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Exclusive: Direct-to-Consumer Marketing 101: How to Get Started

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Direct-to-Consumer Marketing 101: How to Get Started

#DirecttoConsumer #Marketing #Started

Who’s not guilty of scrolling through their feed at 3 AM, finding an irresistible urge to purchase something on a shopping app, and waking up the next day like nothing happened?

That’s the result of immersive direct-to-consumer marketing.

What is direct-to-consumer marketing?

Earlier, companies would jump through hoops to get to the customer. Cut to 2022, and customers can literally summon products to their house within a few clicks. Brands have uninterrupted exclusive access to customers’ minds, provided they get there early. 

How did this shift in the buying journey take place? Why did cart checkouts replace long queues, and when did customer experience take center stage? When did bad reviews replace unhappy in-store customers? What created this transformative marketing method?

Effortless shopping. 

Customers are key to success, and when they have to hunt for their favorite brand they saw on TV, or wait in long lines to get your products, their patience and interest grow thin. Dependency on departmental stores and large retailers ultimately leads to poor customer experience

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Direct-to-consumer marketing (D2C) is a marketing method where a company markets and sells products and services directly to end consumers, eliminating the need for middlemen. 

Benefits of direct-to-consumer marketing

There are many great benefits to direct-to-consumer marketing. The D2C marketing method helps online storefronts: 

  • Reduce dependency on middlemen. Far too often, brands rely on retailers and other intermediaries to relay their brand message and make an impact on consumers. But when retailers sell hundreds of products, brands have to pay a premium to stand out in front of consumers. In the direct-to-consumer marketing model, brands can cut to the chase, present their value propositions, and directly connect with consumers through online storefronts. 
  • Scale faster. Ensuring the stickiness of your brand is a recipe for growth; it’s a sure way to increase revenue. Brand stickiness helps your business turn prospects into advocates for your brand and transform them into repeat customers.
  • Improve brand recall. It’s easy to improve brand recall when you practice direct-to-consumer marketing because you occupy the mind-space of your customers either through text, email, or chat. And if you offer what they need, you get that much needed top-of-mind recall. Direct-to-consumer marketing also helps improve brand recall because there are no distractions or middlemen in the buyer journey. 
  • Personalize messages: With direct-to-consumer marketing, brands regain access over the entire customer experience which was previously in the hands of intermediaries. Attracting, engaging, and converting customers becomes easier because you can collect customer data that will help you understand them better, personalize your offering and communication, and convert faster. 

Now that we are familiar with the benefits of direct-to-consumer marketing, let’s get into the next important aspect: Who is your audience? 

Why do millennials love D2C marketing?

Direct-to-consumer marketing holds good stead in front of one cohort of customers: those born between the years 1981 and 1996, or the millennial generation. Why? Because they make more than 54% of their purchases online. 

Source: Freshworks

Millennials love a hassle-free shopping experience because it’s a refreshing change from the brick-and-mortar stores they were used to in their childhood. Since they are tech-savvy, have purchasing power, and are also heavily reliant on online shopping, it’s easier for online storefronts to attract and engage them to their online store. 

If you can master how to market to the millennial audience, you’ll see quick success as a D2C business. 

D2C marketing campaign examples

Now that you understand what D2C is, let’s look at examples of how companies have successfully used this strategy.

Convenience in a box

Pet brand Chewy is known for its innovative direct-to-consumer marketing approach that taps into the millennial’s attachment to pets. Chewy targets new pet parents and provides pet supplies in a box, delivering them straight to the customer’s home. Quite literally convenience in a package. They also gained a huge pet parent following on social media by sharing thoughtful content relevant to different types of pets. 

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Packaging makes all the difference

Mattress shopping has never been an exciting event in a consumer’s life. It’s mostly viewed as a mundane task when you move into a new home. Casper caused a ripple in the sleep market by going directly to consumers through its online store.

