A D2C Marketer’s Work is Never Done | Direct 60 Insights | Post II

A D2C Marketer’s Work is Never Done

How to succeed in today's shifting environment

By Sonal Gandhi
Chief Content Officer at The Lead

The surge in digital traffic during the pandemic provided wind in the sails for many e-commerce and technology executives who had been advocating for bigger investment in data optimization and digitization. The last few years have seen a serious push to re-evaluate & modernize the aging tech infrastructure for many traditional brands in both digital and store environments. And these executives are now well poised to reap the benefits of the transformation.

For D2C marketers, however, the last few years have been a mixed blessing. While their budgets have grown they have had to deal with significant shifts in the customer acquisition environment — 1) performance marketing on Facebook and other paid channels is more challenging due to privacy updates on IOS; 2) growing competition for online eyeballs has increased cost of acquisition; 3) growing popularity of new platforms like TikTok has created insatiable content requirements.

Marketers on our Direct 60 list are always game for a challenge. Many of them told us that the dynamic nature of the job is what excites them most. Here are some of the ways in which they have succeeded in keeping up with the times.

1) Diversification

TikTok is the main channel of diversification as it steals viewer attention from all other social platforms. But other platforms such as Pinterest and Connected TV have also been on the list of new channels for our Direct 60 marketers. Some are also starting to experiment with BeReal, the latest social media platform attracting the Gen Z audience.

2) Attribution

Although attribution has always been a challenging exercise – privacy changes have made it even more difficult to attribute which set of actions is delivering the best LTV customer and increasing incremental revenue. Many are trying new attribution tools and strategies to create a layered attribution model and leveraging holdout tests on paid media to measure incremental growth on paid channels.

3) In-house Resources

Many of the brands we spoke to have shifted their priorities to building marketing expertise in-house instead of outsourcing it to agencies.

4) Story-telling & Content Creators

Direct 60 marketers have taken a step back to clarify the essence of the brand for consumers and made sure it resonates with the values they care about. They are also abandoning strict editorial standards for branded content, relying instead on content creators to communicate those brand values (and benefits).

5) The Metaverse

While there is a lot of talk of digital products, the Metaverse, for the most part, is a brand awareness tool for most brands and many on our Direct 60 list are early adopters.

6) Loyalty Programs

A few of the executives on our list have or are in the process of revamping their loyalty programs and modeling them after best-in-class programs inside or outside of the industry. They are also focusing on retention as a strategy to drive up repeat purchase rates and lifetime value from existing customers.

7) First-Party Data

As I mentioned in my last post — many legacy brands have invested in technology to centralize customer data and some are also investing in new CRM solutions to make sure they have the latest features and functionality to make the most of the first-party data. Brands are also leveraging tools to activate their first-party data predictive campaigns designed to drive conversion and loyalty.

According to Fayez Mohamood, the CEO of Bluecore ( a leading retail marketing technology platform) and a member of the Direct 60 selection committee – “This year, we saw some tectonic shifts in the retail landscape — from rising inflation to paid media costs going up, to privacy regulations that fundamentally changed both reach and measurement. Now more than ever, retailers need to act — quickly — on their first-party data to both find new shoppers and keep them coming back, again and again. By activating those billions of data points with predictive intelligence, retailers can test, learn and optimize campaigns for each shopper in just moments.”

Bluecore intelligently connect casual shoppers to the products that transform them into lifetime customers.