Archive for Direct response

Why does so much D2C advertising drive consumers to Amazon?

BANGKOK,THAILAND – ARP 18, 2020 :A woman using laptop showing Amazon logo and credit card shopping online., Inc. American international electronic commerce company.

When a DTC marketer spends money on TV, audio, social or any other channel, why does Amazon receive a huge piece of that pie? 

The answer is simple. 60% of consumers start their product research on Amazon. A large portion of consumers search various channels in search of the right product, and many eventually turn to Amazon due to its reliability. It is important to build a trustworthy relationship with your consumers, which is something Amazon has been successful at. Many brands also turn to Amazon advertising, although not happy about giving away a larger share of their profits.

If a consumer sees an ad anywhere, they are more likely to check Amazon before checking your website or calling your phone number. Whether we like it or not, that is what the consumer feels most comfortable with.  Thus, many brands are actually driving directly to Amazon.  And when brands do that, Amazon rewards them with discounted fees and retargeting.  

As digital advertising continues to increase, regardless of where the ads are viewed, consumer preferences become more understood. As customers are getting more selective with their purchases, marketing products on a platform like Amazon that almost guarantees recognition, loyalty, and sales not only seems like the right idea but a necessity.  As marketers, we must understand that regardless of what we want, we must be where the consumers are.

No matter where you advertise, Amazon has remained consistent as a tool to provide a substantial lift for advertisers and brands. They continued to provide new opportunities and sales for smaller brands and businesses and can be a  successful partner. If you can’t beat them, join them.

Is TikTok setting alarms off at Facebook?

Is TikTok setting alarms off at Facebook?

In 2012 94% of teens had a Facebook account. Now ten years later only 27% of the teenage
demographic say they are on the platform. Where have they gone and will Meta owners of
Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp be able to evolve the platforms to stay relevant and
survive? How will this affect digital advertising for direct to consumer (DTC) brands?
Even though Facebook is the largest social media platform with 2.9 billion monthly users, they
have faced tough competition from TikTok. TikTok’s user base continues to grow as does the
time spent on their platform, and they have seen increased ad revenues. TikTok also dominates
the audience once owned by Facebook.
TikTok’s 1 billion monthly users they spend 90+ minutes a day on the platform. Facebook and
Instagram demographics skew considerably older and use the platform about 29 minutes a day.
And best of all, 46% of TikTok users report that they have made a purchasing decision based
on reviewing something on the platform.
In the past when Facebook found that people were spending more time on other social
platforms, they purchased their competition: i Instagram, which it bought for $1 billion in 2012
and WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014.

Today, instead of purchasing their most dangerous threats, Facebook has decided to be more
like them. Two years ago, to compete with TikTok, Facebook released its own TikTok-like short
form video known as Reels. Reels can be seen on both Facebook and Instagram. However,
people have reported that many Reels are just reposted TikTok videos. Recently Facebook
added a new viewing feed with a “TikTok-like feel” that displays content from people who aren’t
your friends. This “Feeds” feature uses algorithm-curated content and accounts for a fifth of the
content viewed. Even with the views, it doesn’t appear that Reels has done what Facebook had
hoped: having users create and share more content on their platform.
What does this mean for advertisers? The social media advertising landscape is shifting, and
DTC brands need to adapt to meet their customers where they are on each platform. For DTC
brands this means the power of TikTok can not be underestimated, especially for reaching the
Gen Z and millennial demographics.
Even with competition from TikTik and others Facebook is still bulldozing along. Despite
ongoing controversies and emerging competition, Facebook still remains the largest social
platform among consumers and marketers. But let’s face it, their user base is aging and their
CPMs rising. People of all ages now gravitate to video-sharing platforms like TikTok and brands
will need to invest in TikTok advertising to meet them where they are. It is unlikely that
Facebook can maintain its total dominance over social networking forever.



With $2.5 trillion in buying power, the Hispanic market isn’t just an opportunity, it’s a necessity for direct to consumer (DTC) marketers.  According to the 2020 Census, Hispanics make up nearly 20% of the U.S. population, and accounted for 51% of all new population growth. Additionally, Spanish is the second most common language spoken after English in the U.S., with over 41 million people speaking the language. This market is huge,  but according to the Hispanic Marketing council only 6% of the marketing industry’s investment is spent on the Hispanic community.  That leaves a large, untapped market for advertisers to connect and engage with. 

In the past, advertisers would often simply “transcreate” their English ads into Spanish. However, over the years advertisers have learned that this can appear disingenuous and may actually offend the target market.  

Today, although under invested in advertising, this market has evolved.  In recent years advertisers have found success with these tactics. 

