The Better Skin Co., an indie skin-care brand founded in 2015, is kicking off on Monday a three-month social and out-of-door billboard campaign called “For All People.” The goals are to raise its direct-to-consumer sales and gather customer data.
The marketing push begins with the release of a behind-the-scenes video of the campaign shoot, which features 32 people, including 66-year-old model Beverly Johnson, Latina comedian Jill-Michele Melean and drag queen Roz Drezfalez. The brand will then start a user-generated content (UGC) call-to-action later in the month that will use the Instagram hashtag #forallpeople — the brand has 13,200 followers on the platform. It will be promoted through its email subscriber list of 48,000. And finally, the billboard portion of the campaign will include either 10 large billboards or 100 small billboards in Los Angeles, from June 1 to Aug. 31, according to Murphy Bishop, co-founder of The Better Skin Co.
The brand’s products are currently sold in all 1,200 Ulta doors and all 17 Riley Rose doors, as well as on HSN and Asos.com. In 2019, the brand expects to earn $20 million in sales, said Bishop. Its e-commerce site currently makes up 10% of sales. The beauty brand wants to direct people to its website and social in order to boost that figure.
“One of the biggest things about this campaign is that’s it’s not directly a sales campaign. We want to be [a customer’s] friend and then sell them down the road when they are ready to convert,” he said. “It’s about the data collection and their names. I will gauge success based on followers we gain [on social media] and on email.”
According to Bishop, the brand’s customer retention management is lacking and missing essential data like names, birthdays, emails and locations, which will help it communicate more effectively and lift its direct-to-consumer sales. The goal is to lift DTC sales by about 3% in the three months, said Bishop. This will also help bottom line, as DTC margins are about 80%, versus 60-65% for sales through retail partners.
TBSC’s campaign, which cost $50,000, will direct shoppers to the brand’s website, thebetterskinco.com, and landing pages like tbsc.com that redirect visitors to its main website. The hashtag #forallpeople will also be included on billboards and emails, and on its website and social accounts. Customers will be able to submit photos based on a designated theme for the months of June, July and August. (The monthly theme, in order of appearance, will center on societal norms, best friends and friendship “squads.”) Email will also be a focus for UGC, and the brand will reward followers who send photos and stories that are then used on the brand’s Instagram with branded merchandise, like backpacks and wrist brands. Currently, TBSC sends about three emails a week and plans to have one dedicated to the campaign each week of the three-month campaign, Bishop said. User-generated content will be interspersed between the official campaign photos every third day.
While TBSC has done smaller campaigns in the past, such as when it launched in Ulta in May 2018, this is the first time the brand is doing such a large and multifaceted campaign to reach many different types of customers. Attracting a broad range of customers goes against the grain, said Conor Begley, co-founder of marketing analytics firm Tribe Dynamics. “Gaining followers or email addresses for people that may not have an actual interest in skin care won’t provide as much value in the long term as identifying and building relationships with people who have a strong connection to your product category,” he said.
Still, TBSC is cautious of limiting itself, as sales from Riley Rose and HSN indicate that several different demographic buckets are core customers. Being a brand that everyone can use is part of TBSC’s ethos, but Bishop said it still has to play catch-up in developing one-on-one relationships.
“We have to go deeper with our customer because loyalty is probably at an all-time low, due to the changing dynamics of the market,” said Bishop. “Our goal is to meet and understand our customer, and market to them correctly because every day, it’s more competitive.”