Over the last decade, D2C marketing strategies have gained fresh momentum, as brands have leveraged social media, viral content, and SEO for great results. Here are six brands that deployed disruptive methods to unlock the benefits of direct marketing to customers.
In a world where giants like Amazon, Walmart, and Alibaba rule retail, how do smaller retailers make their mark? Direct-to-consumer (D2C) marketing is the answer. The current D2C market size backs up this hypothesis.
The number of D2C brands is continually growing, and 81% of Americans say they will make at least one D2C purchase in the next five years. These brands have garnered a loyal customer base, with 63% saying that referrals bring them more business than digital ads. Given this promising trend, it’s imperative that brands young and established brush up on D2C marketing strategies to strengthen their relationships with customers.
5 Tips to Craft a D2C Marketing Strategy
1. Share deeper insights into the product
A benefit of choosing D2C marketing over traditional sales channels is that you have the full, undivided attention of the customer. Once customers visit your online store or social media channel, you aren’t competing with multiple other products in your segment.
Leverage this attention by sharing enriching insights on how the product is made — this will help to inspire interest, which of course needs to be validated by the product’s quality.
Warby Parker, the D2C eyeglass company, has an entire page dedicated to how its products are designed, produced, and quality checked. Transparency is a watchword here, with Warby Parker deep-diving into the design process, its office culture, and its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
2. Foster a community of buyers
The consumer is a D2C marketer’s biggest asset. They bring in referrals, make repeat purchases, and promote the brand via social media.
That’s why TechStyle set up a membership program that would deliver high-quality fashion products to its customers on a monthly basis. This also includes free shipping and customization as per the buyer’s needs.
In 2018, the company pushed its value proposition even further, by partnering with global superstar Rihanna. TechStyle’s D2C marketing strategy demonstrates the benefits of the subscription model. You can leverage this strategy to ensure a steady flow of customers. As long as your products are on-point, the community will stay loyal.
3. Don’t be afraid to go offline
While it’s true that social media is a vital marketing tool for D2C brands, there are several other options you can explore.
For example, if your brand has garnered interest from a sizeable local audience, it could be the perfect time to open a store. Start with location-specific content targeting on Instagram and Facebook. Once you reach a certain engagement threshold, launch an offline billboard campaign, and finally open the doors to a physical location.
4. Find (or create) your own customer demographic
D2C marketing strategies are all about identifying and speaking to a unique customer segment. Instead of broad demographics based on gender, age, or location, you need thorough market research to identify your customers’ exact aspirations and problem areas.
For example, there have been several reports suggesting that millennials spend more time at home and on self-care than other generations. Insights like this can help finetune your marketing strategy so it finds resonance with your target audience.
UpWest, a direct-to-consumer brand owned by retail major Express, gives this a fresh and memorable spin with its JOMO marketing focus – geared towards people experiencing the “joy of missing out” rather than the more common FOMO. It is looking to market personal care products and leisurewear with this almost revolutionary stance.
5. Sustain customer engagement after a sale
D2C brands are often digital-only, without the offline presence available to bigger retailers. As a result, your customers could just disconnect after buying and might not return, as they may encounter the brand in limited spaces.
To prevent this, it is advisable to establish a post-sale communication strategy. This could include a hand-written note included in the product packaging, follow-up emails, and informative content on any recently purchased product/s.
Indoor plant seller, Bloomscape recognized the importance of this D2C marketing strategy when it started its online-only store in 2017. The company has a rich repository of video content on YouTube, not to mention a unique onboarding kit that guides customers on how to get started with their brand new plant.