When you’re trying to market your business and services to potential or current customers, there are numerous strategies that you can use. While the B2C and B2B marketing strategies are the most commonly used strategies, another option to consider is D2C marketing, which involves marketing directly to the consumer. Direct-to-consumer marketing involves promoting and eventually selling a product/service directly to the consumer, which means that you don’t need to use intermediaries for this process. Instead of first sending your products to a retailer, you can deliver them directly to the customer yourself.
This form of marketing has become increasingly popular among businesses that are attempting to compete for the attention of modern customers who desire a more streamlined and straightforward purchasing process. Keep in mind that millennial consumers drive the economy, which makes it important for any eCommerce business to accommodate their needs.
Another reason that many consumers prefer a D2C marketing strategy is because it makes their experiences feel much more authentic. When a customer purchases a product from a retail store, it’s just one of many products that can be bought at that specific store, which makes it difficult for the customer to become more loyal to a brand. In comparison, using a D2C strategy means that the customer will always deal directly with you and your business.
While D2C marketing has only increased in popularity over the past decade, it’s been used for hundreds of years. An early example of D2C marketing is sending a mail-order catalog, which allows consumers to purchase directly from manufacturers. Many businesses prefer to use the D2C strategy because they have complete control over the process, which begins with promoting a product/service and ends with delivering the item to the customer who purchased it.
If you want to successfully implement a D2C marketing strategy, this type of strategy relies entirely on your company’s ability to develop a premium product, market the product effectively, deliver the product/service, and communicate with the consumer. This form of marketing can be highly beneficial to eCommerce businesses because it allows them to build a robust online presence, develop a brand following, and foster customer relationships. The following article goes into detail about the steps you should take to properly implement D2C marketing into your marketing campaign.
Pros of Direct-to-Consumer Marketing
While direct-to-consumer marketing is very appealing to millennials, it’s important to note that it isn’t the right strategy for every company. Before you perform this marketing, you should consider weighing the pros and cons of this strategy. One of the primary benefits of direct-to-consumer marketing is that you have much more control compared to other types of marketing. In fact, you have total control over your product, brand messaging, customer service, and reputation.
Another key benefit of this marketing is that you’ll gain access to ample amounts of customer data. Since you don’t need to use an intermediary for this marketing, it’s significantly easier to obtain customer data, which will give you a more informed understanding of buyer behavior. With this understanding, you should be able to convert more customers while also providing unique and highly personalized experiences to these individuals.
You’ll also find that building customer relationships is much more straightforward with D2C marketing. You’ll be interacting directly with the people who purchase your products and services, which allows you to gain invaluable customer feedback that can be used to improve your offerings and bolster customer loyalty.
Cons of Direct-to-Consumer Marketing
Even though there are numerous benefits that come with direct-to-consumer marketing, there are also several drawbacks that you should be aware of. For one, you may find it difficult to handle supply chain problems. In the event that your marketing is highly effective at bringing in new customers, it may be difficult for you to keep your products in stock, which could lead to customers being disappointed.
Conversions can also be difficult to obtain. Brands that operate with D2C marketing are oftentimes required to provide low costs or free trials for the products/services they offer. While low prices and free trials are great at gaining interest from potential customers, these customers may leave once the free trial period is over or they can no longer obtain products/services at a steep discount. As such, the product/service that you offer needs to be compelling enough to retain consumers once a promotion ends.
In order to operate as a D2C business, you will likely need to have expertise in numerous areas that B2C businesses don’t necessarily require. Along with creating the product, you will also be tasked with understanding how to acquire new customers, what shipping logistics you’ll need to contend with, and how to apportion resources and time to processes that would typically be handled by intermediaries.
Strategy #1: Lead Generation
The first and possibly most important D2C marketing strategy is lead generation, which involves generating new prospects as well as sales. You can use this marketing technique to constantly increase your customer base, which will invariably bolster customer retention and overall sales. The lead generation strategy involves attracting visitors and converting them into leads. Anyone who has shown interest in your brand or a product that you offer can be a lead.
