In early 2018, IAB started an industry-wide conversation about the rise of the Direct Brand Economy, made up of hundreds of companies across multiple verticals that are innovating in the creation and distribution of their products, taking share from incumbent brands while contributing to the evolution of business models and marketing tactics. The challenges and opportunities that these direct-to-consumer companies have created is an ongoing subject of discussion with our members and the focus of this whitepaper.
Our goal is to examine these trends, challenges and opportunities and to highlight initial suggestions for media sellers to better serve these marketers and help grow their business. A few of those key suggestions and takeaways include:
- Know the brand’s mission and product story, and how they engage with their target consumer. Use data, real time reporting and attribution to help them personalize, respond to and understand their customers more holistically.
- Enable speed to market via self-serve offerings. Provide low-friction media buying, data targeting and do-it-yourself (DIY) creative tools for direct brands that are used to being “hands on.”
- Be their omni-channel guru. Provide insights on performance economics. Offer a consultative approach to branded content, shopper marketing solutions and storytelling. Use A-B testing, dynamic creative and addressable audience segments that can be tracked for performance.
- Create unique (portable) offerings with your data. Package opportunities for direct brands to engage in uniquely targeted ways with your audience and align your data capabilities with others in the ecosystem to enable scale and attribution.
- View the shift to DTC as an opportunity to find and service new prospects. While direct brands start with smaller budgets, they are often growing faster than their incumbent brethren.
Given how quickly this space is evolving, our hope is that this whitepaper provides a useful snapshot of the direct brand landscape today. In the coming months we can expect the rise of more “challenger brands” as digitally native consumers use their buying power to drive their proliferation and growth. Understanding where we are in this moment, and how to make the most of it is a key for media sellers to pivot and grow in the future.