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Marketing Review St. Gallen 6.2021 “Direct-to-Consumer Strategies”

Marketing Review St. Gallen 6.2021 “Direct-to-Consumer Strategies”

Was bei Unternehmen wie Hilti, Nespresso oder aber auch Apple zunächst wie ein Sonderweg aussah, hat sich zu einer zentralen strategischen Option im Rahmen der Vertriebskonzepte von Herstellerunternehmen entwickelt. Gewandelte Kundeninteressen, die Digitalisierung und nicht zuletzt auch die Pandemie der letzten Monate haben dazu beigetragen, dass der direkte Kontakt zum Nutzer immer mehr als Notwendigkeit verstanden wird.

Whereas a few years ago manufacturers in many industries still took an oath of allegiance to their relationships with their intermediaries (including wholesalers, retailers, brokers or even service providers), today it is the order of the day for many suppliers to go the direct route to the customer. In addition to the insights gained from an unfiltered interaction with the customer, direct communication and distribution channels also help to create new and differentiated brand and customer experiences. In many cases, however, the economic calculation is likely to be the main focus. New interactive forms of exchange reduce acquisition and transaction costs so significantly that the return on investment of a direct-to-consumer channel can hardly be dismissed.

In order to leverage these potentials, some prerequisites and new competences in one’s own company are central. The assortment capability of the offer, a resilient IT infrastructure as well as logistical processes are basics that must be in place before the necessary skills can be learned and developed. Generating attractive content, engaging the customer and tailoring offers to specific expectations in direct contact are just some of the skills that need to be established in both physical and digital worlds. At the same time, companies are also challenged to rapidly integrate technological innovations into the customer experience. Learning advantages on their own ground can then specifically enrich and sustainably differentiate the entire customer journey, including contact points with retailers and other partners.

Direct-to-consumer approaches are multifaceted and have to be designed according to the situation. This is shown by the articles in this issue of Marketing Review St. Gallen. We wish you an interesting read, valuable insights and suggestions for your own channel strategies!

This text was released in German as the editorial of the current issue of Marketing Review St. Gallen with the topic “Direct-to-Consumer Strategies”. You can find the issue in our shop.

Prof. Dr.
Marcus Schögel

Associate Professor
for Business Management
and Marketing at the
University of St.Gallen
marcus.schoegel@unisg.ch