The lead generation process can be separated into numerous techniques, which include blog posts, online content, job applications, and live events. Your primary focus when performing these techniques is to create engaging content that will appeal to potential customers. In order for lead generation to be successful, it must be followed up with lead nurturing, which involves developing relationships with consumers throughout each stage of the sales funnel.
Lead nurturing will allow you to convert the initial interest that visitors show into sales that give you revenue and profits. There are three critical components that should be outfitted into every lead nurturing and lead generation strategy, which include a great offer, a simple signup form, and a focused follow-up plan once the signup has occurred. The follow-up could be anything from an exclusive discount to an additional offer.
Strategy #2: Email Marketing
While your D2C marketing strategy should include all forms of online marketing, it’s highly recommended that you focus on email marketing, which is a great way for you to build relationships with your customers and eventually convince them to purchase the product or service that you offer. It’s important that you make contact with customers on your email list on a regular basis.
You can use emails to provide customers with product updates, interesting information, and special offers. If your communication becomes too sparse, customers may lose interest in your brand and the products you offer. There are several key components that you should include when performing any type of email marketing, the first of which involves having an up-to-date and comprehensive marketing list. If the contact information stored in your email list is outdated or contains incorrect email addresses, you may not receive the positive response that you’re looking for. Having an updated email list allows for a more targeted email marketing campaign.
It’s also important that you have an ample amount of data on your contacts if you want to provide these potential customers with targeted and customized emails that they are more likely to respond to. Your emails should contain appealing design elements and visuals. Emails that are visually appealing have a higher chance of hooking the reader and keeping them engaged long enough to read the rest of the email.
Strategy #3: Branded Content
Branded content is almost necessary if you want your business to separate itself from your competition. The main issue that you might have when attempting to sell products and services online is that potential customers are unable to see and touch these items, which means that you will need to find other ways to make sure that the consumer is comfortable enough to make a purchase.
Influencer marketing allows you to build your brand by having it directly highlighted by popular people and companies with large followings. If you want your branded content strategy to be as effective as possible, it’s important that:
- You choose the right partners and influencers to work alongside
- You grow your business enough that top recruits want to work for you
- You implement an outreach strategy that allows you to get in touch with possible influencers
Strategy #4: SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
If you want your D2C business to obtain long-lasting success, search engine optimization is highly important. SEO involves optimizing your website and marketing materials for search engines, which can include using the right keywords, making sure that your website performs well, and writing relevant content. Websites and marketing materials with proper SEO will be seen more by users who enter relevant search terms into Google or Bing.
If your ads appear at the top of search results for terms and phrases related to your company, you should be able to generate new leads and increase conversion rates. The same is true if your website is among the first few sites that people see when they enter a word related to your business. Keep in mind that SEO is a long-term plan that requires regular updates.
There are numerous tips and suggestions you should consider when you start optimizing your website or ads for search engines. For one, it’s important to conduct extensive keyword research, which will allow you to identify keywords that are popular among your target audience. Relevant keywords equate to higher visibility. You should also implement internal linking that leads to your products/services whenever possible.
Among the easiest ways to perform SEO is by writing blogs on a regular basis. Try to write at least one blog post every week. Along with providing your customers with content that they’re interested in, these posts can incorporate keywords into them. If you want to make sure that your SEO efforts are successful, consider investing in some kind of SEO tool, the most popular of which include SEMrush and Ahrefs. There are several elements of a web page that are easy to optimize, which include meta descriptions, image ALT tags, and H1 headers.
When you run or manage an eCommerce website, D2C marketing can be key towards making sure that your website garners long-term success. By being involved in the entire marketing and selling process, you’ll have control over each stage of the sales funnel, which should make it easier to convert leads into paying customers. The strategies mentioned above should give you the tools you need to implement a successful D2C marketing strategy.