marketing program for influencers to teach their audiences about entrepreneurship opportunities with Shopify.
Affiliate marketing is an online strategy to incentivize people to use another brand’s product or service. Shopify targets new audiences and improves its online presence through affiliate marketing.
13. McDonald’s Marketing Strategy: Fame & Influencer Partnerships Appeal To The Masses
McDonald’s is a people business, and that smile on that counter girl’s face when she takes your order is a vital part of our image.
Global fast-food brand McDonald’s is known for many successful marketing initiatives. It strategically markets to children via Happy Meals, McFlurry’s, and even playgrounds.
What makes McDonald’s marketing strategy remarkable?
The brand also had great success with influencer marketing, partnering with celebrities to create limited-edition meals.
Why does McDonald’s strategy work?
McDonald’s influencer marketing in itself is powerful because it riffs off of the popularity and reach that powerful people have. The addition of urgency only increases the success of McDonald’s campaigns.
McDonald’s marketing strategy example:
In 2021, McDonald’s launched a limited-time meal in collaboration with K-Pop superstars BTS.
Reuters reported that “global sales and profit for McDonald’s Corp surged past Wall Street targets…as…consumers lapped up a wildly popular celebrity meal inspired by South Korean pop band BTS.”
14. Disney Marketing Strategy: Storytelling, Nostalgia, & Experiences
Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.
Disney—one of the most iconic brands in history—is loved by children and adults alike.
What makes Disney’s marketing strategy remarkable?
You’d be hard-pressed to find a brand that combines experiential marketing and storytelling as effectively as Disney does.
Why does Disney’s strategy work?
Disney doesn’t just tell stories in the form of movies and TV shows. It gives fans opportunities to be part of those stories, most notably through Disneyland and Disneyworld.
This creates feelings of nostalgia and excitement—both of which keep loyal fans coming back and creates new supporters through word-of-mouth referrals.
Disney marketing strategy example:
The Walt Disney Company celebrated the 90-year anniversary of Mickey Mouse by hosting a pop-up experience, which was a hit among Disney fans.
The #Mickey90 hashtag originally associated with the event now has over 251K Mickey and Disney-related posts on Instagram alone.
15. Starbucks Marketing Strategy: Build Customer Loyalty With Easiness
We are not in the coffee business serving people, but in the people business serving coffee.
Love it or hate it, Starbucks has mastered the marketing of its premium coffee and tea.
What makes Starbucks’ marketing strategy remarkable?
One of the secrets to Starbucks’ success has been its loyalty program, which rewards tens of millions of existing customers for their purchases.
Why does Starbucks’ strategy work?
This rewards program, of course, keeps the brand top of mind among its fans, enhancing the user experience. This translates into word-of-mouth referrals, brand mentions on and offline, and increased brand visibility.
Starbucks marketing strategy example:
Customers are rewarded with stars when they purchase a Starbucks drink. In 2020, 18.9 million active members used the gamified loyalty program—many of whom earned gold status for earning 450 stars in one year.
16. Pepsi Marketing Strategy: Event Sponsorships For Mass Market
Marketing evolves every year because of technology, but some fundamentals will never change.
– Greg Lyons, Chief Marketing Officer at PepsiCo Beverages North America
Largely through smart marketing, Pepsi has been able to give Coca-Cola a run for its money and expand its product lines beyond soft drinks.
What makes Pepsi’s marketing strategy remarkable?
Among Pepsi’s most effective methods for promoting its products is its sponsorship of the Super Bowl halftime show. It has controlled all rights and advertising for the performance since 2012.
Why does Pepsi’s strategy work?
Pepsi has a marketing budget of millions per halftime show, purely because it knows the value of having its name associated with such a widely-viewed event—especially when it’s not competing with other sponsors for attention.
Ultimately, astronomical viewership numbers and the exclusivity of Pepsi’s sponsorship agreement boost its sales.
