Freshs CMO on the Future of Social Marketing in Beauty

As consumer habits post-pandemic ebb and flow, beauty brand Fresh is using data to drive its social marketing decisions.

At Fairchild Media Group’s Virtual Tech Forum on June 17, Tennille Kopiasz, chief marketing officer of Fresh, spoke with Thomas Rankin, cofounder and chief executive officer of marketing software company Dash Hudson on how the brand’s digital strategy reflects the needs of a post-coronavirus consumer.

“Our customers and our employees have changed, and they’re not going back,” Kopiasz said. “From a marketing standpoint, consumer satisfaction is the new marketing excellence. We’ve seen major shifts in all dimensions with unprecedented speed and scale with digital always at the core. It’s about how we reinvent across all areas, from content, to human capabilities, experience, channels and even the future of work.”

Kopiasz credits the brands’ partnership with Dash Hudson for the agility of its social media content. “Technology is only as good as the team you have behind it, because it helps you make smarter decisions. Dash is at the heart of how we look at social on a daily, weekly, quarterly and annual basis, but it’s also helped us shift our strategy,” she said. “In the past, we were obsessed with engagement, but it didn’t really encompass video. So now, we’re using the [Dash Hudson] effectiveness tool, and it’s really helping us drive the strategy moving forward. Data is in everything we do.

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“We also use Dash’s organic reach tool to figure out what people are talking about, what they’re interested, and we tweak our strategy based on what their interests are,” Kopiasz continued. “We see the big content buckets of our competitors, and distill that in a way that’s more specific to Fresh, because what works for Fresh isn’t what works for other brands.”

Just like its clients, Dash Hudson has also made a concerted effort to keep up with the rise in content format. “It’s been a real struggle for brands as the formats have grown,” Rankin said. “Channels aside, if you look at Instagram alone, with the launch of Reels and IGTV and of course, Stories, it’s about understanding your baseline performance across all of those formats and understanding how they come together,” he said.

Rankin added that video, despite being increasingly resonant, has historically been difficult for brands to scale or to understand its return on investment. Additionally, the company is seeing its offerings applied to paid advertising in growing numbers, despite “paid and organic social content existing in silos,” he said.

Kopiasz postulated that when creating paid content as an extension of organic posts, consumers respond with more enthusiasm. “When you see what performs, it’s almost never what you think is going to perform,” she said. “These beautiful, perfect, curated, branded assets that are the epitome of the brand are not typically what appeals to your consumer. To have those insights from an organic content perspective, you can ultimately take that and adapt for the paid perspective to reach a whole new audience and group of consumers.”

Following explosive growth in Eastern markets like China, Kopiasz also has her sights set on social commerce.

“We’ve done a test and learn approach and where we’ve seen the most success is in exclusive drops. For example, the jumbo size of our Soy Face Cleanser, which is a cult product our consumer already knew about, and that saw great success. For our partners in China, social commerce is hitting almost 30 percent of the business, and that’s only going to be bigger with TikTok’s partnership with Shopify. There’s not just a brand approach there, but an influencer approach. It’s going to create a whole new level of commerce that doesn’t exist in the Instagram universe,” Kopiasz said, adding that the brand still experiments with Instagram Checkout and Live Shopping.

In a live Q&A with Evan Clark, deputy managing editor of WWD, Kopiasz discussed how Fresh is reinventing the wheel for its upcoming social holiday campaigns, which run from September through December.

“There’s a high level of fatigue. Holiday represents almost 40 percent of the business, you typically have one campaign, and you spend a lot of money on it,” Kopiasz said. “Dash helped us look at different content segments. Moving into 2021, we broke our social business into three different buckets. We have content that’s still holiday, but doesn’t have the same fatigue, and that’s all driven by data.”

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