In the fast-paced world of marketing, standing out amidst competition requires innovative strategies and an understanding of consumer behaviour. This is a challenge for more than 70% of UK businesses as reported in the LOCALiQ 2024 UK State of Digital Marketing Report.

Despite this statistic, innovation in marketing was front and centre at this year’s Drum Awards. With more than 1 million readers, The Drum, a leading global publisher for the marketing and media industries, shines a light on the ad industry’s most creative marketing campaigns through its international awards program.

In my capacity as a judge for the 2023 edition of The Drum Awards and Head of B2B Marketing for LOCALiQ, I had the pleasure of participating in The Drum Awards Festival. This event not only honoured the exceptional achievements of 2023 but also provided invaluable insights through its standout campaigns.


7 Marketing Lessons from The Drum Awards’

Here are seven key marketing insights observed from winning campaigns at The Drum Awards that can transform your approach to reaching and engaging audiences.

Lesson 1: Creativity beats limited budgets.

Innovative and creative campaigns have the power to resonate profoundly with audiences, transcending financial constraints to achieve significant reach and engagement.

Lesson 2: Beware of wasting budget on people who aren’t looking for your product.

Knowing your audience is crucial. Investing marketing budgets wisely involves directing efforts towards those actively seeking your product or service. Paid search strategies, when optimised, have the potential to yield high returns by precisely targeting the right audience.

Lesson 3: Speak your audience’s language.

Tailoring your message to resonate with your audience is key. Prime examples are Workday and LinkedIn ads targeting B2B professionals using industry-specific language, which not only engaged but entertained the audience.

Workday’s Rock Star Campaign

LinkedIn’s No One Knows What You Do Campaign – Acronym Daughter

LinkedIn’s No One Knows What You Do Campaign – Cloud Sales

Lesson 4: Leverage user-generated content and micro-influencers.

Breaking into hard-to-reach demographics requires innovative approaches. User-generated content and collaborations with micro-influencers can authentically connect with niche audiences, fostering genuine engagement and trust.

A good example of this is the winning campaign in the B2B: Disruption category, “When You Don’t Use ABAX.”ABAX, an equipment tracking firm, faced the challenge of engaging with UK construction firms. Collaborating with construction influencer Ryan Belcher, they launched a humor-driven campaign targeting builders. In a hero stunt, a builder faced inventory loss, resolved dramatically by ABAX’s GPS-based equipment location.

This influencer-driven campaign showcased the power of embracing new media. Despite B2B’s slow uptake of platforms like TikTok, the results were staggering: 51 million impressions, 23 million video views, and 316,000 click-throughs, alongside a notable +195% surge in website visits. This innovative approach redefined B2B marketing strategies, leveraging micro-influencers and humour to connect with otherwise hard-to-reach audiences.

Lesson 5: Double down on 1 unique selling proposition (USP):

Focusing on a single, compelling USP and relentlessly marketing it can distinguish your brand in a crowded market. Emphasising one standout quality creates a memorable brand identity and marketing campaigns.

“50 Shades of Ginger” was the winning “B2B: PR” campaign with Roland DG bringing focus to the USP that their TrueVis printer boasts unparalleled colour accuracy, particularly in tricky shades like oranges and reds. To showcase this, they tapped into the nuances of red and orange hues through a campaign targeting redheads. 

Leveraging the TrueVIS printer and a spectrophotometer, they crafted the ’50 Shades of Ginger’ lookbook—a visual representation of the diverse spectrum of red and orange shades within the ‘ginger’ collective. The campaign delved into the experiences of redheads, exploring their unique stories and colour perceptions. 

This innovative approach garnered significant attention, securing 50 pieces of media coverage and a substantial social media reach of 590.65 million. Notably, the campaign featured redhead icon Jenny Ryan on primetime ITV GMB. The impact was palpable with a 196% surge in organic search traffic, a marked increase in search engine queries, and a 33% rise in direct traffic.This successful campaign not only heightened brand awareness but also attracted buyers eager to explore Roland’s new TrueVis range.

Lesson 6: There is power in collaboration.

Partnering with a digital marketing agency can enhance your in-house team’s efforts. Their specialised expertise and fresh perspectives can act as a catalyst, elevating your marketing strategy to new heights.

Lesson 7: Emotional connection knows no industry bounds.

B2B businesses often assume that emotion and creativity are irrelevant in their marketing. However, humanising the brand and establishing an emotional connection can be equally impactful in B2B campaigns, as people ultimately drive business decisions.

The lessons gleaned from the award-winning campaigns of The Drum Awards transcend industry boundaries and offer invaluable insights for marketers aiming to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of consumer engagement. Incorporating these insights into your marketing strategy empowers your business to harness creativity, precision, and emotional resonance, driving unparalleled success in captivating and retaining your audience’s attention and loyalty.

Does your business have an award-worthy marketing challenge that needs solving?

Collaborating with a team like LOCALiQ could be the catalyst needed to propel your campaigns.

As an award-winning digital marketing agency, LOCALiQ has a proven track record of excellence, with client campaigns consistently acknowledged across esteemed industry award programs like The Drum, UK Search Awards, and the international Search Engine Land Awards.

If you want to level up your business’s digital marketing strategy and attain recognition that amplifies your brand’s local or national presence, contact us today.

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