Digital Marketing Strategy Analysis Of Dove And Recommendations

Digital Marketing Failure of Dove

Digital marketing strategy is one of the major aspect of the marketing campaigns of global companies. Digital marketing is a must for companies in order to maintain their long term sustainability and competitive advantage. This report will analyse the digital marketing of Dove to identify the failures in their marketing strategy and provide valid justifications for their failures. The next part of the report will aim at developing and implementing marketing strategies by using social marketing instruments and platforms. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter has been selected as the social media platforms and the report will depict the implementation of these platforms according to Dove’s product requirements.

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Digital marketing has become one of the most power medium in the current marketing world and the companies have to be careful about the way they portray their products. In case of Dove, they posted an advertisement into their social medium platform which has been criticized by the users.  The advertisement featured a black model taking her shirt off having a similar colour to her skin to become a white women wearing a shirt that is similar to her skin tone. This advertisement has hurt the sentiment of the Facebook users and has been considered as racist content (Slawson 2017).  The awareness of people regarding these controversial topics have increased significantly and the message has been portrayed wrongly. The context that Dove marketing team was wrongly formulated as it is very easy to take it out of context. Moreover, the message posted by the organization can be considered as racist as the message that the advertisement was trying to convey was the fact that by using the product developed by Dove, the consumers can become white which signifies the white is the benchmark of looking good and having a darker skin colour means that people are ugly (Tiago and Veríssimo 2014). This portrayal will definitely affect the consumers as majority of the consumers can very interpret the underlying message. The digital marketing strategy failed and they had to take down that offensive post as the content could be easily taken out of context and be used against them.

Dove has aimed to provide women with different shapes, sizes and colours with real beauty. Therefore, the target market of the brand consist of women having different ethnicity, colour and backgrounds.  The digital marketing campaign was different to the products offered by the company was contradictory to their unique selling proposition and the mission of the company. The dove commercials have already tried to portray that the standards that the women are trying to achieve are beyond the realistic point of view and in order obtain the perfect beauty they will have to alter their own true self (Austen-Smith et al. 2017). On the contrary, the Facebook advertisement has given a message which is contradictory to their unique selling proposition which is a class example of stereo typing. A large section of the target consumers are black women and other women having different skin colour. Thus, by developing such an advertisement Dove clearly deviated from the current needs and wants of the consumers in the market. Moreover, this advertisement have dented their 13 years long successful campaign of real beauty as fundamentally the advertisement was different from their campaign objective and offensive to target consumers.

Improving Dove’s Digital Marketing Strategy

In order to accommodate Facebook into the digital marketing strategy of Dove, the organization will have to leverage the already existing traffic to the organisational website. This can be done by linking the Facebook page with the brand website and make use of Facebook advertisements. Moreover, the organization will have to develop a schedule and timeline for regular posting of relevant news and quotes that will define the brand. Moreover, the as brand aimed to empower women they will have to conduct events regarding women empowerment and post updates regarding these events so that customers are aware of the efforts taken by the organization (Effing and Spil 2016). This will convey the appropriate message to the target consumers regarding their stand of Dove and will help in easing the negative impact of their digital blunder. Moreover, the organization will have to intertie social media sharing which will facilitate the users to share the organizational Facebook page. Dove should also incorporate a notification button so the registered consumers get mortifications on different user devices. Dove can also launch contests on regular basis where the users can participate in a contest if they like and share the organizational official Facebook page. This will improve the market penetration of the organization.

The majority of the users on the Instagram platform are between the age group of 19-29. Therefore, it is essential for the organization to identify the appropriate demographics according to the reach of the consumers.  Dove will have to focus on visual sharing where they have made a big blunder and these will be able to represent the different aspect of the organizational culture. Moreover, creating a stunning and eye catching visual that will attract all the target consumer in crucial in this contest.  The interaction between the users and the brand will have to be more instantaneous and casual (Gao et al. 2018). Therefore, the main goals of the organization on Instagram should be demonstration of the brand culture, increase the awareness about the brand, increasing engagement of consumers, and connect with influencers on social media websites and driving sales by diverting data traffic. Therefore, the organization will have to develop the content theme, ratio and medium. Moreover, Dove will have to maintain aesthetics of the brand so that the branding remains consistent. The organization should use appropriate hashtags to reach out to more consumers in the market.

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Twitter is a micro blogging site and the strategy implemented for twitter will be quite different from the social media website. The main goals of the organization on Platform like Twitter should be information and content sharing, using promotional activities for engagement, branding, networking, consumer interaction and management reputation.  Interaction and communication is one of the major activities on Twitter and Dove will have to increase their consumer engagement (Leung, Bai and Stahura 2015). Moreover, the tweets must be controversial so that it provokes interaction and discussion between the different users. The tweets must have different dimensions to it and should not be one dimensional in nature. Twitter is medium which can also be used to help out the consumers that are facing different issues. Therefore, by solving the problems of the different users in the market the organization can increase their following on the social media platform.       


The report has been able to develop effective digital marketing strategies that will be able to make up for the lost reputation, criticism and negative publicity they faced from the consumers. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are three different platform so the approach to these social media platforms will be diverse.  Facebook should be used for promoting different events and social activities of the organization. Instagram should be used for portraying the culture and the purpose of the organization and Twitter should be used to communicate directly to the consumers in order to answer to their queries.


Austen-Smith, D., Galinsky, A., Chung, K.H. and LaVanway, C., 2017. Unilever’s Mission for Vitality. Kellogg School of Management Cases, pp.1-13.

Effing, R. and Spil, T.A., 2016. The social strategy cone: Towards a framework for evaluating social media strategies. International journal of information management, 36(1), pp.1-8.

Gao, H., Tate, M., Zhang, H., Chen, S. and Liang, B., 2018. Social Media Ties Strategy in International Branding: An Application of Resource-Based Theory. Journal of International Marketing.

Leung, X.Y., Bai, B. and Stahura, K.A., 2015. The marketing effectiveness of social media in the hotel industry: A comparison of Facebook and Twitter. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 39(2), pp.147-169.

Slawson, N. 2017. Dove apologises for ad showing black woman turning into white one. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 3 Jun. 2018].

Tiago, M.T.P.M.B. and Veríssimo, J.M.C., 2014. Digital marketing and social media: Why bother?. Business Horizons, 57(6), pp.703-708.