These days, a website, mailing lists, mobile app and a social media presence are no longer enough. Digital is here to stay, so start creating and maintaining digital assets. Selling direct gives sales, product development and marketing a chance to learn about customers firsthand. Don’t worry about customers not wanting to buy directly—people will buy anything if it’s marketed well. Marketing directly to consumers improves CRM, means more control over your brand and a higher return on investment. But brands now have to pay to guarantee appearance on fan newsfeeds. Instead, invest in your own platform—especially if it amplifies your brand promise and meets user needs. Each case may sound like a leap of faith, but it’s time to step outside the comfort zone.

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