As we discussed in our last blog, D2C marketing is becoming an increasingly popular model as companies try to connect with consumers and build long-lasting relationships. Part of why D2C companies are so successful in their efforts is that they are able to build close emotional bonds with their customers. They know exactly who their customer is, what they need and how to speak to them. While this might seem a daunting task for larger or less nimble companies, the right data can help bridge the gap. Let’s discuss how you can use data to successfully connect with consumers directly to build brand loyalty.
Many of us tend to “go with our gut” when asked who our customers are. Sometimes we have an accurate picture of who our audience is – but other times, the data proves us wrong. Take the famous McDonald’s milkshake for example. The fast-food giant assumed the main audience for their milkshakes were children. However, after analyzing when the milkshakes were being sold and to whom, they realized that long-haul truckers and commuters were their actual audience. By tailoring their product to the wants of an adult male, rather than a child, McDonald’s increased milkshake sales.1
In other words, it’s important to use your data to learn who your actual audience is. Data partners like Data Axle can layer insights from third-party data on top of your first-party data to create a 360-degree view of your customer and shine a light on who you should be targeting. The resulting 360-degree profiles include everything from basic contact information, to demographic data, past and present purchase data, interactions with customer service, and social media behavior.
Once you know who your audience is, you can begin to tailor your product and your marketing strategy to their needs and behaviors.
We live in an omnichannel world, and you need to reach your customer where they spend their time. A coordinated cross-channel approach that will touch your audience multiple times on various channels is going to be the most effective way to get their attention.
You can use psychographic information to reach consumers on the channels where they are most active. While demographic data gives some shape to your customers, psychographic data adds more depth and dimension by getting at what makes them tick. Psychographic data taps into areas like beliefs, attitudes, lifestyle, and hobbies. Combining demographic and psychographic data helps you put the right motivators in front of your customer. Examples of psychographic layers that marketers can add to campaigns would include:
For example, if you’re taking a D2C approach to marketing and you know your target prospect is most active on Pinterest and Instagram, you might want to launch a social campaign on those platforms to reach that audience segment. If you know your prospect is too busy to prepare meals and enjoys outdoor activities, it might mean they are less likely to spend time checking emails or browsing the web. In this case, a direct mail campaign might be a better way to grab their attention when they come home from a hike.
For example, D2C brand Hello Fresh invests heavily in direct mail marketing. The subscription-based meal kit delivery service has traditionally targeted busy urban professionals who don’t have the time or inclination to grocery shop or meal plan. Knowing that their target audience has an inbox full of unopened emails and texts left unread, the meal kit company frequently mails coupons and offers. They also reach out to lost customers through direct mail with generous offers to entice them to reactivate their subscriptions. This strategy has worked well for the brand, and they reported hitting more than double their sales in 2020.2
Personalization can be as simple as adding a first name to an email. It seems simple, but for companies with inaccurate data, this is their first mountain to climb before they can move to more advanced tactics.
We cannot overstate how important personalization is when it comes to forging direct connections with your consumers. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can personalize the customer journey to keep audiences engaged.
a. Personalize the customer journey
D2C brand, Warby Parker, has become one of the top names in glasses. The company uses personalization throughout the customer journey to help customers pick the pair of glasses that will work best for them. Warby Parker uses AI algorithms that personalize their website to where their customer is in their buying journey. The eyewear brand also offers a virtual ‘try-on’ of their products that allows the customer to see if a particular pair of glasses would suit them before they purchase. This type of personalization and convenience has pushed Warby Parker to become one of the top names in D2C.
b. Email customers with news relevant to them, in real-time
Your internal data can be used for a number of live data feeds to populate email content. For example, a marketer may want to have their product pricing database feed into its email offers, thus keeping the offer current with the most up-to-date prices, even reflecting any changes post-deployment. This also applies to product availability. If a product sells out, a real-time feed could prompt a trigger to replace that product with a relevant substitute in the email message. For example, if you know that your customer’s favorite product is sold out, you can email them and let them know the product is sold out and when they can expect to see it back in stores. Or, you could encourage them to put their names on a wait-list or send an email notification when the product is back in stores.
For example, D2C brand, Public goods, sends an email alerting customers when an item they browsed is back in stock.
c. Location-based personalization
Location is another factor that provides an additional layer of email personalization. By utilizing real-time IP address data, you can personalize an email to your customers geographic location. Your prospect will be able to view a local map of stores based on where the recipient is at the moment of email open, saving them time from having to search on Google Maps or Yelp.
d. Reach them with relevant deals and sales
Different customers will be compelled by different sales and offers. For example, if you are trying to persuade a mother of two to shop with your brand for back-to-school season, a BOGO (buy-one-get-one) offer might compel her more than a coupon for 10% off. On the other hand, a college student who is also shopping for back-to-school offerings might not need two of the same item. Use your data to offer deals that are relevant to your customers’ lifestyles, and you will start to see results.
D2C mattress manufacturer, Casper, knows that their audience is young, fun and ready to party this summer. The brand offered mattress shoppers a free inflatable pool ‘mattress,’ kitted out with drink holders to maximize poolside fun.
D2C marketing is all about knowing who your customers are, what they need and how they want to hear from you. By leveraging data, you can learn how to best connect with audiences and keep them engaged with your brand.
As Content Marketing Manager, Natasia is responsible for helping strategize, produce and execute Data Axle's content. With a passion for writing and an enthusiasm for data management and technology, Natasia creates content that is designed to deliver nuggets of wisdom to help brands and individuals elevate their data governance policies. A native New Yorker, when Natasia is not at work she can be found enjoying New York’s food scene, at one of NYC’s many museums, or at one of the city’s many parks with her two teacup yorkies.