Direct-to-consumer (DTC) has become a massive part of how people buy and businesses sell. So what is it?
Simply put, DTC businesses are online and don’t use third parties, i.e., wholesalers or retailers.
DTC marketing has become increasingly popular with the rise of e-commerce and digital platforms. It gives companies more control over the entire customer journey, from product development to sales and customer support.
Critical Attributes of DTC Marketing
Some key characteristics of DTC marketing include:
DTC brands often have a solid online presence, leveraging websites, social media platforms, and e-commerce channels to directly reach and engage consumers.
Branding and Storytelling
DTC companies focus on building a distinct brand identity and often emphasize their brand story or values to connect with consumers more personally.
Customer Data and Insights
By selling directly to consumers, DTC brands can collect valuable customer data and gain insights into their preferences, behaviour, and purchasing habits. This data can be used to personalize marketing efforts and improve product offerings.
Pricing and Value Proposition
DTC companies may offer competitive pricing by eliminating intermediaries, making their products more affordable. They often highlight the unique value proposition of their products, such as quality, sustainability, or convenience.
Customer Engagement and Support
DTC brands prioritize customer engagement and provide direct channels for customer support, feedback, and inquiries. This helps in building long-term relationships with consumers and creating brand loyalty.
What Your Business Needs To Succeed With DTC
To succeed at direct-to-consumer marketing, you need a good brand reputation and be recognizable.
Your first action is to create a brand identity that resonates with your intended audience.
While it pays to remember many websites DTC brands, your focus is determining how your brand can stand out from the competition and remain in the public consciousness. Developing a unique brand identity informs your audience who you are, what you stand for, and why your customers buy from you.
A brand identity should be robust, consistent and memorable, seamlessly transitioning across platforms and ways a potential consumer will come across your brand. Once you’ve nailed your brand identity, logo, and design collateral, you can forge ahead with these three proven DTC marketing strategies.
Digital Marketing Strategies
Many examples of big DTC brands include Warby Parker and Outdoor Voices. Most digital marketing strategies work well with eCommerce-only stores. However, if you want to hone in on direct-to-consumer marketing initiatives, you’ll want to include the following:
- email marketing
- influencer marketing
- being social
Being social is a surefire method to market gain brand exposure. You can create social media profiles, communicate with followers, and sell your products and services via social media. Social media is all about ‘community, and every brand needs its own community. Why? Well, this is how your customers will primarily communicate with you. Social media is an integral customer service tool too.
Consumers can provide feedback, share their posts, and request information via your business’s social media profiles, pages and groups.
Showcasing good customer service will only improve your brand’s reputation. At the same time, social media is a great way to communicate brand values and humanize your brand a little more.
Partner With People
Just because you’re selling directly to the consumer doesn’t mean you have to communicate directly with them all the time. You can tap into the expertise and reputations of others through the likes of ambassadors and influencers.
Many brands use social media influencer endorsements to spread the word about your product. It can be an extremely effective way to boost brand awareness and sales if you leverage the right influencers.
Think about your audience and then who they would feed off. For example, if you’re a sportswear brand, there’s little point in seeking an endorsement from a YouTube cookery show, while a health food brand is unlikely to get anywhere by partnering with a gamer, for example.
Consider who would best represent your brand and reach out to see if they will become your ambassador. Alternatively, partnering with real, everyday customers and hearing their stories can be just as effective. It can be an excellent way to put honest feedback out there and isn’t as costly as sponsored posts or ambassador fees.
Email marketing has been with us for many years and is still a trusted communication channel with consumers. Almost every business uses email to share updates, and news, promote and engage.
The starting point is capturing double opt-in customer data and then using it to create make personalised emails unique. You can use social media, PPC, and other strategies to get customers onto your email marketing database. CTA (call to action) in your blog posts and eCommerce shop will also grow your email list. Remember to incentivize the consumer to opt in. A giveaway or discount on their subsequent purchase works.
Email marketing is affordable and easy to do with a high ROI, so it’s hard to see it ever being let go as a marketing strategy.
Use email to communicate, sell, engage, inform and offers incentives for remaining on your email list. For example, discount first orders and giveaway gifts with repeat sales.
Various industries have successfully adopted DTC marketing, including fashion, beauty, food and beverage, health and wellness, and consumer electronics. It gives companies greater control over their brand experience and a deeper understanding of their customers, ultimately driving sales and growth.