Pepsi marketing strategy example:
Since 2006, the numbers have consistently been above 90 million, earning Pepsi a massive amount of exposure and millions in sales. Its 2021 sponsorship, for example, gave the soda brand exposure to 91 million viewers.
17. DoorDash Marketing Strategy: Emotion & Philanthropy Stand Out
I believe that marketing matters more than it ever has – that in a noisy, distracted world with a proliferation of brands, products, opinions, options, and channels; the ability to build a connection and win a consumer’s trust and their business (i.e., marketing) can make all the difference.
Despite being in a competitive market, food delivery brand DoorDash has been steadily climbing the ranks, ending up with an impressive 48% market share.
What makes DoorDash’s marketing strategy remarkable?
One of the smartest marketing moves DoorDash has made is supporting causes that its target market cares about. This includes everything from lending its technology to food banks to supporting small, local businesses throughout COVID-19.
Why does DoorDash’s marketing strategy work?
DoorDash knows that emotion is a powerful driver of decision-making. People want to do business with people and brands that share their values. Whether the company directly promotes its philanthropic efforts or not, word gets out, brand awareness increases, and sales are likely to follow.
DoorDash marketing strategy example:
The Open For Delivery video was part of DoorDash’s 2020 campaign to support local businesses during the pandemic. It has racked up more than 114 million views and was well-received by many DoorDash fans.
DoorDash even put aside competition for the sake of this initiative, creating the #OpenForDelivery website that allows visitors to order from UberEats, Postmates, and other direct competitors.
18. HelloFresh Marketing Strategy: Content Marketing Can Disrupt Stagnant Niches
Every marketing approach has its value for us, as we tailor our activities to the different segments of potential customers.
– Lydi Siebers, Chief Marketing Officer Benelux at HelloFresh
HelloFresh—known for its fresh, affordable meal kit delivery service—has used various types of marketing to rise above competitors.
What makes HelloFresh’s marketing strategy remarkable?
The strategies that come to mind most readily are influencer and social media marketing. However, HelloFresh has also taken an interesting and effective approach to content marketing by blogging about tech as it relates to the growth of the company.
Why does HelloFresh’s strategy work?
Their content marketing plan works for a couple of reasons. For one, it’s unusual and creates curiosity since most blogs in the industry cater to consumers, sharing recipes and cooking tips.
Secondly, capitalizes on two popular topics: Tech and the HelloFresh brand, which is top-of-mind as a result of the brand’s other digital marketing efforts.
HelloFresh marketing strategy example:
HelloFresh has seen a positive response from its target audience. One example of this is the blog post Rethinking Customer Lifetime Value using Machine Learning at Hellofresh, which has amassed more than 300 claps on Medium.
19. Microsoft Marketing Strategy: Advertise With A Use-Case-Centric Approach
And that’s why if you look at most of our marketing, we’re showcasing customers who have used our technology in some interesting way and allowing them to tell their own story. It’s rare that you’ll see an ad that’s all about our product.
– Chris Capossela, EVP & Chief Marketing Officer at Microsoft
Microsoft is a tech giant on a mission to “empower every person and every organization to achieve more.”
What makes Microsoft’s marketing strategy remarkable?
Like many other big brands, Microsoft does a ton of advertising online and on TV. What stands out, though, is Microsoft’s product and use-case-centric approach.
Why does Microsoft’s strategy work?
Rather than hard-selling its latest tech by listing features, sharing pricing, and pointing to “buy now” CTAs, much of Microsoft’s advertising soft-sells. It simply shows quality product shots and the products being used in contexts that highlight their benefits like convenience and creativity boosts.
Microsoft marketing strategy example:
A 30-second commercial for the Surface Pro 8 with no product info or calls-to-action earned thousands of likes (and cracked 1.75 million views on YouTube in under a month). It goes to show how powerful indirect approaches to marketing can be.
