Within the past year, Google has made a significant push to turn itself into more of a shopping destination. But it's also taken steps to encourage more retailers and direct-to-consumer brands to invest in YouTube. In November, YouTube announced that it was extending shopping ads to YouTube's home feed and search results, so that when a user searches for say, Puma shoes, they see an ad with a carousel of suggested products to buy.
Tik Tok has managed to attract large retailers in just two years. From Old Navy to Walmart to supermarket giant Krogers’ shoppable campaign, everyone from big box and smaller retailers have hopped on the Tik Tok wagon.
As direct-to-consumer startups feel greater pressure to rely less on digital channels like Facebook and Google, other, they're considering investing more in traditional media advertising. That includes out of home advertising (OOH), like billboards, digital bus stops and painted murals.
Peloton has had a rough week, following the release of a much-derided TV ad. People on Twitter criticized the company, and its market capitalization dropped. The entire saga highlights a new kind of luxury company -- and how they represent a growing cultural divide.
More direct-to-consumer brands are experimenting with partnership marketing, in order to further diversify their marketing spend away from Facebook and Google. Although there are inexpensive ways to test out partnership marketing, it can take a lot of trial and error to figure out which brands are actually effective to partner with.
Retail media is growing in importance. The idea of retailers turning their websites into media platforms isn’t a new one, but over the past few years, has commanded more interest and more attention from brands. For brands specifically, advertising on retail media isn’t an ad problem anymore -- it’s a business problem.
Direct-to-consumer brands are starting to invest more in traditional advertising channels, like billboards, television and direct mail as consumers' inboxes or Instagram feeds are getting clogged with ads from competitors. Brands who spoke with Modern Retail say that direct mail is proving to be a small, but useful part of their marketing mix to reach a select group of high-intent customers.
Over the past year, weighted blanket brand Gravity Products has started to partner more with brands on product collaborations in order to lessen its reliance on selling directly to consumers. Today, Gravity announced that it's partnering with DTC mattress brand Purple on a product collaboration. CEO Mike Grillo said that partnerships now make up nearly 18% of Gravity's revenue, up from 2% last year.
Some direct-to-consumer companies are slowly building out corporate gifting programs, as they look for more ways beyond paid advertising to reach large groups of potential new customers. Bombas piloted a corporate gifting program for the first time last year. Today, it has a team of three that manages corporate sales, two members of which were just hired in June, according to chief marketing officer Kate Huyett.
A midwestern Spice company has a very political message, and spend a lot to share it on Facebook. For the last three years, this has proven to be a good digital strategy -- so much so that its political advertising spending has been rivaling Trump's.
As Snapchat's created more in-app commerce opportunities over the past year, it's also sought to encourage consumer brands to spend more on the platform by creating more shoppable ad formats, and improving its ad targeting options.
As a traditional brick-and-mortar retailer, Lowe's doesn't solely rely on digital marketing channels to raise brand awareness -- it's also looking to drive them more of its existing customers into stores, or get them to buy products in other categories. Lowe's has zeroed in on YouTube in particular as an important channel in driving customer traffic to its website, and that its customers see YouTube as a "resource for product inspiration and knowledge."
As digitally-native brands are spending more on brand marketing, they find they may have to manage tension between different members of their marketing team, as what's best for the brand may not always be deemed best by performance marketing standards.
Multi-touch attribution has become the attribution method of choice for brands, especially direct-to-consumer ones, once they start advertising on more channels than just Facebook and Google. But switching to a multi-touch attribution model isn't as simple of a switch as transitioning from one software vendor to another. It is often a months-long project, that requires close communication between a brand's marketing and data science teams.
As direct-to-consumer brands expand into new categories, they're starting to hire more marketers with a special focus on retention, whose goal is to win over more business from repeat customers. Brands that currently have openings for retention marketers at various levels include Brooklinen, Care/Of, Peloton and Prose.
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