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Starting Point: Serve Your Customers
By: Karen A. Newman
Posted: October 9, 2008, from the October 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.
In mid-August, GCI magazine hosted a successful webinar on the global skin care market. It was great, because our guest speakers were well-versed on the subject and they came ready to share their knowledge of this phenomenal category, despite the fact that neither one had ever presented a webinar before that day.
As business professionals, they understand the importance of delivering products their customers want through channels both comfortable and convenient, so adapting to the webinar format was just their acceptance of another tool of the modern business world. Linda Marshall, president and owner of Elysée Scientific Cosmetics, runs a successful 85-year-old skin care company, selling its products through television home shopping and the Internet. Her relationship with HSN is just seven years old, but as she told the webinar audience, it has been a great one for her company and for her customers.
Virginia Lee, a senior research analyst with Euromonitor International, is in the business of following trends and knows full well the changes brought on by global consumer acceptance of the Internet as an information resource, a point of recommendation tool and a retail channel. She sailed through the webinar like a pro, because she knows her business and her market inside out. The rise of the Internet may be the single biggest consumer force ever, and has fueled business trend discussions for more than a decade. Companies finding success on the Internet, in home shopping and with other new channels were following trends, but were successful first because their products answered a consumer need.
GCI magazine also has a long history of serving its customers. Since 1914, GCI magazine and its predecessors have been a regular source of information on the people, companies and trends in the global beauty industry. For most of those 94 years, GCI was a magazine only, but today the GCI brand delivers daily news on its Web site; weekly headline coverage in GCI Weekly Reporter, an e-newsletter; and the magazine is available in a digital edition anywhere in the world. Last year, the Fragrance Business Event was launched during HBA, and this year, we enjoyed working with another wonderfully committed group of speakers and guests. Our commitment to serving the beauty industry hasn’t wavered, and today we are able to serve our customers the information they want, when and how they most like to receive it—in print, online and in person.
Our new Web site, still at www.GCImagazine.com, launched in September and takes the delivery of information a big step further, by making years of industry information—including the very latest—available to users in the most intuitive way possible. Now, one search can deliver to your browser everything on the GCI site pertaining to your area of interest, including articles, news, announcements, event listings, photo galleries, videos and more. No longer do you have to wade through a site developed around a magazine metaphor—features, columns, departments—to find what you’re looking for. The site was built based on ideas from a representative group of customers, and their participation is evident. If you haven’t rediscovered the GCI brand through the new site, I hope you will visit soon.