Let’s be honest, I am not a Marketing Guru. Before I started working in Digital Marketing I didn’t have a clue about content marketing, or what the acronyms SEM or SEO stand for. Let alone how to use it. Digital Marketing for me didn’t mean much more than having a website for my business, posting news items and sending email newsletters. I wished I knew then what I know now.

Nasty Surprises

What I did know was what I disliked about Digital Marketing. These pop-up ads where you can’t find the little cross to stop them from being in the middle of your screen while you’re trying to meet a deadline. Or, even worse, a pop-up banner combined with sound. With a few months of marketing experience, I now know they work well but I’m still not fond of them.

Surprise Me

Despite my growing knowledge of marketing, I still look at marketing as a consumer. One thing I’ve learned is that the marketing I like most needs to surprise me.

Shaken Not Stirred

Although I may shed a tear for an ad with a cute fluffy puppy and the breach of women’s rights still makes me pissed, it’s not what I remember most. I want to be shaken, not stirred and in a positive way. I’ll give you a few surprising examples.

Three Marketing Surprises

When I was preparing our Delicious Digital Breakfast event about Making the Most of Mobile, the billboard from the Melanoma Institute Australia came across. It shows a picture of a melanoma and when you tap your credit card to make a donation (yes, the billboard has a payment device) you can see it shrink. That’s the real feel good movie and only for 1.99 dollars.

I also looked at Periscope, the free online streaming via Twitter, and how to use it. So I downloaded a users guide and immediately unsubscribed as the first email from Hubspot came in. Instead of the usual ‘thank you’ or ‘please tick the box why you unsubscribe’, it triggered a funny email. I was so surprised that I send the link to my colleagues and almost wanted to subscribe again. The fact that I still know the company name is enough proof for me that it works.

The last example I want to share is from Graubuenden Tourism (CH). They placed a ‘living’ billboard at the train station of Zurich. The guy in the video on the billboard spoke with passers by and invited them to take the train to Graubunden. Meanwhile the billboard spit out the train ticket, valid on that same day. I am still hoping to be invited by a billboard, but haven’t found one here in Australia.

Graubuenden Surprising Digital Marketing

Surprise Others

We love to share examples like these in our courses and inspire our students to implement great digital marketing campaigns. Why? Because we hope they can surprise others with a healthier life or equal rights.