20 min read

13 Steps for a Killer DTC Marketing Strategy (+Advantages)

DTC (direct-to-consumer) marketing strategies have existed in the marketing world for longer than you might think.

Marketers looking to grow their businesses while keeping the costs low know that DTC marketing is the perfect method.

So, advertisers are moving away from mass-market advertising strategies to focus more on communication and delivering a "1-to-1" experience with their audience.

Since it has become an increasingly popular tool for marketing in time, digital marketers are looking for ways to make use of this approach now more than ever.

Whether you're new to this strategy or looking for ways to improve yours, have a look at these tips below.

After all, the success of your DTC marketing depends on having solid strategies.

What is DTC (Direct-to-Consumer) Marketing?

Direct-to-consumer marketing typically refers to the practice of marketing a company's product directly to the consumer through personal or online interaction.

Essentially, it is when you focus on reaching out to your customers and prospects directly — rather than working with retailers or distributors who'll take the bulk of your profits in exchange for exposure and product distribution.

Companies had to spend significant amounts of money on intermediaries to promote their products.

a hand pointing at a person illustration on a white background

It was inevitable due to high research and development costs and an increasingly competitive industry where they needed to obtain market shares before patents expired or competitors emerged.

That's why direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing strategies are now much more of a need for many businesses.

13 Steps for a Killer DTC Marketing Strategy

Now it's time to break down effective DTC marketing strategies to make them work for your business.

1. Refine Your Brand Identity

If you are a brand looking to expand your business into the direct-to-consumer (DTC) space, you must have a clear strategy. Direct-to-consumer marketing differs from traditional advertising because it requires a tighter focus on individual consumers and their needs.

Your brand identity is integral to that strategy, as it helps you develop an emotional connection with your customers and potential customers.

It also enables you to build trust, which is vital for DTC marketing success.

Here are four ways to refine your brand identity for DTC marketing:

  • Build trust by being transparent
  • Make sure your message resonates with your audience
  • Create a consistent brand story across all channels
  • Don't forget about customer service

2. Collect Data

You must understand your customers' needs, wants, and behavior to create a successful direct-to-consumer (D2C) marketing plan.

Unfortunately, this can be hard if you don't access the correct data.

The good news is that we live in an age where we can collect and analyze massive amounts of data.

If you're interested in learning more about how this can help with your DTC marketing strategy, here are some ideas:

➤ Use text analytics tools to analyze consumer language on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. These tools help you answer questions like:

  • What words do consumers use when talking about my brand?
  • What are the most common topics being discussed by consumers?
  • How do different demographics talk about my brand?
  • What topics do people mention when talking about other brands concerning mine?

➤ Use surveys or popups for collecting data from a smart popup builder, which can tell you how happy your customers are with their purchases or if they'd like something else from you.

a woman wearing an orange sweater looking at the right direction, laughing and a schedule a meeting form next to her with the fields asking for full name, email address and date

For fun ways to get customers involve in your surveys, see: Fun Ways to Encourage Popup Survey Participation

➤ Another option is social media listening: You can see what people say about your brand online, which can help you decide what products or services are popular among consumers.

When analyzing your marketing data, look at the trends over time. For example, is there an increase in sales during certain times of the year? What kinds of products do people buy more often? How often do they buy?

These questions can help you determine whether there's room for improvement in your product line or whether you're doing everything right already.

3. Be Your Authentic Self

If you're familiar with the word "authentic," it's likely because it's something that brands are always trying to be.

Authenticity is essential to any brand's identity and DTC marketing strategy. For example, if a company is known for being authentic in its messaging and actions, it will have greater customer loyalty.

There are several benefits of being perceived as authentic by consumers:

It builds trust. Consumers trust brands that are honest and genuine with them. Conversely, if a brand comes across as fake or untrustworthy, consumers will lose interest in purchasing from them (and probably tell their friends about this).

It builds loyalty among existing customers. Consumers who feel that a company is authentic are more likely to recommend it to others — and even stick around even after moving on to another company or product category.

That makes it easier for you to build your customer base over time.

It attracts new customers through word-of-mouth marketing efforts. Consumers who feel like they can relate to your brand are more likely to recommend it to others than those who don't think they.

