When L’Oreal introduced its Makeup Genius app, our team was excited. To have fashion and technology come together so seamlessly was just awesome. The fact you can try multiple shades of favorite beauty products without having to buy them all was pretty sweet, too. I thought I was complete enamored of the concept – and then I read L’Oreal CMO Marie Gulin-Merle’s commentary on how the technology was developed in this week’s Think with Google and it got even better.
Gulin-Merle began by talking about how we all use technology in our everyday lives. It’s not a special event to do research, shop, or connect with friends on our phones: that’s just the way the world works. We use our mobile devices before, during, and after our shopping excursions. Gulin-Merle said, “Because of this, we recognized that digital couldn’t continue being its own channel—it had to be a part of everything we do.”
She’s absolutely right! Digital is a tool, not a tactic. The siloing needs to stop. Businesses don’t have digital customer service and in-store customer service: they have customer service. Likewise, digital sales and in-personal sales. We don’t need to differentiate between traditional and digital marketing – it’s all marketing. And perhaps most important of all, as a business owner, you don’t need a digital strategy. You need a strategy that has a digital component built-in.
Back to Gulin-Merle. She identified three criteria as being essential to Makeup Genius’ success: personalization, data, and storytelling. It’s hard to think of an application more personal than Makeup Genius, which literally scans a customer’s face to help them select the right products. If technology and money were no object, what type of highly personalized service would you offer your customers? Hold on to that thought: technology is advancing so quickly that the price of implementing great ideas will be lower.
L’Oreal used search data to identify the type of content that would be most of interest to their customers. This is something that any business owners who have access to their Google Analytics can do. The key is to begin familiarizing yourself with the data already available to you and begin discerning actionable insights from it.
Finally, storytelling. Gulin-Merle explained how storytelling was a critical component of promoting their Root Cover Up Spray product. One of the channels they used was YouTube, where a six-second video clip was enough to illustrate how quick and easy it is to use the spray. Identify the concerns your customers have about products, such as ease of use, or application confusion – storytelling can provide the answers in a quick and simple way, boosting customer confidence and persuading them to buy the product and give it a try.