How Do Direct-to-Consumer Marketers Track Customers After Privacy Changes?

Direct-to-consumer startups that once primarily advertise on Facebook and Instagram continue to adapt strategies to reach consumers on and off social media, more than a year after a privacy policy change by Apple. Inch.

disrupted the digital advertising landscape.

Some direct-to-consumer brands say research shows that Facebook and Instagram marketing are powerful ways to promote themselves, while other DTC brands say Apple’s policy change is leading them to consider new ways to acquire customers.

DTC brands like Casper Sleep and Warby Parker have challenged established brands in the bedding and eyewear categories, respectively, for years, aided by the ability of social media platforms to show their ads to exactly the right potential customers. But Apple’s policy change has undermined such targeted advertising and the measurement of its results.

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The new policy has driven many young DTCs to seek advertising options, as larger competitors lack name recognition, alternative sales channels, and diversified marketing plans.

Cody Plofker, chief of cosmetics brand DTC, said in January that Jones Road Beauty has cut its ad spend on Facebook and Instagram by 25% in response to Apple’s move and due to the promising engagement results of its marketing efforts at TikTok. marketing officer.

An ad on Facebook promotes pet telemedicine company Dutch Pet Inc., which is considering expanding its media mix.


Photograph:

Dutch Pet Inc.

Founded in 2020 and officially named JustSteven LLC, Jones Road Beauty is shifting its spending from Facebook and Instagram ads to TikTok ads, while trying to reach consumers with more self-produced content for its website and publish it on social media, including social media. On Instagram and TikTok.

Dutch Pet Inc., the telemedicine company for pets founded in 2021, is looking for ways to market itself beyond the current Google, Meta and affiliate marketing and is considering influencer marketing and direct mail.

Dutch Pet CMO Matt Gehring said that in the wake of Apple’s policy change, startup managers need to adjust their marketing strategies to help their companies meet their revenue goals. “It will take longer to get there and you will have to risk more dollars for inefficiencies,” said Mr Gehring, who leads growth marketing efforts at DTC companies, including clothing brand Everlane.

At the same time, new strategies pushed by Apple’s policy change could help startups reach wider audiences, he added.

“There’s a place for your brand with people who, say, three years ago, hadn’t seen your product because of how hyper-targeted you were,” said Mr. Gehring.

Taylor Offer, CEO of Feat Socks Inc., a DTC athleisure brand he founded in 2015, agrees: “It seems we’ve forgotten that every other marketing channel exists in the last five years.”

“Now it’s back to all other opportunities,” he said. “You may not get the same-day attribution you get on Facebook and Instagram, but over time it builds up the brand.”

The feat has cut its advertising budget by 20% on Facebook and Instagram, and is posting more content on social networks like LinkedIn and TikTok, working with smaller-scale influencers and seeking distribution by retailers for the first time.

Some of Feat’s tactics, such as more engaging with consumers on social media via direct messages, are almost the opposite of targeting large-scale consumers that the company has implemented.

“This is a community-driven approach and community-first and downstream marketing,” Mr. Offer said. “It does things that don’t scale. Responds to every customer in DMs and makes an impression that way.”

Mr Offer said Feat’s cost of acquiring a new customer rose from $50 to $100 before Apple’s privacy policy change.

Despite the policy change, Meta remains a dominant player in the online advertising market, with total revenues of $27.9 billion in the first quarter of this year, up 6.6% year-on-year. But that was the slowest revenue growth since the company went public ten years ago.

Meta responded in part to Apple’s new policy by measuring ad campaign results with aggregated data for businesses, while encouraging users to engage with companies on their platform.

“We have continued to adapt our systems to help businesses succeed while respecting privacy and shared detailed steps they can take to maximize performance and measurement,” a Meta spokesperson said. “We believe Facebook and Instagram continue to be the best platforms for businesses to grow and connect with people.”

Portable blender company BlendJet Inc. said it has not changed the way it advertises on Facebook due to Apple’s privacy policy because it uses external metrics and research to evaluate and improve its marketing strategy. But BlendJet CEO Ryan Pamplin said that Apple’s policy change is hurting Facebook’s ability to display sales resulting from ads.

Despite this, Facebook is still an important way for BlendJet to reach potential customers. According to the company, 30 days before Apple’s privacy changes, BlendJet recorded 60% of its sales on Facebook and Instagram; the rate was 57% within 30 days of the change and 56% in the first quarter of this year.

“It’s not that Facebook is still not selling in large volumes, it is,” said Mr. Pamplin. “What has happened is that the amount they can get on-platform credits has decreased.”

summer Ann-Marie Alcántara at [email protected]

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