Interactive Marketing: The Missing Link for Direct-to-Consumer Brands


Brands can no longer get away with simply selling products and services. We have entered an age where they must also contribute an emotional and aesthetic experience tailored to their customer’s needs.

Within the past 10 years, many direct-to-consumer, also known as D2C, brands have become extremely successful because of improvements in supply chain and distribution. They’re known around the web for their creative digital strategy with a strong focus on social media campaigns. What they lack in publicity derived from physical locations, they make up for by undercutting competitors and noteworthy customer service.

These companies attempt to “live online” right alongside their customer base. While some have chosen to expand into retail, such as Warby Parker; many others are staying put right where they are.

In a recent interview, Glossier CEO Emily Weiss explained that the company had no plans to open additional brick and mortar locations, “We don’t see retail as a growth lever with the online space we have created.” Instead they have chosen to double down on their online platform.

The problem with retail is the high overhead and lack of flexibility. The cost of operation forces brands to focus heavily on sales, which often subtracts from the desired experience they originally intended on.

But retail does have one big advantage: the person to person interaction. Sales associates, if trained properly can be a key player in creating natural brand awareness and even embody brand personality and image. This dual purpose helps customers connect to brands through genuine conversation. People who stand on common ground can share the values and tone of the brand much better than a digital ad can. So how can direct-to-consumer brands make up for this loss in person to person interaction?

The answer is experience driven events. These events are highly branded and highly interactive. They can be easily tailored to work for any brand and embody the type of experience that they want to give their audience.

They are also flexible, and can be specifically targeted for a particular season and particular location. There’s no concern about inventory, management, turnover rate or sales. This allows for a focus solely on creating an experience for the audience, which will promote brand message and identity.

By placing these activations in high traffic areas, they can achieve a higher number of impressions and interactions in a shorter amount of time. Best of all, when compared to the cost of opening a retail location, these promotional events are much lower in cost.

But most direct-to-consumer companies don’t have a high employee count because their business models require them to be as efficient as possible. For most, it would be extremely taxing to host an interactive marketing program on their own. However, our team at The Campus Agency has a wealth of experience managing programs just like these. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions, or if you might be interested in starting an experiential campaign.

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