Wednesday, July 22, 2009

e.l.f. cosmetics to launch @ home makeup party campaign

New York, N.Y. July 22, 2009 - This weekend e.l.f. Cosmetics kicks off a new direct-to-consumer initiative by hosting a launch event for internet bloggers at the BlogHer convention in Chicago. The cosmetics brand hopes to jump start what they anticipate will become a popular consumer program by engaging independent bloggers attending the Chicago event on July 24th in a concept called MakeupAtHome. MakeUpAtHome is a program that – in a nod to Tupperware in the 70’s and Pampered Chef in the 90’s -- encourages real women to host beauty parties in their home or an alternative venue. The company envisions lively “girls’ nights in” where beauty tips are shared, popular trends are discussed and women engage in product trial on themselves and each others. e.l.f. plans to provide a full line of product for trial. This is a fitting concept from a company who built its highly devoted -- and demographically broad -- consumer base primarily online and with a very unique positioning: the majority of products are sold for only $1… the single item price points for the three lines are $1 (standard line), $3 (Studio line), and $5 (Mineral line).

This weekend’s event represents phase one of the e.l.f. MakeupAtHome concept, and, initially at least, relies on a contingent of 40+ influential bloggers from around the U.S. Some will be anointed the brand’s designated “intitial party hostesses” and encouraged to introduce e.l.f. – and the MakeupAtHome concept -- to their friends at social gatherings with the intention of getting new users to try products without having to commit to a purchase while also generating buzz.

“It made perfect sense to launch at the BlogHer conference,” said Ted Rubin Chief Marketing Officer. “These bloggers are extremely influential leaders in the online community and function as an effective entity for building awareness and further promoting the viral nature of the e.l.f. brand.” Rubin continues, “but the real benefit of the MakeupAtHome program is that it encourages potential e.l.f. shoppers to test-drive the products and experience their high-quality formulations and on-trend palettes despite the almost surreal price point.” This unique and immersive brand experience will get e.l.f into the hands of key consumers and render it easy for them to share and inspire their friends., a community designed to bring all women bloggers together, hosts the annual event as a "crash course on the best practices for reaching the most influential and powerful consumers -- women online -- in the quickly evolving social media world.”

In addition to launching at the BlogHer conference, e.l.f will also work closely with SheSpeaks – the leading insights and word-of-mouth network - to handle planning and outreach for the MakeupAtHome parties, and Allure Magazine, which will have a presence at each event and providing content for distribution materials.

How does it work?

SheSpeaks and e.l.f. will target and enroll party hostesses who will be asked to invite 10-12 of their friends.
Each hostess receives a Party Pack with all the elements required to execute her MakeupAtHome event. These will include product for demonstration, guest freebies, and door prizes.
It’s time to party! The hostess will throw her event and offer guests the option to buy product at a discount and with free shipping if they order as a group. This is not a direct sales model and the hostess with not be selling, but compiling an order for all, pass along coupons and share in the excitement of the e.l.f. brand.

e.l.f. Cosmetics was created in the belief that every woman should have the opportunity to experience luxury cosmetics without sacrificing budget. Since the brand’s introduction five years ago, the e.l.f. Cosmetics website ( has grown to include 2 million members and is a popular destination for beauty fans looking for quality, affordable cosmetics. In a short period of time, e.l.f. has earned the reputation of delivering a competitive product to the prestige brands at a fraction of the price.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Had to post from "Andy Beal's Marketing Pilgrim," / So Timely

Marketing Pilgrim Published: “Twitter Takes to the Air.”

Twitter Takes to the Air
Posted: 17 Jul 2009 02:28 PM PDT

We are all getting comfortable with the place that social media outlets can have in the business process. Public relations, human resources, legal and sales can all benefit. At the present the most common application is customer service. While customer service is always important, the advent of social media has created customer service in ways that most companies never imagined.

The airline industry has had a virtual crash course in handling customer issues via social media outlets with Twitter leading the charge. One main reason for this is the fact that frequent travelers are likely to be heavy smart phone users and what else can they do while suffering thorough a delay? Complain of course. Now just going to the desk at the gate and airing your concerns is mere child’s play. Why not tell all of your friends and followers about how terrible the airline is that you are having trouble with? How airlines handle this can determine who that flyer decides to go with in the future.

It looks like the winner thus far is Southwest. I learned about their particular approach to social media at a conference in Dallas and it was impressive. An Ad Age article tells more by showing how the airline used Twitter to diffuse the situation from earlier in the week where a foot wide hole ripped in the fuselage of a Southwest flight but was safely landed enventually.

