If you are looking to go all-in for some over-the-edge marketing, why not do a treasure hunt?
In August 2022, Doritos launched a nationwide hunt where any triangle in the real world can unlock exclusive experiences and rewards. Mindy Weinstein calls the personalized and engaging campaign strategy a stroke of marketing genius. Through the technological brilliance of Snapchat AR lens, fans of the flavored tortilla chips brand were able to convert any triangle into Doritos and weekly TikTok challenges. And, as Weinstein, founder of Market MindShift, says, it brilliantly commandeered a slew of famous triangular landmarks in Atlanta, Memphis and New York. Not to mention, it partnered with a number of iconic brands—including Guess Originals, Vivid Seats and Xbox using Fortnite Creative Mode to create Doritos Triangle Island.
“Fans were encouraged to look for triangles, literally everywhere,” says Weinstein, who also is author of “The Power of Scarcity: Leveraging Urgency and Demand to Influence Customer Decisions.” By incorporating Snapchat, TikTok and Fortnite, the Frito-Lay North America marketing team was able to capture the attention of a younger demographic, the market segment it targeted with the campaign. Along with helping fans turn Doritos into a code to win prizes, there was a weekly TikTok challenge where participants had a chance to win money. The added touch was the entry into the Fornite world, where Triangle Island delivered a twist to three mini-games: Nacho Usual Spleef, Spicy Sweet Chiliwars and Crash Course Deathrun. The brand also partnered with StreamElements to develop an AI TriangleBot, which enabled streamers to replace triangles in all of their games with Doritos chips.
When it comes to effective marketing, strategy is nothing without great execution. Being able to identify the challenges and bottlenecks is key to achieving, dare we say, Doritos Nirvana. “Marketing is much more personalized than ever before,” Weinstein says.
“Brands have shifted a lot of attention and marketing dollars to creating experiences and personal interactions with customers. From virtual events to contests to continuous digital content creation, brands are using creative means to better engage and create communities.”- Mindy Weinstein, founder of Market MindShift
Additionally, as in the case of Doritos, some brands are developing “exclusive” communities within their customer base by allowing customers to sign up and get involved in limited availability products based on their interests.
As founder of the digital marketing firm Market MindShift, Weinstein is well-versed in helping brands reach operational excellence, having trained thousands of professionals from brands like Facebook(Meta), The Weather Channel and World Fuel Service. She believes one of the biggest problems marketing teams face is staying up to date on consumer communication preferences. In other words, knowing how to best reach and communicate with customers as technology and behavior changes can be challenging.
“Talking with customers, watching other brands and paying attention to technology trends are all ways marketers can overcome this problem,” Weinstein says. “An effective marketing strategy starts with a clear objective. What is it you want to accomplish with this specific campaign? Then, clearly define the market segment. The key is being specific. The market segment cannot be every potential customer; it must target a very detailed audience. From there, you can determine the ideal messaging and channels in which to communicate. Once the strategy is executed, you have to continue to measure the results.”
FINDING YOUR MARKETING BALANCE
In her years as an account executive, marketing director, senior-level copywriter and director, Becky Bugger has always focused on humanizing the process. Today, the concept of shared stories and viable connections, both in person and virtually, are what she believes help connect a brand with its community. In short, customers and clients want more than the technical proof you can sell their product; they want to feel like you are connected to their brand in a way that allows you to fully understand who they want to reach, why, and how to get to them. When it comes to the market, they want the same thing. Company culture, brand positioning and social corporate responsibility are all factors that have to be taken into consideration when developing any kind of marketing plan.
“It’s about having balance,” says Bugger, Director of Business Development and Sales at StubGroup. “Navigating the tightrope that takes you from startup to thriving company is something that requires consistent fine-tuning, and the ability to pivot at the right time over and over again. Whether it’s finding your market and continually meeting its needs and remaining relevant, knowing where and when to spend marketing dollars and pull them back, or keeping a robust marketing plan in place while HR tries to keep up, if you cannot find a balance between it all, you’ll become increasingly frustrated with your efforts.”
Bugger says the approach comes down to effective research, organization and planning for every possible outcome— and that still will not keep you from running into an obstacle or two along the way. “Creating a clear understanding that it’s not a competition between which parts of the strategy are performing best—a successful team understands that without one effort, it’s like another would fail. Continually challenge the good days with questions about how to do better. Always reach higher, set bigger goals, and make sure that your team knows that every one of them is a piece of the puzzle that makes the strategy come together.”
In a campaign StubGroup did with luxury kimono brand KIM+ONO, the agency helped the brand move from storefront to online megastore. While managing its digital advertising, StubGroup hustled on social media via influencers and offline marketing tactics. Recently, entertainment superstar Gwen Stefani wore one of its robes on her wedding day. “You’d think that was the culminating point of success, but we took it one step further by creating another social media advertising campaign sharing her Instagram story and promoting KIM+ONO,” Bugger says.
“You start by getting to know every client organically. We don’t have set templates that we use when it comes to marketing for specific verticals or price points. It’s just as important for us to understand each of our clients’ businesses as it is for us to understand our own. Then we put in the work—lots of research—from what the competition is doing to where the target market is hanging out.”- Becky Bugger, Director of Business Development and Sales, StubGroup
In the end, success is about baby steps, testing and figuring out what works, and then capitalizing on it. Even then, as you head toward the finish line, you must remain vigilant in the search for “what’s next.” A great strategy always evolves with a strong finish and the ability to top it with confidence.