One of the interesting shifts happening in the digital age is the proliferation of “Direct to Consumers” brands (D2C for short). In the past, brands and manufacturers would mostly sell their products wholesale to distributors and retailers, and they might purchase airtime on television or other media to drive consumer demand. They’d rarely sell directly to consumers.
The internet—as well as modern global manufacturing and product delivery systems—has made consumers far more accessible to manufacturers and brands, which means that they now have a stronger need to reach more consumers.
And that’s where television advertising comes in. Once relegated to late-night ads (who remembers the Flowbee?), it appears that D2C brands are gung-ho for TV. According to the Video Advertising Agency, D2C brands spent $2 billion on TV advertising in 2018—twice what they spent in 2016. What’s more, of the brands tracked in the study, approximately 60 percent of them were new to television.
Why is this shift happening? One marketing executive suggests it’s due to rising Facebook CPMs. Margins for D2C products are typically fairly thin, and brands need to ensure they’re getting the best bang for their marketing buck.
Of course, the question of measurement always comes up, and this is no exception. Attribution has always been the challenge for broadcast media, and D2C brands that previously relied on the detailed metrics of digital might find traditional broadcast metrics lacking. However, that’s likely to change rapidly, given that the TV industry itself is racing to provide better measurement. And, measurement and attribution are much easier and less questionable when a brand can measure results via direct sales to consumers. Direct response metrics for D2C take the guesswork and inexact science out of campaign evaluation.
What D2C brands are finding, and surely others wills start to follow suit, is that as more and more television metrics become available, brand and non-direct response advertisers will be able to achieve both the reach of traditional along with the measurability of digital. Sounds like a win-win to us!
If you’re having trouble knowing which channels to choose, we can help. With deep expertise in both traditional and digital media, we’re adept at making your marketing dollars work hard. Contact us to get started!