Starter Children, Fur Babies, and a DTC Success Story

If your fur baby could help lead you to a $250 million DTC subscription service, wouldn’t you want to be set for success?

Millennials are delaying child-rearing. Millennials love dogs. Millennials are receptive to DTC subscription services and advertising.

What do these three things have in common?

They’re a recipe for a $250 million business.

Barking up the money tree

It’s hardly surprising that younger people are delaying home-purchasing, parenting and other traditional milestones. Student loan debt is at historic levels and wage growth has been flat.

While you can’t eliminate the paternal/maternal impulse, you can reroute it. Priced out of parenthood, millennials are turning their thwarted parental impulses toward pets. 

Call them starter children, fur babies, or absurdly over-indulged animals, the numbers don’t lie: 44% of millennials see their pets as proxy children.

Brands in the flourishing pet care space have been quick to capitalize on this sentiment. Yet none are quite so well-positioned as DTC brands, who are firmly in the millennial sweet spot. They offer boutique, cleverly marketed products to a narrow yet hardcore audience; they deliver to your door and they are price competitive.

That’s more or less the millennial trifecta, and one of the brands that have been most successful at deploying this strategy is BarkBox. 

BarkBox is a DTC subscription service that delivers a box of dog treats to your door. Not revolutionary, sure. Yet the idea plays beautifully on several consumer preferences.

  • You don’t have to leave the house and visit a pet store full of poorly-differentiated toys and treats
  • You don’t have to spend time choosing what to buy
  • Your dog treats arrive in a box, curated for your pet’s enjoyment
  • The contents of each box are a mystery, making the process a bit like opening a gift
  • BarkBoxes are sold direct-to-consumer, with the parent company (Bark) largely relying on Facebook for marketing during its early growth phase

That’s a winning formula, and not just for pets. Another popular DTC subscription service, Universal Yums, curates boxes of candy and snacks from across the globe and sends a new box from a different country to subscribers each month. 

BarkBox, which handles its creative in-house, recently tested its first direct response TV ad, then measured the number of new subscriptions gained in the immediate wake of the ad. It’s a strategy that many DTC businesses are following, as they try to do more with less outside the confines of the traditional large agency model.

Direct to consumer marketing strategies have a variety of powerful benefits for brands such as Bark: They allow more control over brand messaging, they reduce costs, and they enhance flexibility.

Partnering with the right DTC marketing agency can help small businesses unlock these benefits and drive real, tangible results.

The takeaway

Small DTC businesses often lack the resources to partner with the largest agencies – yet that doesn’t mean they can’t have access to world-class campaigns. At Bigeye, we understand the DTC subscription service and advertising market on a deep level, and we’re nimble enough to help you create compelling direct to consumer marketing campaigns on demand. 

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Direct to Consumer Marketing: Ignore it at Your Peril

Don’t let your business hit rock bottom before considering a DTC marketing agency who can help you achieve your marketing and advertising goals.

Direct to consumer advertising and marketing is drawing a wealth of buzz — and for good reason. The DTC model is now a priority for enterprises across the spectrum. And a DTC marketing agency is more of a need. 

Legacy retailers are selling and marketing directly to consumers to reduce their footprints and expand their digital strategies. Digitally native brands (Warby Parker, Harry’s, etc.) used the DTC model to disrupt the prevailing retail paradigm and ramp up their businesses with impressive speed.

All of this maneuvering, of course, is supported by DTC-specific advertising and marketing. Some DTC brands handle it internally; others partner with legacy agencies or more specialized boutique firms. Still more employ a combination of these approaches. 

One thing, however, remains constant: Brands that get DTC marketing right – regardless of whom they partner with – are in the strongest possible competitive position.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some smart digital strategies that brands can implement with minimal difficulty.

Offering personalized content

One of the most attractive aspects of DTC is the removal of middlemen. Brands can connect directly with their buyers, with no third party to mediate or filter the experience.

DTC brands can use this proximity to gather valuable first-party data that offers thorough, actionable insights into consumer preferences. Brands can use this data to create personalized content presented in the consumer’s preferred medium.

When it comes to leveraging data and designing content strategies, smaller DTC brands often need assistance – and the easiest way to get help is by partnering with a nimble DTC marketing agency with a full suite of digital offerings.

Developing a mobile app

Speaking of DTC marketing agencies with digital expertise, such agencies are the perfect partner for mobile app development. Small to mid-sized brands may believe that a mobile app is solely the province of big players. While that may have been true years ago, that’s not the case today.

