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Social Outbound Engagement and the Beauty Industry

By: Nate Myers and Ron Robinson
Posted: December 6, 2010, from the December 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Sure, social marketing is being talked about a lot these days, but just how relevant is it for the beauty industry? While there are a few anecdotes that hint at its potential for success, is it something that can be effectively integrated into a comprehensive marketing strategy, and measured to prove high ROI?


Originally perceived to be something used only by high school and college students to stay in touch with each other, it has since turned into the most influential marketing channel available.

Beauty companies today recognize that the Internet represents an important marketing channel, and have varying degrees of digital marketing strategies in place. However, most brands still underestimate just how central a role online media plays in consumers’ lives and in their buying decisions. Consumer behavior has changed dramatically in the past 10 years, and beauty companies need to catch up. A study by Forrester, (see Figure 1) found that, from 2004 to 2009, Americans increased the amount of time they spent online by 117%, while time spent watching TV, listening to the radio, and reading papers and magazines decreased or stayed flat.1

In other words, use of the Internet has more than doubled during this five-year period, while time spent using the other major media has remained flat or shrunk in the same period. Which is impressive, but what is the base, and how many hours are you actually talking about today? A recent Heishman-Fillard and Harris Interactive report finds that Americans are now spending more time online than engaging in any other media.