As part of WARC’s CMO Conversations podcast series, Asmita Dubey, Chief Marketing and Digital Officer at L’Oreal Group, spoke to WARC’s Anna Hamill about how the company’s marketing strategy is driving growth. WARC subscribers can listen to the full podcast here.

Staying the course with increased marketing investment to build the power of its brands has been essential to generating record sales at L’Oreal, home to many of the world’s biggest beauty brands, according to the company’s marketing chief.

“We are gaining market share in all zones and across all of our divisions,” said Asmita Dubey, Chief Marketing and Digital Officer at L’Oreal Groupe, shared in an exclusive interview on The WARC Podcast recently.

“The brands, investment in the brands, and championship of digital marketing are very, very important elements of our success.”

The company owns iconic beauty brands including L’Oreal Paris, Maybelline, NYX, Garnier and Lacome, among others across a variety of price points. The company also reported its best growth in twenty years this year, reaching a record €10bn in quarterly sales, despite ongoing economic upheaval in many of its key markets.

Investing in brand-building across the customer journey

According to Dubey, a focus on long-term brand investment has set the company up for long-term success and bolstered its brands against short-term headwinds.

“We have been supporting our brands. In full year 2022, we will be – in terms of share of voice, and share of investments in beauty – number one worldwide. That’s not only in the paid media space, such as digital and traditional media, but also in influencer marketing. Our share of influence is about 25% globally, and this is something that we are tracking”, she said.

L’Oreal brands work with more than 50,000 influencers worldwide, while also producing assets for its owned channels.

“Our own assets include about more than 500 websites. Some of them are e-commerce or D2C websites, and the others are more content-oriented websites. But all of them are then enhanced through services that we provide to our consumers, like skin diagnostics, make-up virtual try-ons, hair colour try-ons, etc.”, Dubey explained.

“The way we look at it is we want to engage with the consumer through all beauty engagement touchpoints – paid, advocated and owned.”

Building beauty brands in a physical, digital and virtual future

L’Oreal is thinking about how its brands show up in physical, digital and virtual environments – the channels where consumers shop now and also where the company thinks new generations of shoppers will discover and buy their brands.

The company is experimenting with augmented reality filters, phygital stickers, near field computing technology, and with branded integrations on platforms such as Snapchat and Microsoft Teams among many others.

“We are very clear that the future of beauty will be physical, digital and virtual, and therefore we are creating new codes of beauty in this new world,” Dubey said.

“Moving from social to community is one, but also moving from 2D to 3D beauty. With spatial computing as a technology, we are moving to the internet in 3D, and that also means moving from physical to digital to virtual experiences. We collaborate a lot with big tech, as well as open innovation startups. We also invest.”

Rethinking sustainability across the entire marketing supply chain

In addition to practical measures across its various brands, such as sustainable sourcing, product innovation and circular economy initiatives, the company is also considering the environmental impact of its marketing initiatives.

“In terms of digital media, we are the fourth-largest advertiser in the world… We want to measure and reduce the carbon impact of our digital activities,” Dubey said. 

The company has designed tools in partnership with Impact Plus, a French start up, which can be shared with its creative and media agencies. Different optimisation levels can then be applied depending on the details of the campaign.

“The optimisation level could be the transmission of the ad, such as WiFi versus 4G. Is WiFi is better from a sustainability point of view? Should we advertise on weekends or weekdays? On those levers, we are testing hundreds of campaigns in 2023 to understand how we can measure and reduce carbon impact”, Dubey said.

Get more insights on marketing effectiveness from The WARC Podcast, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.