Mobile apps give brands a direct channel to consumers.  They also provide an excellent opportunity to deepen engagement and stay fresh in the minds of consumers.  And while mobile apps are being adopted by smaller brands, they are still uncommon enough to serve as a competitive differentiator.

Using third parties to sell and market

Amazon and other large marketplaces have spawned a massive new opportunity for direct to consumer selling and marketing. By leveraging the vast buyer networks of these third parties, brands can disintermediate retailers and still theoretically reach millions of consumers.

This doesn’t mean, of course, that brands can simply list their products and watch sales accumulate. Third party sites have their criteria for how products are marketed to visitors, and these rules govern how products are shown and to whom they are shown.

Brands can determine which strategies work best for their products by pursuing continuous testing and making occasional adjustments.

The takeaway

With our team of media & analytics experts, Bigeye has the strategic savvy and digital chops to help DTC brands achieve their advertising and marketing goals. If you’re not satisfied with the traction your current campaigns are generating, we urge you to visit our website today.

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How to Effectively Market Your Nutraceutical Product

The nutraceutical market is booming. Here’s what you need to know in order to make your product stand out in the crowd.

With the US population aging and rates of many chronic diseases continuing to soar, consumers are in need of new products that promote health and wellness. Nutraceuticals, with their emphasis on natural health benefits, are one popular option.

Nutraceuticals, which have been positioned as a natural alternative to pharmaceutical treatments of physiological problems, have seen substantial growth in recent years. The global market is worth roughly $241 billion and is projected to reach $373 billion by 2025. 

Nutraceutical marketing, however, can present something of a challenge for people without true domain expertise. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at a few key tips for optimizing your nutraceutical marketing.

Understanding What Motivates Buyers in the Nutraceutical Market

Nutraceutical development is often targeted at physiological conditions that have a nutritional component. Certain diseases have dietary risks that are related to disease progression; other diseases simply do not have a long list of viable medical treatments. Patients that fall within these groups, naturally, are highly motivated to seek impactful medicines or supplements.

Smart nutraceutical marketing is aware of these distinctions, and should make an effort to target and activate consumers and patients who are being poorly served by traditional healthcare approaches. Brands should also be cognizant of buyer preferences within this niche; for example, nutraceutical buyers want green and sustainable product packaging.

Finding Where Nutraceutical Prospects Live Online

Buyers of nutraceuticals blur the line between patients and conventional consumers and this is reflected in their online behavior. When developing a nutraceutical marketing strategy, brands should focus on health and wellness websites, patient support groups and any channel where large numbers of people with medical issues congregate. That said, brands should also focus their marketing efforts on the segment of the nutraceutical audience that is motivated more by wellness, fitness and preventive medicine.

Differentiate Your Offering

The nutraceutical market is highly fragmented, with a few large multinationals at the top and thousands of small players operating in the industry. In order to stand out in this landscape, companies need to differentiate.

The problem is, most companies are selling variations on the same products. This means that branding is a critically important differentiator. The brands that do the best job of developing a valuable brand and building awareness will be in the strongest competitive position.

Leverage the Latest Technological Tools

If your nutraceutical brand isn’t devoting significant resources to cutting-edge digital marketing, you’re putting your organization at a significant disadvantage. Digital outreach, whether it’s via programmatic ads or social media campaigning, is critical. Without it, you can’t properly segment and target your audience and gather important insight into the efficacy of your marketing efforts.

Savvy brands go one step beyond traditional approaches and employ more sophisticated digital tools, including geo-targeting and search-based targeting, then support these efforts with advanced analytics that offer deeper insight into campaign performance. 

Partner with a Third Party When Necessary

Let’s face it: Many nutraceutical brands don’t have the in-house expertise to develop the kind of tech-centric campaigns that move the needle. In cases such as these, it makes sense to work with an outside marketing agency.

Choosing the right agency is imperative, however, as few have true nutraceutical domain expertise. Without that key element, you simply can’t create informed and authoritative advertising and marketing content. If you choose to opt for an external agency, make sure that your partner has experience with the nutraceutical niche.

Why Bigeye is the Ideal Partner for Nutraceutical Marketing

At Bigeye, we are domain experts in the realm of nutraceutical advertising and marketing. This allows us to create campaigns that are highly targeted, strategically sound and easily scalable without breaking the bank.

Contact us today for more information about what Bigeye can do for you.

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Taking the Pulse of Health and Wellness Trends

If you’re engaged in health and wellness marketing, you need to stay apprised of the latest trends. Here’s what’s happening in the health space.

