Beauty Independent, a digital publication for entrepreneurs and marketers in the beauty industry, recently interviewed Brook Llewelyn Shepard, Founder and CEO of Mason Interactive. With years of industry experience, Brook shared his tips and insights on building a successful direct-to-consumer strategy.
Metrics That Really Drive Direct-To-Consumer Success
The interview begins with today’s hot topic; data privacy. The upcoming privacy changes, including Apple iOS 14 and cookie-less Chrome, are raising concerns in the advertising industry, in particular amongst small businesses. While this won’t be the end of digital advertising, targeting, reporting, and optimizing ad campaigns will become less effective. Brook anticipates that brands without “superpowers” are going to have a very hard time navigating the new landscape. “If your product really is better for the environment or it really is cheaper or it really does work with more skin colors and tones, it does have something actually unique, and we call that a superpower”, he explains.
Harvesting first-party data today can help brands prepare for the privacy changes and limitations in the use of third-party data. If you’re a brand looking to launch in the near future, Brook recommends you to start building first-party data immediately, while reaching out to micro-influencers and building relationships with people who can represent your brand.
During the interview, Brook discusses the leading indicators in the advertising industry, what metrics advertisers should focus on, and shares his thoughts about ROI. “I look at the cycle of the year. We have seasonality. Some of our beauty brands are bigger in early summer. Our women’s wear companies are bigger around Black Friday.” He suggests that brands that accept a negative ROI during the early months while building their brand and audience, can make more money in the long run.
Social media metrics, like followers, engagements, and likes, may be nice numbers to look at, but are less important to the advertising ecosystem. “They are proxies, but I don’t know that they directly translate into sales because the quality of the followers is a different issue”, Brook says.