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How to drive a #1 beauty brand during COVID-19

Welcome back to the CAMSOC Blog! We’ve missed you – And we hope that all our

Cambridge student members have had a positive exam term and are taking a well-deserved

rest in the sunshine. Today we’re bringing you a lovely piece focused on our event earlier

this year with the wonderful Carolyne Denzler.

Meet Carolyne:

On Friday 12th March 2021 CAMSOC had the pleasure of hosting Carolyne Denzler, Key Account Manager L’Oréal Luxe Germany (MSc Strategic Marketing 2013 Imperial College London). Carolyne is a German native with an international background who spent multiple years living abroad in New York, London and Barcelona. After graduating from Imperial College Business School in 2013 with a MSc in Strategic Marketing, Carolyne gained first experiences in luxury Marketing and Communication at TOM FORD and MAC Cosmetics. In 2014, she has kick-started her career at the world leader in beauty: L’ORÉAL. Ever since, Carolyne has truly established herself as a passionate marketeer with a 24/7 innovative mindset and a track record of more than 7 years of experience in B2C/B2B Marketing, Digital Marketing and Sales, having worked for some of the world’s most renowned luxury beauty brands such as Lancôme, Giorgio Armani, Prada and Valentino. Since the event, Carolyne has launched www.editioncarolyne.com where she shares career insights in a blog called Monday Minutes and offers free personal mentorship on weekends. So, check it out if you need first-hand career advice from a Marketing industry professional.

The event:

For this International Women’s Day special event, Carolyne lead our event titled ‘How to drive a #1 beauty brand during COVID-19’. Carolyne outlined how L'Oréal maximized the use of digital services and consumer data in the light of COVID-19 in order to provide the next level of personalised beauty experience. She shed light on how the current marketplace is changing by outlining new digital trends that are emerging and that brands have to adhere in order to cater to changing consumer needs. Needless to say it was an absolutely fascinating event!

If you missed the live event, or simply want to re-watch and pick out more hints and tips, then you can find a full recording of the event here on our YouTube Channel.

Our top takeaways:

1: Consumer behaviour shifts and the rise of e-commerce as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – The 2021 UN ‘COVID-19 and e-commerce’ Report documented that throughout the course of pandemic the value of e-commerce has been increasing, with a record number of consumers purchasing goods online as many retailers were forced to shut physical stores during to Lockdowns. However, it is not enough to recognise that these changes are or have taken place, but brands need to actively respond to these changes. Carolyne spoke about the ways in which her team have adapted to these changing consumer patterns. She highlighted how for L’Oréal, e-commerce is the number one market and in 2020 this was worth €7.4 billion for the company alone!

2: Brand visibility – Carolyne highlighted the importance of brands being ‘where the consumers are’. Carolyne spoke of how during lockdown routines became important. In particular skincare and selfcare routines took on a newfound importance in our daily routines, and this was something that L’Oréal could support and capitalise on. Social media campaigns were designed on the basis of this sentiment, allowing consumers to feel supported, but were simultaneously exposed to relevant products.

Furthermore, Carolyne explained the differences between paid, owned and earned advertising. She used the examples of press articles and influencer activation to discuss ‘earned’ advertising, and how this organically increased the visibility of the brand and their services which add value.

3: Add value – Brands need to do more than sell. Carolyne spoke about how L’Oréal adds value to the consumer experience through providing guidance. Carolyne explained how through technology consumers were able to experience “virtual try-ons that allow you to colour match your lipstick to the clothes that you would like or even try on the hair colour of your preference”. Such processes provide consumers with a personal experience, which ultimately encourages them to purchase more products.

4: The future of online marketing– Marketing is a field that is constantly changing. Forbes hint towards artificial intelligence chatbots having an increasing prominent role in the future of online marketing, whilst acknowledging that e-commerce will likely dominate marketing for the foreseeable future. Considering this, to wrap up the session, Carolyne spoke about the future of online marketing and how, if at all, can we predict what’s coming next. To cut a long story short… we can’t. However, Carolyne demonstrated that we can prepare ourselves and be adaptive. We should respond to consumers changes immediately, ensure brand visibility and “provide value so that you can learn about your consumers so you can provide personal communication, offerings and campaigns that really cater to their needs”.

5: Passion and enthusiasm – The last thing on our list is simply Carolyne’s enthusiasm and passion. It was so lovely to see someone who loves what they do, yet is so willing to help other people and take time out of their busy schedule to share that passion with other people. It is so inspiring! We were so appreciative of this and would like to take this opportunity to again extend our thanks to Carolyne for collaborating with us on this wonderful event!

If you want to connect with Carolyne (and let’s be honest, why wouldn’t you) can do so via her Instagram here, Twitter here or can check out her website here. Be sure to check out the recording of the event, available on our YouTube channel, and watch this space for recaps of our other events!


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author only, and does not represent the views of CAMSoc as a whole or the University of Cambridge.

Sophie John