The cosmetics industry can be dated as far back as 4000 BC when Egyptians used kohl to create dramatic eyes. Today the cosmetic industry – which now includes make-up, perfumes, skincare and a few other product lines – is a multi-billion dollar(US) industry and growing. Not much is different in the Italian economy.
In 2019 the Italian cosmetics industry brought in 7090 million Euros to their economy. A study ‘The Cosmetics Industry in Italy’ by Switzerland Global Enterprise found that with regards to their cosmetic industry Face products made up for 14.4% of the sales with facial make-up making up 4.5% followed by lips at 3.5% (a 5% increase from 2018). This leaves that there is much opportunity for a new brand to enter the cosmetics market. The recent global movement towards genderless make-up brands also allows for the market opportunity to increase the size of target audiences to include all genders from male, female, non-binary, gender fluid and all other forms that people decide to identify themselves as.
As a start-up brand gaining reach and overall conversions are of utmost importance. Therefore important KPI’ to keep track of during introduction campaigns would be: Unique visitors per day, for the first 6 months new leads following the first month and cost per conversion would be of the most important.
There is much opportunity to expand in a country like Italy, which currently has the third-largest economy in Europe but more so is the largest market for luxury goods in Europe.
Mid-priced, quality, fun-loving start-up make-up brand.
Who they are:
The selected target audience are Italians aged 18 to 34-year-olds, non-gender specific
The size of the market: (2021)
The market on social media:
Overall Instagram users in Italy: 28.8 million users
Between 18 and 34: 47.1% (13 536 000)
Overall Facebook users in Italy: 35.9 million
Between 18 and 34: 37.2% (13 354 800)
Overall product line standings as of 2019
Face products: 14.4%
Facial Make-Up: 4.5%
Eye Make-Up: 4.1%
Make-up Boxes: 0.5%
Reasons for purchase:
Unfortunately, there are no Italy specific references however a European study conducted found that
- 72% of consumers feel that cosmetic products improve their quality of life
- 80% see cosmetics as very important factors for self-esteem
Where and how they buy
- (2019) 55% of all consumers in Southern Europe (Italian geographic) shop
- ⅔ pay via credit card and 31% by pay-pal
- 47% of online shoppers preferred paying with PayPal or similar
- 31% preferred paying by debit or credit card
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Step 1: Create a customer profile
This step is necessary since the brand is a new brand entering an already existing market that has several competitors ranging in their fields.
We have already found the basis of the brands’ target audience (see Strategy Information)
Most used social media: Instagram
Use of brands products: Means of confidence
Qualitative Data (to be done after brands initiation)
- Gather more insights to the market’s interest – this will assist to create sub-categories within the market with regards to interests that can be used in later campaigns
- Blog articles would provide useful to gain insight as to what ‘young adults’ are interested in with regards to their entertainment
- Can also be gathered on social media accounts
- Examples of questions could include “What are you currently watching on Netflix”, questions are for the purpose of gaining personal insight into the target audience
Step 2: Long and Short Term Goals
Setting goals is one of the most crucial parts of the digital marketing strategy plan. Correctly identifying your goals will help you take your business to the next level. For instance, if you are a small makeup company that is selling decorative cosmetics, here is an example of what your goals might look like:
Long Term Goals (6months+)
- 55% purchase rate of all clicks to the e-commerce site from
- Create a collaboration collection with popular shows/entertainers
- Shift to 100% sustainable product packaging within 3 years
Short Term Goals
- 10 000 followers on Instagram after 3 months of social media introduction
- Host a physical-virtual event to announce the launch of the brand and introduction campaign
- Host a social media giveaway competition
- Collaborate with local micro-influencers to increases recognition for your brand
- Sell 1,250 units
- Create an affiliate marketing plan
Step 3: Create an online presence for the brand
- In order to start on this process, there are a few subcategories to check off in order to efficiently and effectively start digitally marketing
There are various options the brand has when it comes to starting a website:
- Build the website in-house by using a website builder that offers already built templates that are customizable to the brand needs there are free and paid options with paid options giving the brand access to a personal domain name which would benefit SEO later – such as wix.com or many others
- Using similar website building sites (as mentioned above (a)) but using their option to have someone on the site’s team build the site for the brand – again this comes at a monthly/yearly cost that varies depending on the features the brand wishes to have
- Purchase a domain name on Google domains and hire a web developer or use a third-party web developer to build the site
- Ensure to link all other social medias
- Ensure online purchasing is made a priority in the building of the website
- Create a ‘Create an account’ section to create potential buyer lists for email marketing
The best-suited email to create would be a Google business email account
Set up a Google business profile:
- Offers the business name
- Online presence (website and – once they’ve been created- social media accounts)
- Contact details
- Note: Verification of the business/brand will be required by Google by means of a letter or a video call
Social Media Accounts
Today, the world is changing rapidly, and if you are trying to grow your business, you must tackle various social media. In this example, we advise first to focus on Instagram and Facebook. Since our demographic is people between 18 and 34 years old and the average demographic for people using Instagram in Europe is 18-28, we conclude that we need another social media outlet to target the rest of the people. Researching the average demographics for social media is extremely important when choosing where to post about your brand because it can drastically affect your business plan. Here is where we refer to Facebook. We found out that in European countries the largest demographic group for this outlet is between the ages of 25 and 34 years.
