Date Posted: Thursday 3rd March 2016
This week, The 2016 Beauty Symposium took place in London, exploring the topic “#Quantumbeauty - being everywhere at once”. DIARY directory supported the event, while all net proceeds from ticket sales were donated to the Look Good Feel Better charity. A packed audience listened to an eclectic mix of industry leaders who shared their thoughts, inspiration and insight in how to navigate a profitable way through the mix of new retail channels and communication platforms. They offered advice on how we can emerge from the advent of social commerce platforms, strong affiliate marketers and the new super-savvy consumers, with margins intact and volumes growing. Stirling Murray, Founder of The Red Tree Consultancy, and Mike Ramseyer, Founder of My Market Insight, the event’s hosts, opened the proceedings.
UK beauty blogger Jane Cunningham of britishbeautyblogger.com, who received a total of 4.5 million hits in 2015, was the first speaker. Jane chose to use her session to answer questions from the audience. She provided valuable tips for anyone wishing to engage with bloggers, highlighting that brands who want to find success in the saturated influencer market should not be targeting bloggers/influencers with huge followings, but instead work with someone smaller that reflects the brand's ethos, style and authenticity and invest in them, building them up to become a success. Jane also spoke about how the blogging world has inevitably changed over the last few years, as money is now exchanged and blogging has become a business over a passion for the writing, and that consumers are getting savvy to this and if they are not yet, they undoubtedly will be soon. She also commented that the blogging sphere can't continue the way it has been, and something has to give. When asked where she sees blogging will be in 8-10 years, she commented "at some point blogging will implode."
Jane was followed by Leon Hughes, Senior Associate, e-commerce at Piper Private Equity. Leon now helps drive the e-commerce and IT strategy for the fast growing UK consumer brands that his company invests in. Leon opened with the astonishing fact that more people own a mobile device than a toothbrush. He looked at the digital trends for 2016 and highlighted the importance of personalisation, a theme that ran though many of the morning’s presentations. He discussed the rise of Messaging Apps and how, as more people use them, advertising becomes more relevant. He looked at how social marketing channels in general are beginning to pay. To conclude, he addressed the importance of having the right desktop strategy to pull everything together.
Next to take the platform was Justin Sedgmond, Co-Founder of online shopping and social community Boutique Social, who has over 15 years experience of working in the online advertising and e-commerce industries. He addressed the challenges of relating to the new era of the ‘connected’ consumer. He pointed out that the principals of shopping have not changed but the way we engage and interact with shoppers has. Shopping needs to be fun and the whole user experience is important and that's what customer's expect. It is all about discovery, personal expression and instant gratification. He looked at the recent introduction of ‘Buy’ buttons across social media sites, a new hot trend. Social driven retail sales and referral traffic, he concluded are rising at a faster pace than any other online channel, so social is no longer just ‘social’ but now a massive commercial opportunity too.
After a coffee break, which also provided the opportunity for some serious networking, Tracey Woodward took the stage. Tracey was previously Commercial Director of Urban Retreat, and is now a Brand Consultant to M&S, helping them to redesign and develop their beauty department. Having launched their first Beauty concept department in 2012, they already have 2.4 million unique Beauty shoppers and 1.3million Facebook fans. 20% of Beauty sales now come from their website, but she said she believed the opportunity for growth through digital mediums was enormous. Despite the potential for digital, she stressed the importance of the people she worked with. The collaborations with Josh Wood, Mary Greenwell and Rosie Huntington-Whitely had been successful, but probably one of the most important contributing factors to their success was their highly trained staff.
Millie Kendall MBE was next to take the stage. With her extensive knowledge in launching brands in the UK along with her latest business BeautyMART, she discussed some insightful ways which could set brands apart, using press, celebrity and multi-channel marketing to their advantage. Marking many firsts with the launch of make-up brand Ruby & Millie, they broke the traditional rules and launched in premium retail before going mass market into Boots. Nowadays, she concluded, with so many more social media options, multi channel marketing presents far more opportunities, but for a brand to successfully be ‘Here, There and Everywhere’ it still needs, as then, to have depth of concept, personality and integrity.
The final presenter was Herbie Dayal, Co-Founder of the King of Shaves and KMI Brands, he has built KMI in to a business worth over £40M in retail sales in the UK and internationally. He argued how the focus on ‘new’ communications platforms does not necessarily make us better marketers. Although there are now numerous platforms available to do business on, past experience shows us that technology is not the key factor to success. It is easy to become seduced by social media, but success in the blogosphere does not necessarily result in a profitable brand. Focus on your business first. Define your brand clearly. Define your target audience and make sure you have an effective distribution strategy in place. Then make your investment case. Get your ‘Brand/ Tribe/Business’ right first, not the other way around, and you may have a chance at making social media work effectively for you.
In summary for DIARY directory members:
DIARY dates – a calendar of industry events for upcoming networking opportunities – and increasingly events like The Beauty Symposium offering real insight in this fast-paced industry.
DIARY delivers – create a bespoke list of your target media titles and send your press release (personalised with the recipient’s name of course!) The delivery report will tell you who engaged with your release for you to identify key follow-ups - who clicked and where. (You can also use the open results to adjust your releases to maximise engagement.)
DIARY directory – use filters to start narrowing down the thousands of key fashion, beauty and lifestyle journalists, stylists and bloggers listed in DIARY directory, then work out which are the best fit for your brand. DIARY directory lists nearly 1,000 bloggers, and we are often asked ‘who are the top bloggers?’ when the more pertinent question should be – ‘who are the best bloggers for my brand?’ Use our filters to start narrowing down the lists by areas of interest to create a starting point. But to add scope, we will also be introducing some future industry insight tips to help you find your own key influencers rather than a one list fits all solution. Watch this space!
The Beauty Symposium in 'helplines'
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