Today I’m at Olympia in London, and I’m here to give a keynote talk on behalf of Facebook called How to Nail and Scale Your Direct to Consumer Strategy.
What’s going on behind me is the Top Drawer festival, and you can see it’s a really, really big event. It’s where all sorts of product creators and brands come to meet buyers and get their products into retailers.
Obviously in today’s multi-channel, omni-channel world, all these brands also need to go direct to consumer, and that’s what my talk is about.
Are you thinking the words ‘Direct to consumer’?
What is really interesting to me is how language has shifted to using the phrase ‘Direct to consumer’
I’ve been working in the digital marketing space a long time and what everybody used to say about five, six years ago … what everyone used to say to me was, “I need to get myself out there.”
And then that language started changing, because people started getting themselves out there and then I would more regularly hear people saying “I need to stand out online.”
(That’s actually the name of my next book and one reason it’s called “Stand Out Online” it’s because those were the words I was hearing from business and brand owners all the time.)
What I’ve really noticed in the last year or so is that that language has changed again, and now everybody’s talking about going direct to consumer.
And that’s because people who’s really realised that the power for these digital platforms is not necessarily for getting yourself out there (although that is a part of it), or standing out online (another part of it). The real power comes in going direct to consumer and creating a customer acquisition strategy which is scalable and enables you to acquire new customers and then drives repeat purchases. And that is how these digital platforms work at their finest and at their most powerful.
It’s a competitive market
But it’s a crazy competitive world. Walking through the jewellery section for instance, it’s really hard to actually see how these products can easily and readily differentiate themselves in the market or to tell why one brand is better than another.
You can just within 5 minutes of walking around here what a competitive world it is out there and how hard these product brands have to work in order to just stand out, get traction, get in with retailers, and then get in with consumers and create brand loyalty and all this stuff that they’re going to need to do in order to scale their businesses successfully.
At the end of the talk, a woman came up to me who runs a fairly big company in Wales with several shops, and she just said, “Footfall is dead. Footfall is dead.” And I thought “Well, there’s not much I can say about that.” That’s the reality and it’s going to get worse as people just turn to shopping online and consumer behaviour changes.