From product placement during Rihanna’s Super Bowl Halftime Show to the brand’s UGC #HellaThiccChallenge campaign on YouTube Shoppable Shorts to IRL activations on college campuses, Fenty Beauty’s marketing this year has been — as usual — on fire. Parent company LVMH’s year-end 2022 earnings report said that “Fenty Beauty doubled its revenue, thanks to the expansion of its distribution network and the success of its launches.” In its Q1 2023 earnings report, LVMH reported that the brand earned “strong visibility” during the Super Bowl performance. Building upon Rihanna’s superstar power behind the scenes is a savvy marketing team staying up-to-date on the latest trends, technologies and platforms. Nanette Wong, Fenty Beauty’s vp of global brand marketing, has been with the brand since launch after starting out on the social media team, evolving its strategy as new platforms like TikTok rose. With a biology degree from UC Berkeley, Wong shares her philosophies on marketing and the top platforms on her radar.
Do you approach marketing as more of an art or a science?
“For me, marketing is definitely a combination of both art and science. When I look back at my personal professional trajectory, I truly think my scientific background has been key to my success as a marketer. There are a lot of elements, such as A/B testing, testing a hypothesis and overall data-based thinking, that are extremely applicable to marketing. However, I think that the closer you are to the consumer, the better you are as a marketer — and that is an art. It’s being able to relate, to walk in their shoes, and to understand their wants and needs. It goes hand-in-hand with data, but you need to pair that data with your gut instincts about interpersonal connection. And, of course, marketing is extremely visual, so there’s that aesthetic eye that also plays a key role.”
What do you consider the most promising platforms and types of content for marketing today?
“We can all agree that TikTok has emerged as a leading marketing content platform. Its algorithm and discovery element are undeniable for both the marketer and the consumer. Its content really resonates with today’s average consumer who wants to learn in a quick and entertaining format. That said, I’m still nostalgic for the photo-forward apps, the way of (old) Instagram and Pinterest. What I love about marketing and tech is that there’s always an audience for different formats. How we strategize to make sure we’re connecting with our own audience is what’s key.”
How has marketing or the role of a marketer changed over the past few years?
“I recently read an article on Forbes titled, ‘The next generation of CMOs will come from today’s social media managers.’ I loved it. It summarized the last few years quite succinctly. I started my marketing life as a community manager, then social, and now I am lucky to be focusing on brand marketing. Social media continues to evolve quickly and deeply impact the marketing landscape in its wake, more than any other marketing lever. It has forced marketers to be faster and more agile than ever before. All marketers must consume social to be a savvy marketer — it’s a must, not a nice-to-have. As technology continues to advance, marketers will continue to be challenged to be early adopters on rising social platforms and tech innovations.”
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