May 3, 2014 3:50:09 PM
Burt's Bees Electronic Calendars
Natural beauty and cosmetic brand Burt’s Bees is taking digital marketing to another level.
Most digital marketing strategies involve ads incorporated into social media platforms, but the Burt’s Bees brand will be slightly more personal.
After a simple affirmative click, consumers can opt in to have their electronic calendar populated by ads that look like appointments on what was previously considered space uninhabited by digital marketing. These ads can function on Apple, Microsoft Outlook, Google, and Yahoo calendars and appear as appointments on the calendar. However, the company assures that they do not receive any additional access to other calendar content.
When the consumer opts in, eight weekly events are added to their calendar. But these aren’t so much events as they are inspirational messages – at least, at first.
The “appointments” start out as amusing prompts, such as, “A meeting to discuss your mind-blowing beautimousness… Imaginary lunch will be provided.” But after three weeks, those prompts gradually turn into promotional messages. Still, only two of the eight reminders contain product mentions, and in the closing week, the ads offer consumers a free sample and coupon.
But is infiltrating a more personal space such as the consumer’s calendar going too far? Or is this just the beginning of digital marketing popping up in places you’d least expect?
Burt’s Bees’ global marketing manager, Lauren Aplin, ensures that the marketing push understands how far is too far.
“We considered the personal nature of calendars and what constituted ‘too much,’” she said. “We’ve also made sure that the invites will be reflected as ‘free’ time on the consumer’s calendar, so we’re not interfering with their daily schedules.”
When digital marketing is pushed to inhabit the more intimate levels of a consumers’ daily routine, precautions must be taken to guarantee that a business does not overstep its boundaries – those boundaries being the privacy of a consumer’s big data. Disasters with big data have been all too common lately, and will continue to be so until businesses locate and respect the fine line between targeted advertising and a consumer’s privacy.
Alpin commented that digital marketing is critical for discovering the loyal consumers of a brand. Those who opt in would, of course, willingly allow themselves to be subjected to ads but may be more focused on the end product: the free sample and coupon.
“We consider ourselves students of the digital space, so while we’re always testing new tactics to drive conversation and engagement, we’re also always learning,” she said.
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