From Upheaval to Opportunity: 3 Ways DTC Brands Can Grow Their Customer Base

With the implementation of Apple’s iOS privacy changes, retailers and DTC brands in particular have swiftly revamped their approach to connecting with consumers in a disrupted digital advertising landscape. To create the personalized experience that their customers have come to expect while achieving growth targets during an economic downturn, every ad dollar needs to work smarter than ever before — all without the precise targeting brands once relied on. But there’s good news for retailers adapting to change and upheaval — a group of emerging technologies is bridging the gap of lost efficiency.

Brands now have innovative tools ready to fuel their growth, including attribution platforms designed to provide a more accurate view of marketing performance, collaborative networks that create partnerships for DTC businesses to help each other sell products and solutions that provide access to data intelligence through customized audiences.

Here’s how to use these three approaches to optimize performance for DTC marketers:

1. Recapture valuable insights from attribution platforms.
With privacy standards constantly changing, marketers are being challenged to find alternative ways to measure the effectiveness of their investments. Attribution platforms help brands understand the impact and value of their marketing channels — especially which touch points bring in customers and maximize ROI. Having consistent, accurate and comprehensive insights into multi-channel performance guides smarter, more strategic decisions about where to invest and where to cut back. Software tools such as Triple Whale, North Beam, Rocker Box, Hyros and Measured provide easy access to attribution data, with some going even further to help track, measure, and manage creative campaigns.


2. Acquire customers through curated partnerships.
DTC businesses can actually help each other by working together to sell products at lower acquisition costs — a welcome change from the skyrocketing price of ads on big tech platforms. New marketplace and network solutions like Disco (formerly Co-op Commerce), DojoMojo and Canal empower independent brands to join forces with other relevant brands for seamless customer acquisition.

These e-platforms make it easy to collaborate and cross-sell complementary products within a network of curated, trusted brand partners. By linking up with like-minded brands to offer products their customers know (and love!), they’re cutting through the clutter while unlocking new avenues for success along the customer journey. These brand partnerships provide important learnings about the customer base and marketplace data, all while meeting increasingly stringent privacy standards.

3. Improve targeting with data intelligence.
Even with the addition of new tracking tools, marketers are still challenged to find targeting strategies that compete with the data available pre-iOS14. When shared into major ad platforms, new AI solutions from platforms like Black Crow, Proxima and Shopify Audiences provide remarkable improvements in targeting efficiency and performance (30%+). By using machine learning algorithms, these platforms help brands discover high-intent shoppers so they can put their ad budgets toward hyper-targeted, custom audiences at a lower cost.

Transform Predictions to Performance

In a turbulent era of increasing digital ad costs and ever-changing privacy rules, DTC brands need new customer acquisition and retention strategies to make their spends more efficient and impactful. Innovative brands are stepping outside of their comfort zones and adopting new approaches to harness the power of data, boost performance and generate better returns from their capital.

Alex Song is the Founder and CEO of Proxima, a data intelligence company that enables digital businesses to accelerate growth on major platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and TikTok. After spending nine years working as both a private equity and public investor at Goldman Sachs and Pershing Square, a hedge fund led by Bill Ackman, he tapped into his natural penchant for entrepreneurship by founding Innovation Department, a New York venture studio that focuses on investing in and building category-disrupting startups. Song graduated highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley with a BA in Business Administration.

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