We recently covered the basics on what it takes to be a Quoran, as well as the benefits of leveraging the platform as an advertising tool. Long story short: Quora has serious potential to push content to an engaged, high-converting audience. But the platform’s value doesn’t end there.
First and foremost, Quora is a place to share information, where users can add their two cents to any conversation of their choosing. Some topics are more robustly answered than others. But sometimes, you can strike gold and find a thread with more meaningful responses than you ever thought you needed.
Within the marketing community on Quora, there is one such thread: the “What are some examples of great marketing?” question.
It consistently appears at the top of all marketing-relevant topics and currently has over 100 answers Some answers are stellar, some are great, some are not-so-great—but many of them hold valuable insight for creating engaging and effective marketing campaigns.
To save you a scroll, we picked out our favorite answers.
Here are 10 examples of great marketing from Quora—and the strategies you can steal to reach your own marketing goals.
Engage Your Community: Giving Your Audience A Place In Your Efforts
Engaging your target audience and including them in your campaign is a successful tactic. It’s not groundbreaking news, but it sure is effective.
Many of the examples on Quora’s large list were praised for their ability to pique interest as well as invite their audience into the campaign. At that point, the target audience becomes more than just a theoretical concept: it becomes a valuable (and sometimes financially convenient!) marketing asset.
The following examples show how this strategy can align a brand with their audience and inspire user-generated content.
Why is Burger King liking my old tweets?
This is one of the funniest tactics you’ll see listed on this thread—and it didn’t cost Burger King a dime. All they had to do was like several random, outdated tweets, schedule a timely new product announcement, and voilà: the retweets and headlines were theirs for the taking. Quoran Julian Frank tells the tale expertly in his answer.
Take the time to engage your community, and there’s a chance that they end up doing the advertising for you. The barebones lesson here is that your online interactions are worth a second thought. It’s easy to get in a rut of responding to your audience in generic, expected ways (“we appreciate the feedback,” “thanks for reaching out,” etc.). But responding thoughtfully, strategically, or even weirdly could better help you capture their attention.
The Grateful Dead Tapers
This example provided by Quoran user David Stewart is not a campaign persay, but worked like one nevertheless. It involves the American rock band The Grateful Dead and the growing popularity of “tapers” at rock shows in the 1970s. As their name suggests, tapers would sneak recording equipment into concerts, quickly becoming anathema to band managers. But The Grateful Dead didn’t ban taping like their rock ‘n’ roll contemporaries; they embraced them wholeheartedly. Ultimately, the distribution of the fan recordings generated significant word of mouth, helping build the now legendary, loyal, and long-lasting community of Deadheads. Rock on.
Analyze how your audience responds to whatever it is your selling, because it could be in ways you didn’t initially expect. I’m sure The Grateful Dead didn’t expect to sell tickets specifically for tapers when they first started touring, but their flexibility in responding to these particular fans was admirable. If you’re able to address or accommodate your audience’s activities, it could boost your reputation among your current customers and help you win over new ones.
Qantas Airline Advice
A 10-year-old boy wrote to Alan Joyce, the CEO of Qantas Airways of Australia, telling him about the new airline he was creating and if Joyce had any advice. Joyce responded spectacularly, sending the aspiring airline exec a professionally written response answering all of his questions. In addition to inspiring “Awwws!” across Australia as the story got picked up by several news outlets, Joyce also flexed the airline’s core values in his letter: safety, comfort, and affordability.
Treat every interaction as an opportunity to showcase your brand’s voice, values, and personality. In the event that your message makes it to the news, it’ll serve as an advertisement you didn’t necessarily have to pay for. And—this one goes without saying—embrace the kiddos in your audience.
Lays Smiling Bags
A new package design that begs users to pose with it and post a photo online. With bag designs that feature smiling faces from the nose down, Lay’s Potato Chips inspired a successful UGC campaign. People bought the colorful bags so they could match up their expressions with the faces on the packaging and take a photo—see for yourself and search #LaysChips on Instagram. Lay’s also shows these users some love in return by sharing their photos on their social media pages.
Optimize your marketing efforts for UGC. Compel them to share their experience with the world. Return the favor and shout them out on social media. Whether you accomplish this with a branded hashtag printed on your content or an updated packaging design like Lay’s, the choice is yours.
The Long Con: Biding Your Time vs. Immediate Gratification
In this age of 1-day shipping and expansive entertainment libraries at the literal tips of our fingers, we’re quite accustomed to getting what we want, whenever we want. But success can take time, something these next three companies completely understand. Let’s explore how investing time, not just advertising dollars, can make a campaign work.
De Beers & Diamonds
It’s a tale as old as time: how diamond company De Beers managed to shift public perception and carve out a space for their jewelry in our culture. Quoran Jonathan Liu lays out the key details of the company’s monopoly in his answer, accounting how De Beers marketed their diamond jewelry as a product synonymous with romance. If you’ve ever wondered why people propose with this particular rock, it’s the fault of a powerful De Beers campaign implemented over several decades.
Shifting public perception is no easy task, and it’s definitely not something that every business can accomplish. But that’s not the key here. Rather, this example highlights how vital brand positioning—and taking measures to nail it from the get go—truly is. When you have a strong idea of what your product is and roll that idea out with confidence, it pays off. Even better if you can roll out that same idea with patience over the course of several years.
