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The End Game

This month, media commentator and CEO of Mike Ramseyer looks at the importance of beauty brands embracing all types of media, and not allowing social media to cloud their focus on ‘the end game’, but integrating this diverse and expanding platform with traditional and non-traditional channels.

We’re all so wrapped up in social media that my belief is that it is all too easy to lose sight of the end game.
Social media is the ‘catch all’ phrase for Twitter, Facebook and so on, but also is used incorrectly to include the bloggers, e-zines, publications as well as all the other news sites. Incorrectly because the latter are not really social sites in the true sense. They’re news sites and media platforms. I prefer to differentiate and call that group online.
They’re not ‘social’ media in that the audience doesn’t engage in the same way that they do with a social site.
Online is news and social is relationships.
Both can work for a marketer equally well, however online is easier to get to grips with and social requires more subtlety. I have said this before but my question to the request “Join my baked beans Facebook page” is still “Why?”
One thing that hasn’t changed as far as marketing is concerned is that for a message to be more effective it needs to be delivered from as many platforms as possible.
The power of online is that it provides plenty of platforms. However because they are fundamentally news sites there is still a strong element of push culture around the message therefore a marketer should not expect the results to be radically better than offline. Conversely, the attract culture around social is hugely powerful because social is about making friends, and research still tells us that over 90% of buying decisions are made through the recommendations of friends.
It’s a balance, as so much in life is, and marketers do sometimes struggle to get the balance right, but that is beginning to change.

Whilst many CEO’s underlying concerns still stem from the fear of viral negative conversations, that’s also changing and many beauty brands are putting more and more effort into online as well as social. Digital-only launches, bloggers-only tea parties and events, are increasing and all work well. Those PRs who have honed their skills with offline are seeing the rewards as they transfer those skills to online. After all it’s often only about product placement, albeit on a different media platform from the same publication, but now with a different demographic profile.
There has been a definite change within the beauty industry in terms of embracing digital.
That’s all good and if it sells more product that’s even better.
Where we lose sight is when it comes to the vast amounts of data that social, online and offline media throw up. Sometimes we lose sight of the ‘what’s the point?’ That’s my concern right now especially as the technology is out there to bring all these media datasets together.
By combining consumer data, market and sales data as well as a company’s own data it is possible to have an intelligent view of what it all means.
What does my customer want? How do they think? How can I get closer to them, understand them better and then sell more? One word sums that up, clarity.
That’s where we are in danger of losing sight of the end game because we’re all so wrapped up in social media, and just social media.
The point is that offline works better when it’s combined with online.
Online works better when it’s combined with social, and most importantly, and this is the end game, data tells a more intelligent story when it’s combined with other relevant data.

The Red Tree is the UK’s leading international beauty brand consultancy and a powerhouse of ideas, insight and inspiration. For an informal discussion on how we might help you, please contact us.

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