Learning from the world’s Top Marketing Firms

The anvil of the web and social media is constantly changing the rules of marketing. The “center of power” favors the customer, compared to the marketer. New technologies are contributing to customer empowerment. The customer’s behavior is shifting towards demand for relevance and value. Some complex market challenges are:

  • Globalization
  • Rapidly changing consumer preferences
  • Increased competition

The need of the hour is new paradigms, strategies, thinking patterns and solutions.

Leaders are defined by the challenges they overcome. Top marketing firms rose to these challenges with innovative and effective solutions. They delivered successful marketing and campaigns, backed with outstanding sales figures. Fortunately, some of these marketing firms are willing to share a few of their secrets. The case studies, presented here, provide valuable insight for any marketer. They include the guiding principles of these top marketing firms. Extraordinary success was achieved using these principles.

Being Effective is more important than being “Creative”

“Creative” is among the misused words of the marketing industry. A lot of people advocate advertisements as a form of new and different art. It is called being creative and original. While creativity has its rightful place, effective marketing is about producing results. Marketers are mostly hired to implement strategies that lead to profits. Creativity and originality needs to be weighed, in the perspective of success. Blue Chip Marketing (UK) is a top marketing firm. Their focus is on revenue and result. Creativity is not their priority. Let us study their strategy.

Top Marketing Firms

WINTER TWENTY TEN campaign – The objective of the campaign is to boost Scotland tourism revenue by 50%. The challenge is the campaign was meant to launch for WINTER, when Scotland is primarily perceived as a summer holiday destination.

The pictures used in the marketing literature are simple. They do not have any jazzy décor and emit a neat and clean feeling. It is surely not a candidate for creative awards.  The pictures do show various usual and unusual perspectives of Scotland in winter. It invites people to come and explore, awakening their interest. Each picture campaign is linked to a strategic partner. The results were overwhelmingly positive.

The campaign exceeded all objectives, delivering 26.2 million opportunities to see (460% above target) and incremental tourism revenue 165% above target. Gross ROI was $311 for every $1 spent on the promotional activity. Research found that 34% of campaign respondents took a WINTER break in Scotland during the campaign period; 55% then booked again, for the summer or autumn.

Simple and targeted, not fancy, was the secret to the effective marketing.


It is of utmost importance that you know the customer’s purchase behavior. Study the needs of your customer. You can shake well-found beliefs and brand dominance with such knowledge. You can make the customer wonder how they managed without your offering. This is a key to successful campaigns.

Ogilvy, a giant in the marketing industry, implements this principle repeatedly. They used is successfully in the 3M campaign “Say it with Scotch – Pass the Parcel”. Knowledge of what motivates the customer’s behavior, in the target market, was the key.

Top Marketing Firms

The primary objective of the campaign was to capture 20,000 unique email addresses and establish a database which could then be used for subsequent email campaigns. Ogilvy was tasked with raising awareness of the Scotch® brand and putting it at the front of the consumers’ minds by demonstrating Scotch® POP-UP TAPE as the handy, no fuss choice for elegant gift wrapping.

Ogilvy designed an online game that placed a product demonstration at the very heart of the mechanic. And, through that mechanic, Ogilvy attached an engaging experience to a functional product. Finally, Ogilvy incentivised traffic by rewarding participation and making users want to share the experience with friends and family.

Ogilvy’s online Pass the Parcel game reflected the brand’s innovative approach featuring an animated demonstration of the product in action. And, because the original game was built around the notion of sharing and inclusion, it was a perfect fit for the online environment.

 What Ogilvy created is a platform that resonated with mums, made them feel nostalgic and emotionally motivated them to make Scotch® POP-UP TAPE their preferred brand choice.

By the end of the campaign Ogilvy had captured nearly 38,217 email addresses, almost doubling the client’s expectations. The game featured an animated demonstration of the product and, with each visitor coming back to play the game an average of ten times, that’s a very high level of exposure which resulted in us giving away 2500 vouchers. And in less than 4 months the site attracted more than 450,000 game plays.


Advertising is classified risky when the outcome or effect is undetermined. It falls under the category of rash marketing campaign. Fact is, it can burn a hole in your pocket and have adverse results. In particular, two types of risks are unacceptable:

  • Risk that is executional only. This genre of risk is not based on any strategy. It may not be in agreement with the client’s objectives.
  • Risk that creates trust issues between the collaborating teams.

A calculated risk, however, can be extremely effective. We see that in the following example “Kseniya Sobchak. Crash”.  A top marketing firm, Kinograf of Ukraine, created “fake news” for publicity. This marketing campaign could have gone south. The risk was managed and the results beyond expectations.

Top Marketing Firms

The advertising campaign “Kseniya Sobchak. Crash.” has not only exceeded both Samsung and Evroset business goals, but became one of the most successful advertising projects using Internet in former USSR countries.

Every second Russian and every fifth Ukrainian has two SIM-cards. It was necessary to convince people, who tend to save on everything, to purchase one phone for a price of 4 inexpensive items. It was important for Samsung not only to introduce new model to the market, but also to increase its sales at Evroset – the largest cell phones retail network in former USSR countries.


• Stimulate the demand for the new premium Duos B5722 model at Russian Evroset under the conditions of stagnating market. Sales volume for the new Duos B5722 model must make at least 0,7% of total sales in Evroset during the campaign.

• Rise whole Samsung Duos line sales in Ukrainian Evroset. Increase Samsung Duos line share in Evroset sales portfolio from 8,4% to 10%.

• Hold Russian Evroset’ market share despite the decreasing number of showrooms.

• Ensure the maximum coverage and TA drawing into communication in the shortest time possible.

• Preserve the parity within communication. Present both brands – Samsung and Evroset equally within the advertising campaign.

The idea of the advertising campaign was created by the car ‘accident’ of rowdy celebrity Kseniya Sobchak (popular in Russia and Ukraine) in the Evroset store. The Agency decided to get the maximum out of the creative idea and created the teaser as the news about the celebrity car accident, supposedly shot by the eyewitness and posted it in the Internet.

Fake news with scandalous celebrity became the real virus. It was actively discussed in blogs, social networks, published in press and drew the traditional mass media attention. By the time the ATL campaign was released, the audience was so heated up by the teaser, that less than in a week from the start of the TV campaign the new model Samsung Duos B5722 entered TOP 20 in sales among of all Samsung models.

It is not enough to learn from principles alone. To be successful, you need to study, observe and innovate. Creative imagination is certainly an asset. To be like the leaders, you have to implement effective ideas and with responsive thinking.

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