var disqus_url = '';

Digital Marketing: Challenges, Best Practices for Beauty Brands


by Ross Glick

As brand strategists and advertisers in the beauty and cosmetics arena continue to accept digital as an essential marketing activity, they must also navigate the new demands and sometimes foreign intricacies related to the production and actualization of digital campaigns.

When actualizing an online marketing campaign, the most astute cosmetics brands understand the need to merge editorial and commerce, .com and social media. It’s an audacious assignment that requires the beauty marketer to build a “digital ecosystem" that:

  • Maintains its relationship with customers while creating an authentic ongoing dialogue
  • Expands the consumer base to other demographics while preserving the brand’s core target
  • Adjusts or enhances any existing perceptions of the beauty brand
  • Improves customer experience across all digital channels

To achieve this perfect mix of activities, here are some best practices and case studies to contemplate while helming  your company’s current digital marketing initiatives:

 Use Expert ‘Hosts’

Brands typically silo their product lines so selecting category experts’to serve as hosts for each product category is recommended. This allows an interactive dialogue with the consumer to take place by giving them professional, personalized shopping advice based on their preferences and sentiments.

Leveraging the power of celebrity industry experts also works in terms of developing compelling content that elevates the company’s relationship with followers from a monologue to a dialogue. This fosters a thriving social community around the products by allowing consumers to interact with the brand on an ongoing basis.

Case Study: Mac Cosmetics

From its 1984 inception, MAC has enjoyed a reputation as one of the global preeminent beauty brands.  Originally intended to meet the needs of professional makeup artists, the brand became a hit with pros and novices alike due to its diverse lines that could stay abreast of rapidly changing trends. MAC’s digital challenge is: How do you take MAC’s aesthetic and bring it to life digitally? The solution presented was to leverage MAC’s pre-existing social network platforms, including Facebook and Youtube, to introduce video vignettes from MAC’s celebrity makeup artists in New York, London, Paris and Milan.  The success was immediate: thousands of views, countless comments and massive blogger pick-up.

Try Video-Centric E-Commerce

Beauty marketers looking to generate buzz and sales should consider building the digital quadruple threat, i.e., the brand produces a dynamic campaign that utilizes a video-centric e-commerce site (users can easily connect to the retail site by a simple video click), rich-media banners and print, as well as a social media campaign via Facebook and Twitter.

Case Study: Matrix - Chairs Of Change

Matrix, the number two professional hair care line in the United States, needed to strengthen its connection to the hairstylist community. Seizing on the insight that everyone walks into a salon and walks out feeling better, Matrix created Chairs of Change—a movement that inspires and empowers hairstylists to make a difference for their clients and in their communities. Matrix utilized a digital platform to serve as the movement’s hub. Visitors to are greeted by an inspirational video that introduces them to remarkable stylists who use their skills for the greater good.  From there, visitors log in to the site’s own social feature and collaborate with other stylists in developing community service projects. The site also provides access to a full set of digital tools that could help get projects off the ground, with Matrix hosting meet-ups for stylists in given cities.  Since its January launch, Chairs of Change has brought hundreds of stylists together and spawned more than 80 service projects across the nation.

Create a Movement and Inspire Users

Based on the idea that digital marketing enables beauty companies to inspire and empower their varied consumer bases (employees, artists, customers, vendors), using digital platforms that can serve as a hub for the community—or a creating a movement—can be advantageous. Users of the brand’s digital hub may be greeted by poignant videos that introduce them to extraordinary stories about the people behind the brand; visitors can be given the option to log on using the site’s social media features and work with others in the community in developing projects the company has launched—possibly in the areas of competitions or community service. 

Weave Loyalty Marketing Tools into the Overall Digital Experience

The introduction of loyalty-building marketing tools throughout the digital experience can bulletproof a cosmetics marketer’s digital initiatives. Loyalty marketing has evolved from the traditional discount/rebate points (1-percent cash back) to a sophisticated combination of intangible and social status benefits that result in ongoing brand communication and a value-added experience for consumers. We like to use tactics such as gamification—the merging of Game Mechanics with traditionally non-game environments—socialization and Group Discounting to increase audience engagement, loyalty and retention.

Case Study: Love Life Skin Care

Oncologists invented Love Life skin care products to rejuvenate its patients’ chemo-ravaged skin. Love Life’s digital objective was to launch the line beyond its original target through a cluttered skin-care market, to reach women who didn’t need chemo, but did need serious skin treatment. The first step in the digital effort was to build Love Life an e-commerce site that, taking-off from the brand’s cancer survivor origins, used video testimonials to urge customers to celebrate their lives and their skin. This empowering message was also the basis of a simultaneous blogger outreach and social media campaign that sought to engage women with broader messages about their health and wellbeing. Less than a month after launch, the company’s Facebook page gained more than 2,600 fans.

These case studies are just a few examples of how beauty brands can optimize their online presence and overcome common obstacles by rearranging their strategies, digitally.

Ross Glick is the founder and CEO of iNDELIBLE, a New York-based, full-service digital innovation company and production studio, specializing in experience commerce, social media ownership and narrative marketing. iNDELIBLE creates and delivers content across new media in a constantly changing ecosystem of digital, social and traditional media platforms.  As marketing, creative, production and distribution specialists, iNDELIBLE improves a brand’s performance in any space. The company’s portfolio of clients include: Sears, Matrix, Scoop NYC, Sephora, Allergan, Shering-Plough, Chanel, MAC, Sony, Casio, Love Life Skin Care, Playboy and Ladies’ Home Journal.


/**/ var loc = window.location.pathname;var nt=String(Math.random()).substr(2,10);document.write ('');
//window.disqus_no_style = true; (function() { var SHORTNAME = 'insidecosmeceuticals'; // Your website's shortname on Disqus var dsq = document.createElement('gascript'); dsq.type = 'text/javagascript'; dsq.async = true; dsq.src = '' + SHORTNAME + '/embed.js'; (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(dsq); })();


//= 0) { query += 'url' + i + '=' + encodeURIComponent(links[i].href) + '&'; } } document.write(''); })(); //]]> /* var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-624328-41"); pageTracker._setDomainName("auto"); pageTracker._trackPageview(); /*]]>*/