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Interview with Polly Wong from Belardi Wong

Team eCommerce Next interviewed Polly Wong from Belardi Wong to get more insights on Digital marketing. Following is our interview with her:

Can you tell us a little bit about Belardi Wong?

Belardi Wong is the leading integrated marketing firm in the country, working with more than 300 DTC brands and retailers across the country. Belardi Wong’s expertise spans across online and offline marketing channels, advanced analytics, creative, audience development, and strategic engagements.

How did you find yourself in the direct mail industry?

Belardi Wong started 24 years as a direct marketing agency specializing in list acquisition for direct mail and catalogs and has expanded over the years based on the needs of clients. Belardi Wong continues to be an industry leader for building prospecting audiences for print.

Why are more brands turning to direct mail?

There are several reasons. Digital marketing is only getting more expensive, more saturated, and more promotional. Also, the level of targeting for new customer acquisition far surpasses what you can do online, and you can’t replace the sheer amount of real estate that print offers to show your brand story and full product assortment.

What are the biggest difficulties that DTC brands face right now?

The single biggest challenge in 2022 for DTC brands is increased competition for wallet share. This will come from consumers shifting back spending to experiences, and it will also come from consumers continuing to explore new brands.

How has Facebook advertising changed for DTC brands over the last year?

In short, there is less accuracy in targeting and measurement than ever before, which coupled with double digit increases in CPMs and no growth in the U.S. user population, has led to under-performance.

How has that pandemic changed the way consumers buy retail goods?

Consumers are more discerning. They have become the “expert consumer.” They pay attention to product materials, pricing, customer service, customer reviews, package delivery times, brand messaging, etc. At the same time, we know that consumers are more and more willing to buy products online. Last year, 50% of total apparel sales in the country were online.

What are your predictions for 2022?

DTC will thrive as long as consumers continue to want to try new brands. Large retailers such as Target, Walmart, and Amazon will launch more private label brands to support this trend. Consumers are looking for newer, faster, more sustainable, and healthier ways to do everything. Consumers want to not only BUY different things but also DO different things, so experiences will regain market share. Despite considerable retail challenges, stores will still be critical for building brand connection and reach. All of this means that the customer experience is more important than ever.

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