D2C Marketing

21 Immutable Laws of Digital Growth for D2C Brands

Prathamesh Dembla is the Head of Growth at Licious – Born to Meat. He is the best person to guide D2C Founders in their journey of growth and has been doing the same, helping many brands build their business.

Why do mothers pester their children to drink milk every day when they are young? Why do your seniors challenge you with new tasks every day? Why, as a Founder, do you push your brand to try new horizons and prepare them for every possible outcome? 

The answer to all the above questions will be one & the same: GROWTH.

Be it for your development or your brand’s, consistent growth has always been the key factor we strive towards. As Founders, our brand is like a child to us and their steady and speedy growth is what we want for them.

We had the privilege to have Mr. Prathamesh Dembla, Head of Growth at Licious – Born to meat, who walked our cohort through his journey at Licious, shared his insights about various revenue models and most importantly, put forward the 21 Key Principles Of Growth as listed below: 

  1. Organic is dead on Facebook (& Instagram soon): In your initial stages, organic returns may work wonders for your brand. But with time, organic growth has the tendency to reach a saturation point. As a Founder, investing too much time & focus on organic might not be a good idea.
  1. Video is the future: According to an article in Hootsuite, “People spend billion hours worth of time watching videos on Youtube every day”. Today, the whole content platform is shifting to videos and that should be enough motivation for you to start investing in videos. 
  1. Digital Marketing is driven by video: The main three types of content that we focus on are Text, Images, and Videos. On one hand, where texts content generally depends on the search terms of the audience and images get to showcase only half of our brand story, videos eliminate the pain points of both and get us the best possible results. 
  1. Influencer Marketing is useless (unless you are in Fashion or Cosmetics or operating at a 75% Gross Margin): Though Influencer Marketing has created quite a stir in the marketing world, it has been noticed time and again that it might not be as useful for most of the industries. 

For fashion and cosmetics, it might hit the target once in a while but it should not consume much of your brand’s capital and time. 

  1. Affiliates – Can be your Worst Enemy: Affiliates can be your friend or your enemy depending on how you pursue it. As a Founder or as a Marketer, you need to stay aware of 3 important red flags when working with them, namely:
  • If it is more than 10% of Marketing spends.
  • You are working with more than 5 Affiliates.
  • They claim to scale your brand faster than Google.

       If you noticed any of these red flags in your affiliate marketing strategy, think again.  

 6. Ideal mix of channels: When you are at an early stage of your product-market fit, around 70-80% of your returns will be organic with 20-30% from paid advertising. As you grow, the mix of both organic and paid will start to reach a midpoint with both of them generating around 40-50% returns.

7. Lookalike audiences work best on FB: For any D2C Founder, 2 types of audiences work typically well namely, Lookalikes and engaged shoppers. Engaged Shoppers are those who have made an online purchase in the past 7 days. 

Make sure to always target at least 1% of both these types of audiences in your Facebook Marketing Strategy.

8. Emailers are not dead – Newsletters come with 10%+ Open Rates:  Don’t stop investing in your emailers or start investing if you haven’t yet. Email Marketing is kind of that ignored kid in school that no one expects much from but does wonders when given the right opportunity. 

4 things to keep in mind when working with emailers are:

• Keep Testing subject lines

• Be Consistent – every Thursday / Saturday

• Keep replies open

• Founders should write to consumers

9. Don’t go for Big Creative Agencies for the Brand Story – best videos are created at less than Rs.1 Lakh/video: No one knows your brand better than you, so no one else can tell its story better than you. Instead of paying agencies huge chunks of your capital, make 4-5 small videos in-house and some of them are bound to get you amazing results.

10. Vernacular Communication matters when your core audience is in AP, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala: Only and only invest in vernacular communication if your core audience lies in any of the mentioned states. You will notice the following upgrades in your returns soon enough:

• View Rates – at least 2X – 3X

• CTR – at least 2X

• CAC – less by 30% +

• Local Influencer is a must

11. Get your Ad Accounts – Google, Facebook Whitelisted for key features: There are some of the key features you should get whitelisted in your Ad Accounts to get better returns, namely:

• Running Video Only App Campaigns on YouTube

• 20 seconders Non-Skippable

• Performance Max Campaigns

• Instagram Shop integration

• Image Extensions in Search Ads

12. Videos in Digital Brand Marketing: You read how important videos are but how exactly are you going to execute it? Follow the steps below for a detailed view of how you can apply video marketing in your strategy:

• Lead with 20 seconder Non-Skippables, Build Recall with 6 


• Add the Google Play store link / Website Link

• 20 seconders – 3-5 frequency, and 6 seconders – 3 to 5 


• CPUR (TV) more than 15 times CPUR (Digital)

13. Beyond 20 sec, Video Length does not matter: Try to convey most of your brand story in the first 20 seconds of the video. As the 20 seconds will be non-skippable, it will be your greatest weapon to get your story conveyed to your target audience.

14. Branding Impact Analysis: If you are planning to run a campaign specifically on Branding, there are 6 metrics you can use to measure its success:

• First-click attributed ROI

• Spike in Brand Search Volume

• E-Commerce conversion rate of new users

• Spike in CTRs for Non-Brand Searches (Brand Recall)

• Control Experiments Analyses

• Reduction in Avg. Sales Cycle duration

15. Check out DCO (Dynamic Creative Optimizations) + 25% higher CTRs: DCO offers personalized ads to its viewers based on their interests, behavioral aspects, etc. It has worked very well for Licious and it is an area you as a D2C brand should definitely explore. 

16. Traffic is expensive, Conversion has a higher ROI: Instead of focusing on bringing more traffic to your website, work on converting the ones that have already walked to your door. Keep checking the following metrics to get a better understanding of your conversions:

• Click to Sessions

• Sessions to Check-out

• Check-out to Order

• Time spent

• Conversion Rate

17. Keep track of the Facebook Quality Score: Facebook takes anonymous feedback from your customers’ basis which gives you a quality score. If your score goes below 2, then your ads will come under penalty and your CPMs will increase. Keeping track of those is a must to make sure you don’t fall below the minimum score.

18. Invest in SEO from day 1: Start investing in SEO from the start. It will not get you the results from day one but the day it will, the ROI will be so good that you will get most of your organic business from there. 

19. Use of Dynamic Ads on Facebook: If you are from Retail/eCommerce, Travel, Real Estate, or Automotive, do make use of Dynamic ads on Facebook. It has a very Integrated Approach and provides better solutions for your brands.

20. Audience Creation for Website Users: You can create “Audience Cohorts” on Facebook for people who have visited your website, added products to the cart or viewed your products in the last 30 days. This will help you in retargeting that audience. 

Make sure your Google Analytics and your Adwords are directly in link and the events are passing through correctly because as much data you are providing them, it’s moving to automation. As you provide more information, your CPC should come down by 20-30%

21. Key Metrics to Check: After executing all the above learnings, what are the metrics to check how well they are working for your brand?

Listed below are some of the key metrics you should check:

• Click to Session to Goal Completion – Across Source / Medium

• Checkout to Order Ratio

• GA to CRM Transactions

• FB Ads – New To Retargeting Sessions

• New to Repeat Customers

• Conversion per impression

• Search Impression Share

• Account Base Selling Top of Page %

Our expert shared all these learnings and much more with our cohort members, guiding them to the right path in their growth journey. Leading the growth team of Licious for quite some time now, he has been a true sport and helped many of our cohort members with their growth models.

Click here to join our next cohort for many such learnings: