Modern direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies rely heavily on digital platforms to reach potential customers thanks in large part to the targeting opportunities that these platforms provide.
By utilizing digital platforms, these companies can find specific consumers who are most likely to purchase their product or service. In fact, some DTC companies are dedicated almost entirely to advertising within the digital space because of the targeting control and overall return on investment that digital marketing offers.
That said, these companies might be missing out on potential customers because of their over-reliance on digital platforms. While digital advertising is very good for direct-to-consumer companies, there are other opportunities worth exploring as well. Traditional platforms such as cable television and radio advertising are still worthwhile options for DTC companies and are definitely worth considering moving forward.
Why DTC Loves Digital
Direct-to-consumer companies sell their products or services directly without the need for on-the-shelf placements or the competition that comes with them.
Selling this way requires an ability to connect with the consumers and understand their likes and dislikes; being able to gather this sort of data and apply it effectively is often the difference between success and failure for DTC brands. As a result, digital platforms seem like a natural choice for these companies because of the direct access that they provide to potential customers.
This approach has proven successful for DTC companies so far. A number of companies have found significant success using social media, search advertising and OTT ads to connect with consumers as they interact with their favorite digital platforms. The increased ease with which brands can collect email addresses and consumer data also fuels targeted email marketing and lead nurturing efforts that convert on-the-fence consumers into repeat customers. All of this occurs in a space that’s free of on-the-shelf competition, giving the DTC marketers a significant amount of control over the entire experience.
Traditional Marketing Opportunities
As digital advertising becomes more commonplace, however, the costs associated with digital ads continue to rise.
These expenses can be problematic for startups and small brands as they face increased competition and that competition drives prices up further. In order to remain competitive, direct-to-consumer brands often need to find a way to reach consumers outside of the digital marketing platforms that they have become accustomed to as well. Here is where more traditional advertising platforms such as cable television and radio come into play.
By turning to more traditional forms of advertising to supplement the digital ads that DTC brands have found success with, marketers can take advantage of the stability of these more traditional platforms while also reaping some unique benefits. In fact, some brands are finding that incorporating non-digital platforms into their advertising strategies might actually be a growth driver moving forward.
TV and Radio Drive Success
So why are TV and radio helping to drive growth for brands that have found success selling directly to consumers online?
A large part of it comes down to reach. Around 73 percent of the U.S. population has access to broadband internet, including both computer internet access and mobile devices that make use of high-speed data plans. By comparison, around 96 percent of the population has access to traditional television. Nearly 100 percent of the population has access to radio, especially during activities such as driving, shopping, dining and even working. There are simply more people who can receive a message on television or over the radio than can possibly receive the same message over the internet.
Costs for TV and radio ads are much more stable than costs for digital advertising. While these ads lack some of the targeting that digital advertisers are used to, for a relatively low cost you can get your message out to every tuned-in listener in a radio’s broadcast area or everyone who’s watching a show broadcast by a specific station.
Not only can these advertising choices present your brand to a large number of potential customers, but it can also direct them to find out more online and feed into the DTC digital ecosystem without the need for them to actually be online at the time. If nothing else, these platforms can create a general familiarity that will benefit your brand’s digital marketing efforts later.
Supplementing Marketing Plans
On average, direct-to-consumer companies increased their advertising spending by around 32 percent in the first half of 2019 according to Magna Global.
The share of this that went to traditional television spending increased by around 52.9 percent, however. This was on top of a 35.8 percent increase in TV ad spending in 2018 as well. This is a trend that’s likely to continue moving forward as DTC marketers continue to realize the benefits of expanding their reach through additional non-digital means.
As you move into more traditional forms of advertising to supplement your digital marketing plans, don’t forget that you can use TV and radio ads to generate familiarity as much as you use them to drive sales and engagement.
Yes, you want your ads to direct consumers to visit your website or download your app to connect with your brand. However, the seed that you plant with your TV and radio ads can also help to make consumers more friendly toward your brand when they encounter it online. In fact, you can even use this opportunity to create another target for your digital ads as you focus on consumers within the listening area of certain radio stations or who are likely to watch certain shows. The options are limited only by your creativity and ability to tie in one form of advertising with another.