Benefit Cosmetics tinkers with marketing structure to keep pace with beauty's new players

Benefit

Beauty brand Benefit Cosmetics is packing a decisive punch with its marketing to ensure it keeps pace with agile e-commerce make-up brands that have proliferated in recent years.

“We are very conscious to be at the forefront of where [our customer] is spending her money and how [they're] consuming,” explained marketing director Lou Bennett on her efforts to make the cosmetic brand as omnipresent as possible.

To ensure it doesn’t miss an opportunity to connect with its ‘Benebabes’, Bennett has led a marketing department reshuffle.

It began in February when the brand formed an in-house infleuncer marketing division. Dedicated to ensuring its budget is being wisely invested and delivering returns, the arm bridgd the gap between its marketing team and digital influencers and continues to be led by Annie Harrison, senior PR and influencer manager.

Sat under brand function, it is fed into by all of Benefit’s marketing wings. “It’s important it is fluid. You want it to be accessible to all departments. I firmly believe that putting it in a box in the corner does not allow for growth or evolution,” Bennett contends.

After centralising the influencer hub, Bennett said the next phase was to look at the structure of the marketing department in its entirety, to ensure it is aligned and integrated.

As Benefit covers a broad remit as a marketing department Bennett wanted all its areas to work better together to “ooze consistency at every touchpoint.”

To do this, it has merged its e-commerce and digital teams which Bennett hopes will ensure its digital footprint and e-commerce business “complement each other instead of compete, which we see happen elsewhere in other brands.”

The number of people working in both departments has gone up, which Bennett said is a testament to how digitally-led the beauty brand is as a business.

Julie Roberts, senior head of e-commerce and digital, now leads both communications and commerce strategies, as well as the CRM team, which Bennett says is another area of key strategic importance.

Roberts works closely with influencer boss Harrison "to ensure complete consistency between the PR and influencer remit, and the digital and e-commerce remit."

Digitally disruptive

This ongoing overhaul is intended to help it keep pace with the increasingly competitive cosmetics market.

Buoyed by e-commerce, influencers and innovation, the global beauty market is currently worth $508bn and forecast to reach $758bn by 2025 – a growth trajectory of 5.9%.

Brands like L’Oreal, Sephora and Coty have been pumping money into innovation to keep up with the digital-led beauty brands like ‘Kylie Cosmetics’ that have been built up from scratch online.

Benefit has launched a number of activations to draw attention to its range of quirky beauty products this year.

In March, with the help of ad agency R/GA, Benefit used voice technology to offer free samples of its ‘Porefessional’ face primer. That experiment saw 10,000 sample requests in the space of 48 hours. Those people who asked for sample requests were then integrated within its loyalty programme.

Then in August, Benefit tapped into the convenience of app-based food delivery services, when it partnered up with Deliveroo ahead of the product launch of 'Boi-ing' foundation.

For a 24-hour period, when customers ordered cupcakes by London baker Lily Vanilli, Benefit's senior trend team delievered them with 'Benefit Cakeless Concealer,' plated up with a complimentary shade matching and plenty of tips. Due to its success, Bennett said that it will consider aligning its product launches with non-beauty partners in the future.

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