We’re at a tipping point for digital marketing. Our tools keep getting better: more precise, more focused, more powerful. New channels and formats pop up on a regular basis, bringing us closer to consumers than ever before.
But our audience has become more sophisticated, too. Today’s consumers have control over how, when and where to shop. They have information at their fingertips and easy access to product reviews. Plus, they’re fickle. They’re less brand loyal, and quick to dismiss content that feels pushy or irrelevant.
These dynamics create both trying challenges and vast opportunities. At L’Oréal, we’re always seeking new ways to build genuine connections with beauty shoppers. We can build for one-to-one moments, where we’re communicating directly with consumers and giving them personal, inspiring content.
Here are some of the ways we build genuine, story-driven connections with our audience:
Research shows that people are much more likely to remember stories than facts.1 We ground our marketing in stories that speak to our consumers’ needs and values. It’s not about what we as a brand want to say: it’s about what the consumer, as a shopper, needs to hear. We map her shopping process so we understand how she thinks about beauty decisions and what information she needs along the way.
We plan campaigns that can take someone from browsing to buying in an authentic way. That means content that’s segmented against the consumer journey, and mapped to the channels people use for each part of the process.
We often use video to introduce new products since it allows for immersive storytelling. We were the first beauty brand to adopt Pinterest’s Promoted Video with autoplay, using it to launch L'Oréal Paris Air Dry It. Autoplay helped us create a strong first impression and broad product awareness. To drive further product awareness, we provide engaging, fun tutorials that help her envision the product in her life. Finally, we retarget people who already interacted with our content. At that point, it is about conversion, so we focus on specific product benefits.
“We see high quality creative as one of our target levers for increasing engagement and sales. ”
Technology is speeding up how we handle decisions, from merchandising to branding. These days, we can collect consumer feedback on concepts modeled in virtual reality—and trim weeks off our usual processes. At our US headquarters in New York, we have a virtual reality room where merchandising and marketing departments can simulate a real-store setting. The technology offers brands and retail partners a better way to understand how consumers interact with products in real life, drastically speeding the time it takes to bring new displays and designs to stores.
We apply this same tech-forward approach to marketing and love experimenting with new formats. Right now, we’re especially excited about visual technology, both on Pinterest and elsewhere. Visual technology is helping us merge digital tools with more traditional shopping behaviors. Images and visual cues guide people to relevant, inspiring content—much like when they're shopping in a store.
Today, we’re mostly using visual tech to guide her along as she shops. But in the future, we’re hoping to use visual technology to improve our content sequencing, too. Tools that analyze image characteristics (like hair or makeup styles) can help us determine which content or products to show next.