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Dark Marketing: Changing How Brands Communicate Online

Dark Marketing: Changing How Brands Communicate Online

February 27, 2019

Check out our latest post in Target Marketing Magazine, where BrandTotal CEO Alon Leibovich writes about the benefits #DarkMarketing, and explains why you may (or may not) be seeing tweets by Apple in your feed. #AppleHasntTweeted

Apple’s much anticipated launch on Sept. 12 included various new iPhone models, but the star of the show by far was the Apple Watch, with its new, built-in, FDA-approved ECG monitor. This is the brand’s largest step forward into the healthcare/medical equipment field and can mark a huge shift in their marketing strategy.

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Apple has had a Twitter account for over seven years, but if you visit its page, you’ll see an empty feed without a single tweet. It looks like Apple simply hasn’t gotten around to tweeting in all that time. But, in reality, Apple tweets constantly. You just don’t see it.

Check out this tweet about Mac.

Or this one promoting the new iPhone.

These are just two examples of dozens of Twitter campaigns Apple has run in the last year.

What’s happening? Social media has ushered in a new era of “dark marketing,” a phenomenon that illustrates the dramatic changes in how brands communicate online.

Dark Marketing 101

Dark marketing can be traced back to 2012, when Facebook first enabled advertisers to create “dark posts,” which are posts that are only shown to carefully targeted audiences. Soon thereafter, dark posting was made available on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube, and the tactic evolved into an all-encompassing, multichannel strategy we call dark marketing. Today, 90% of Twitter ads, 85% of Facebook ads and 60% of YouTube ads are “dark” or hidden from public view.

For brands, this is a gift and a curse. The benefit is that they avoid wasting resources through “spray and pray” advertising like broadcast television, sending the same message to millions of people. Instead, the brand is drilling down to reach audiences most likely to be receptive to their messages. And consumers become part of an entirely new digital ad experience.

Read more at Target Marketing Magazine

About the author

Alon Leibovich

Alon is the CEO and co-founder of BrandTotal.

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