When is direct advertising too direct?

A recent article from Marketing Week discussed how Macmillan Cancer Research is using direct, targeted adverts to increase fundraising for the charity, using; 'social pressure… showing how many people are donating on that day in [your] location.’

In a world where we’re constantly connecting and sharing more than ever, where do we draw the line between helpful personalised adverts and information we consider too personal?

A recent example of targeted advertising was Tesco’s partnership with mobile marketing company Weve. The company collected data, based on the number of times an individual passed a Tesco store in London and then sent 40,000 people discount coupons during their lunch break.

Spotify also recently announced plans to use the data it has amassed from ‘25 billion listening hours’ to target individual’s with their new ‘Spotify running’ feature, which will produce playlists based on a person’s musical preferences and running tempo.  

Some of us might feel okay with Tesco being able to access the route of our lunch break meanderings and I know I am always happy to have new music suggested to me. But people might feel uncomfortable when being targeted with social pressure to spend money. Especially when it can be considered an ethical choice to support a charity.

If companies continue to communicate and gain insight into their audiences’ choices many more mutually beneficial campaigns can be coordinated for the advantage of the consumer and the business.

But brands need to ensure there is an honest and open approach to direct campaigning, and clear lines drawn before brands suffer from creating campaigns their audiences feel are too intrusive.

Bridget Leonard, Marketing Executive 

This entry was posted in B2C, tagged Communication, Consumer, Trust, Birmingham, Engagement, Advertising and posted on June 10, 2015

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