  1. Bilingual content: Marketers have Integrated Spanish into their primarily-English Hispanic advertising campaigns, by using Spanish words, phrases, and quotes that appeal to a bilingual audience. 
  2. Culture: Even more important than the language is culture. According to Refuel’s Hispanic Explorer Series™ 2021, Hispanic audiences respond more to ads that reflect their culture, therefore it is important that the audience can see  themselves reflected in advertisements. It is important to ensure that their messages come across as authentic and avoid stereotypes and cliches. 
  3. Spanish at all touch points: Instead of just a Spanish language DRTV ad, social media ad, email, or video ad, advertisers have created landing pages in Spanish, so that Hispanic consumers have a consistent experience across channels when they interact with the brand.
  4. Social media: Social media is a powerful way to reach the Hispanic audience.  Studies indicate that Hispanic consumers are 30% more likely to use any social media than the general population. Tiktok specifically over indexes for Hispanics with 1 in every 5 regular users being a Spanish speaker.
  5. Influencers: More advertisers are using Spanish speaking influencers on social media who can help promote products and services to their audiences to help conversions and sales.

So in these recessionary times of shrinking budgets, perhaps more consideration can be given to the Hispanic consumers, a neglected yet loyal demographic.

When is the time for DRTV Marketers to Embrace CTV?

When is the time for DRTV Marketers to Embrace CTV?

Despite the years of headlines screaming about the demise of television, TV is not dead, yet.
Instead how and where TV is watched has evolved with the rise of connected TV (CTV), which
can help breathe new life into TV and empower viewers to take advantage of offers from DRTV
marketers at home or on the go.
With this new breath of life comes a highly effective means of directly engaging existing and
potential customers for direct-to-consumer brands (DTC). However, at this time, it comes at a
high price. And is not always immediately accountable the way terrestrial TV has been.
Connected TV advertising was among the fastest growing for any significant sector of the US
digital ad spending market with advertisers spending over $13 billion on CTV ads in 2021, a
nearly 50% increase from the previous year according to Conviva’s research. It is expected to
grow to $19 billion in 2022. But, were most of those ads for brand advertisers just looking for
reach and frequency?
Because of shorter formats on CTV and the higher cost, many direct response TV (DRTV)
marketers overlook CTV advertising as a viable advertising medium. These marketers may be
missing a significant opportunity to run ads that are highly targeted, unskippable, trackable, and
brand-safe. The CTV spend in combination with terrestrial television can deliver a one-two
punch in ways either can not do alone. It just may require experimentation and ability to look at
the complete picture rather than individual silos.

So why should DRTV marketers embrace CTV advertising?
1) Advertising Reach: 87% of US homes have at least one connected TV, including a
smart TV, phone, video game system or standalone streaming device, such as Apple TV
or an Amazon fire stick and at least 40% of them watch content daily.
2) Measure success with real-time reporting:, CTV advertising provides real-time
metrics such as impressions, completed view rate and reach enabling advertisers to
adjust campaigns in real-time.
3) Higher completion rates: Unlike traditional TV where viewers can change the channel
to avoid a commercial, CTV ads are unskippable, meaning the viewer needs to watch
the entire ad in order to continue viewing their show.
4) More precise targeting at a lower cost: Programmatic advertising uses automated
bids software to buy and sell ad inventory in real-time, instead of traditional manual
negotiations. This allows advertisers to spend their ad budgets more efficiently based on
data and insights specific to their brand resulting in delivering the right ad to the right
audience at the right time.
With the explosion of CTV it is inevitable that DRTV marketers will need to shift some of their
advertising to CTV advertising as consumers shift their focus to on-demand programs. So it is
not a question of it, but more a question of when.

How DTC brands can benefit from in-game video advertising

How DTC brands can benefit from in-game video advertising

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands and DRTV and Infomercial advertisers need to be looking for new mediums to promote their products and services, especially as TV continues a decline.  In recent years, many DTC brands have diversified their video advertising efforts to include social ads, but as social media ad costs rise is there another medium that DTC advertisers could benefit from?

The global in-game advertising market is on track to grow by $3.54 billion by 2025 and it is a medium that DTC brands should explore.  At first glance, advertisers might assume that the demographics of gamers are mostly teen males who do not fit their target market. However,  mobile gamers actually skew more female. Overall the mobile game market is 60% female and 40% male. In terms of age demographic more than 20% of mobile gamers are over 50 and 39% are between 21 and 35. This provides an enormous potential for DTC brands.

