Tuesday, 14 May 2013
Has the time when a manufacturer could leave all of the marketing and advertising of their products to their distributers and retailers passed us by?
Should the manufacturers of leading market brands take their marketing into their own hands with a Direct to Consumer (DTC) strategy?
There has been a revolution in consumer buying behaviour which has demanded a shift in the go-to-market strategy for the product manufacturing industry.
Today’s consumers are savvy and computer literate. They no longer walk into a retailer and ask for advice on what brand of product they should buy to meet their specific needs. They do their research and homework on the Internet before they set foot in a retail store.
If the consumer is not familiar with your brand before they go online or they do not find your brand during their online research, you will be left out of their buying decision.
Consumers are driving the need for manufacturers to develop and implement their own Direct to Consumer marketing strategy. You can ill afford to wait until the consumer walks into a retail establishment before you reach out to them. A DTC strategy for the manufacturer does not necessarily have to include online sales but is rather about managing and nurturing a direct relationship with the consumer so they request your brand when they are ready to buy. This is best achieved by adding value to the consumer during their research phase, which will not only help you ‘be found’ but will create trust.
Retailers are in the business of representing and selling multiple brands, not just yours. You cannot be guaranteed that they will have your product at the forefront of their advertising. They are not focused on just your brand.Often your distributer will carry other brands as well. They are focused on establishing themselves and maintaining their establishment in the countries where they sell your product. Their focus is on the relationship between the manufacturer and consumer.
Therefore it falls back to the manufacturer to implement a Direct to Consumer online strategy and to manage it. The manufacturer needs to be the one to manage the execution of their online strategy to ensure there is a consistent focus on their brand.
Manufacturers will need a clearly structured and executed approach to their online strategy. A good online strategy is a journey not a one off project so it can take years to perfect and refine. Manufacturers should consider how well their brand or product is being found during the consumers research phase and start shaping their DTC approach today. Don’t risk being left behind with the change to the consumers buying behaviour.
Vaughan Reed is managing director of web design company Labyrinth Solutions.
Talk to us today about the right DTC approach for your business.