Casper made mattress buying fun by introducing mattress-in-a-box which made moving way easier for customers. They didn’t just stop there. Casper also launched a lifestyle magazine called Woolly, which touches upon topics like health, comfort, and wellness. While it’s not related to mattresses, it kept its core audience engaged and helped spread the word to more prospective customers. 

Being honest can take you far

The skincare market is hard to tap into. But WOW Skin Science, a D2C brand, managed to crack the code by being honest in all their communication about what goes into their products. 

According to its co-founder, Manish Chowdhary, “We were open about the ingredients that go into our products. This has created a strong brand recall in our customers’ minds, and they have picked up our products knowing their skin and hair were getting the best of ingredients.” 

How to get started with a direct-to-consumer marketing strategy

If D2C sounds like the right strategy for your business, let’s dive into how to get started. You’ll want to build an online storefront, create a social presence, personalize your messaging, involve influencers, and more.

Build an easy-to-use online storefront

Every buying decision, every dropoff, every click on your call-to-action is made via your website. It is the central nervous system of your sales. And since your online storefront makes the first impression, having a clean and simple UI can help your prospects understand what you have to offer much quicker, and push them on to the next stage of the buying journey. 

Today’s customers also expect quick and effortless customer experience when they visit your website. So how do you engage with them while they are on your website? By nudging them with the help of chatbots that can be set up on your website. With chatbots you can: 

  • Understand intent of every visitor 
  • Share helpful resources that will strengthen their buying decision
  • Narrow down their choices and tailor your recommendations

It’s also an opportunity for you to customize your messages for customers and get direct with them. When you use a marketing automation tool, you have all the information you need on customers, and you can engage via chatbot based on their behavior on your site. 

Create a strong social presence

The essence of direct-to-consumer marketing is rooted in social platforms. In fact, 75% of millennials use social media to engage with businesses. So you have ample opportunity to reach out to your key demographic and be where they are, whether it’s WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, Facebook, or SMS. 

Be active on social platforms, create business accounts on these channels, and share relevant content that will resonate with your audience and that’s relevant to your industry. 

Personalize your messaging

You can only directly reach out to consumers if they can resonate with your brand identity and are willing to listen to you. To establish that, you have to offer personalized messaging and build a relationship with them.

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Observe how they interact with your brand – your website, your emails, your SMS, your events, and every channel you use to reach out to them. A marketing automation tool can help D2C storefronts like yours save time by capturing visitors, tracking their journey on your website, and engaging with them more contextually.

Adopt a multichannel marketing approach

Suppose there are two e-commerce companies in the same vertical. Both companies employ direct-to-consumer marketing and engage via Instagram ads and email newsletters. But one of them also runs a Youtube channel, grows subscribers, and regularly shares special deals with their customers via SMS and Whatsapp. 

Which company would reach its goals faster? The answer depends on your audience. 

Pick the right multichannel marketing approach that work for your audience and don’t restrict yourself to just one channel. Whether you pick two or ten channels, keep your messaging consistent across all channels. If customers notice a messaging disconnect, they don’t feel encouraged to come back for more. 

Tie up with influencers

Influencers are a boon to direct-to-consumer marketing because they have direct access to customers, customers follow their recommendations, and they have a huge reach. 

They are important to your direct-to-consumer marketing strategy because their recommendations have a huge impact on their followers, who are also your potential customers. 

They also don’t sound sales-y, so customers trust them more than any single brand. 

To kickstart your direct-to-consumer marketing strategy with influencers, begin by: 

  • Establishing a relationship with influencers
  • Start by introducing yourself and follow the influencer’s updates regularly
  • See where your product can fit in seamlessly 
  • Once you both are familiar, send your products for trial
  • Provide their followers an exclusive discount to understand the impact of the association
  • Expand relationships with more influencers 
  • Engage with them periodically to increase your reach

Implement conversational marketing

An online shopfront without live chat is like a store without a shop assistant. Just like how your sales rep guides prospects, a chatbot can help visitors shop seamlessly. Adding live chat to your online storefront helps identify what visitors are looking for, helps them with their queries, segments them into different buckets, and personalizes outreach. 