Appetite-suppressing lollipops, goat yoga and the desire to replace every food with cauliflower — there’s no question that health and wellness trends are sometimes a bit over the top. Yet this industry also represents serious business, given that it is worth $4.2 trillion and growing at more than 12% annually. Companies in this space need to stay on top of evolving trends to ensure that they derive maximum value from their health and wellness marketing.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what’s happening within the health and wellness space.

The Lowdown on Health and Wellness Trends

Why are people spending more money on their health, diet and general well-being? Technology plays a sizable role. Social media — and the trend toward optimizing each aspect of our lives — has created intense interest in self-improvement, as shown by the following trends:

  1. Growth in the wellness travel space. You’ve probably heard about culinary travel — now meet health and wellness-themed vacations. Instead of lying on a beach and sipping cocktails, more consumers are seeking health-focused holidays. The wellness travel space , which is worth $563 billion annually, encompasses everything from yoga retreats, to spas, healthy cooking holidays and spiritual retreats. Why are such excursions becoming so popular? Instead of gorging themselves on food and drink and returning to work heavy, groggy and out of sorts, consumers instead are using vacation time to pursue physically and mentally refreshing activities — and returning to work glowing, fit and ready to move full steam ahead.

  2. The line between wellness devices and medical devices has become increasingly blurred in recent years. Wearable technology now allows us to use connected consumer devices to collect actionable health data — heart rate, sleep quality and other key biometric feedback data. This data, which was once siloed inside consumer health apps, is now being ported directly to health care providers, allowing them to make more informed treatment decisions even at a distance. This trend has the potential to unlock vast efficiency and cost improvements in the medical sector. If patients begin to feel poorly at home, their physician can review their health data remotely and possibly make an assessment and diagnosis — something that might prevent an unnecessary trip to the ER or doctor’s office. Modern medical device marketing plays a critical role in helping educate the public about this trend and the brands that are driving it.

  3. The democratization of health and wellness. Like many new trends, health and wellness began gaining traction among wealthier demographics. Today, however, Goop subscribers and new age enthusiasts are no longer driving the health and wellness train. The cost of gym memberships has decreased, the App Economy has helped make physical training of all sorts more accessible and put digital health and wellness tools into the hands of almost anyone who needs them. This is a critically important development, as healthcare costs are outpacing economic growth in many countries. The WHO predicts that there will be a shortage of tens of millions of healthcare workers, so ancillary health and wellness services can help mitigate these gaps. Smart health and wellness marketing can also help reach and activate these audiences.

Finding the Right Healthcare Marketing Agency

If you’re seeking help with health and wellness marketing, it’s imperative to connect with the right agency. At BIGEYE, we have the domain expertise to create deeply authoritative campaigns and content — and the technological skill to execute them effectively.

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Marketing Health Wearables for Seniors

As wearable digital health and wellness devices continue to improve, wearables will be the new frontier when it comes to health and wellness for seniors.

Wearable fitness trackers are all the rage, but they aren’t finding their way onto the wrists of elderly people. But, considering their ability to measure and record a whole host of health and wellness criteria, can’t your Fitbit be used as a medical monitor to care for your grandfather?

According to the international industry association Wearable Technologies, even the new Fitbit Care simply doesn’t have the precision or reliability to track the health of a senior living or home care patient. However, that’s all about to change with the introduction of a whole new generation of health wearables for seniors that are approved by the FDA for tasks that range from monitoring daily activities, sending real-time alerts, and even preventing dangerous falls.

The Vast Potential of the Senior Health Wearables Market

Economic predictions for wearable health devices that further health and wellness for seniors are incredibly bright. In fact, a national news outlet that serves an audience of senior citizens, McKnight’s Senior Living recently declared, “FDA-cleared wearables are the future of senior care.”

Considering that the number of Americans over 64 years of age will more than double by 2060 and that 80% of these senior citizens will live with one or more chronic illnesses, McKnight’s predicts that wearables will prove indispensable as the next step in the technological evolution of remote patient monitoring.

Key Wearables Marketing Messages That Speak Directly to Seniors

Considering that the fitness wearable sector of today is clearly dominated by younger consumers, how does a wise wearables marketer begin to reach out to the geriatric demographic? Here are just three key marketing messages that are bound to resonate with seniors when it comes to wearable devices for health.

1. Feel better and live longer with wearables

As the daily business and tech newsletter Trends points out, health wearables for seniors will go far beyond the capabilities of the fitness wearables of today. In addition to “measuring heart rates, blood sugar or other important markers” these new wearables “will signal to users how to improve health and longevity on a daily basis,” going the extra distance to manage and treat chronic illnesses as diabetes and heart disease.

