Search

What Actually Is Dark Marketing, And Why You Need To Make It Part Of Your Strategy

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

Everything you need to know about how dark marketing is improving the social strategies of brands globally

It may sound scary or mystical, but dark marketing is not as sinister as it sounds. Due to its title, dark marketing receives a bad wrap amongst many, and therefore is often disregarded as an essential part of a marketing strategy. But once we understand the ‘how’ and ‘why’, we can better understand how this piece fits into the puzzle, and what it can achieve for brands.


The first step in facing a fear of the dark, is coming to the realisation that ‘creepy means relevant’ – now, nobody likes a creep, so thankfully we’re only applying this in the case of marketing! Question: Have you ever been served an ad so relevant and wondered if big brother is listening in? Answer: no, marketers and brands are not listening to your private conversation. You just may not realise that ads can be targeted to the degree that they are. Fact!


So let’s open up the door to this stranger, and discover more about how the parts and pieces of dark marketing can combine to be a vital part of your brand’s marketing strategy.


So how do we tap into it?



HERE’S A FACT!

84% of consumers’ outbound sharing from publishers’ and marketers’ websites now takes place via private channels. It means that it’s dark (or private). Nobody else can see it! This is what we like to call dark social, simply put: “the sharing of content that occurs outside of what can be measured”. We’re talking text message, email, and private messaging platforms – rather than shared openly over a social media platform.


With the continued prevalence of dark social sharing, marketing professionals have gotten increasingly cleaver at counteracting it – allowing brands to drive the reach, conversions, and engagement they deserve

AND ANOTHER FACT…

It’s ‘dark’ because we can’t see it, not because it’s sinister. As the world has become even more and more reliant on digital devices and platforms – it has increasingly gotten darker. Because of dark social, it has become harder to target consumers. Deep breath... the world is not ending – with smart strategy and know-how, it’s not impossible to reach consumers.


WAIT. WHAT DOES THIS EVEN MEAN?

With the continued prevalence of dark social sharing, marketing professionals have become increasingly cleaver at counteracting it – allowing brands to drive the reach, conversions, and engagement they deserve. This is why there has been a need for a robust, and well-thought-out strategy. One thing to consider as part of your strategy, is called dark marketing – the term used to refer to a way of attaining the results your brand needs. This includes strategies that are opposite to traditional, in-your-face kind of ways – and will help you reach unique demographics, and win over an audience.


It is known that 63% of consumers say they’d think more positively of a brand if served content that was more valuable, interesting or relevant.

SO… NOW WHAT?

Imagine if you were served an ad for something that you actually wanted to purchase. Imagine if you could cut through the clutter – to reach the exact consumer that fits your target (like a glove). We’re talking as targeted as someone that is male, in his twenties, lives in the inner city – and has close friends who have birthdays in the next 30 days. The likelihood that this person needs to buy your product as a birthday present for his best mate, just shot through the roof!


As Forbes agrees, “Use dark marketing to go beyond traditional methods, and seek audience members with highly specific traits. Go after prospects based on their job titles or their online behaviors, and show different audiences different ads for the same campaign.”


Now, see what we can do here? This all means ads that are focused on the type and quality of content that a consumer will want to buy into. Through dark marketing techniques, we can highly target and personalise, to enhance the experience of the consumer – therefore allowing a unique digital journey when your target audience logs on. It is known that 63% of consumers say they’d think more positively of a brand if served content that was more valuable, interesting or relevant. Think of all of this as the solution to the age-old days of playing a game of roulette, and crossing your fingers (and toes) that your ad wins you customers. Remember that billboard you (and countless others) might have seen on the motorway the other day? Didn’t think so.


WHAT’S IT GOING TO DO FOR YOUR BRAND?

There has been less resistance to brands that are utilising dark marketing practices. Why? Because there is a value exchange. It is more ‘permission’ based – initiating transactions, creating conversions, and building brand rapport. Now that we have got the facts straight about dark social, we can start to understand the need for dark marketing practices. These practices being so very important in the development of a well-rounded marketing strategy. Why should you conduct business with your eyes shut, when dark marketing can open them?


Are you ready to talk about how to make dark marketing part of your strategy? Let Compass get your brand where it deserves to be – get in touch with us now.