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3 Consumer Truths Propelling the Future of Marketing for Beauty Brands

Olapic at WWD
The Olapic team at WWD Digital Beauty

Beauty is an industry consistently at the forefront of shifting consumer tendencies. Last week, Olapic was excited to attend the WWD Digital Beauty Forum in New York, and present alongside our client essie, in a session called, “How Earned Content is Giving Beauty Brands a Much Needed Makeover.”

In addition, I took advantage of the experience to attend other sessions and engage marketers in meaningful conversations centered on how consumer behavior is flipping the script for beauty brands. After absorbing the thought leadership being shared by many of the industry’s top thinkers, here are 3 truths that kept bubbling to the surface:

1. Mobile = Digital

Omnicommerce is crucial, and it is something we frequently hear but that is highly difficult to execute effectively. Brick and mortar store locations are not going away, but every consumer is on his or her phone, constantly. Instead of treating each channel separately, recognize that mobile is now the constant thread connecting each channel and making strong marketing experiences possible. Let mobile (and the content being generated by it) act as the bridge between the online and in-store consumer experience. And remember, it’s not just millennials on their smartphones.

2. Omnichannel = Storytelling

Omnichannel is very much a function of strong storytelling. In other words, for an omnichannel approach to work, you’ll need to tell a well-articulated story across all meaningful channels. How? By aggregating and activating authentic earned content (user-generated), you’ll be able to craft a compelling narrative, connecting the dots for consumers and directing them toward a path to purchase. Make sure each marketing message makes sense for the channel it is being amplified on (TV, Phone, Desktop, Social, Email, etc.).

3. Personalization = Technology + Human Ingenuity:

Many brands rightfully believe that “personalized” experiences are a mandate for modern marketing. While they are correct, the path to achieving that personalization is less clear. What became abundantly clear this week is that the formula, while different for each brand, requires a balance between technology and human oversight. Activating through artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) is one way that smart beauty brands are achieving personalization in their marketing. Our client, essie, is utilizing AI to curate relevant earned content and serve it to a consumer based on similar physical features pertinent to the product she is considering. A great example of AR is Sephora, who recently launched an amazing tool that allows consumers to try on a million lip shades virtually and purchase the ones that look best without ever actually trying them on or being in a physical store location. A company called Modiface is building other amazing experiences in the industry as well.

Of course, these are only a few of the truths that are driving the future (and present) of marketing for beauty brands. Interestingly, they also serve as a guide for brands in other verticals, as consumers become more intelligent and active in the marketing process.

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