2. Increase and maintain mobility

By encouraging stretching / exercise and helping ward off physical ailments, wearables can do wonders to keep seniors mobile. An independent authority on digital apps and gadgets, Tech Crunch stresses the many ways that wearables can boost mobility by helping seniors cope with vision loss, explaining how these devices can send signals via headphones and bodily vibrations to warn sight-impaired individuals of obstacles that appear in their paths.

3. Live independently

For many seniors, living independently is the ultimate goal. Wearable technology can do wonders to make independent living a safe and sensible reality by allowing seniors to monitor their own health and wellness. And, perhaps more importantly, wearables can transmit this same health and wellness information in real time to family members and / or healthcare professionals.

For More Information

A digital marketing agency working in a number of market sectors, BIGEYE specializes in capitalizing on evolving trends with a forward-thinking approach. Contact us today and let us help you hone a marketing campaign with a specific focus on health wearables for seniors.

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Why Direct to Consumer Brands Need TV Ads

Direct to consumer brands are winning market share from brick and mortar retailers – but they need the power of legacy TV to take the next step.

Direct to consumer (DTC or D2C) companies have taken full advantage of paid social and paid search to bootstrap growth. The dominant digital ad trio of Instagram, Facebook and Google has allowed DTC brands to reach vast audiences on a fairly limited budget.

Yet if DTC brands want to maintain or even exceed their early growth trajectory, they need to look beyond direct to consumer marketing to a legacy channel: Television.

Why DTC + TV is the growth equation for brands

According to data from the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB), TV spending among DTC brands is rising. The Bureau tracked Nielsen research data from 125 DTC brands and found that they spent $3.8 billion, collectively, on TV ads in 2018.

The more interesting statistic, however, is this: 70% of these DTC brands were spending ad money on TV ads for the first time in 2018. Top spenders in the DTC TV ad category include prominent names such as Chewy, Smile Direct Club, Purple and Peloton, all of whom spent more than $100 million in 2018 alone.

Purple, a mattress company, was particularly notable, spending $140 million after spending almost nothing on TV ads in 2017.

In many cases, this was money well spent. Peloton, for example, doubled its sales to $700 million in 2018 after increasing its TV ad spend by 48%.

Overall, DTC brands increased their total spending on TV ads by 60% in 2018. Total ad investment by all brands in the category reached $3.8 billion last year.

What’s behind the increased spending?

There’s a reason why DTC brands are pumping money into TV in unprecedented numbers: They need to scale, and quickly. DTC companies have, in most cases, validated themselves and their model within the market; now they face heightened competition from other DTC brands and traditional retailers who are rolling out their own DTC strategies.

This trend is supported by changing consumer behavior. According to a study from YouGov, 64% of Internet users say that 20% (or more) of their total purchases will occur through DTC brands. Businesses are staking out territory now to capture this revenue.

TV is playing a critical role in this process, as DTC brands seek to leverage its vast reach to drive viewers into the online marketing funnel, as shown by VAB data:

  • Turo, a car sharing startup, increased online video views by 5,100% after increasing its TV ad spend.
  • GrubHub increased its online video views by 1,100% after tripling its TV ad spend.
  • Poshmark saw online search queries increase by 6,900% after increasing its ad spend by 8,400%.
  • Barkbox witnessed a search query gain of 824% after increasing its ad spend by 726%.

Current data also shows that viewers are receptive to this strategy. Research done by Telaria showed that DTC shoppers who are shown both linear and connected TV ads are twice as likely to buy. 

Overall, DTC brands are using TV to exponentially increase exposure and awareness, which results in massive increases in search interest, online engagement and, ultimately, sales.

Another factor influencing DTC growth is cost. While digital advertising is still much less expensive than TV, the cost of advertising on Facebook and other platforms is rising. 

The takeaway

DTC brands have used a digital-first approach to grow and win market share while operating on relatively small budgets. 

That strategy, however, is becoming less relevant as DTC brands mature. In order to reach the vast new pool of consumers outside their digital sphere, it becomes necessary for DTC brands to enter the TV market, where potential buyers can be engaged and guided to online channels. 

At BIGEYE, we’re experts at helping DTC companies reach their full potential through savvy media buying and strategy. We can help you scale and reach new audiences with creatively inspiring new campaigns, smart media buying strategies, and advanced audience analysis and market intelligence.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today to learn what a truly great marketing campaign can do for your brand.

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