D2C brands are driving up customer acquisition costs – and it’s time to course-correct

A panoramic Casper ad draws curious eyes in the subway car. Free product samples and a sponsored insert find their way into a glossy bag at checkout. And there’s a 3D Heineken wallscape stretched across a block of bars around the corner.

It’s a delicate balancing act for brands teetering between the worlds of traditional and digital advertising – one which leaves much to be desired when it comes to quantifying impact. Why invest in expensive out-of-home inventory when you could launch a display campaign for much less? Why mail a product catalog when you can send a targeted email? Why are so many digitally-native brands moving offline with their marketing?

For those digital brands with direct-to-consumer (D2C) sales models, online marketing is the lifeblood of growth. From targeted social to paid search, digital campaigns have proven an efficient and measurable way to build direct relationships with customers.

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