Direct-to-consumer retail: An introduction for sellers

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced nations into lockdown, isolating consumers from stores and the brands that fill them, some manufacturers quickly opened online channels that allowed them to bypass physical shops altogether. Heinz U.K. started its first self-managed online sales program, Heinz to Home, in just seven days, for example. That allowed the iconic company to continue serving customers who couldn’t risk a trip to the grocery store. By making this move away from brick-and-mortar stores toward online sales, producers were adopting a sales model that’s as old as commerce itself — direct to consumer, or D2C. In traditional business-to-consumer (B2C) selling, brands rely on retailers — brick-and-mortar stores, online aggregators like Amazon, and other third-party dealers who make the sales to consumers. With the D2C model, the creator is the seller. Click read more to get the rest of the story
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Adobe Announces Industry’s First CDP Architected For First-Party Data

Adobe announced the next generation of its Real-time Customer Data Platform (CDP), the only enterprise application architected from the ground up for first-party data-driven customer acquisition and engagement. Adobe Real-time CDP helps brands activate known and unknown customer data to manage the entire customer profile and journey seamlessly in one system, without the need for third-party cookies. The relationship between consumers and brands is rapidly evolving. Consumers today are more attentive to the data they share, which has resulted in a patchwork of privacy regulations globally. At the same time, expectations for personalized brand experiences remain at an all-time high, while third-party cookies, which marketers have historically relied on to track unknown visitors, will no longer be supported in browsers. This means brands will have to contend with reduced insight about unknown visitors to their digital properties while still trying to provide a compelling customer experience.
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Knowledge-Based Creative Part 5: Left-Brain Creative (jschmid.com)

Creative and analytics teams are drastically different disciplines, driven by different personalities and workflows, which means that merging them takes purposeful planning. The timeline is the first big challenge. The creative team looks ahead, creating new campaigns to be launched in the future while analytics teams review the past, examining what happened and translating that into recommendations that apply to the creative team’s work. Additionally, the speed at which the creative team moves is another difficulty, making the task of stepping into the communication flow feel like stepping into a four-lane highway. But, it’s worthwhile! Data-driven creative performs better due to increased relevance and enhanced understanding of customer behavior. see more at: https://www.jschmid.com/blog/left-brain-creative/
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Knowledge-Based Creative Part 4: The Physics of Creative

What if I told you it’s possible to increase response by 5% or more? Sometimes returning to the proven foundations of effective catalog design can make that happen. Yes, the role of the catalog has changed over the last 10 years – dramatically. But what hasn’t changed is the basic human physics of how we process information. Let’s revisit the tried, true and tested techniques that every creative team should know. We guarantee that when you sharpen your creative skills, you’re better positioned for breakthrough results. much more at: https://www.jschmid.com/blog/knowledge-based-creative-the-physics-of-creative/
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Google Begins Testing Browser-Based Ad Targeting In U.S. (mediapost.com)

Google this week began testing its controversial cookie-less tracking and targeting system, which relies on placing Chrome users into audience segments based on their web-browsing history, and then transmitting data about those segments directly to publishers. The company has enrolled “a small percentage” of users in the United States and other countries in tests of its new, so-called "Federated Learning of Cohorts." The only way for people to opt out of the tests is by disabling third-party cookies in the Chrome settings -- though Google plans to offer an opt-out control in April.
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Catalog Costs: How Low Can You Go? (mytotalretail.com)

Direct mail is experiencing a long overdue resurgence for retailers, hastened by the pandemic. Increasingly crowded ads on social media and Google, full email inboxes, SMS dings all day long ... while the much-maligned mailbox remained emptier as credit card offers dwindled and in-store postcard coupons were recycled. It’s not surprising that many e-commerce brands decided to communicate in a new “old” way and test direct mail. We had the pleasure of assisting several launches in 2020 — some planned before the lockdowns, others as a new COVID strategy. Two of the biggest surprises for folks new to mail are: 1. the amount of time it takes to properly put together an effective mailing; and 2. how expensive mailing can be. One of our print partners and I assisted a pure-play that mailed within three weeks of our first discussion … this is NOT typical and we don’t recommend it. Haste makes waste.
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All Research is Creative

Agencies and clients agree that research-driven customer insights play an important role in the development of effective marketing and creative campaigns. At the same time, I’ll bet relatively few think of research as a creative process or discipline. The fact is, all research is (or should be) creative. The best researchers approach their work with an open and creative mindset that skillfully uncovers the information to successfully drive creative development. The constraints of time and budget—facts of life in the business world—should never be an excuse for missing out on insights that support business growth and lead to game-changing creative campaigns. much more at: https://www.jschmid.com/blog/all-research-is-creative/
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Four Expectations of the Post-Pandemic Consumer (And How to Meet Them) [chainstoreage.com]

There’s a lot to look forward to in 2021. With wide-spread vaccination on the horizon, relative relief from the global pandemic is close at hand. But even with a new layer of safety added to the retail shopping experience, one factor remains irrevocably changed — the consumer. The numbers back this. More than 65% of consumers intend to continue new buying behaviors acquired due to the pandemic during the post-vaccine era, according to one recent study. Another survey reveals that 56% of consumers plan to use BOPIS (buy-online-pickup-in-store) after the pandemic ends. While retailers ready themselves to meet the post-pandemic consumer online and in-store, one thing is clear. Retail success in the post-pandemic era isn’t so much about where you serve your customers as it is about how you create authentic, personalized omnichannel experiences that transcend the limits of your digital and physical touchpoints and create lasting brand loyalty.
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Words That Work: 3 Copywriting Formulas

I know. “Copywriting” and “formulas” sound like they don’t even belong in the same sentence, let alone the same concept. As someone who used to enjoy English class and all but cry their way through chemistry, I fully support words and numbers playing in separate sandboxes. But in marketing and advertising, there are in fact copy formulas you can use to disrupt and drive consumers to buy what you sell. The best formulas are easily remembered, quickly mastered, and can be used by novice and experienced writers alike. Knowing them can help you create copy that’s twice as effective, in about half the time. Formulas can also offer a boost when writer’s block sets in or help validate your work when you need a final gut check. Oh, and the reason they’re called formulas? Because they work! FORMULA #1: AIDA = Attention, Interest, Desire, Action; FORMULA #2: THE FOUR Cs = Clear, Concise, Compelling, Credible; FORMULA #3: FAB = Features, Advantages, Benefits.
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10 Important Advantages of Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns (navistone.com)

From building trust with your customers to providing that feeling of excitement when opening the mailbox, here is a list of our top 10 advantages and benefits of direct mail marketing. Marketing is complex and marketing is evolving: Display, Social, Mobile, SMS, MMS, Personalized TV. However, some of the best results tied to improving brand awareness, customer retention and overall sales come from tried and true strategies such as direct mail. Here is a list of our top 10 advantages and benefits of direct mail marketing. Mail Remains Physical; People Enjoy Receiving Mail; Direct Mail Benefits from being Cost Effective; Personalized Data-Driven Marketing Benefits; Direct Marketing is a Multichannel Experience; Build Effective Brand Trust with Direct Mail; Direct Mail is Easy; Simplicity of Execution in Direct Mail Marketing; More Chances to be Creative
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