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In a recent article with Glossy, FarFetch CMO John Veichmanis discussed the challenges and opportunities in marketing luxury brands to affluent audiences. They have invested a tremendous amount in data scientists and technology to get their message in front of the right people. Unfortunately, many brands aren't as lucky as FarFetch to have access to those resources, but still want to target affluent audiences. Reaching higher income earners requires more planning and a more creative approach than when targeting other audiences. Not only do the habits of the ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) differ a bit from the rest of ours, but there is tremendous competition for their attention. Reaching the UHNW requires a little ingenuity, a robust audience profile, and some great tools to get in front of them with messages that convert. One of our luxury beauty brands reached out to us to help with targeting audiences who hadn’t yet tried their product. Although they enjoy tremendous name recognition, the whole culture in the beauty industry is centered around “try before you buy.” To attract the attention of potential customers, we wanted to break out of the typical media buy targeted at women who were between the ages of 30-55 in UHNW households. To ensure that we were targeting the exact audiences that actually would be interested in purchasing their product, we took a more innovative approach to their media strategy. First, we reviewed the client’s data on customers who had purchased previously and their audience personas, comprised of profiles ranging from the married middle age woman to young college students who are supported by their parents. We were able to pair that data with Google Analytics and other profiling tools to start to create a database of attributes of what our ideal audience would look like. To give our media the most impact, we also geo-fenced high-end retailers and paired the anonymous mobile IDs with the persona attributes to start building a list of those who would be the most interested in learning more about the client’s products. Using personalized messaging that aligned to our personas, we were able to tailor the ad messages to align to their interests and needs. In addition to our programmatic media buy, we also included branded and non-branded search keywords that matched how our personas were looking for solutions to their beauty needs, not just specific products. The results have produced increased online sales for the client. Through our innovative approach, the client was able to maximize the efficiency of their media buy, targeting their ads only to people who would have the most interest in hearing from them.
Sephora isn’t the first retailer to recognize the value in identifying its larger purpose and become more involved in the community it caters to as a force for good. Activism has infiltrated brand campaigns from Dove, Cheerios, Pantene and Patagonia have attached their names to messages of body positivity, LGBT acceptance, female empowerment in the workplace and sustainability, respectively. Countering brand apathy
According to e-Marketer, while beauty and personal care items do sell better when accompanied by photos and videos online, shoppers still overwhelmingly prefer to sample products in-store before purchasing. But once they do decide which products they like, their preferences solidify, and shoppers refill online. eMarketer also projects US health and personal care retail ecommerce sales will increase from $19.7 billion to $27.6 billion between 2015 and 2018 and account for 5.6% of total retail ecommerce sales in the country. However, there are still large hurdles to overcome. A Harris Interactive poll asked Internet users why they felt more comfortable purchasing cosmetics in-store rather than online; 62% were concerned a computer screen may skew colors, creating the need to see the item in-person. Harris also discovered an increased desire to shop in-store when trying a new product. 69% agreed they were more likely to go to in-store when purchasing new health or cosmetic products for the first time. In this situation, shopping online still can’t recreate the offline experience—but once shoppers know what they want, 88% agreed they’ll shop anywhere—online or off—to get the best price. Brands are getting closer to closing the gap between the offline and online experience, using augmented reality to mirror the tactile in-store environment. ModiFace, creators of virtual makeover and visualizations apps, partnered with industry-leading beauty retailers and brands to simulate the in-store experience with apps that give consumers customized recommendations based on their individual needs. Key Takeaway: As US health and personal care retail ecommerce sales continue to grow, it’s critical to provide a strong online experience that supports the in-store shopper. To learn more about how to create seamless experiences from online to offline, download our “Building a Digital Foundation” whitepaper here.