Digital Marketing can be quite an uphill task especially in a culture that is highly sensitive. Social explosion may occur if issues like racism, discrimination, bigotry, misogyny and ethnocetrism are misinterpreted. Marketers should therefore put in place measures to address these challenges to prevent any form of damage to their brand and customer.
In a recent Gap Kids Ad whose main idea was to show that girls were capable of doing anything, the campaign was wrongly interpreted by many people. They perceived it in a totally different manner. The actual idea was lost in a white girl’s image using an African American girl for an armrest. It was later discovered that the two girls were real sisters. The advertisement was not an offense as majority of people perceived at first sight. However, given the fact that we live in a culture of victimhood, marketers behind this campaign would have predicted the negative outcome and known what to do to prevent it.
Even an innocent message that is intended to empower people can elicit negative reactions from people if not handled with care. Areas that are likely to be perceived offensive are gay rights, gender identity, rights of women and more.
Marketers often make generalizations without taking into consideration the varying characteristics of their audience. This is mainly due to lack of enough time. A television advert for example lasts for half a minute on average and that of YouTube takes 25 seconds. In addition, the lifespan of a tweet on twitter, a popular social media site commonly used for marketing campaigns takes 18 minutes only. Time limit compels marketers to make generalizations.This creates room for assumptions. The problem with assumptions is that it creates stereotypes which further leads to micro-aggressions. This totally interferes with the effect the campaign message was designed to create.
Micro aggressions refer to unintentional comments, actions and phrases that may make other people feel offended, victimized or discriminated against. A good example is where a man sees a woman dressed in medical attire in a hospital and addresses her as a nurse when in the real sense the woman is a doctor. The subconcious assumption in the mind of the man results to microaggression which offends the doctor.
Today, marketers are trying to incorporate topics to do with sex, politics and religion in an attempt to effectively promote their brands. This creativity has shown to work so well. For marketers to be successful, they need to be very creative and incorporate these themes in their brands.
A good marketer should be able to differentiate his brand from others in the market. This will help to beat competition. They should also avoid messages that create stereotypes because this is offensive and can have a negative impact on their brand. This can be achieved by properly understanding their brands, adhering to the topic, knowing the intended audience then engaging them until the product is pitched to them.
Marketers are also encouraged to diversify their campaigns so as to deal with many issues that may arise in a highly sensitive society.