Shortly after the plane landed, the tweets began pouring in from those who heard the news: “Emergency landing for a Southwest flight … A one ft by one ft hole in the fuselage is to blame … yikes.” The incident was documented by those on board via Twitpic and YouTube. The airline’s lead “Twitterer,” Christi Day, immediately began posting updates that included links to an official company release, a statement that all planes would be inspected overnight and news that all passengers on board would be refunded.

“It was important for us to set the tone as soon as we saw those conversations begin online,” Ms. Day said. “We were able to distribute factual information to our customers before they saw it on the 10 p.m. news, which is extremely powerful.”

Nice job. Now the other side of the same coin; Delta.

On the more serious matter of customer service, the airline took a bit of a bruising yesterday on Twitter, following a letter Andy Azula, the creative director at the Martin Agency and the actor in the UPS Whiteboard commercials, wrote to Delta that he posted on his blog and linked to on his Twitter page (he has since taken it down). Apparently Delta delayed Mr. Azula’s flight, keeping him and his family waiting at the airport for 13 hours and causing him to miss a number of meetings and a family gathering. The airline didn’t offer any type of compensation in the end. Not only did the link get re-tweeted dozens of times, but people started adding their own commentary, such as “Yep. Delta Airlines is screwed if they don’t rectify this.” The airline did not tweet any type of reply.

Delta responded that they are developing their social / emerging media processes. Not exactly the sharp witted response you need when you get hammered by someone in the advertising industry who knows how to work this stuff.

So here are two pretty distinct sets of results. Our question to Pilgrim readers is where are your strategies? Do you even have any? Do you feel the need for them? Are they more industry specific than general? Tell us your stories. One of the best ways to maneuver through this new area is to share successes and failures. Maybe we can even help each other in a friendly, social media, community kind of way?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Two more things that are so important for many to grasp...

Social marketing takes time to deliver meaningful results. Build your presence, extend your footprnt and gain traction. Don't be impatient and rush.


Why is social media/marketing the future of marketing? Teens today are intense about sharing and colaboratng, the very princpals of social media's foundation, and this will extend into their future, and the future of marketing.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Definition of Marketing in Today’s Social Media World

The founders of a major public broadcasting network were recently asked to explain the success of their programming. Their response was that because they were operating in a non-commercial environment, they were free to experiment and be creative without the risk of commercial failure. The same opportunity exists for any application of marketing principles to the world of social media: Marketing = experimentation.

Using old marketing tactics in this new media can fail without clarity on the reasons for their failure. It is much more likely to find new approaches to communication that are meaningful in a contextual and appropriate way.

Just as testing has always been a critical part of developing marketing strategies, experimentation will be the lifeblood of successful results when expanded to reflect the new opportunities and venues created by the proliferation of social media.

Businesses need to take initial proactive approaches to social media, using it for branding the way they use sponsorships. They cannot let fear or embarrassment over mistaken initial steps stop them from attempting other approaches.

It is a mistake to presume that businesses need to have a resident expert to enter the fray, just as it is a mistake to presume that they need a young intern to handle this newest of media. The principles of trial and error, moderated by a good marketing instinct are the critical skill sets for success.

In fact, companies can be active in social media without writing a blog, tweeting - or even using a computer. The challenge is to effectively get others to blog or tweet about you. Developing the right strategic relationships can go further than the largest marketing budget in extending a company’s reach into social media. In essence, by definition social media requires creating a campaign that is viral in nature.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July - "Independence Day" - Declare Yours

The thought of Independence Day brings to mind the current economic environment as well as personal family challenges for me. Many of us go through our lives, day to day, thinking that our only recourse is to put our heads down, one foot in front of the other, and persevere. It is easy to fall into this rut and believe it is the proper course, the only way to go, and all we have to hope for in the future.

I say NO. "Action is the active ingredient that transforms goals into reality!" Let us never forget that we can always improve the situation in which we live, make a better life for ourselves and the ones we love, and effect/fight for change even when the odds are against such change. Being courageous enough to act on your goals/desires/needs to make a better life, better widget, better business and/or better world, is the first and most crucial step in making your goals into reality.

I experience this realty each and every day in business and personally. I am 51 years old, have had big wins and big losses in business, and know that the game is far from over. There is huge opportunity presenting itself today in this new social media world and I am determined to not let it pass me by and finish with that desperately needed win. YOU CAN DO THE SAME.

In addition I face serious challenges in my personal life that many would walk away from, as I have been told over and over by those who would and many who have seen those who do; but I am determined to have a positive effect on the lives of my daughters and face those challenges head-to-head each and every day. Although this is exhausting mentally and physically, I do not bow in the face of the onslaught and odds that have been against me from the start.

Therefore in the face of all these financial and personal challenges we all face... I declare MY PERSONAL "Independence Day," and you need to do the same!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Important Reminder

Long hard few weeks, thought a reminder was in order... THE LOVE YOU GIVE IS THE LOVE YOU GET!