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Interview: Agility, Innovation and Using Social Data at L’Oreal Interview

By Mélanie Corolleur on March 23rd 2017

L’Oréal is the world leader in the beauty industry. With 32 brands in 130 countries, it covers the whole cosmetics sector, from lipsticks to perfumes and dermatology.

Organized into four divisions – consumer products, luxury products, professional products and active cosmetics – L’Oréal is a pioneer in both beauty and the digital world.

The company began its digital transformation before the expression was in vogue, in 2010 to be precise, and today, digital is at the heart of its business.

Innovation is never easy, especially in the current context, where ecosystems, rules of communication and trends are changing constantly. We live in the consumer age: agility and a resolutely customer-directed focus are vital conditions for success for modern businesses, regardless of their size.

“Digital changes lots of things. We have to adapt and reach out to consumers so that they discover, desire and eventually buy our products,” says Lubomira Rochet – CDO at L’Oréal.

L’Oréal quickly understood that social media represented an unparalleled opportunity to widen and deepen its knowledge of its customers, however diverse they may be.

Never before have companies had so much access to a public source of spontaneous information, capable of informing economic intelligence and strategy.

“Social allows us to refocus our actions on the present moment, tracking and adapting in real time to continuously improve the link with our consumers,” says Adrienne Rostaing, Market Insights & Data Manager at L’Oréal.

This means accessing the right data, using it in the right way and disseminating it to the right people in-house to widen and deepen knowledge about consumers and the market.social data at loreal

At Brandwatch, we are convinced that our success is closely interlinked with that of our clients. That is why we’ve invested heavily in our Customer Success programme. This programme aims to support our clients in integrating social intelligence across their organizations to make them more customer-centric and help them use data from the social web to inform their strategic decisions.

Our mission aims to ensure that our clients are able to draw maximum value from our solutions, generate tangible ROI and establish a relationship of mutual trust.

As part of our Customer Success programme, Adrienne experienced a week immersed in the Brandwatch office in late 2016.

“The whole Brandwatch structure is oriented towards clients’ needs, and everyone is keen to understand the client’s point of view. The induction really helped with understanding the full potential of the tool, which in return helps explain exactly how it can meet the needs of the different in-house teams.”

Adrienne Rostaing – L’Oréal, Market Insights & Data Manager.

 

Following Adrienne’s time at Brandwatch, we interviewed her to find out how social data can be implemented, deployed and used efficiently in a group with over 83,000 employees.

Hello Adrienne! Can you describe your role at L’Oréal?

My background is in market research. I began my career working on consumer marketing surveys at the IPSOS research institute, before moving to the advertising side as a Business Analyst for Coca-Cola and then joining L’Oréal in 2010.

I have been responsible for developing the social media intelligence programme within L’Oréal’s Professional Products Division, transforming marketing approaches based on data and listening to consumers to evolve the business.

social data at loreal

Can you describe the structure of your team? Who uses Brandwatch and how?

I am part of the division’s consumer insights department at an international level, and I am functionally associated with the digital team led by Lubomira Rochet, our Chief Digital Officer.

My role is fairly interdisciplinary. I work with various teams, raising awareness and providing training for teams whose work involves using Brandwatch Analytics, such as marketing and the digital communications department.        

What made L’Oréal invest in social media intelligence?

Companies are well aware that they need to adapt the ways they work to their environment, and especially new consumer expectations and behaviours. L’Oréal understood this very quickly. Senior management at L’oreal were quickly onboard.

The very wide scope of the possibilities offered by social media intelligence was more of a challenge. Our thinking focused on the scale of the programmes we could develop and the procedures.

For L’Oréal’s Professional Products Division, we opted for a “test & learn” approach. Our goal is to understand, thoroughly, the added value of social media intelligence at all stages of the customer relationship in order to apply it to the activities where we think it will have the most the business impact.

Another important point for us is to integrate the approach into our existing ecosystem – we don’t want to duplicate effort or add extra complexity; quite the opposite, in fact.

What are the biggest challenges you face using social media today?

The main challenge is to keep the pace, developing and maintaining agility in our operations.

With an organisation the size of L’Oréal, the challenge is to reconcile the speed and innovation that characterise digital ecosystems with the massive size of the business.


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How has digital affected your ecosystem? What future trends do you foresee?

Beauty professionals have experienced the same transformations as other sectors in terms of intermediation, the boom of e-commerce and the development of online services and training.

Though these changes were initially perceived as threats, they have ultimately had a very positive impact for our business sector, all the stakeholders in the supply chain have refocused on consumers, and the customer experience has considerably improved.

social data at loreal

At L’Oréal, we think this dynamic will be reinforced, boosted partly by social macro-trends: a return to the local, the quest for meaning and re-humanization.


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What can social data provide compared with other sources of data?

Companies have long sought to anticipate behavioural changes in consumers and changes across industries, using various methods such as consumer panels, which are carried out on an occasional basis, heavily supervised and on a small scale. The recent acceleration in digital transformations can make these exercises increasingly risky and sometimes obsolete.  

For me, one of the key advantages of integrating social data into the various departments of the company is that it refocuses our actions in the present moment, tracking and adapting them in real time to the market. It is a major opportunity to continuously improve and reinforce the brand’s link with our consumers.

What does success look like for your team and how do you measure it?

Above all, success for us is the satisfaction of all the stakeholders in our ecosystem: consumers, of course, but also our colleagues, who depend on the data and insights generated by social media intelligence.

With its advanced listening and analysis abilities, Brandwatch helps us monitor, measure and improve the engagement of our communities, both internally and externally.

Many thanks to Adrienne and to L’Oréal for granting us this interview.


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Mélanie Corolleur

Melanie brings Brandwatch to the French-speaking community as our first French Community Manager. She loves photography, Jean-Pierre Jeunet's movies, cheese and lemon tarts.