With many options in the live chat software market, you may find it hard to identify the right tool for your online store. For a fair evaluation, here are a couple of questions you should ask before you make the purchase. If you find that multiple tools fit the bracket, opt for their free trial and get a feel of the product before you choose one. 

  • How quickly can you get started?
  • Will it scale with your business as you grow?
  • Is it affordable?
  • How accessible is the customer service team?

A chatbot is one of the most important channels for all communication between a customer and a growing D2C business. 

Invest in the right tools

For direct-to-consumer marketing, there are multiple tasks you have to juggle, like: 

  • Tracking your website visitors
  • Segment them based on their behavior
  • Engage in a personalized way
  • Track campaign performance 

And this can get overwhelming for marketers who have to toggle between tabs. While you can deploy many tools for the same, you may lose crucial time that may be put to better use. 

An all-in-one marketing automation tool can help you attract, engage and convert your visitors within a single platform. With this, you can track the right metrics, engage with customers 24/7 and offer a seamless customer experience.

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Don’t wait, get started!

In any marketing approach, keeping customers happy always comes first. 

In D2C, you have the power to control messaging, understand the customer and reach out to them directly. 

If you get your messaging right, your customers are your brand ambassadors for life and through word of mouth, you can easily go viral. So get started with D2C marketing today with a marketing automation tool and attract and engage more visitors.

Learn more about marketing automation basics, how to do it right, and how to pick the best software for your business.


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Exclusive: Biden opens the possibility of more offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico – TalkOfNews.com

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Biden opens the possibility of more offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico

#Biden #opens #possibility #offshore #oil #drilling #Gulf #Mexico

An oil and gas drilling platform stands offshore as waves churned from Tropical Storm Karen come ashore in Dauphin Island, Alabama, October 5, 2013.

Steve Nesius | Reuters

The Biden administration released a five-year offshore oil and gas drilling development plan on Friday that would block all new drilling in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans within U.S. waters, but would allow some lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and the south coast of Alaska.

The proposed plan, which has not been finalized, could allow up to 11 lease sales over the next five years. It also includes an option for the administration to conduct no sales. The Department of the Interior is inviting the public to comment on the program.

Biden had vowed to suspend all new federal drilling on public lands and waters, but that position resulted in legal challenges from several Republican-led states and the oil sector.

As U.S. energy prices rise, the fossil fuel sector has urged the administration to increase offshore drilling in an effort to lower gas prices at the pump. But climate groups have argued that new lease sales would exacerbate climate change while doing nothing to bring down prices.

A recent report published by Apogee Economics and Policy said that a temporary suspension in new offshore oil and gas sales would have minimal impact on gas prices for consumers — with prices edging up by less than 1 cent per gallon over the next nearly two decades.

“From Day One, President Biden and I have made clear our commitment to transition to a clean energy economy,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement on Friday. “Today, we put forward an opportunity for the American people to consider and provide input on the future of offshore oil and gas leasing.”

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The Interior’s most recent offshore oil and gas auction was in November in the Gulf of Mexico. A court order later vacated the sale, arguing the administration didn’t adequately account for the harm to the environment and impact on climate change.

Nearly 95% of U.S. offshore oil production and 71% of offshore natural gas production occurs in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Roughly 15% of oil production in the U.S. comes from offshore drilling.

Environmental groups on Friday condemned the administration for proposing limited new lease sales instead of announcing a ban on all new drilling.

“The Biden administration had an opportunity to meet the moment on climate and end new offshore oil leasing in Interior’s five-year program,” said Drew Caputo, vice president of litigation at Earthjustice. “Instead, its proposal to serve up a bunch of new offshore oil lease sales is a failure of climate leadership and a breach of their climate promises.”