There are a few types of video ads that can DTC marketers can take advantage of within mobile games:

Interstitial Ads

Interstitial video ads are full-screen ads that typically appear in-between game level and allow players to skip the ad after about five seconds depending on the game.  Since these ads don’t interrupt the player’s gaming experience, they typically generate high impressions and conversions.

Reward-based ads

Reward-based video ads follow a “prompt, opt-in, reward” structure in which players choose to play the ad in order to receive a reward.  After watching the ad the player is rewarded with another life or some form of in-game currency to help them continue playing the game. Most gamers prefer this ad format and find it the least disruptive.

Both player and advertiser benefit from reward-based ads. The player is rewarded and the advertiser only pays for the ad if the player watches the entire ad. Additionally, since the ads are generally watched to the end in order to receive the reward DTC brand advertisers have increased brand awareness and recall. Reward based ads receive higher user engagement than interstitial ad formats, resulting in a higher return on ad spent.

Ads can be purchased on a CPA, CPM or CPC basis and the costs rival more expensive platforms like Facebook.

Although not top of mind for DTC marketers, in-game video advertising is definitely a channel that should be considered because it holds enormous potential to reach their target market affordably, increase brand reach, and get conversions.

DTC and Social Media: Snap back or flame out?

DTC and Social Media: Snap back or flame out?

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) and performance marketers have been steadily shifting budgets away from Direct Response Television (DRTV) to social media such as Facebook, Tiktok, and Snapchat to create awareness and grow their customer base. These platforms have been effective for DTC brands because of their consumer scale and focused reach via targeting and measurement.  However, just like the DRTV landscape shifts, so does the social media landscape causing DTC companies to diversify among them. 

Social media giants Facebook and Tiktok continue to lead the digital advertising world while others like Instagram and Snapchat have fallen behind.  

Facebook (Meta) the largest platform has proven successful through several rebranding efforts, including the recent “Meta” shift, however, they have faced backlash from DTC companies on the rising cost of their ad prices.  The rising cost of Facebook advertising has opened the door for TikTok.  The platform has paved the way for many DTC brands with its massive reach and engagement. They continue to stay on top of innovation and attract advertising dollars. In fact, TikTok is on track to surpass the advertising revenue of  Twitter and Snapchat combined this year.  Move over…. Facebook!

Snapchat, despite its initial success, has similar audiences, and better retargeting abilities than Tiktok has fallen behind. This year, Snapchat’s CEO warned employees that the company would underperform in targets for revenue and adjusted earnings in this current quarter. So why is Snapchat failing while other companies succeed?

Aside from recent macroeconomic issues plaguing the industry, Snapchat’s primary focus through the years has been on changes to the interface and making the app more user-friendly. These changes reverberated negatively and prompted outrage at the app’s creators as well. Snapchat has also failed to attract older users. 

Video content has maintained its position as the top-performing ad content of late, and yet Snapchat continues to be unappealing to advertisers.  We will see what the future has in store for Snapchat and other social media platforms, but it’s easy to see how fast-paced and ever-changing the digital advertising landscape can be.

DTC and performance marketers need to be ahead of the curve on these trends to reach out to consumers at the right time on the right platform with the right offer and the right content.

How are DTC brands harnessing data and personalization?

How are DTC brands harnessing data and personalization?

Personalization is a highly discussed topic within digital advertising as it continues to evolve and become more widely utilized. It can involve various efforts of individualization but has become quite controversial in recent years due to the amount of user data it requires. Personalization can help Direct to Consumer (DTC) advertising efforts immensely; however, media and advertising big leagues Google and Apple have some pretty contrasting things to say about it, especially regarding privacy.

Google has been adamant that its usage of user data for personalized advertising and marketing efforts is here to stay. They’ve implemented new programs for users to have complete control of the ads they see through a “My Ad Center” program. They believe being transparent with consumers to the point of selection and determining what they see will pay off and deliver better results. Although using user data is helpful for DTC brands looking to yield ROI, personalization can be about establishing a strong consumer relationship with the brand instead of just focusing on which ads people want to see.

Tech giant Apple takes a different approach. They insist that users don’t want companies tracking them. They also claim users who are not tracked are targeted just as effectively conversion-wise. A recent study by Apple saw a 62.1% conversion rate for users who opted into personalized ads and a 62.5% conversion rate among consumers who have tailored ads blocked. They are even pushing developers to target users with personalized ads turned off, as they have a higher conversion rate. 

Personalization helps DTC brands build closer connections with customers by better curating their products and messaging to a customer’s needs. This is especially imperative for DTC brands as opposed to standard CPG brands. But in regards to achieving success within your advertising campaigns, utilizing simple yet accurate data about your target market can help you stand out from the crowd and make your product the clear choice in a digital-first environment. 

