On March 10, 2021, the purchase of an additional 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses was announced, signaling a post-pandemic world was near. That same day, Harley Finkelstein, the president of a leading e-commerce platform, tweeted, “In the post-pandemic world, all brands will be DTC.”
It wasn’t the first time a marketer would prophesize direct-to-consumer’s future. Industry insiders have hedged their bets since Warby Parker’s debut in 2010. But this time, the prediction was based on the simple truth that shopping behavior has permanently changed.
Before 2020, DTC brands marketed themselves as modern alternatives to traditional retail outlets, but today’s e-commerce patterns tell a different story. Online shopping has become a necessity, and brands either adapt or disappear.
To industry insiders, the behavioral shift has felt less like an emergency response than an acceleration of DTC’s final destination. And performance marketer, Adam Wellington, has crafted his career around this belief. After amassing over $150 million in sales for his Inc. 500 digital marketing business, his confidence in DTC grew stronger with each success. But his optimism was powered by more than good instincts. It was powered by data.
Wellington explains, “A brand’s long-term success is not achieved by attention, but by performance customer acquisition fueled by audience targeting, analytics and most importantly DATA. When Covid hit, many companies just woke up to this fact. Now, they’re rushing to avoid finding themselves in the same position that legacy automakers once did. They’re fighting to catch up to something they could have prepared for sooner.”
Wellington’s observation inspired his new brand accelerator, Neon Flux, to help e-commerce companies avoid falling behind before they start. With data at the center of its operations, Neon Flux builds brands around the proven principle that DTC is more than just a marketing channel.
As more vaccines roll out, people will fantasize about what post-pandemic life will look like. And without a crystal ball, their predictions will stop short at speculation. But marketers like Wellington and Finkelstein have something more even more predictive than what a fortune teller could provide. They have data. And the data says DTC is the future. Are you ready?