If your brand is struggling to reach the right customers, take a closer look at your growth marketing function.
From making the right hires to building out the right tech stack, multiple pieces need to fall into place for your DTC growth marketing team to drive the results your product deserves!
We sat down with founders, experts, and operators at Curie, Everlane, Glamnetic, Storetasker, and Sunday Citizen to learn exactly what they believe it’s going to take to build a top-performing DTC growth marketing machine next year.
We’ll cover five must-have ingredients:
- Building a roster of high performers
- A focus on innovation and experimentation
- Diversifying with the right multi-channel mix
- An influencer / affiliate strategy
- Scaled efficiency in paid social advertising
Let’s dive right in.
1. Attracting & Hiring Top Performers
The best growth marketing campaigns aren’t devised by algorithms. They’re thoughtfully planned and creatively executed by people.
Like any growth function, top-tier marketing has to start from the bottom-up — with the actual team members powering your day-to-day efforts.
Tim Masek, Director of Growth at Storetasker and Founder of 1-800-D2C, has hired so many growth leaders for direct-to-consumer businesses that he’s gotten things down to a science. To ensure you’re hiring the best of the best to populate your growth marketing teams, look out for:
- Love for the company — This is Tim’s #1 requirement. If a head of growth isn’t all-in on the brand’s mission and industry, they won’t put in the extra hours to push the business forward or come up with nontraditional ideas.
- A broad skill set in growth — Any growth marketer should have a strong handle on analytics tracking, acquisitions, conversion rate optimization, and retention.
- A bias toward action & implementation — Especially if you’re hiring a head of growth, they’ll need to be the go-to, reliable executioner and implementer of tactics.
- Leadership qualities — They’ll be in charge of recruiting your next few marketing hires and daily collaboration. Make sure they’re equipped for that across the board.
2. Cultivating an Instinct to Innovate
Growth marketing — like the users we cater to or the platforms they browse — is ever-evolving.
After all, it only took the rollout of iOS 14.5 to upend everything seasoned DTC marketers knew about paid channels overnight.
Therefore, a stand-out growth marketer is constantly experimenting and looking toward that next innovative strategy or SaaS tool. It’s the only way their team will be able to weather a permanently shifting DTC landscape.
- Facebook was essentially the only social ad network for merchants
- Fundamental infrastructure like Stripe was barely in its infancy
- eCom brands couldn’t do a thing without a tech team
Flash forward just a few years, and apps like Instagram began to dramatically shift how users discover products, while the Shopify ecosystem enabled anyone to launch a digital storefront.
In Michael’s words, DTC eCom became a “Wild West.”
Everlane was able to ride the wave accordingly by picking up on SaaS developments as they happened. But what cemented their place in the industry was pioneering the idea of radical transparency in retail — a business ethos that centered ethics, not cutting corners. It’s why we still call Everlane the standard for sustainable retail a decade later.
These days, Michael compares the hyper-competitive DTC growth landscape to a form of warfare between rival brands.
Brand marketers have no choice but to find every opportunity to innovate.
“Honestly, my friends in eCom say it feels like a knife fight every day. You have to come in with your arsenal fully loaded, but you don’t know what tools you’ll have to use that day. The game changes so fast.” - Michael Preysman, Founder & Executive Chair at Everlane