Exploitation or Marketing 101

By Lippe Taylor / Posted on 05 November 2013

11.1Today’s post comes from Amy Melser, Social Media Coordinator at Lippe Taylor.

Have you ever experienced an advertisement at exactly the right moment? It’s that time when you’re in a state of indecisiveness and an ad appears with all the answers…You’re driving home from work, ravenous, but don’t know what to have for dinner and a break from your top 40 ever so descriptively mentions the char-broiled, juicy, quarter pounder at the latest burger joint down the street. Or, after washing your face during a commercial break from your favorite show you notice a budding pimple only to come back to bed and see latest innovation in zit-zapping on the screen. You could even be surfing the web and ads will line the periphery of your screen with items you lust after from shoes to handbags. A study published by the marketing firm, PHD, found what time of day women feel their most insecure about their appearance via online data tracking in order increase purchasing on beauty products.

This study has been positioned in the media as predominately predatory and invasive. Online data tracking has encountered serious plight since its inception due to privacy issues online, but this study is not unlike marketing studies that have been conducted for years. The execution of this study is not mutually exclusive with the findings, however.  Once you separate the issue of online privacy (which is so highly complicated), from the actual outcome, there is a much clearer and less invasive picture. In order to understand this, let’s take a gender-neutral topic of cold-care. If a cold-care company direct messages coupons to individuals tweeting about feeling lousy with sniffles, aches, etc., (based on keyword searches), would we then feel like corporations are preying on us? The company would actually be benefiting the consumer, or at the very least annoying them, (at which point the consumer can just delete). Yes, the cold-care company is promoting their product, but they’re doing it in a way to help. Similarly, if beauty products are highlighted at a certain time of day in order to make women feel more empowered, what is the harm in that?

In order for a marketing campaign to be successful, whether it’s at a certain time (based on results from a study), or a strategy thought up by seasoned industry professionals, an execution done with graciousness is what counts. If the message is well-received, it will drive individuals to purchase.