4. Connect Your Audience via Social Media

DTC marketing is a great way to reach your target audience, but it's also a great way to lose them.

There have been many brands that make the mistake of trying to reach their audience by blasting out generic messages that lack context and relevance.

This approach can be ineffective because it doesn't take into account who your customers are or what they want. It also makes it difficult for customers to connect with your brand in a meaningful way.

The best DTC marketing strategies use social media as a way of connecting directly with consumers, not just as a platform for broadcasting generic ads.

Social media gives you an opportunity to engage with people who share similar interests or experiences as you do.

two hands holding a tablet at a white background; tablet has social media icons on the screen with a "connect" headline

For example, if you sell baby toys and clothes, then you can join parenting groups on Facebook and Twitter, where people often discuss issues related to having children or raising children.

By listening and interacting with these groups, you can start conversations about your products and services that will help build trust among potential buyers.

5. Make Use of User-Generated Content/Influencers

One of the best ways to build trust with your audience is through user-generated content (UGC). UGC allows consumers to share their experiences with a product or service and helps build awareness for your brand.

Whether it's an Instagram photo or blog post, UGC shows potential customers what others think about your product or service and adds credibility to your brand.

a person holding a phone with the camera open and showing inside of a cafe-like place

Another way to engage with customers is through influencers — people who naturally attract others based on their personality, knowledge, or expertise in a specific area.

Influencers can help spread the word about your products or services by sharing photos, videos, and blog posts on their social media channels.

Just make sure that any influencer marketing campaigns align with their interests — it's no use paying someone $100K if they don't care about what you do!

6. Personalize the Shopper's Experience

In a world where consumers are constantly bombarded with advertisements and brands are forced to compete for their attention, it is important to stand out from the crowd.

One way to do this is by personalizing the consumer's shopping experience.

Consumers want to feel as if they are being treated as individuals, not just numbers on a database or figures in an algorithm.

For example, if you were looking at purchasing a new car, you could go online and fill out an application asking questions about your driving habits and preferences - such as how often you drive, where you live, and where you work.

Based on this information, the company would then send you advertisements tailored specifically to your needs.

The benefit of this type of personalized approach is that it allows companies to provide relevant information to consumers without wasting time or money on irrelevant ads.

It also helps them build trust with potential buyers since they know that they are getting what they want from the company and not just being sold something because it's good for business.

7. Utilize Personalized Email Marketing

The power of personalized email marketing is undeniable. It offers the opportunity to reach your audience with a message that's relevant and tailored to their interests.

This personalization leads to higher click-through rates, which means more sales and more revenue.

an email saying "hand-picked just for you" on a colored bakground with the top clothing picks like t-shirt and sweater below

Before you send out any emails or place ads online, it's important to make sure that you have accurate information about your customers' interests and preferences.

If you don't have this information at hand, then your emails will not be personalized — which means they won't resonate with your audience and could actually turn them off from your brand altogether.

8. Stay Consistent

In the direct-to-consumer (D2C) world, it's all about consistency.

Consumers want to be able to recognize your brand and associate it with quality and value. It's important for them to be able to trust that when they come across a product or service from your company, it will be good.

Creating that kind of trust takes time, but it can be done.

Achieving this goal means sticking to a well-thought-out strategy that ensures that every touchpoint — from your website to social media — is consistent with the others.

9. Referral Marketing

You may have heard of referral marketing, which is when a customer refers another person to your brand. The idea is that if someone enjoys your product or service, they'll tell their friends about it.

That's why referral marketing has become so popular in the past few years: It's a great way to grow your business without spending money on advertising.

text refer a friend on a white speech bubble on a gray background with a magnifying glass and paper pieces around

But did you know that referral marketing can also help with direct-to-consumer marketing?

You can use referrals as an opportunity for DTC businesses to reach new audiences and build their brand by giving customers incentives for referring friends – such as discounts or free products.

10. Bring the Lost Consumers Back

Many businesses do not realize how important it is to win back lost customers. If a customer has had a bad experience with your company once, they may never come back again.

Even if they do come back, they may still have a negative view of your business because of the way you treated them in the past.

Direct-to-consumer marketing is all about building relationships with customers so that they keep coming back for more of what you have to offer.

