With consumers spending nearly two and a half hours each day browsing Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, brands are compelled to have a social media presence and use these channels for generating leads, promoting content, and even delivering customer service. At face value, it’s an investment well-worth the effort: 43% of consumers say they research products online via social networks and 27% discover brands and products via ads on social for discovery. It’s an added, and significant, bonus that brands can reach the right customers on social media for much lower costs, compared to traditional advertising, like broadcast TV or magazines.
However, there is a downside to reaching your audiences through third-party applications: Your brand is at the whim of the companies who serve as the middleman between you and your customers.
You don’t own your audiences; you rent them.
The trend is pointing toward increasingly restricted access to customers, which makes it more important to refocus on channels like your website, blog, email, SMS, and direct mail where you can own your audiences.
Today’s marketing landscape is in support of this argument too. Ecommerce is on the rise, and not just because most consumers spent the best part of 2020 isolated at home. Over the past two decades, ecommerce has steadily grown in size and reach, making up 10.5% of total retail sales in Q3 of 2019. (While that number might strike you as low, note that total retail sales include categories like grocery stores, motor vehicle and parts dealers, and gas stations where the role of ecommerce is minimal.) According to Statista, revenue in the ecommerce market is projected to reach $389,620 million in 2020.
In the meantime, the cost of digital acquisition is skyrocketing because D2C companies are saturating the market with advertising. Depending on their industry, brands may have to spend anywhere from 5 to 25 times more on acquisition than retention. Spending so much on acquisition, you want to own your funnel and all the customer data within, which is not entirely possible when you’re renting advertising space to reach your audience.
In light of these two factors together, where the rise of ecommerce is an opportunity and the rising cost of acquisition costs is a challenge, your brand can’t afford to be at the mercy of third-party apps that change the rules of engagement with customers…and rarely in favor of brands.
Lastly, you can’t forget about changing customer behavior that keeps brands shifting and optimizing their strategies. This makes having control over your audiences necessary. Owning your email list, for instance, allows you to determine the timing and content of your campaigns. Or, take web modals that collect customer information and encourage purchases on-site. All the data you gather on your visitors who submitted a form on your web modal is readily available to you: Your audience is not gated and their identity is not masked by third-party IDs. Without a third-party app in the middle, you can adjust to ever-changing customer behaviors faster and without friction, while also eliminating the costs of accessing audiences you don’t own.
- GlobalWebIndex: GlobalWebIndex’s flagship report on the latest trends in social media
- Statista: The Rise of E-Commerce in the United States
- Statista: eCommerce
- Marketing Land: D2C brands are driving up customer acquisition costs – and it’s time to course-correct