Environmental groups have also argued that new leasing would impede the White House’s goal to slash carbon emissions by at least 50% by 2030 in an effort to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“This draft plan falls short of what we desperately need: an end to new oil and gas drilling in federal waters,” Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter said in a statement. “President Biden has called the climate crisis the existential threat of our time, but the administration continues to pursue policies that will only make it worse.”

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Exclusive: This Simple Exercise Will Help You Turn Failure Into Success – TalkOfNews.com

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This Simple Exercise Will Help You Turn Failure Into Success

#Simple #Exercise #Turn #Failure #Success

If you want your business or your career to be a big success, rather than focusing only on the positive, you should also look closely at your failures. In fact, you should write those failures up and create a “rejection resume.” That advice comes from Eli Joseph, Ph.D., faculty member at Columbia University and Queens College and author of The Perfect Rejection Resume.

A rejection resume is straightforward to create, as he explains in his book. Ask yourself the same questions you’d answer in a traditional resume–but in reverse. Instead of saying where you graduated from, list the schools you applied to but didn’t get into, or the ones you dropped out of, or the courses you failed. Instead of listing the jobs you succeeded at, describe the ones you were fired from, the projects that crashed and burned, and the biggest mistakes you made. The result will be a brief document, a few pages long or maybe just one page, that contains a record of your biggest disappointments, and the biggest mistakes you’ve made.

What’s the purpose of the rejection resume? “Most people do not like to talk about their failures and how many organizations rejected them or how many venture capitalists rejected their proposals,” Joseph explains. “So it’s just a conversation starter.” That is, it can help you start a conversation with yourself. “To say, hey I have this document, and I can take advantage of these lessons.”

Here are some ways a rejection resume can benefit you.

1. It can help you turn current failures into future successes.

“As you’re building a business, you can write down, ‘I failed today at this task, and it was partially detrimental for now, but I’ve learned from my mistake.’ And look around as you go along.” With this approach, the rejection resume can become a powerful motivational tool, he says, because if you look at your failure, you may be able to see the mistakes that led you there. And you can choose not to make those mistakes in the future.

2. It can let you see how far you’ve come.

Anytime is a great time to create a rejection resume, Joseph says, but it’s an especially useful thing to do if you’ve suffered a disheartening setback. “It’s the one that stings a little bit, and you know, that’s what we need to harp on and focus on. So we can bookmark that time that we felt down from a particular failure, but we’ve rebounded.”

His comment makes me think about my attempt, decades ago, to work as a business reporter for a daily newspaper, the only job from which I’ve ever been fired. I hated the job and was actually delighted to leave it, but it also felt like a colossal failure. With hindsight I can see that it was completely the wrong fit for me and how losing that job was in many ways a piece of very good luck.

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3. It will help you connect with others.

“People always love a comeback story,” Joseph says. You may prefer to focus on your successes, but in fact, you almost certainly have your own comeback story and your own history of failure before success, he says. “And people always love that. They love the underdog.”

This is why, he says, if you share part of your rejection resume story on social media, it’s likely to get a lot of attention. “It’s a good marketing tool,” he says. “People who do speaking engagements and keynotes tend to reel the audience in through their personal endeavors and how they’ve overcome failure.” The rejection resume can help you organize that information so you can help others learn from your experiences, he said.

There’s a growing audience of Inc.com readers who receive a daily text from me with a self-care or motivational micro-challenge or tip. (Interested in joining? Here’s more information and an invitation to an extended free trial.) Many are entrepreneurs or business leaders and many have told me about how even devastating failures have helped lead them build bigger, more meaningful successes. Seeing your failures as something to be commemorated in a rejection resume can be a great start.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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Exclusive: Mystery rocket makes moonfall – TalkOfNews.com

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Mystery rocket makes moonfall

#Mystery #rocket #moonfall

Hello and welcome back to Week in Review, where we recap the biggest stories from the week. If you want this in your inbox every Saturday, sign up here.

Greg Kumparak is still on vacation, but not to worry! He’ll be back at the helm next week to bring you our biggest stories. Until then, I’ve got you covered.

