While apparel, fashion, food and home were strong categories early on, ultimately direct-to-consumer quickly covered all major parts of the market.
As core direct to consumer buyers now transition to a mindset impacted by the pandemic into a more frugal buying mindset, additional challenges are arising.
This episode of our “Marketing During COVID-19” series examines some of the technologies, processes and marketing channels that DTC brands need to embrace in order to prosper:
Leading with a Purpose
Most direct to consumer brands have a very strong “brand purpose”, a story and goal that helps them connect and gain traction with their intended audience. With this in mind, many brands looked towards new and trending platforms as a way get their brand’s message and purpose out to consumers.
In fact, due to their visual nature and real-time targeting features, Instagram and Snapchat were the birthplace of many niche direct to consumer brands.
Focus on Customer Rentention
Adapting for Growth
The top 3 business KPIs for direct brands are profitability, consumer satisfaction, and new customers.
Diversifying Engagement Channels
Shifting to Marketing Cloud Platforms
In particular, we are seeing marketing cloud design, architecture and managed services holding steady. Some in certain platforms are steadily increasing.
It’s no coincidence that marketing cloud platforms provide the most comprehensive way for brands to create and implement effective marketing. Enabling one to one personalized communications with their end customers and optimizing the cost per acquisition. As direct to consumer brands mature, they become much more conscious of margin, just like the traditional retailers have been for years.
Exploring New Mediums
Certain behaviors in some households may even persist post pandemic. In-housing of agency like skills allows direct to consumer brands, and even traditional brands, to experiment, execute and evolve within these new channels. Having the ability to trial and pivot as new channels emerge will lay the groundwork for future marketing trends. Making some channels part of the brands ongoing mix, in a cost effective and efficient way.
Take Quibi, for example. Right out the gate, Quibi launched with an ad-supported model and a paid-for-ad-free model. While more traditional streaming services tended to opt for one or the other.
Leveraging the Bigger Players
As well as brining customers to channels they control, director to consumer brands need to consider leveraging some of the bigger players in order to scale. Specifically those in retail can look to large platforms like Amazon and Walmart, as a marketplace for sponsored product placements and brand exposure.
When tied to marketplace, it offers another channel at scale. Not to mention its ability to further drive down the cost of acquisition and retention. Skills and technologies needed to make a presence – user experience, SEM, SEO, data, programmatic, retargeting, etc. – can be ported over to Amazon, Walmart or other host.
Shifting to a New Normal