July 30, 2021
The best e-commerce marketing campaigns are often candid, surprising, and perfectly encapsulate their product’s value.
Mobile advertising is experiencing a seismic shift in the wake of iOS 14’s new approach to privacy and IDFA permissions.
Thanks to Apple’s new policies, many e-commerce marketers fear they will not be able to access the same quality of user data that allows them to run effective promotions. While it’s true that access is changing, this obstacle isn’t impossible to overcome — some of the best e-commerce marketing campaigns found unique ways to communicate product value and engage shoppers. In the process, they obtained first-party data that was arguably far more valuable to long-term growth.
In this article, we’ll explore how some of the biggest e-commerce brands of the past decade connected with their customers and drove conversions without relying on IDFA. At the same time, we’ll highlight some all-around great marketing lessons we could all stand to revisit.
Dollar Shave Club: Drive conversions with candid creative
Barkbox: Earn personal data through quality services
Frank Body: Let user-generated content drive engagement
The best e-commerce marketing campaigns don’t need to rely on gimmicks or tricks — they rely on great content. Ideally, you want something that emphasizes value, helps your brand stand out, and forces consumers to consider your product in a new light. Dollar Shave Club excels by each of these standards, thanks to funny and impressively viral video campaigns that got people talking about men’s razors.
Perhaps the most famous example is Dollar Shave Club’s first campaign, “Our Blades Are F***ing Great,” where the company’s founder makes a case for $1 razor blades while exploring a nonsensical workplace. While the ad is completely tongue-in-cheek, the core product is always presented in the best possible light — the candid approach is simply a technique to grab your attention.
Thanks to this campaign, Dollar Shave Club drove 12,000 conversions in two days. Meanwhile, the video itself continues to attract an audience, earning over 27 million views on YouTube alone. Startup marketers can do well by following Dollar Shave Club’s example and creating content that entertains and informs.
Barkbox is BARK’s monthly subscription service, offering treats, toys, and chewies for the fluffy friends of subscribers. Besides taking a solid idea and executing it well, BARK’s marketing is also best in class. The brand excels at creating attention-grabbing social media campaigns and manages to pull off personalization at scale expertly.
Personalization is vital for a service like Barbox because dogs, like people, are individuals. There are 120,000 different breed and size varieties, and that’s before getting into allergies or temperaments. That diversity makes it challenging to send the right product to the right dog — such as an exceptionally durable chew toy for an aggressive puppy.
To that end, BARK instituted its “No Dog Left Behind” program, which actively reaches out to customers to gather and verify essential information. According to BARK, this program actively engages with up to one-third of its customers every month, collecting data points to address individual needs. In doing so, BARK created and delivered higher-quality chew toys, developed snacks with unique ingredients, and more. No Dog Left Behind also creates opportunities for customers to share their data with BARK in a way that highlights the value it can give in return.
Of course, we can’t talk about Barkbox and marketing without discussing National Squirrel Appreciation Day. BARK settled on this obscure and mundane holiday as an opportunity to draw attention to its social media channels. On January 21, squirrels “take over” BARK’s social media accounts to talk about nuts, share squirrel-related memes, and generally cause a ruckus. As a result, BARK’s two million followers learned about National Squirrel Appreciation Day — but many more discovered the brand’s social media presence. This ingenious strategy drove a surge in web traffic that expanded BARK’s potential audience.
Frank Body started as an idea between five friends with $5000 in capital: to create a skincare startup that emphasized clean, flirty fun over hyperbole and technical details. It quickly grew into a $20 million beauty brand with a global audience. We can attribute many factors to Frank Body’s success — its unique brand identity, a “dirty and flirty” aesthetic, and fully embracing audience values with cruelty-free ingredients. One important detail is a content marketing strategy that leveraged word-of-mouth techniques to drive reach on social media.
From an early stage, Frank Body wanted to tap into social media’s viral appeal. To that end, it contacted influencers, makeup artists, and beauty bloggers, asking them to take fun but clean pictures with the brand’s “dirty” coffee scrub. The campaign quickly reached the customer level when Frank Body implemented monthly contests, rewarding any ambassador who shared pictures while using official hashtags.
By interacting with customers in exciting ways, Frank Body found itself with 100,000 user-generated posts to reuse and reshare on official channels. It’s a valuable lesson that brands should never underestimate the potential of an engaged audience.
Barkbox, Dollar Shave Club, and Frank Body serve distinct audiences but offer similar approaches to creating excellent e-commerce marketing campaigns. All that’s required is a unique creative vision, an understanding of how consumers engage with mobile devices, and the ability to highlight the innate value of your products.
For everything else — from dynamic ad creative to transparent e-commerce marketing software — a partner like Moloco can help. Get in touch today to learn how we can take your campaigns farther than ever before.
Want to learn more about dominating e-commerce marketing? Be sure to read The Complete Guide to E-commerce Marketing.
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