9 Experts Choose 2011’s Top Marketing Events & Campaigns

2011 was a dynamic year, where offline and online events came together using the same communication and distribution tools.

Against a weak global economy, the year’s major events including: Gabriel Giffords’ shooting, the Japanese Tsunami, the Arab Spring, Bin Laden’s death, the Occupy Wall Street and related protests, Steve Jobs’s death, the Iraq War’s end, the early Republican primary campaigns, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s death, underscored the importance of social media and being connected. As a result, it was often difficult to separate marketing from political and economic events. The bottom line is you still need to create marketing and content that will reach out and pull your audience in.

Here’s what nine marketing experts chose as the most important marketing event or campaign of 2011.

  1. The most important digital marketing event of 2011 was the launch of Google+. This is true regardless of its user and usage metrics. There are two reasons for this. First, Google provided the first social media marketing platform that can directly impact marketing results in natural search, paid search, and display advertising. Nothing has come close before, and no one has the potential to do that as well as Google. Second, Google+ is integrated across just about all of Google’s offerings by now, so it’s a sign of how social media is so much bigger than a networking site. David Berkowitz – 360i
, @DBerkowitz

  2. The Occupy campaign was a marketing movement of its own. It shows that marketing does not have to be contrived from a standalone brand. I also think the new iPhone and iPad campaigns helped push the envelope of technology into the hands of consumers, creating and leading one of the biggest shifts in how we communicate, collaborate and take care of personal and business tasks in our everyday lives.Lisa Buyer – The Buyer Group, @LisaBuyer
  3. Obviously the world economy was and is the biggest factor in the business world.  The launch of Google Plus created waves too, although the ultimate affect the launch will have on businesses is still unclear as of now. Margie Clayman – Clayman Advertising, Inc., @margieclayman 
  4. In 2011, marketing was changed by a combination of changed consumer behavior, increased smartphone penetration and use, and expanded use of social media across demographic groups. While there was no one break-through marketing event or campaign, these three factors together affected world events and how we experienced them. Specifically, US consumers continued to be price conscious, using smartphones to gather shopping information thus eroding brands. Facebook and Twitter’s use to break news like the Arab Spring faster than traditional media eclipsed the introduction of Google+. The US reached the Smartphone tipping point last spring, increasing our time spent with content and our ability to reach a broader group of contacts.  Heidi Cohen – Riverside Marketing Strategies, @HeidiCohen
  5. One of the most significant events in 2011 impacting the marketing world was Groupon’s IPO because it helped legitimize the daily deals marketplace. From that IPO, to our own acquisition by the Affinion Group, there was plenty of activity and consolidation in the deal space. And that speaks to the fact that businesses, both small and large, both online and off, view daily deals as an efficient way to attract and retain new customers. The deal industry has been, and will continue to be, an effective marketing tool for businesses and brand, small and large. Jere Doyle – Prospectiv, @JereDoyle
  6. I loved Movember. It told a great story by taking a very serious matter (men’s health, and cancers affecting men), and had fun with it by enlisting men to grow moustaches (Mo bros), create a social profile and raise money. Instead of shocking people with horrific images and statistics, they made the conversation approachable and fun. In doing so, they enlisted people who wouldn’t normally be advocates for a cause, to get involved. This campaign crossed all platforms and raised over $107 million. Lisa Gerber – Arment Dietrich, Inc., @LisaGerber
  7. The most important marketing campaign of 2011 was Intel’s Museum of Me because it showcased how brands can truly add value with social applications. Dave Kerpen – Likeable Media and author of  Likeable Social Media, @davekerpen
  8. Egypt’s revolution by social media was an astounding 2011 “marketing” milestone. Mobile phones empowered collection of photos and videos while text messaging and social networks enabled rapid sharing. The real-time information quickly engaged a global audience, even with the Egyptian government trying to block Internet access. The event demonstrated to the world (politics and beyond) that the powerful voice of social media should never be underestimated. Angie Schottmuller, @aschottmuller
  9. 2011 was a year full of milestones in the marketing space, from the redesign of Facebook to the unveiling of iPhone 4S, which was swamped by the untimely death of Steve Jobs. Deborah Weinstein – Strategic Objectives,@DebWeinstein 

More than in the past, the combination of social media and connected devices broke the news and enabled average citizens to engage and reach out to help. This underscored the importance of personal relationships and how they influence our marketing decisions.

Do you have any other 2011 marketing highlights that you suggest add to this list? If so, please include your response in the comment section below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fdecomite/5270233073/


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