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12/21/2021

Future-Proofing Consumer Goods Through DTC

Once upon a time, selling direct to consumers wasn’t much more than an experiment for many consumer goods companies. While some were more willing than others to make the required investments — with hesitation often surrounding the lack of clarity around its benefits, as well as concern it could harm existing retail partnerships — a few small things like a pandemic and changing consumer privacy laws have completely rewritten the story of DTC.   

CGT delved into the state of DTC maturity with the help of an industry expert, parsing through the benefits of these relationships and the value they hold in future-proofing a business during a time when nothing is one-size-fits-all. Read on to learn what today’s companies need to know about:

  • The state of DTC maturity
  • The different types of relationships CGs are forming with consumers
  • How consumer privacy regulations and expectations are complicating things in new ways
  • Why Heineken decided to develop a first-party data strategy and the benefits its reaping

 

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While there are some consumer goods companies that have been investing in DTC for quite some time, others are still new to the game and figuring out just what it looks like for them, notes Cory Munchbach, COO of Blueconic, in a Fireside Chat with CGT senior editor Lisa Johnston.

Despite these varying levels of maturity, however, the underlying theme behind any initiatives generally remain consistent across the board: Selling direct-to-consumer isn’t just about opening up a channel — it's about ensuring it reinforces the brand proposition in a way that augments its value, while also creating a model that’s sustainable.

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What’s more, while the pandemic has accelerated digital selling and unlocked new opportunities for many consumer goods companies, changing regulations and expectations regarding consumer privacy are complicating matters in a new way. As brands are being forced to make an inevitable shift away from third-party cookies, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done, according to Munchbach, who noted that 79% of marketers are still relying on third-party cookies to power a lot of their audience targeting, personalization, and measurement strategies.

Moving away from third-party cookies is hardly like flipping a light switch, as it can permeate everything from a marketing strategy to a data infrastructure. Somewhat thankfully, she notes, that although the CG industry’s state of readiness may not be where it should be, there has been more progress made on the acceptance of the inevitability of it all.  

As a result, she’s seeing more companies undertake evaluations into the different alternatives that exist, as well as evaluating the impact of not having access to that data.

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Munchbach also provided a case study into how Heineken has developed its own first-party data strategy, a particularly interesting example given the complications surrounding the alcohol beverage market when it comes to selling direct to consumers.

Watch the full video to learn more about why Heineken decided to develop the strategy, the benefits it’s receiving, and best practices for other consumer goods brands leveraging DTC relationships in order to future-proof their business.