Manufacturers have long relied on retailers to build customer relationships and sell their products. Marketers in industry verticals such as apparel, CPG and electronics have primarily focused on the top of the funnel to build their brands and generate demand while resellers focused on the bottom of the funnel to convert shoppers into buyers.
Even before the coronavirus crisis, marketers were connecting with and serving customers directly via e-commerce. Marketing teams began expanding beyond brand advertising to include performance advertising, for example, but the shift for many has gone well beyond marketing.
Progress made by manufacturers varies widely, and the pandemic has created a sprint toward e-commerce. Manufacturers who led, who invested seriously in developing e-commerce operations early on, can now reap the rewards of new direct customer relationships and rapidly growing e-commerce sales.
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