How Mecca’s user-generated content strategy drives customer engagement

The Australian beauty retailer’s head of digital explains how content direct from the consumer can help foster greater brand trust and authenticity

Australian cosmetic retailer Mecca’s head of digital, Anna Stockley, speaking at the Online Retailers Conference 2016 in Sydney
Australian cosmetic retailer Mecca’s head of digital, Anna Stockley, speaking at the Online Retailers Conference 2016 in Sydney

User-generated content has become vital in a world where brands are increasingly building direct and transparent relationships with customers, according to the digital chief of Mecca.

Speaking at the Online Retailers Conference 2016 in Sydney, the cosmetic retailer’s head of digital, Anna Stockley, said leveraging content produced by consumers, such as videos, images, social content, as well as ratings and reviews, is a key part of how the brand is driving customer engagement and authenticity.

“UGC influences behaviour across the entire customer journey, and today, people are engaging with and expressing their opinion about products and brand freely in social media posts, online ratings and reviews, blog posts, online videos and more,” she told attendees. “At Mecca Brands, we are truly blessed to have a very engaged customer base that generates a lot of material and participates actively in our community.”

Stockley pointed out social media is transforming the market, with 3.5 billion people online and 2.5bn with social media accounts.

“As a result, brands are leap-frogging traditional media, and there is a direct conversation happening with the customer now,” she said. “UGC is very much driving customer’s decisions and purchase behaviour.”

For instance, Anastasia of Beverley Hills is one of the first brands that has grown purely via social, and is now valued at more than US$ 1 billion. “It’s showing brands are now forging those relationships directly with their customer,” Stockley said.

Rather than place their trust in traditional advertising for product information, the next generation of consumers are more willing to trust strangers and their recommendations, she continued.

“In fact, 90 per cent of people prefer brand recommendations from friends and 70 per cent believe in consumer opinions,” she said.

As an example, Stockley noted one of the cosmetic brands its stocks, Urban Decay, experienced on a 230 per cent increase in the likelihood to convert online thanks to positive consumer reviews.

When it comes to the moment of purchase, Stockley said UGC can help a brand be part of the sub-culture and community. The way Mecca does this on its website is to aggregate content from customers and showcase what people are contributing to the community.

“Also in-store, it can also be very effective - you can generate moments of theatre and excitement by bringing that community into the physical realm,” she said. “Take our selfie printers, where we created collage of all the images of customers taken from a new store opening.”

But it’s the post-purchase and advocacy cycle that Stockley suggested was the most important point of the customer journey to benefit from user-generated content.

“This is where you have people engaging and really providing exposure to the brand or product online,” she said. “We’ll see things like beautifully styled photos on social of customers with their products post-purchase, and commenting on their experience.”

Stockley also pointed out the younger generation don’t connect with traditional beauty marketing methods of polished, inaccessible and retouched images. Instead, they’re looking for authentic imagery and stories.

New generation of cosmetic buyers prefer how-to tutorials over traditional ads, Stockley said

This was something recognised by L’Oreal in a recent study, which found simple ‘how to’ video tutorials had twice the number of click throughs than high-production, glossy advertisement.

“It’s particularly the younger demographic today that isn’t responding to traditional beauty marketing, which is very aspirational and inaccessible,” Stockley said. “Content that feels accessible, such as YouTube tutorials and how-to guides, are proven to driven more engagement with a younger audience.”

Stockley offered up the following key takeaways for leveraging great user-generated content for your brand:

  • Authenticity: Go the extra mile and build authentic relationships with your customers, who will become your brand advocates
  • Genuine passion: Work with those are influential but who also have a genuine passion for your brand and what you’re delivering
  • Influencer relationships: Build a relationship with influencers, don’t just make it transactional
  • Reward and recognise: Give customers an incentive and reason to share with reward or recognition, like competitions or putting people in the spotlight

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Why 2017 will herald a resurgence of values-based marketing

It doesn’t take long for predictions to become predictable: The rise and rise of Facebook; advancements in analytics; the normalisation of chatbots; personalisation, programmatic, automation, authenticity… The prediction that’s missing from these lists is that in 2017 we will witness a resurgence of values-based marketing.

Jacqueline Burns

Founder, Market Expertise

Why customer experience driven growth is set to take off

Our overall brand perceptions are invariably shaped by our experiences. And loyal customer relationships can be severed in moments by a negative service interaction.

Consistency and conversation: How branding and advertising can work better together

Advertising and branding are two of the most visible outputs of marketing, which is why getting them right is so important. However, too often the line between branding and advertising becomes blurred. This means advertising activity can be out of sync with brand, resulting in poor results for both functions.

Dan Ratner

managing director, uberbrand

Someone needs a swift kick up the bum for such an idiotic idea.

random

​Why a degree is no longer enough to get you hired as a skilled marketer

Read more

The frequent flyer programs are the new profit machines for airlines all over the world, as they have morphed to be mass marketing machin...

Steve@iFLYflat

Velocity frequent flyers program strong performer in mixed half-year for Virgin

Read more

Hi Jennifer, thanks for sharing these info regarding the digital marketing trends.I've created a related video to this topic, would you m...

Fabio Carry

Predictions: 17 digital marketing trends for 2017

Read more

Great news. Marketing automation can be very useful for companies at various stages of development. With so many tools out there it's bet...

Ben

How HBF rolled out marketing automation in eight months

Read more

I read a report that the business sector in Australia as a whole have yet to fully harness and see the proactive change that predictive a...

Alex Martin

Report: Predictive analytics, IoT, machine learning battle it out for marketing dollars

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in