LIMRA recently published a white paper on direct-to-consumer (D2C) distribution. D2C strategies are becoming more popular across all industries as consumer demand for digital engagement and immediate results grows. Financial services organizations are now looking to new outlets for profitable growth as other forms of distribution become more expensive or less effective. D2C is one way to reach a large set of consumers who have a need and desire for the industry’s products but for whom existing distribution methods have not succeeded in the past. While this is a relatively new area for the financial services market, other businesses have been providing this capability to their consumers and have set the standard newcomers will be measured against.
What is “direct-to-consumer”?
D2C is a more than just direct response marketing. D2C is a modern version of how organizations engage with their consumers directly. While all D2C is non-face-to-face, not all non-face-to-face distribution is considered D2C. D2C status is not determined by marketing and fulfillment methods alone. It is only D2C when no outside party will gain financially from the success of the program.
Components to building D2C strategies
In order to implement and launch a successful D2C program, a company would have to develop go-to-market strategies that:
- Identify a market need,
- Define the specific markets that have that need,
- Find the most effective way to reach and engage those markets, and
- Determine what their competitive advantage will be including the actual product and/or service offered.
Once it’s been decided to move forward with the D2C marketing strategy, be careful it does not create conflict with the direct sales force. The D2C program should be a part of the multichannel strategy, not in competition with them. Another potential risk is spreading the marketing mindshare too thin across multiple channels/methods.
For more information on engaging consumers on a D2C platform, LIMRA members are invited to read the white paper, Direct-to-Consumer in Perspective: A Contemporary View of Engaging Consumers on a D2C Basis.