How a marketing production partner can help direct-to-consumer brands accelerate growth


Jan 15 2020

By Ajit Kara, CEO Tag Americas

As Tag’s CEO for the Americas, I have the privilege of working alongside marketing leaders at established global brands and direct-to-consumer companies, to support their customer experience and growth strategies. While each company differs in size, budget, and maturity, what’s most interesting is the way the different companies approach growth and how they scale for success.

With digital first as the go-to strategy for consumer engagement, I am beginning to see the direct-to-consumer marketing playbook influence highly established brands. Larger household names in CPG and retail are turning to less tenured D2C companies for insights on how to build more agile, data-driven marketing functions in an attempt to put digital first and rid themselves of siloed, sluggish processes. On the flip side, D2C companies are turning to established brands for insight on how to quickly and effectively expand their footprint to reach more customers in more markets, without losing control of their brand.

This leads to one of the biggest challenges facing D2C: the reluctance to engage external resources. I know from our work with large retail and CPG brands that even the most highly resourced internal marketing team may not have the expertise to reach local, regional and global markets at scale. For D2C, the same holds true. When these brands reach the pivotal point of accelerated growth and expansion, they must be willing to loosen the marketing reigns and follow the lead of their big brand counterparts by engaging a marketing partner to help them scale for success.

Creative production, translation, transcreation and sourcing are key functions of a marketing production partner and play a critical role in successfully reaching and establishing new markets. In looking for the right partner to scale for success, I recommend D2C companies review three areas of focus:

Process – Consider which markets you are planning to enter in the next two to three years. Are there different languages? Different dialects of those languages? Cultural nuances that only a ‘person on the ground’ would know? Adapting content and messaging for different markets is not as simple as verbatim translation. The same word or color in one country, may mean something entirely different in another. Integrating a marketing production partner with expertise in creative production and localization can mean the difference between a successful market launch, and epic failure from which you may never return.

People – Many marketing teams begin centrally located within the company’s hub. The beauty of this resource is the ability to brainstorm, adapt, shift, deliver with speed and on-brand. However, not all locations have access to the best specialized talent and as these companies expand, there is a need for more advanced creative and production expertise. Find a marketing production partner that can build an extension of your team onsite but allows you to leverage their extensive offsite resources. This means access to highly specialized creative talent across the globe and within budget.

Delivery – Sourcing packaging and print materials in local markets can mean significant cost savings. The potential downside is that not all suppliers operate to the ethical, sustainable and brand-compliant standards you expect. Working with a global sourcing partner means you can take advantage of potential cost savings, without sacrificing speed-to-market and compromising your brand.

What most excites me about direct-to-consumer brands is Tag’s ability to come in on the ground floor, to leverage our resources, to work side-by-side with internal teams and to help marketers show immediate ROI. I’ve found that the best partnerships happen when we truly get to know our clients. We build a team and a delivery model that not only supports expansion goals but shares company culture, values and a familiar way of working.

Read here to see how we helped a direct-to-consumer wellness brand create multichannel assets at scale to reach a global expansion goal of 21 markets in 12 months.

Schedule a call today to find out how Tag can support your brand’s creative production and sourcing needs.

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