Marie Gulin-Merle has more than 15 years of experience in managing communications and digital strategies for fast-moving consumer goods and beauty luxury brands.
Before she was appointed CMO of L’Oréal USA nearly a year-and-a-half ago, Gulin-Merle served as global head of integrated marketing communications for L’Oréal Paris.
Gulin-Merle is credited with successfully reinventing integrated communications for L’Oréal Paris. Through her strategic leadership in the digital space, she also overhauled the content strategy for the brand’s product innovations and modernized major events, such as L’Oréal Paris’ involvement in the Cannes Film Festival.
Gulin-Merle recently participated in our “4 Questions for Marketing Innovators” series.
1. What is one marketing topic that is most important to you as an innovator?
The shift to data-driven marketing in the consumer packaged goods world is changing the way we do business. At L’Oreal USA, we’re leveraging this to cultivate more intimate relationships with our customers, who expect more value, more services, more engagements, and more conversations with our beauty brands.
2. Why is this so important?
Data-driven marketing unlocks immense possibilities of personalized brand experiences and puts the consumer at the center of each and every marketing decision. It has the power to change the way we develop products, campaigns, and our go-to-market strategy.
The development of mobile is crucial for customization; the content has to be even sharper and continuously adapted and adjusted. One survey found that nearly two-thirds (62%) of Millennials feel that online content drives their brand loyalty. We’re constantly using consumer insights to connect with them in innovative ways on mobile to build brand loyalty and trust so they feel satisfied with their shopping decisions.
Our Makeup Genius app is a great example of how to connect with consumers through innovation. The app transforms the front-facing camera of your phone into a virtual mirror where users can try on products virtually. The app uses advanced facial-mapping technology that has previously only been used in Hollywood and in the gaming industry to overlay products, like lipstick and eyeliner, onto the user’s face.
3. How will the customer experience be improved by this?
This new area creates value for consumers through more effective engagement. Consumers’ digital expectations toward our brands have changed with the influx of data-driven marketing, and we’re responding by using consumer data to help personalize our message, optimize investments, and engage with our customers at each and every step of their shopping journey.
We want our consumers to continuously engage with products and be given an easy, seamless way to merge online and offline experiences. Customers expect L’Oreal USA brands to understand their needs. We’re providing more customized, dynamic content to do just that.
4. How will this improve the effectiveness of marketing?
Technology-driven marketing means that any contact with our consumer will provide data, and that data will make the brand experience richer and tailored to each individual customer. This also translates to efficiencies to better measure our media return on investments, as well as better consumer engagement and loyalty.
Bonus: Favorite activity outside of work?
I’m a voracious reader. I love books about political history, revolutions, and French novels of the 19th century. Can’t pass up a good autobiography either!