First for some quick business. TechCrunch+ is having an Independence Day sale, which gets you 50% off on an annual subscription. Need more? TC+ Editor-in-Chief Alex Wilhelm gives you all the reasons to take the plunge here.

Okay let’s go to the moon! Yes, the moon. Some space junk crashed to the lunar surface this week, causing some enthusiastic observers to scratch their heads. Was it from SpaceX? Was it from a rocket launched in 2014 by the China National Space Administration? We still don’t know, but Devin Coldewey had a chat with Darren McKnight from LeoLabs, which has built a network of debris-tracking radar, to get some more insight.

Image Credits: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

other stuff

Speaking of space: Ever want to stare longingly into the depths of the universe and actually have something stare back? This is supposed to happen in two weeks when the James Webb Space Telescope will release its first images. “This is farther than humanity has ever looked before,” NASA administrator Bill Nelson said during a media briefing this week. Maybe the truth is out there.

Tesla Autopilot layoffs: The automaker this week laid off 195 employees across two offices in its Autopilot division. Those who were laid off filled supervisor, labeler and data analyst roles. Questions persist about what impact the layoffs will have on Tesla’s wider advanced driver assistance system. The remaining 81 staffers on the Autopilot team will be relocated to another office, as the San Mateo office will be shuttered.

SPAC subpoenas: A New York-based federal grand jury sent subpoenas to the board of Digital World, which is preparing to acquire Trump Media & Technology Group, Donald Trump’s media group responsible for Truth Social. According to an SEC filing, the subpoenas are an effort to gather more information about “Digital World’s S-1 filings, communications with or about multiple individuals, and information regarding Rocket One Capital.”

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Deepfake job apps: The FBI this week issued a warning that deepfakes are being used along with stolen information to apply for jobs. A part of this even involves video interviews. “In these interviews, the actions and lip movement of the person seen interviewed on-camera do not completely coordinate with the audio of the person speaking. At times, actions such as coughing, sneezing, or other auditory actions are not aligned with what is presented visually,” the FBI said in a statement announcing the disturbing news.

Party pooper: Welp, that 2020-era indefinite ban on unauthorized parties at Airbnbs is now permanent. This means no open-invitation parties and no parties whose attendance exceeds 16. The company said in a blog post that since they instituted the ban 2 years ago, there was a 44% year-over-year decrease in the rate of party reports. There will be no partying on, Garth.

Human And Artificial Intelligence Cooperating Concept

Image Credits: DrAfter123 / Getty Images

audio stuff

Over on the TechCrunch Podcast Network, Christine Tao, founder of Sounding Board, joined Darrell and Jordan on Found to talk about difficulties she and her co-founder faced while fundraising and how they established the customer type that made scaling possible.

And on the Wednesday episode of Equity, Natasha Mascarenhas asked a question inspired by a recent post penned by TC’s own Rebecca Szkutak: What’s in the fine print for term sheets these days, and what does that tell us about who is going to be in control during the downturn?

Check out our full roundup.

added stuff

Want even more TechCrunch? Head on over to the aptly named TechCrunch+, where we get to go a bit deeper on the topics our subscribers tell us they care about. Some of the good stuff from this week includes:

The SEC rejected bitcoin spot ETFs again. Now what?
The SEC’s decisions aren’t a first for the industry; the government agency has denied over a dozen bitcoin spot ETFs in the past year alone while approving several bitcoin future-based ETFs, Jacquelyn Melinek reports.

Disclose your Scope 3 emissions, you cowards
Tim De Chant takes on the companies that claim they’re serious about carbon emissions. In short, if they’re serious, then they’ll estimate their Scope 3 emissions and not undermine attempts to make Scope 3 disclosures standard.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Wilco’s $7 million seed deck
Haje’s back with another pitch deck teardown, this week from Wilco, a company whose funding he covered last week. He is pretty excited about Wilco’s deck, as, he says, it’s 19 slides that tick all of the boxes.

Image Credits: Wilco (opens in a new window)

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