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Beauty of Data, in the Eye of the Beholder
By Aditi Bhat
The massive data science revolution is already well underway and the cosmetic sector is not far behind. French cosmetics company L'Oréal Paris saw the power in data science and analytics. The company is now tapping it to get insights to the latest consumer beauty trends and engage with its audience.
Consumers turn to social media in the moments that matter, especially when it comes to beauty and fashion. Companies such as L’Oréalget a glimpse into the latest up-and-incoming trends for a particular season. By looking at search demand patterns, geographic data, and co-search behaviour, L’Oréal gets its hand on the current and forthcoming trends for any season.
L’Oréal Paris + Google Trends
Google Trends helps capture insights for L’Oréal. To reach its audience, L’Oréal advertises against branded, category and affinity search queries to address diverse consumer needs throughout the purchase journey. It also provides branded content on their innovative beauty site, hairstyle.com, to address people’s needs at exactly the right moment.
With the advent of data science, L'Oréal Paris has increased investment in digital marketing. It is also simultaneously rethinking the ways it uses digital tools such as Search. Data science provides sale leads and a proactive audience. It also helps collect the desired quality of data from the audience.
L’Oréal Paris + IBM Big Data & Analytics Hub
To drive more business value across targeted areas, L’Oréal needed consistent and readily accessible product information. So the company partnered with IBM Big Data & Analytics to do the same.
L’Oréal is a global organization with brands and portfolios delivering different product types to a vast and varied customer base. The technical part of the project was the easy bit (obviously it’s IBM!). The huge challenge these data science experts was to understand the complex organizational structure (i.e. how L’Oréal varies its markets to cater to different people in a particular geographic region) and to link it back to its current business processes.
The Purple Lipstick
A case in point being Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who took the online world by storm when she sported a purple lipstick by L’Oréal at Cannes Film Festival 2016. Her bold style statement quickly became the talk of the town. People across different social media platforms both trolled and appreciated her for her looks. While doing so, L’Oréal collected data from the audience engaging in checking whether the targeted markets are open to new colours of lipsticks.
Highly glamorous yet highly fickle, the beauty and fashion industry is one of the most difficult for forecasting trends and product demands. What is ‘in’ and what is ‘out’ can change in an instant. For managers deciding on which product lines to move forward with or put on hold, a decision like this could end up costing a company thousands—if not millions of dollars!
However, with high risk comes the potential for high reward. Rewards that global beauty brand L’Oréal Paris have begun to tap with the use of data science in online search and social media tools to drive innovation within their company. So, who knows where’s a course in data science can take you? Always Remember - Expect The Unexpected
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