01/12/2020 | 2020, client support, our clients, direct to consumer

Supporting our clients through 2020

2020 has been a year of brands needing to adapt and think outside the box. Our Client Services and Commercial teams have been regularly challenged with new briefs, using our expertise and advice to address promotional marketing as well as more complex logistics challenges.

A key difference we’ve seen this year has been the need to move away from traditional direct to consumer marketing channels such as bricks-and-mortar retail marketing (which includes face-to-face sampling, on pack promotions and funky in-store POS). With the Office for National Statistics latest figures showing online shopping growing by 60% year to date¹, it’s clear that FMCG brands (in particular) need new channels to drive trial and product purchase.

Similarly, cosmetics and beauty brands that would have traditionally used the majority of their marketing budget on TV advertising and in-store sales staff now need to find new routes to market, so are tapping into new direct-to-consumer (D2C) opportunities presented by publishers with their subscription databases.  Perhaps we no longer need to run the gauntlet of the immaculately made up cosmetics sales woman on the perfume counter and feel drab by comparison!

One great example in this space is Condé Nast’s Glamour Beauty Club; requiring an individual to answer a detailed profile on their buying habits, personal care routine and skin / hair profile. Brands can choose to sample to an identified target customer, who must opt in to receive the free sample – and in return they are asked to complete a short feedback questionnaire. With a recent Euromonitor report quoting 35% of consumers citing free samples as a top 5 influencer reason for buying beauty products2, this is a D2C sampling route that needs to be taken seriously.

Direct to Consumer selling presents great opportunities for a two way conversation with your customer compared to traditional advertising. Why not ask for feedback on a new product, incentivise repeat purchase with a coupon or create a loyalty campaign with a digital microsite to gather consumer data?

Out of the challenges of 2020, we’re seeing great new campaigns evolve that will have longevity and are innovative in their approach.

The electronics and home appliances sector has also faced its own challenges this year; as product purchases have been driven more online, so too has the requirement increased for verified independent product reviews. This has resulted in a huge increase in home product testing - and the associated complex logistics of getting large home appliances into the hands of consumers.

Throughout 2020 MRM has been working with a major electronics brand on the fulfilment and co-ordination of logistics for home appliances to be delivered to consumers to conduct product testing reviews. From co-ordinating a delivery to an apartment without lift access, through to end-to-end customer journey support, route planning across the UK to achieve cost efficiencies and even co-ordinating loan agreement validations, this route to market is complex but incredibly cost effective and with measurable ROI.

More than anything, this year has highlighted the importance of having a robust ecommerce presence. For MRM this has covered everything from charity merchandise to hobby kits, specialist tea and drop shipping order data to external warehouses – it