What marketing innovation looks like in 2018

Ten companies to make FastCompany’s 2018 “most innovative” list include companies known for their branding and marketing. What can higher ed learn from them?

FastCompany magazine recently released its 2018 list of the world’s most innovative companies. The list includes 10 companies in the marketing and advertising category, and these picks offer a view to what innovation looks like in the marketing field. What insights might we apply to the world of higher ed marketing?

Here are a few gleanings:

  • Branded content works. Or at least it works for a company like Yeti, the outdoor lifestyle company that has “found a cult consumer base beyond the fishing and hunting set.” Branded content in the form of its Yeti Presents series of short films that profile “everyone from ski bums to fly fishermen, hunting dogs to surfers, in such a way that celebrates the lifestyle — and, by extension, the brand.”
  • Influencer marketing is big among some of the lesser-known branding and marketing agencies, like Collectively. In 2017, Collectively the company enlisted a small army of “1,725 popular Instagrammers, bloggers, vloggers, videographers, and personalities on social media” to help create 150 custom marketing campaigns for 75 different brands.
  • Quirky approaches and collaboration can yield big results. The Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors earned its place on the FastCompany list in part by listing “the entire country of Sweden on Airbnb as part of an elaborate tourism campaign that perfectly used the travel platform as a marketing tool, while attracting worldwide media attention.
  • Innovate the old-fashioned way. Wieden+Kennedy is one of the more traditional ad agencies to make the list, but their approach to creating TV campaigns for brands like Nike and Secret proved “there’s still plenty of innovation happening around good ol’ fashioned TV commercials—and agency Wieden+Kennedy is a master of the craft.”
  •  Testing, 1, 2, 3… Frito-Lay‘s advertising is known to every American consumer, so it’s important that they keep their marketing fresh. They do so through constant and rigorous testing and experimentation with new approaches.

Author: andrewcareaga

Higher ed PR and marketing guy. Communications director for Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) in Rolla, Missouri, USA. Slow runner, mediocre guitarist, lover of music and puns, and an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. I blog and Tweet about #highered, #music, #gocards and #random stuff.

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