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Small Direct-to-Consumer Businesses Need Digital Marketing Help

by | 2 minute read

If you’re working with smaller direct-to-consumer brands, you know the challenges they face. It’s not easy to be noticed in a noisy marketplace. The 2019 State of the D2C Marketing survey from Yotpo contains helpful statistics you can share with clients.

2019 Marketing Mix

Based on input from over 500 marketing decision makers, the results of Yotpo’s research shows that direct-to-consumer businesses aren’t so different from competitors who are selling through more traditional channels. This year, D2C businesses will boost spending on formats like Facebook (52%), Instagram (49%), and Google (47%). Only 12% plan to increase print spending, while 8% will bump up TV ad buying.

Marketing Plans for Small D2C Companies

For smaller companies, those with revenue that tops out at around $5 million, social media (organic and paid) is a key acquisition channel (71%). These operators also attract customers with SEO (51%) and their websites (51%). Small direct-to-consumer operators also tell researchers that their top marketing priorities for 2019 include:

  • Growing e-commerce sales 63%
  • Finding new customers 51%
  • Higher conversation rates 47%

These smaller businesses outperform larger competitors in terms of deploying user-generated content. At least 76% use customer reviews. Customer photos are key for 36% of these businesses. Whether it’s social media (68%) or email (42%), these businesses believe that UGC works as a form of word-of-mouth marketing and influences prospects to consider purchasing their goods and services. If you’re selling digital marketing services, you may be able to help small D2C companies with this aspect of their business.

Marketing Differences by Vertical

Researchers also detected big differences by industry verticals in terms of the marketing tools D2C companies use. Over 82% of operators in the toys, hobbies and kids verticals use customer reviews. On the other hand, 70% of fashion and accessories businesses appeal to consumers’ visual sense by using customer photos in their marketing mix.

Loyalty programs are another great way to encourage return visits by consumers. About 31% of surveyed D2C businesses in the Yotpo survey offer a loyalty program. Businesses in the food and beverage sector and the automotive sector reported a significantly higher loyalty program rate at 42% and 40%, respectively.

To get a complete picture of how your D2C clients are using digital marketing, run a Digit Audit on them. The tool is available at AdMall from SalesFuel.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.