Marketing in the Digital Age

The Marketing-Movement Continues

Another one of the largest advertisers has turned to an environmental/community movement in its messaging to enroll people in the brand's cause instead of simply selling them product.

Colgate toothpaste launched the #everydropcounts program with a microsite and 30 second ad bringing awareness to the water wasted when you leave the faucet on while brushing your pearly whites. To make it official, Colgate partnered with The Nature Conservancy to show it's working with actual professionals to help create the stats and benefit.The message pulls at audience emotions with simple facts: up to four gallons of water are wasted in one tooth-brushing, which is more water than some people can access in an entire week.

The microsite includes another valuable marketing tool in audience-capture through email registration. People are able to pledge to stop running the faucet while they brush, with a calculator indicating 8 gallons saved per person per day. Colgate will then include this newly owned audience in an email program to send regular emails about conservancy - all with the Colgate brand prominently displayed.

Because if you're looking for reasons to differentiate toothpaste, why not choose the one that is trying to help the planet? This fundamental differentiation is what is driving this “movement” that many brands are pursuing as they've run out of ways to differentiate their product and market online.


Colgate and other movement-marketers have been called into question about their use of topical issues to appeal to audiences without meaningfully contributing to movement. Colgate, in this case, has responded with its Sustainability Report which shows its commitment to improving it's facilities for greener production and investment back into planet-related projects.

The Nature Conservancy has been amongst the most prominent non-profit groups in sharing its professional-conservation equity with marketers, so much so they have a webpage where it's for sale: "The conservancy works with companies on a variety of activations from licensing the organization's logo and marks to engaging consumers through their purchases and program sponsorship". Whatever that means.

The Takeaway

Social and digital media are so much more powerful than promotions and sales. Marketing online is about enrollment, whether users literally sign up for a brand initiative or simply take part in your brand by following on social media. Users sign on and sign up to be a part of your lifestyle, community, and values. It is important to remain authentic in digital marketing and partnerships. Users will be turned off by forced partnerships and desperate marketing attempts. But if you find the right balance, your actively engaged users will continue to drive your business in the digital age.

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