20. AT&T Marketing Strategy: Internal Marketing Resonates Outside The Business, Too
Our momentum is strong, and we’re confident there is more opportunity to continue to grow out customer base and drive costs from the business
AT&T is the largest telecommunication company in the world. Online marketing and television advertising have been critical to its success, of course. But to achieve international fame, AT&T also leverages internal marketing.
What makes AT&T’s marketing strategy remarkable?
In addition to other social responsibilities, AT&T takes seriously its duty to invest in its employees. While this is more of an indirect approach, it’s an effective marketing strategy nonetheless.
Why does AT&T’s marketing strategy work?
AT&T not only works to maintain a healthy company culture, but also creates growth opportunities for employees. The indirect result of this? Employees are more engaged, view the brand in a more positive light, and, ultimately, represent the brand well and recommend it to others.
AT&T marketing strategy example:
In 2020 alone, AT&T invested about $166 million in direct employee training and professional development programs. The company wouldn’t have such a large annual budget for these programs if they didn’t produce ROI.
21. Airbnb Marketing Strategy: Experiential Marketing
Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like.
Airbnb, the world’s leading travel brand, uses two types of marketing strategies like no other.
What makes Airbnb’s marketing strategy remarkable?
Airbnb has a long history of hosting events—some with thousands of attendees—as part of their experiential marketing strategy. But what’s interesting is how intensely it focuses on social media marketing strategy and, specifically, how it translates in-person experiences to online ones.
Why does Airbnb’s strategy work?
Experience marketing is all about creating positive user experiences that influence consumer behavior. While not everyone can attend an in-person Airbnb event, they can enjoy similar experiences thanks to the content Airbnb shares across social media platforms—including user-generated pictures and videos.
Airbnb marketing strategy example:
The “Brought To You By” video campaign, which showcased accommodation and experiences through Airbnb available while traveling, got exceptional results on Twitter. Most noteworthy, the cost per view was 50% lower than Australian benchmarks with a 30% higher view rate.
22. Red Bull Marketing Strategy: Sponsorships, Events, & Stunts
We don’t bring the product to the consumer, we bring consumers to the product.
Red Bull, the Austrian brand behind the line of energy drinks that promises to “give you wings,” is universally regarded as a marketing powerhouse.
What makes Red Bull’s marketing strategy remarkable?
Red Bull’s marketing strategy combines sponsorship and event marketing in two interesting ways.
First, its core product is an energy drink. It only promotes high-energy activities such as extreme sports and music battles, partnering with similar brands such as GoPro.
Plus, in addition to sponsoring existing events like motocross rallies, Red Bull also creates outrageous stunts that create buzz around the brand.
Why does Red Bull’s strategy work?
Simply put, Red Bull repeatedly places its brand where potential customers—athletes, adrenaline junkies, and sports fans—can be found. And it crosses dozens of disciplines for max visibility.
Red Bull marketing strategy example:
Felix Baumgartner’s Stratosphere Jump in 2012 was watched by over half a billion people in more than 50 countries. In 2022, it still holds Guinness World Records for the most concurrent views for a live event on YouTube and the largest audience for a livestream ad.
This wasn’t just a brand awareness campaign for Red Bull. In the six months to follow, Red Bull’s global sales skyrocketed by $5.2 billion.
23. Google Marketing Strategy: Freemium Product Adoption
Our goal is basically to take the largest amount of information and make it accessible and useful.
Google isn’t just the authority on search engine optimization (SEO). The company’s 20+ other products, such as Maps and Play Store, have become staples of the digital world. How?
What makes Google’s marketing strategy remarkable?
Google has mastered the art of creating product ecosystems and allowing those products to drive its growth. Google Workspace—a suite of several integrated tools—is a good example of this.
Why does Google’s strategy work?
Google’s product-led marketing strategy works for at least two reasons.
One, it prioritizes product usage. The more people rely on its ecosystem, the more their collaborators and connections will want to do the same for convenience and community.
