Unilever, the maker of Dove, Lipton and Ben & Jerry’s, has threatened to pull ads from Facebook and Google saying, “We cannot continue to prop up a digital supply chain… which at times is little better than a swamp in terms of its transparency.”
Another consumer products giant, Proctor & Gamble, the maker of Crest, Tide and Pampers, has complained about the “dark side” online.
Their concerns? They don’t want their ads to be associated with the “‘swamp of fake news, racism, sexism and extremism” that has flooded these sites.
Unilever and Proctor & Gamble have a lot on the line. Their brands are everything and they spend a lot of money marketing them. Unilever, for example, has a $9.8 billion annual marketing budget and spends 25% of that on digital ads. The last thing they want their brands associated with is hate, discrimination and lies.
But the free-for-all internet is not easily controlled and digital ads inevitably end up on the wrong pages, jeopardizing brands and associating these companies with unsavory types.
What advertisers want is control. They want their ads to go to the right people at the right time within the right context.
That’s where direct mail comes in. Direct mail gives marketers a level of control that digital ads do not. Direct mail allows for exact targeting. Direct mail does not need to “share” the page with other ads or content that cannot be controlled.
Furthermore, with the advancement in data analytics, direct mailers are seeing response rates that a few years ago were unheard of. A customer of ours recently saw a 65% response rate on a highly targeted direct mail piece.
So when you think about your brand, remember what your mother said: you are who you associate with.