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Agile Firms Have Edge With Direct-To-Consumer Business Model

The pandemic has forced most businesses to establish an online presence. However, certain types of firms are better positioned to reap the rewards of ecommerce. 

Slow-moving enterprises with legacy systems and processes can’t adapt in today’s crowded and extremely fast-paced marketplace. This is most evident in companies’ marketing practices where there’s a need to quickly pivot towards high-performing channels to capture revenue. 

Firms that can advertise on emerging social platforms like TikTok, Reddit, Hulu and Snapchat can reach thousands of consumers while containing customer acquisition costs. The result? A surge in sales growth in much less time.

“We took a cocktail mixer brand from effectively zero sales to nearly $5 million in revenue within 12 months,” says advertising expert Josh Sturgeon of EmberTribe, a digital marketing agency that focuses on paid traffic. “Entrepreneurs should be excited that they can bypass retail and bring goods and services directly to consumers.”

Direct-To-Consumer (D2C) is a true disruption whose effects are being magnified by Covid. Additionally, most experts believe there are permanent changes to shopping behavior post-pandemic.

When it comes to digital marketing, successful D2C firms excel in search engine optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, influencer outreach and social media. And they can significantly boost sales while containing customer acquisition costs.

Agility means not throwing money at mature channels like Google search and Facebook. Because everyone’s doing that, and it may actually increase acquisition costs since most companies are advertising on the same channels.

To gain a competitive advantage, brands may want to experiment with newer platforms since these can bring massive attention to a brand without breaking the bank. For example, a Hulu video may go viral and get a ton of social shares. An influencer who endorses a niche merchandise may provide plenty of free publicity. A popular board on Reddit may lead to word-of-mouth marketing for an innovative product.

Sturgeon says his team prefers working with lean, decisive organizations because they’re best suited for the fast paced experimentation required to be successful in eCommerce. He adds that successful clients are willing to change and adapt to the new normal.

“Whether big or small, EmberTribe works with entrepreneurial businesses that move fast and minimize bureaucracy. Our teams don’t like unnecessary meetings and passive decision makers. Our agency’s marketing solutions clash with this type of culture.”

Sturgeon says there are two critical approaches to succeeding in 2021 and beyond. 

First, digital marketers need to adapt to audiences’ browsing habits and develop mobile-friendly content and advertising strategies. Because when it comes to mobile advertising, brands are moving away from display toward video ads. If you can publish great video promos, that’s a recipe for high sales growth.

Secondly, brands should set their sights on alternative advertising platforms that bring a ton of potential for reaching target consumers. Aside from platforms mentioned above, marketers should also consider Twitch, Spotify, Revcontent, Pandora and Quora, to name a few.

Additionally, when promoting on social media, companies need omnichannel strategies that seamlessly align brand values and voice across platforms. A brand needs a consistent theme, as well as frequent interaction with followers to keep a channel fresh and engaging.

In ancient times, David was able to defeat slow-moving Goliath by being lean, agile and smart. The lesson applies for today’s enterprises that must compete in a disrupted global economy. The new normal is creating opportunities to reach millions without necessarily requiring a large marketing budget.

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