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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

Hey there! Very interesting article, thank you for your input! I found particularly interesting the part where you mentioned that certain...

Martin Valovič

Companies don’t have policies to disrupt traditional business models: Forrester’s McQuivey

Read more

I too am regularly surprised at how little care a large swathe of consumers take over the sharing and use of their personal data. As a m...

Catherine Stenson

Have customers really changed? - Marketing edge - CMO Australia

Read more

The biggest concern is the lack of awareness among marketers and the most important thing is the transparency and consent.

Joe Hawks

Data privacy 2021: What should be front and centre for the CMO right now

Read more

Thanks for giving these awesome suggestions. It's very in-depth and informative!sell property online

Joe Hawks

The new rules of Millennial marketing in 2021

Read more

In these tough times finding an earning opportunity that can be weaved into your lifestyle is hard. Doordash fits the bill nicely until y...

Fred Lawrence

DoorDash launches in Australia

Read more

Blog Posts

Highlights of 2020 deliver necessity for Circular Economies

The lessons emerging from a year like 2020 are what make the highlights, not necessarily what we gained. One of these is renewed emphasis on sustainability, and by this, I mean complete circular sustainability.

Katja Forbes

Managing director of Designit, Australia and New Zealand

Have customers really changed?

The past 12 months have been a confronting time for marketers, with each week seemingly bringing a new challenge. Some of the more notable impacts have been customer-centric, driven by shifting priorities, new consumption habits and expectation transfer.

Emilie Tan

Marketing strategist, Alpha Digital

Cultivating engaging content in Account-based Marketing (ABM)

ABM has been the buzzword in digital marketing for a while now, but I feel many companies are yet to really harness its power. The most important elements of ABM are to: Identify the right accounts; listen to these tracked accounts; and hyper-personalise your content to these accounts to truly engage them. It’s this third step where most companies struggle.

Joana Inch

Co-founder and head of digital, Hat Media Australia

Sign in