Individualizing beauty marketing: The omnichannel experience
Beauty is undergoing a digital revolution. Instagram-friendly products and mobile content are givens. Influencers have become an integral element of beauty campaigns. Video and live content vie for the attention of consumers. And the more forward-focused brands are experimenting with AR technology to redefine the beauty shopping experience.
Whether this shift was triggered by or has given rise to a new kind of consumer, the truth is: A huge segment of beauty buyers are digitally savvy and steeped in social media; their decisions are influenced by inventive ads, inclusive messaging, and micro-customized offers.
Moving effortlessly from one channel to another, today’s consumers confound traditional concepts of the consumer journey. They expect their journeys to be individualized and their beauty products available whenever and wherever they want them. In this channel-agnostic age, delivering consumer experiences that delight and elevate requires both individualization and omnichannel reach.
A unified view beyond the silos
Both of these essentials—individualization and omnichannel reach—thrive on data. The good news? Brands often possess an incredible variety of data, encompassing everything from demographic and email profiles to CRM and purchase history. The bad news? The sources of this data often remain disconnected and dispersed, not only among the brand’s internal silos but across its networks of distributors and stores.
Overcoming such fragmentation requires more than simply consolidating existing siloed data. Consumers today are always on the move, often using multiple identities in the process. Beauty brands must have the capability to unravel these identities and recognize the individual consumer, regardless of the device or touchpoint. This unified view, augmented with the rich insights of a consolidated data platform, creates a solid foundation for individualized, omnichannel customer engagement.
Strategizing the beauty experiences
Without question, mobile is a major channel of customer engagement. Consumers use their phones to identify their beauty product options, gather reviews from fellow consumers, and eventually make their informed purchases. Some mobile beauty apps now function like personal stylists, which brands leverage to capture deeper customer insights and drive purchases.
But mobile is not the only avenue of approach. Ninety percent of sales still takes place offline, even though many are preceded by online searches. In an omnichannel approach to individual customer engagement, the priority and place of each touchpoint must be assessed in the context of its overall consumer journey.
For instance, as brands develop content and interactions on their Instagram, they should think about how these can best pick up from previous touchpoints and enrich the exchanges that follow. Each interaction should be appropriate to the consumer’s point in the engagement cycle, contributing to an evolving, singular consumer journey that speaks to the needs and preferences of this individual consumer. So how can brands achieve this?
Powering impactful engagements
In addition to developing a unified view of the individual consumer, beauty brands must track each of them as they interact with the brand across channels and devices. Mistaking a returning consumer for a first-time visitor, for instance, can result in redundant or irrelevant messaging and tarnish hard-earned trust. Every click must be viewed as an opportunity to deepen the individual consumer’s affinity with the brand and advance their journey towards conversion.
Omnichannel experiences should also be seamless. From one channel to the next, the hand-offs must be glitch-free, and the interactions on each channel should build on what came just before. Moreover, brands must incorporate consumer behavior in real time to optimize the delivery of experiences when and where they will have maximum impact. The solution? A rules-based engine that leverages machine learning to optimize responses based on past transactions, detailed audience personas, propensities, and more.
Omnichannel is not limited to digital channels. Consumption stops at neither the mobile app nor the store. Digital engagement and “real-life” interactions are two sides of the same coin—an always already singular experience in beauty consumption. With a brand-specific strategy, team readiness, and the right underlying marketing automation technology, brands will usher in whole new ways of connecting with their diverse consumer bases—on an individual level.