Direct to Consumer (D2C) Marketing on Twitter

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You’ve heard of B2B. And of B2C. Perhaps you’ve also heard of D2C. If you haven’t, though, you won’t be the only one. So many of us in marketing and business go through life and work without recognizing the nuances of our everyday business operations. D2C or direct to consumer is a business model. To learn more about it and how D2C marketing works, we invited Bernie Fussenegger, the founder and consumer strategist of the digital marketing brand, B2The7 to our weekly #TwitterSmarter chat. Here’s a summary of our conversation.

Guest: Bernie Fussenegger
Topic: Direct to Consumer (D2C) marketing on Twitter
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

The #TwitterSmarter chat is sponsored by Ahrefs.

Q1: What is D2C marketing?

D2C or Direct to Consumer is a business model where a manufacturer directly sells their products to their customers, unlike B2B where a business sells to another business or B2C where a business (a retailer or wholesaler) sells a product to the consumer. The D2C model, as our guest pointed out, eliminates the intermediary in a business transaction.

Janet put it clearly. Think of an artist or a brand that sells its merchandise through an e-commerce store. That’s D2C selling. D2C marketing is just like any marketing—educating customers, promoting your products, and enabling salespeople.

Q2: What are some good examples of D2C marketing on Twitter?

Bernie told us about brands like Dollar Shave Club, Warby Parker, Away, and Birchbox for D2C brands.

As Madalyn explained, hosting a Twitter Spaces session is a good B2C marketing activity for brands. By showing up consistently, not only do you get to learn about your audience and their preferences, but you also get to position yourself as a leader in your field.

Q3: What are the types of D2C marketing?

There are no seriously classified types of D2C marketing. However, there are different ways to do D2C marketing, including offering personalized services, engaging on social media, and running performance-based campaigns based on your audience’s preferences.

As our friends from GiveWP added, all kinds of advertising—whether it’s out-of-home (OOH) or online—can be D2C. So can SEO and content marketing that directly aim to attract and convert potential customers.

Q4: What’s the role of a consumer strategy in D2C marketing?

Consumer strategy is defined by the channels you communicate with. D2C marketing intends to reduce or remove reliance on external distribution sources and instead rely on your own efforts like social media and direct advertising. This way, you get to control the message, the imagery, and your reputation.

A consumer strategy is also crucial in D2C marketing because, as Christine put it, the product and the brand are entwined more closely than buying the product from a retailer. It’s like buying your vegetables from the farmer rather than the supermarket–the farmer knows and cares so much more about the produce than the person behind the supermarket counter. That’s why it’s important to build a strong relationship with your customer and community. People buy from the farmer because they like getting to know the farmer and hearing about their challenges and successes.

Q5: What are the essential parts of a consumer strategy?

The basics of a consumer strategy are your purpose/goals, channels you’ll use to achieve those goals, and how you’ll measure the impacts of your activities.

Once you’ve addressed these three requirements, you’ll realize that your data, analytics, and marketing activities will, together, form your customer strategy.

And of course, as Julia from NOW Marketing Group reminded us, it’s essential to also incorporate care and empathy into your consumer strategy.

Q6: How do you handle the marketing funnel (awareness, interest, and consideration) under a D2C marketing process?

It’s much similar to the B2B and B2C processes. Though we don’t often describe it so, many B2B businesses are also D2C. Understand who your audience is, where they are, what they want, and then craft your message accordingly at every stage of the funnel.

Madalyn listed some ways to engage with your audience at every stage. Generate awareness through content channels like YouTube, blogs, and social media. Then, nurture your audience through the consideration phrase using email campaigns, support portals, workshops, and webinars.

Q7: How do you implement a D2C marketing strategy?

Start by creating your unique brand identity. Use data and observations to drive your decisions, cultivate trust by being available to your audience, and personalize customer experiences to convert customers into advocates. Most importantly, explore both online and offline sources to establish your brand.

All that said, branding takes planning. Lots of it. So consider it like a project—make goals, identify your tasks, set roadmaps, setup goal trackers, and measure the results of each activity.

Q8: Share some resources to learn more about D2C marketing.

Bernie’s best tip is to observe what successful brands are doing and learn from their practices. He suggested Dollar Shave Club, Warby Parker, Away, Birchbox, Chubbies, and Daily Harvest.

As you watch these brands, work on your goals as well. Relate what you learn with your own brand—ask questions about how those brands engage with you and how you engage with your audience. How can you replicate the successes of those brands in your own activities? Learn by doing.

That’s all from me this week. Thanks a lot for reading through. For more great insights from our chat with Bernie, have a look at this Twitter Moment that Joana put together. If you think this summary is pretty good, you’ll love the real-time chat. Join us every Thursday at 1pm ET on #TwitterSmarter. Afterward, we also hang out on Twitter Spaces at 5pm ET to continue our chat. Catch you there!

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About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all the things—marketing stuff for the bills; haiku and short stories for the soul. A social media enthusiast, I hang out with the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and am always happy to take on writing gigs.

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