Social media, augmented and virtual reality, and personalization all play a big role in the marketing of cosmetics today. As the range of marketing channels grows, it becomes increasingly important to effectively manage digital assets.

Leslie Weller, director of marketing, Canto

Leslie Weller, director of marketing, Canto

The beauty industry is having a bit of a moment. Given the growth of the cosmetics market, which is projected to hit $805.51 billion by 2023 according to Orbis Research, there will be no shortage of beauty products to choose from in 2019 and beyond. Long gone are the days when you had to head to your local Macy’s or Nordstrom for your favorite foundation or moisturizer. Now, all of our “go to” make up and skincare products are available online.

Today, many of the hottest beauty brands get their start through non-traditional means. For example, ColourPop and Kylie Cosmetics are two such businesses that found a loyal following on social media platforms, which cater to the generations that don’t buy many beauty magazines or watch TV regularly. The ability to reach millions though viral memes, video “how- tos,” and Instagram and Pinterest posts contributed to the success of these new upstart cosmetic brands, and many others, and will no doubt continue to shake up a highly lucrative and competitive industry.

Fear of Missing Out is a powerful and highly effective personalization strategy for beauty brands.

Some of the hottest trends in beauty marketing in 2018, which will continue to make a big impact in 2019 include:

  • Social Media – Brands know where their customers are and social media is one way to reach them. Many of the world’s biggest brands including Clinique, Ulta Beauty and Unilever employ social media influencers. These influencers range from celebrities to social media users who have established credibility in beauty, have a large number of followers and are highly persuasive based on their authenticity and reach.
    Beauty retailers are also capitalizing on social media platforms to drive sales. One fairly recent addition to Instagram shopping is Stories, which consumers can view and turn into “shoppable posts” with just a few clicks. From there, shoppers are redirected to the original online store to make a purchase. Large and small beauty brands are taking advantage of their growing and loyal social media communities and increasing sales with help from Stories.
  • AR/VR came into its own in 2018 when major beauty brands realized that by providing an interactive shopping experience, consumers can virtually try on different looks before buying. Some of these new experiences incorporate augmented reality with AI to not only provide this new amenity, but also simultaneously collect behavioral data that can be used in future marketing campaigns.
  • Personalization is fueling the ecommerce success of most major global beauty brands. With the ability to provide a highly personal experience to shoppers online, one that replicates elements of the in-store experience, beauty companies can treat every customer like a VIP. Some of the most effective personalization experiences employed by beauty companies are:
  • Replenishment – which predicts when a consumer might run out of product, encouraging them to return to order more with a friendly email and sending replenishment options when they do return.
  • Skin type recommendations – which allows brands to better understand who their customer is by asking them to fill out a short survey and then serving up the right product based on skin type
  • Social proof — FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a powerful and highly effective personalization strategy for beauty brands. IF you can encourage people to purchase the stock that you need to sell because it’s going out of season, etc., you can provide the support and reassurance customers are looking for in making a purchase with the advantage of being in a better position to sell this stock. By using countdown clocks, it helps to build up anticipation and create excitement before a sale even starts by stoking FOMO that ensures people will be moved to act and make their purchases as quickly as possible.

The Role of Beauty Brand Marketers

As beauty brands continue to incorporate new technologies that help them reach and connect with more people, the marketers responsible for providing back-end support for a variety of sales channels, marketing campaigns and ad buys are on the hook for return on investment for related marketing budgets. The visual components required for these campaigns are increasingly important to the entire marketing department, as well as the sales, ecommerce, social media and PR teams that rely on them. As the complexity of product marketing increases, Digital Asset Management (DAM) has become a necessity for the teams on the front lines that must successfully execute the company’s brand vision using compelling visuals.


DAM provides a centralized repository for assets to provide teams and the third-party graphic designers and freelance photographers with instant access to videos, graphics and creative files. The DAM “hub” increases the collaborative and creative processes, decreasing the time spent searching for approved brand assets and allowing marketers to meet critical deadlines. In the end, DAM breeds agility—and agility may well be the most important factor behind marketing success in today’s fast-paced digital climate.

Canto provides digital asset management software.