A Merkle report found that from 2020 to 2021, consumers became more comfortable, not less, sharing data with brands in exchange for a more personalized experience. But not all data is regarded the same; most consumers are willing to part with information such as gender and age, but internet users overwhelmingly prefer to hold onto some other data, including browsing behavior. DTC brands need simple yet accurate data to ensure everyone within their targeted audience receives relevant messaging, even if their ad personalization is off. 

DTC Marketers: Don’t Ignore TikTok ROI

DTC Marketers: Don’t Ignore TikTok ROI

Hand holding iphone with TikTok opened

Tiktok has been named the fastest-growing social media platform of all time, by Forbes. And no, it’s not just for teens. The app has over 1 billion users of all ages across the globe, making it the most explosive social media app to use and advertise on. 

In fact, according to Backlinko, 31.3 % of TikTok users are over 40.


Tiktok works using a personalized algorithm, which updates as you view, like, and save content. The app learns your preferences and feeds them directly into your “For You” or home page.

Like Instagram and Facebook, paid content is placed within your feed based on its relevance to you and how the advertisers refine their audience.

TikTok trends can be followed, allowing the potential for advertisers to connect with this massive potential audience in a way that feels authentic to users. Smart use of creative as well as hashtags allow for targeting both behavioral and geographic.

The difference between paid and organic content can be difficult to determine, which is especially great for advertisers. And with less competition than Facebook, clicks can cost up to a third of what they are on other platforms.

This makes TikTok an excellent vehicle for DTC advertisers. Because of Tiktok’s massive reach, ads utilizing lead generation for high ticket items or services allows clients marketing those products or services huge ROI. 

Avalanche CEO Ava Seavey says, “The huge return on TikTok advertising for our clients (one is seeing a 30 to 1 return) are stats I have not seen since 1980’s infomercials. It is the most exciting platform for DTC ROI I’ve seen.”

Here are some helpful tips to consider before utilizing TikTok to advertise:

Don’t only make ads. Make TikToks – This is crucial. If you’re going to make the leap into TikTok, you must be ready to produce content that feels native to the platform. Don’t just use existing content from Facebook and Instagram Stories. Slideshows, static images, and slick content are automatically detected as advertising and decrease viewer interest.

Song/sound selection – The use of songs and sounds matters more on TikTok than on any other platform. Another great benefit as opposed to Facebook/Instagram where most users view with the sound off. TikTok users watch with sound.


Regarding influencer culture on the app, TikTok has an engagement rate of 5.30% on accounts with over 100,000 followers, compared to 1.10% for Instagram and 0.30% for Twitter. It has quickly become one of the main avenues for influencers and micro-influencers to recommend products through testimonial-style videos, Amazon Marketplace affiliate link programs, as well as trendy, creative, or niche videos of any kind.


The app’s fast-paced nature keeps its users engaged for relatively long periods. With an average session length of 10.85 minutes, it has become the most engaging social media app out today. (Source:

For DTC marketers who may be experiencing declining ROI on Facebook, TV, radio, Amazon or other avenues, TikTok can bring you immediate sales and leads and if you get out there before your competition does, you will have even better results.

Advertising on TikTok

Advertising on TikTok

TikTok has become one of the biggest social media platforms in recent years, with no sign of its popularity declining anytime soon. Using different social media platforms to advertise is an effective way of adapting to modern culture, since people today consume so many different media types. It is essential to understand the specific platform you’re using in order to create the most effective ad campaign. TikTok is unique to other platforms, so advertising on the app requires special attention to the way that it’s used.

Understanding the Platform’s Structure

Ads will need to be short videos (15-60 seconds), including engaging audio elements. The app thrives off trending hashtags, sounds, and challenges. It is less formal than other platforms like Instagram, so users are used to seeing relatively unpolished content. Creating too polished and ‘fake’ ads that do not convey authenticity will likely not be well received.

Consider Using Popular Users on TikTok to Promote Products/ Services 

Some people have found fame on TikTok and cultivated a large following on the platform. There are popular creators in many different genres, from vegan cooking to special effects makeup. It would be helpful to either feature these people or create content referencing them because TikTok users recognize these people as being influential on TikTok specifically. 

Consider Using Trends and Sounds that are Specific to TikTok 

In addition to creators, there are specific trends and audios (called sounds) that are distinctly popular on TikTok and not on other platforms. It would be helpful to tap into these trends/ challenges/ popular audios to catch the audience’s attention and create something similar to the content they are already seeing and enjoying.