Two, Google is constantly testing and optimizing for customer experience, knowing that delighting existing customers helps with both retention and acquisition.
Google marketing strategy example:
At 61%, Google has consistently had the largest market share among leading search engine providers for more than a decade. The next closest competitor—Microsoft—only has a 26% market share, with other top providers’ popularity decreasing steadily.
24. Nike Marketing Strategy: Influencer Marketing & Appeals To Emotion
All the focus is on how can we deliver even better experiences to consumers.
Nike is known for its aspirational, motivational, and emotional branding, all of which have helped the retailer dominate the industry for decades.
What makes Nike’s marketing strategy remarkable?
Many brands use influencer marketing and even cause-based marketing. However, the strength of Nike’s marketing strategy lies in the combination of influencer partnerships, cause-based campaigns, and authenticity.
Why does Nike’s strategy work?
Influencer marketing gets the brand’s message out and increases the perceived importance of the causes it supports. Additionally, the company’s consistent and bold follow-through on its brand purpose creates a sense of camaraderie and pride among fans.
Nike marketing strategy example:
Despite backlash from its (in)famous Colin Kaepernick ad on the heated topic of inequality, ecommerce sales increased by 31%.
25. Apple Marketing Strategy: Sleek Product Placement & Original Content
Marketing is about values. It’s a complicated and noisy world, and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So we have to be really clear about what we want them to know about us.
Apple has become the largest, most valuable company in the world with a valuation of $2.8 trillion. How? Not by selling computers and phones, but by creating a status symbol and community around the brand. The company does this, in part, through product placements.
What makes Apple’s marketing strategy remarkable?
Apple’s marketing strategy uses a strategic, high-volume mix of visual and audio placements that show the brand in a favorable light.
Why does Apple’s strategy work?
The more its target market sees the latest products in the hands of people they like (including TV and movie characters), the more attractive its products become.
Apple marketing strategy example:
In just 74 Ted Lasso episodes, there were 704 Apple product placements. Given the popularity of these and other shows its products appear in, Apple has no doubt been able to influence the opinions and purchasing decisions of hundreds—if not thousands—of consumers.
26. Coca-Cola Marketing Strategy: Sponsorship Marketing
Make sure the consumer remains at the center of every decision we make.
Coca-Cola isn’t just a soda. With over 135 years in business, it has become one of the most well-known, beloved brands in the world. Various forms of strategic marketing have been integral to that success.
What makes Coke’s marketing strategy remarkable?
Coke was among the first in modern history to embrace sponsorship marketing on a large scale. Since 1927, the company has sponsored everything from American Idol to the Olympic Games, dramatically increasing brand awareness in the process.
Why does Coke’s strategy work?
This aspect of Coke’s marketing strategy is effective because it piggybacks off of the existing reach of and buzz surrounding other large brands. That combined with Coke’s own reputation helped the brand become known worldwide and remain top-of-mind.
Coke marketing strategy example:
One campaign for the Rio Olympic Games Rio in 2016 earned Coca-Cola 500 million impressions on social media. No doubt, other metrics for this marketing campaign were equally impressive and Coke’s customer base expanded as a result.
27. Amazon Marketing Strategy: Build A Data-Driven Brand
Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.
– Jeff Bezos, Founder, Executive Chairman, and Former President and CEO of Amazon.
Amazon started as an online bookseller back in 1995 and, in the years since, has grown into a global eCommerce powerhouse. In 2021, Amazon had a net annual income of $33.36 billion. Much of Amazon’s success can be attributed to its excellent marketing.
What makes Amazon’s marketing strategy remarkable?
Amazon’s marketing is iconic because it uses data to inform Amazon’s marketing and product decisions. Amazon knows exactly what customers want to know, and every aspect of Amazon’s marketing, from visuals to the CTA, is optimized for success.
Why does Amazon’s strategy work?
