I recently ran across a report that so impressed me that I wanted to share it with beauty marketers who might not be aware of it. L2 is a NYC-based consultancy that regularly publishes a series called the Digital IQ Index. The Digital IQ Index seeks to grade brands’ performance in the digital arena (elements including factors like website design, social media adoption and digital marketing initiatives) in various sectors such as fashion, jewellery and watches, travel, pharma and finance, among others. They recently published a report on beauty brands that looked to be one of the most comprehensive I’ve ever reviewed. The study’s author links digital performance back to shareholder value and underscores how in driving one, value is enhanced in the other. It is a compelling premise that demands some consideration!
Let’s have a look at how the Beauty Digital Index works. Various elements of the brand’s digital activities are assessed and weighted. Site design accounts for 40% of the brand’s digital grade (includes aspects like technology, user experience, ecommerce, tone and others), digital marketing 30% (includes search, advertising, email, etc), social media 20% (includes activity on key platforms) and mobile 10% (mobile optimisation and app offerings). A brand’s digital “IQ” is thus calculated and might range from Genius (140+) down to Feeble (less than 70).
While the top ranks are filled with predictably impressive digitally performing brands like MAC (Genius), Clinique (Genius), Estee Lauder (Gifted), Bobbi Brown (Gifted) and Victoria’s Secret (Gifted), the overall report verdict is less than positive to the industry. Scott Galloway, the principal researcher, concludes “Despite impressive growth, marketing continues to show signs of aging. Beauty executives pay lip service to ‘going digital,’ but their marketing allocation paints a different picture. Muscle memory, coupled with limited digital understanding, has resulted in what appears to be massive marketing inefficiencies.” He also points out that traditional magazine editorial sway is increasingly threatened as tastemakers are increasingly found online—and that “the traditional gatekeepers don’t command the space they occupy.”
The entire 44 page .pdf report can be found here . L2 requires you to register with an email address but the report is free and can be downloaded immediately. Sixty-six beauty brands are scored, and the report offers fascinating highlights too numerous to list in full here, but includes case studies, focus on social media metrics and year on year brand performances. If you haven’t had a chance to review this report, do yourself a favour and have a look!