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CEW Explores Digital Beauty

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: January 27, 2011

CEW Digital Beauty panelists, left to right, Annemarie Frank, director e-Commerce, digital media & strategic alliances, Mark; Marisa Thalberg, vice president of global digital marketing, The Estée Lauder Companies, Inc.; and Kristen Yraola, assistant vice president of digital media and Internet, Maybelline New York and Garnier brands.

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Thalberg credited William Lauder for enabling the creation of a business early in the history of digital commerce. “We have great brand websites, and it’s really about creating a great brand experience, as well as a great shopping experience,” she said. She noted that two to three years ago, the company began placing reviews on their sites.

“That’s a level of engagement that is very special and unique. It lets women guide themselves through the brands and allows them to navigate and engage with the brand. I wouldn’t separate engagement and shopping,” said Thalberg. “Not to be gratuitous, but the engagement has to come around the brand.”

She further noted that if people are already on the brand’s site, they are interested in the brand.

Speaking on the evolution of the Mark brand, Frank said, “One of the paradigm shifts that occurred was when Mark looked at their target market and saw that the women in that market were digitally savvy. As part of our social network strategy, we knew we had to get on Facebook, and launched a shopping widget that provided a digital locator. We learned that it’s important to integrate into the news space and curate on the master space. This way customers can personalize their shopping space, and the brand can then meet the digital habits of their customers.”

Thalberg noted a different approach, saying, “The strategic challenge is how do you create relationships between global and local customers. Aveda has a global tab to the page, so whether you are in the U.S. or the U.K., you’ll have content that is locally relevant to you. That’s what you want, global control, equity and relevance.” She described how different markets have their own Facebook pages and you can find your page for whatever market you’re in, citing the highly trafficked success of recent Aveda and Clinique sampling programs.