Amazon’s strategy works because Amazon has a robust data infrastructure that collects and analyzes data efficiently. Amazon has also mastered appealing to everyday stresses we all have in common—like the desire to always have toilet paper.
Amazon marketing strategy example:
One classic example of Amazon’s marketing was the 90-second ‘Alexa Loses Her Voice’ video ad Amazon ran during the 2018 Super Bowl.
Check out this resource if you’d like to see actual examples and samples of marketing plans as documented by real brands and marketers.
28. GoPro Marketing Strategy: Use Partnerships To Grow
GoPro lets people take other people along for the ride with them.
As one of technology’s biggest success stories, GoPro grew from a niche action camera company to a multimedia corporation with high-quality athletic cameras and accessories.
What makes GoPro’s marketing strategy remarkable?
GoPro excels in their use of word-of-mouth marketing strategy to promote the brand. They have successfully recruited customers and celebrities and partnered with companies to post original curated content to build GoPro’s brand awareness.
Why does GoPro’s strategy work?
GoPro’s word-of-mouth marketing strategy increases brand success and fosters meaningful relationships. GoPro’s user-generated content increases conversion rates by 80%. Their Youtube drives 60.94% of traffic, and they have a total of 42.87 million followers across all social media channels.
GoPro marketing strategy example:
GoPro partnered with Red Bull to share #GoProPOVs as a marketing campaign. Athletes from around the world post their action pictures to spark a rise in engagement and brand awareness.
We’re teaming up w @redbull for more #GoPro POVs from the best athletes (like @rendawgfmx)pic.twitter.com/Y7h1LBO54Q
— GoPro (@GoPro) May 24, 2016
29. Sephora Marketing Strategy: Try Before You Buy
The client connection is increasingly data-driven. Marketers have always had to be amazing storytellers. Today, we tell stories with our actions. By elevating a larger purpose for the brand, marketers need to be prepared to drive change and inspire action.
Sephora leads the global cosmetic industry with beauty products from over 340 curated brands.
What makes Sephora’s marketing strategy remarkable?
Sephora stands out among the competition with their value-first approach. Sephora’s marketing strategy stems from the original hook: “Try before you buy.” This tactic educates consumers on products to influence their purchasing decision.
Why does Sephora’s strategy work?
Sephora provides value – samples, try-on, and how-to videos – for customers to make well-informed decisions. They successfully create personalized customer relationships to build brand awareness and loyalty. Sephora scored an 89% for the most personalized customer experience, and brand awareness ranks at 74% in the United States. 80% of Beauty Insiders profess complete loyalty to Sephora because of the benefits of the program.
Sephora marketing strategy example:
In the Sephora stores, Beauty Advisors use the “Virtual Artist” to create a personalized experience for customers to try on different cosmetic shades and find products.
30. Spotify Marketing Strategy: Personalize Your User’s Experience
“We are trying to give our audience more of an audio experience. Where we’re moving to both as a brand and a product platform is an ecosystem of interactivity where people can play with Spotify; meaning not only do you hear what you want to hear, but you can now interact.
Spotify is the market leader in audio streaming services, with over 350 million users and 150 million subscribers.
What makes Spotify’s marketing strategy remarkable?
Spotify stands out by conforming its marketing strategy to its audience’s lifestyle. Spotify connects with listeners by hopping on trends, embracing market changes, and personalizing user experiences.
Spotify tailors marketing campaigns to satisfy consumers’ needs while maintaining its brand identity.
Why does Spotify’s strategy work?
Spotify’s audience-centric marketing strategy creates a better customer experience that continues to increase conversions and customer engagement. Spotify achieves a 46% conversion rate from free to paid customers and maintains an 80% retention rate for all users weekly. This strategy also helps Spotify average a 15% increase in subscribers every year.
Spotify marketing strategy example:
Spotify connects with the target audience through content that aligns with their lifestyle. This billboard is one of many marketing campaigns that relate to millennial customers.