Let’s face it: Consumers don’t have any idea they are part of a “campaign” when they’re interacting with your brand’s digital marketing creative.
They fluidly move between devices, channels, and screens and expect that their experience should be seamless, engaging, and fun. At every moment, any one person is taking in several bits of information and having to assess where they should pay attention. As a marketer, it becomes challenging to break through, make an impact, resonate, and inspire a customer to give you their attention.
Every year, Oracle-Responsys searches high and low to assemble the best of the best in digital marketing creative examples that stand out from the pack in our “Look Book.”
This year, our criteria focused around innovative execution, smart content, and mobile-awareness. We looked at brand communications that spanned email, mobile, social, display, and the web and collected the designs that we believe embody the highest standard of creative excellence.
Across all 20 examples, we saw the lines blur between creative, marketing, and content.
For example, some brands are using blog content to sell consumer products, while others are taking advantage of having a captive mobile audience to promote their app. The rules for using design to engage your customers are changing fast, so we pulled out three trends that smart marketers are embracing today:
1. Product Context: Williams-Sonoma, Orbitz
We do all this work and analysis to figure out the right product to promote to the right segment, but often times we stop there and forget there’s a human on the other end of our promotion. We need to give our product context – as in help the consumer see how the product can have a positive impact on their daily life.
Both Williams-Sonoma and Orbitz do a fantastic job helping the customer understand why these particular products (a juicer and hotel, respectively) are clearly better than the alternative.
Williams-Sonoma’s email is dedicated to the health benefits of juicing, and they happen to carry the top-of-the-line juicer.
Orbitz is promoting hotels in a creative, “tongue in cheek” kind of way, calling out that staying in a hotel when you’re visiting family is better than crashing on a couch.
As marketers we sometimes forget to focus on the benefits instead of the features, and benefits are what sell products in digital marketing creative.
2. Guided Creative: Amazon, Comcast, American Apparel, Free People
It’s time to get creative with scrolling! Mobile devices make it fun to explore and engage with content, and keen creatives are using the smaller screens to their advantage by using design elements to draw the consumer’s eye down.
The stacked sweatshirts from American Apparel and the right product at the right time approach that Free People took with its gifting decision tree were great examples of this idea in action.
3. Data-Driven Creative: Fitbit, Jet Star
The most challenging of the three trends in digital marketing creative is data-driven creative, where you develop your design and copy so that the data being pulled in feels custom to the subscriber.
Fitbit does a great job of developing data-driven creative by making the elements around the total number of steps feel completely custom, and even having a field that does simple math from the total step count. The design itself stays the same, but the unique data allows each message to have a special appeal to customers.
Jetstar does an incredible job of data-driven creative by developing a framework that supports multiple languages, and yet it feels specific to that region.
While these examples are best-in-class, it’s not terribly difficult to start to think about how your own digital marketing creative could benefit from the ideas. By sharing your goals and ideas with your creative team, you can start and continue to develop conversations with your customers that keep them engaged and ensure your brand is top of mind when it’s time to convert.