Opinion: Marketing tactics that DTC brands can’t afford to miss

DTC brand marketing

RAGE Coffee’s Bharat Sethi pens a few formulae for the DTC brand marketing tactics as the trend grows at a breakneck speed.

Today, we are witnessing a new generation of disruptive brands shaking up the retail space. Among many, a majority of them are Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) eCommerce companies/brands that are transforming the way people shop. By industry estimates, over a third of customers have reported that they bought products directly from a manufacturer’s website in the last year. This led almost 78% of DTC brands to increase their marketing budget compared to 60% of traditional retailers, as per a study by Invesp. DTC brand marketing tactics too have evolved.

Simply put, Needless to say, the pandemic proved to be a boon for the e-commerce industry including the D2C brands. Prolonged lockdowns and increased traffic in online marketplaces led more consumers to brand websites because it’s both faster and easier to place an order with a brand.

Looking at the current scenario, direct-to-consumer brands started exploring the potential of new opportunities presented in the wake of the pandemic. In this regard, what are a few marketing strategies that are leading to DTC’s popularity?

Today, consumers aren’t just looking to buy what they want, they also want to buy from a brand they trust and feel an affinity to. More so, online consumers, especially millennials, are attracted to a smooth D2C shopping experience. Direct-to-Consumer marketing is a way of directly reaching out to the consumer, usually through an online medium. In other words, the brands have full control over production, supply, and distribution, thereby eliminating middlemen. Plus, it also reduces cost for consumers, thereby increasing ROI for the brand itself.

DTC Marketing Tactics

Differentiation is the Key

For a DTC brand to stand out among its competitors, differentiation is one of the key elements for marketing its products. For instance, packaging is one such element. It reflects brand identity through its logo, colours, and font. It is one of the ways that let a brand connect with its customers, who choose that particular brand among a wide range of products available in the market. In fact, to give an example, several cosmetic and beauty care brands have created a sheets masks imbued with essential nutrition-packed serums. These can be put in a bag, or in pocket and is also convenient to carry while one is traveling unlike face wash. All in all, differentiation helps in creating a market value.

Also Read: Opinion: Role of communities in B2B marketing

Through Brand Website

At the same time, since customers often visit the brand’s website to check and buy items, it is best to invest in building a website that influences the amount of time and attention a user will spend on the brand’s page. An impeccable brand website is the center of all digital marketing efforts. Therefore, it is imperative to create a website that is not only easily accessible but also provides interesting as well relevant information to an online customer.

Sustain Customer Engagement

Brands in the D2C segment are often digital-only, with a few having their offline presence. As a result, sometimes their customers could just disconnect after buying and might not return. To prevent this, it is advisable to establish a post-sale communication strategy. This could include a follow-up email or hand-written note included in the product packaging. Plus, getting direct feedback from the end customer is also essential as it helps in improving the product and offerings.

Another way where brands strike a connection with customers is by understanding their requirements from point to point. For instance, let’s say, items such as eyeglasses or sunglasses, among many others can be bought only after trial. In this regard, Lenskart is the first one to introduce try and buy option on its portal allowing customers to try their desired eyeglass on their face before they buy purchase it, making it easier to turn curious online shoppers into buyers. 

Identify Marketing Tools

It’s important to analyze and identify what marketing tactics/tools such as social media ads or emails that have been used previously have worked best. What didn’t? Figuring this out will help determine where the brand should and must invest.

In conclusion, the future of retail growth comes from direct consumer relationships. And, D2C brands rely on an “emotional connection” that helps the customer come back. These focus on creating a strong relationship with their customers, understanding them better, and simultaneously reaching a more specific as well as appropriate audience. Therefore, marketing strategy for direct-to-consumer brands should be designed exactly for this purpose, to lead the race in the online shopping space.

The piece has been authored by Bharat Sethi, Founder of Rage Coffee.