When customers feel like they are part of something special, they will want more of that "specialness" again and again.

Here are five strategies for winning back lost customers:

  • Try offering additional products or services at no extra cost
  • Offer discounts on purchases
  • Keep up with social media channels
  • Find out about reasons for leaving
special discount offer banner on a red background an two people walking inside of a store on the left

11. Improve Customer Loyalty

A successful DTC marketing strategy requires improved customer loyalty. If your customers are happy with your product, they will be more likely to stick to your brand and become brand advocates.

A good way to do this is by creating a strong community around your brand.

This can be done by creating an online forum where customers can discuss their experiences with the product or by simply having a social media page where you can interact with them directly.

Check out 7 Best Customer Loyalty Programs & Ideas That Work Wonders for more loyalty program ideas that will work wonders for your business.

12. Remember Offline Marketing

Offline marketing refers to any form of advertising that takes place outside the digital realm — including print ads in newspapers or magazines.

It allows you to target specific audiences and get them interested in your product or service before they even sign up as customers or engage with your online presence at all.

So it might be a good idea to keep offline marketing in mind while developing your direct-to-consumer marketing strategy.

13. Support Social Causes

Supporting social causes can have a positive impact on your brand and help you attract new customers.

For example, if you are launching a new product, you can use this opportunity to support a cause that your target audience cares about.

This will help create a strong bond between them and your brand because they feel like they are doing something good by buying your product.

Another reason why supporting social causes is important is because it helps you gain visibility in the marketplace.

a crowd of people wearing res t-shirts on a volunteer event for Ukraine

If you're looking for ways to do this without spending a fortune, here are a few simple tips:

  • Sponsor a local event or charity fundraiser
  • Volunteer at an organization or cause near where your business is located or where your employees live
  • Find out what causes are important to your customers and donate products or services to support them (for example, if many of your customers work with local schools, consider donating school supplies)
  • Create a charitable giving program by offering discounts on items that support specific causes (such as donations for every dollar spent on school supplies)
  • Promote your involvement in the community through social media

Advantages of DTC Marketing

  • You have more control: Because there is no intermediary, DTC businesses have full control over their products, services, and any activities, including marketing, branding, etc.
  • It's easier to understand customers: As you directly engage with your customers with direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing, you'll have access to first-party data directly.

This convenience allows you to have more insight into the needs of your customers and lets you understand them better.

The detailed data you get will help you build more personalized marketing campaigns.

  • No restrictions, more time: Having full control over the producing and selling process will save you time! Do you have a new idea you want to give a try?

Go on; there is nobody to stop you as you don't deal with internal stakeholders or retailers.

  • You have high profit: When you produce and market your own products, you can keep a lot more money in your business as you don't have to send any to suppliers.

You can pocket the extra profit from not selling your products to retailers at a discount and put it back into your marketing efforts.

Before You Leave…

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing is becoming more popular because it allows businesses to have better control over their brand messaging and product design, which leads to higher-quality products and happier customers.

It also puts more money in your pocket because you can sell directly to consumers without paying fees to retailers or wholesalers.

What kind of business do you have? Would you consider switching to direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing?

Meet me in the comments below!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How is DTC Marketing Different from B2C Marketing?

Direct-to-consumer marketing lets you sell to customers directly from your website instead of retailers'. As a result, you have high margins with DTC marketing compared to B2C marketing.

You can have complete control over customer data in contrast to B2C, where you have limited access. In addition, you will have advanced customization capabilities thanks to DTC marketing; again, B2C lets you have limited customization options.

2. What are the Drawbacks of Direct-to-Consumer Marketing?

Because you're basically on your own while applying DTC strategies, you will be the only one who is responsible for both positive and negative outcomes.

Delivering the order could be an issue if you have a high amount of orders, as you will directly be shipping them to your customers.

If you are new in the market, you will need to put forward a significant capital investment to get started.

3. What are some DTC Marketing Strategy Trends?

Publishing video content has proven itself to be overly beneficial, especially currently. Partnering with brands is also quite popular as a DTC marketing strategy. Tv advertising is also a strategy implemented by DTC brands.

Although you may think e-commerce is the only way, opening physical stores is also very trendy as a part of brands' direct-to-consumer marketing strategies.

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