What Non- DTC Brands Can Learn From DTC Strategies

Let’s face it, all campaigns are performance campaigns otherwise why would brands spend money on advertising if not to grow their business? But, what non-direct-to-consumer marketers often lose focus on is putting your customer at the center of the business model by prioritizing their needs and preferences. In other words, how can you solve their challenges?


This is where direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands have paved the path. Our industry defines these campaigns as “performance campaigns,” where campaigns “perform,” or very directly drive sales. So, what can we learn from them?

DTC brands have long disrupted traditional retail by building consumer centric strategies,and creating direct relationships with their consumers. For decades, mail order catalogs helped set the stage for much of what DTC strategies still look like today including:

  1. Personalization (brands could tailor their catalogs to customer segments based on data)
  2. Emotional appeal (creative photography, copywriting & design), convenience (people
    could shop from the convenience of their own home)
  3. Exclusive offers (brands used catalogs to offer exclusive productions & promotions)
  4. Follow up communication (catalogs often included thank-you notes, product
    recommendations, and other communications designed to keep the brand top-of-mind and encourage repeat purchases)

Sound familiar? There are no excuses these days. Leveraging data and technology helps make that priority a reality.


Other lessons to learn from DTC brands include

  1. Invest heavily in building a distinctive and strong brand identity that resonates on an
    emotional level with consumers.
  2. Test and iterate! Yes, even in a brand campaign! DTC brands are known for their ability to test and iterate quickly, using customer feedback to refine their products and services. Non-DTC brands can adopt a similar approach by using customer feedback to continuously improve their offerings. This can happen in real time.
  3. Prioritize transparency and authenticity. DTC brands are often built on a foundation of transparency and authenticity, using honest and open communication to build trust with customers. Be transparent about business practices, product ingredients, and supply chain, and by communicating authentically with customers.


Non-DTC brands can learn a lot from DTC strategies by focusing on the customer, leveraging technology and data, building a strong brand, testing and iterating, and prioritizing transparency and authenticity. By incorporating these strategies into the overall full funnel planning approach, non-DTC brands can better engage with customers, build stronger relationships, and grow their business