The primary focus will be on Instagram for the beginning phase of the brand
- Start an Instagram account using the email created for the brand
- Ensure website link to online shop
Secondary/Reinforcing focus will be on Facebook
- Start a Facebook business profile using the business email created
- Ensure website link to online shop
This account will be created but will remain private until content can be created.
Step 4: Create content
- Content for Instagram and Facebook can be the same
- Video content for YouTube
- Content categories:
- Branded posts: These are simple posts that carry the brands’ logo and images that relate to the products offered
- Educational posts: In the make-up industry these include “How to..” content in both video and blog form
- Informational posts: These posts tell the audience about the brand; what separates our brand from our competitors, sale information, special codes for purchases…
- Take well set-up photos of the make-up products
- Keep editing and colours to a particular theme that will ingrain the brand
- Use applications like Canva to create posts using images taken as well as other stock elements as well as to size up the posts so they’re optimum for Instagram and Facebook (Best to size it as a ‘Facebook post’ – it’s suited for both Instagram and Facebook)
Step 5: Automate Marketing
Automate Social Media Posts
- Use Heropost as an automation tool
- Link Instagram and Facebook profiles
- Schedule Posts weeks in advance so that continuous posting will be done for the brand as content is created
- Schedule posts at 07:00, 12:00, 17:00 (Time in Italy)
- Ensure 3 posts every day
> European engagements fade as the week goes on
> On Saturdays engagement is low
Automated Email Marketing
- Use email marketing not only to inform of sales but also as a blog. Here you can find 3 tips that will help you increase your email engagement.
- Automate emails for when new customers create an account and accept to receive forms of email marketing
Step 6: SEO
Keywords are essential for the success of your social media accounts! They are the foundation of social media marketing and can help new users discover relevant content and lead them to your page. Keywords are to be used on the home page, in social media captions (as hashtags in most cases) and in meta-data!
- Eye shadow
- Make-up brand in Italy
- Affordable make-up
- Quality make-up
- Ensure that navigation on the website for both mobile devices and desktop is made easy for the target audience to use
> Buttons work
> Views of each page on the website are set so the audience can easily view the page and scroll
> Pictures and graphics on the site should not be too large that they cause the website itself to take a long time to load
Step 7: Help the customer reach you!
- Should you enable direct messaging options on social media platforms to ensure that you respond to any information requests or queries, there is also the option to then link them to the “Contact Us” landing page – however, some consumers find having to repeat themselves on a different platform tedious
- On the website create a ‘Contact Us’ page which should link to your email where customers/potential customers can contact you with requests, questions or queries
- On the GoogleMy Business profile link the ‘Contact Us’ as a landing page for a contact web-link
Step 8: Identify what your KPI’s will be
KPI’s or Key Performance Indicators are a value of measurements that will help you analyze the success and effectiveness of your business plan.
This will be to identify the number of visitors to the site who either
- Create an account
- Contact the brand
- Make a purchase
Cost per conversion
When people click links to the website but close the page in less than 30 seconds
This will be a lead as to whether
- The website is optimized for navigation on various devices
- Landing pages linked by social media accounts or Google searches are correct and working effectively
Post Engagement vs. Post Reach
- How many people are liking, commenting, sharing your content and checking out your website vs How many people are seeing the content
- Can see if the content being seen by the target audience
Click-through Rate on Paid Advertisements
As mentioned earlier, you can set up affiliate marketing or work with local micro-influencers to promote your product.
- To use this KPI and successfully measure its effectiveness, all you need is to provide the micro-influencer with the discount/referral code that their followers can use when purchasing your products through a website.
- Measure the success rate of the referral code by the number of purchases made and decide whether or not this is effective for you and if you want to continue marketing and promoting your products through these channels.
Step 9: Track your progress
It is crucial to track your digital marketing efforts because it will help you better understand your business perspective. Often after tracking your progress, you will notice the shift in the goals that were first established. Some goals will be achieved, and some will need to be altered and will require more time and attention to be completed.
- Track your progress towards your goals by means of monitoring KPI’s
- Identify whether any goals need to be altered for whatever reason (potentially too large or too small a goal)
Step 10: Change as needed
Due to the ever-changing world and the need to stay at the top of your creative game it may be necessary to alter future campaigns once the content for them has been changed.
These changes could also be due to changes in goals or in the ways to successfully reach the goals (i.e video content may become far more useful than photo content thus a shift in social media focus from Instagram photos to Reels and other video media like TikTok may prove better suited)
Anna Karpenko, Digital Marketing Analyst with the International Institute of Digital Marketing
Jené Burgers, Digital Marketing Analyst with the International Institute of Digital Marketing