The pandemic has taught us that end customers still want to shop in stores – provided that the purchase is an experience. Claudia Poledniczek, therefore, also speaks of the “point of experience”. To effectively support this sales channel in promoting products and services, the Sales Director of the beauty brand BABOR relies on socialPALS. For her, the retail marketing platform is the perfect tool to support its cosmetician’s social media marketing. In the interview, she gives us first-hand impressions:
Claudia, could you please describe something about yourself and your role at BABOR?
I am the Sales Director for Germany, Austria and Switzerland and look after our customers with my sales team (14 area managers and two regional sales managers).
BABOR started using socialPALS in May this year to provide your retail partners with high-quality campaign content. Why did you choose to test this form of automated retail marketing for your communication concept?
Our partners are skin experts. Their focus is, therefore, first and foremost, the customers in the respective beauty institutes. They advise, pamper with unique finishes and manage their business. Our claim is to convince our partners with outstanding products and treatment concepts and with outstanding business support. socialPALS is the perfect tool to support the social media marketing of our beauty institutes.
What was the objective of the previous campaigns and how much internal effort did you spend on marketing to get them off the ground?
We rely heavily on synergy effects from our leading brand channel because we want the BABOR brand to appear consistent. Our brand communication team creates beautiful content that can be used globally. For socialPALS, we formulate appealing texts for this image and video material to introduce our products to the end consumer: inside.
Were the campaigns successful and were you able to develop new target groups and/or expand your customer base through socialPALS? Did the platform contribute to strengthening your brand image and/or improving your market position?
So far, our retail partners have used and appreciated the automatic content integration. It’s ultra easy and has been very well received.
How has automating campaigns through socialPALS impacted the efficiency and scalability of your marketing efforts? Has the platform helped you use your budgets more effectively?
Through socialPALS, we primarily support our institute partners. We, therefore, see socialPALS as a new channel through which we can reach additional BABOR enthusiasts. With our marketing budget, we thus address an even larger target group.
By using socialPALS, have you acquired new insights about your brand or your products? Were you able to draw any lessons from the platform - for example, which channels/formats are best suited for what? Were there any surprises?
Together with our cosmeticians, our goal is to attract even more customers to BABOR treatments and products. That’s why we’d like to use socialPALS to provide even more specific information about our BABOR finishes. Based on the insights of the individual campaigns, we were able to see that Facebook continues to be a relevant tool for us.
What role do KPI analyses play in evaluating campaign performance? Did you gain insights for your marketing strategy from our platform data?
The fact that ads perform better than organic posts is no surprise. Here, we would like to go into more detail and offer more campaigns that are played out as ads to increase the reach of each individual institute.
How difficult was it to motivate your retail partners to participate? Is the "online marketing" module accepted as an integration into the sales concept?
The topic of online marketing has arrived in the beauty institute. During the pandemic institute closures, there was a real run on social media among institutes. This trend has flattened out, but the channel is recognized as relevant. We see that in the use of socialPALS as well. We have set ourselves an annual target for how many partners we want to be involved in the first year, and we are already close to reaching the target.
How has the use of socialPALS affected the collaboration between your marketing and your beauticians? Have there been improvements, for example, in the exchange of information? Has the perception of your brand by the institutes changed due to the digital support? Has there been an increase in satisfaction?
Communication is a crucial point when it comes to marketing and actions. We send out newsletters informing our professionals about new campaigns and offers. We also use the newsletter functionality of socialPALS so that a constant flow of information is guaranteed. Our field representatives are the contact persons for socialPALS for our institutes. They help with questions regarding registration and billing. In addition, of course, the support of socialPALS also assists.
Participation in a socialPALS campaign and thus the playout of the turnkey content calendar is confirmed by each retail partner after one-time registration via 1-Click. Were there also cosmeticians that took a closer look at the platform and, e.g. planned (extra) postings or advertising budget themselves?
Absolutely! We have observed some professionals doing great work with the tool. We would like to mention Stefanie Lenz as a best practice example. She has combined the content we make available via socialPALS with her own postings and actions. This is how the tool is used optimally!
What challenges do you currently see for both BABOR as a brand and for your partner institutes? Have a variety of global crises, such as the pandemic or the supply chain issue, had a lasting impact on the industry? Have the requirements for local marketing also changed fundamentally as a result?
I believe that the manifold crises of this time make people look at what is really important to them, what is perhaps also their personal luxury. And that is time spent consciously and well, “time well spent”. As a BABOR brand, we offer end consumers a special time. In a finish or at home when using our products. And in a way, we also give our partners time through the utility of socialPALS. They only have to invest a little time in their online marketing and gain time for other things!
To what extent has socialPALS helped you keep up with current trends in retail marketing? Have you been able to take advantage of the platform's functionality to address changing customer needs?
Transparent communication is one of the most critical customer needs. We all know that. Social media is a significant lever because end consumers are informed and can ask individual questions. This creates a quick exchange that can strengthen customer loyalty.
How do you see the future of store-based retail in the context of the market power of the big online players? Do retailers still have a chance if they invest in digital measures in good time, for example? Do end customers still want to shop at brick-and-mortar stores?
This is another lesson learnt from the pandemic: end customers want to buy in-store – provided that this purchase is an experience. That’s why we talk about the “point of experience”. I believe in the future of retail – if it is not seen in opposition to digital players but acts hand in hand. For our product, retail is the ideal point of experience. A facial treatment in the hands of a BABOR expert – what could be better?
How would you rate the customer support of socialPALS? Were there situations where you had queries or issues - and if so, how were you helped?
The communication between BABOR and socialPALS is simple, quick and straightforward. The onboarding was remarkable also for catching the sales colleagues up on the project. We really appreciate the fact that our professionals can contact socialPALS Customer Service at any time and are also actively contacted by socialPALS if, for example, information is still missing from the platform account or if there are problems with linking the social media profiles.
Do you have any suggestions? How can socialPALS as a retail marketing platform support you in overcoming current challenges (even more effectively)?
A longer duration for the advertising campaigns would be desirable. Also, an overview of which of our professionals registered with socialPALS. This would enable us to find out which activation measures work best.
Act today and use your MDF more effectively!
socialPALS brings brands and retail partners together, creating a win-win situation that unleashes previously untapped potential. The innovative software solution simplifies complex processes through automated retail marketing and strengthens stationary retail through regional brand campaigns. Get your obligation-free platform demo today and become part of the socialPALS success story.