Nestlé Coffee in Japan
Quoran Julia Kvach lays out this campaign/psychological experiment with care in her answer. To summarize, Nestlé wanted to sell more than just tea to their dedicated customers in Japan. After successfully testing Nestlé Coffee in Japanese focus groups, they distributed the product with enthusiasm across the country with unfortunate results. Japan just wasn’t interested. But with the help of child psychiatrist turned marketing guru Clotaire Rapaille, they hacked the Japanese market and found a way to get Japanese consumers to commit to coffee in the long run.
Julia said it best: her best example of great marketing is “the one that thinks in decades.” As you’re working towards short-term goals, don’t let the long-term fall out of sight. Pair that with an understanding of how your target audience relates to your product, and you could manipulate that relationship to shift in your favor over time.
In Southern India, Dosa is a popular dish, but one that takes hours to make. Enter PC Mustafa, founder of iD fresh Food, who decided to create and sell Dosa batter that’s ready to cook right out of the bag. Out of the gate, sales of his Idly-Dosa Batter faltered from poor reputation among consumers. But Mustafa knew that once consumers tasted his product, they’d be sold. The only issue was getting it to them—a problem he solved in borderline outrageous fashion. Check out Qouran Mukund Kumar’s full answer to learn more.
You don’t need me to tell you that good products don’t always sell spectacularly when they first hit the shelves. But what Idly-Dosa Batter has proven is that confidence in your product in spite of that (and patience) can get your sales where you need them to be. To anyone who may be chugging through the first stages of a new product release, don’t be tempted to throw out the baby with the bathwater when you don’t get it right the first time around. Instead, stay motivated, and work to get your product or service in front of people that will enjoy it, vouch for it, and buy it again.
Think Out of The Box: Embracing The Unexpected
Being out-there, strange, or unpredictable can be eye-catching. It’s not rocket science. But doing so in a way that’s "truly meaningful" to your brand and your goals isn’t easy. Before moving full steam ahead towards an off the wall marketing strategy, learn from these three examples on how to be unique in all the right ways.
After falling out of favor with younger generations in Vietnam, footwear company Biti wanted to be cool again. So they did something unexpected, and something they knew would be meaningful to their target audience: partnering with a big name but controversial pop star. The partnership garnered attention immediately. Placing their product in a historically-inspired music video, where their sneakers were displayed in brilliant contrast against ancient-looking clothing and buildings, earned even more eyeballs. Fans & haters alike took to the internet to voice their feelings about the partnership, and Biti’s new shoes sold out in less than a week.
When your brand needs a refresh, don’t be afraid to try something it has never done before. However, make sure this new territory is being watched by the right people. Biti succeeded in choosing a brand sponsor that had clout with the teenagers they wanted to sell to. So don’t just be bold for boldness sake. Be bold where you know you’ll be seen by the people that matter.
Burger King Strikes Again
In 2017, Burger King wanted their stores to be a sight to behold on Halloween night: full of customers dressed like their top competitor’s mascot! They gave out free Whoppers to anyone that came to participating BK locations dressed like a clown. The slogan: “Come As A Clown, Eat As A King.” It was the perfect excuse to get a bunch of Ronald McDonald lookalikes inside of their restaurants wearing BK paper crowns, which is exactly how they marketed the promotion.
Maintaining a consistent brand is important. But if you can manage to temporarily align yourself with visuals that are not necessarily on brand (or more closely resemble the brand of a direct competitor), it’s a risk that could capture your audience’s attention. You don’t need to go completely off the rails or mudsling your competition. Sometimes, just a little tongue-in-cheek fun can do the trick.
Lady Gaga as marketing inspiration
Pop sensation Lady Gaga is a one woman brand that continues to make waves over a decade after her first hit single hit the airwaves. In her first few years of fame, that success could be chalked up to her bold, weird, eye-catching choices. Who could forget the meat dress (which has since earned its own Wikipedia page) at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards? Or the raptor-like dance moves in her Bad Romance video? If there’s any public figure that embraced the unexpected, it’s her—and she also has the talent and dedication to ensure all her quirkiness is backed with substance.
Shock value can be valuable, but it's not everything. Consider this a caveat to using the unexpected as a marketing strategy: if you rely too heavily on the element of surprise, you won’t hold onto your audience’s attention for long. Note that Quoran Lilit Broyan’s answer does not only praise Gaga for her unique brand. She accounts the other facets about her that, in conjunction with that strangeness, have made Gaga successful. She’s taught us that it’s not shock value alone that’s effective. But shock value, paired with a well-rounded brand, can (in Lilit’s words) have people talking “for not days, weeks or months, but years.”
Learn By Example, Fine-Tune By Execution
It’s amazing that we have the ability to analyze and learn from hundreds of marketing and advertising strategies with free-to-use platforms like Quora. We’re grateful to have an incredible amount of resources available to us for no cost. We’re just as thankful for the digital marketing nerds on Quora that helped make finding that information even easier!
We hope you’ll use these 10 examples as inspiration for creating your next successful campaign, adapting these strategies to best suit your goals. One day, you might even be added to this Quora thread! Let’s see if the student can become the master.
We’re no Yoda, but we like to think of ourselves as masters of digital marketing. If you’d like to chat about your next great marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to reach out.
- Megan O'Keefe
- Social Media & Content Specalist