ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Marketing Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Marketing Dive site for the latest marketing news.

Mary Kay crowdsources content creation with omnichannel campaign

Direct-sales beauty company Mary Kay is making a splash in the digital space with a new omnichannel campaign that mirrors the approach of an immediate competitor.

The new campaign, named I Can, is geared towards mobilizing the brand?s independent beauty consultants through social media initiatives and mobile-optimized videos that touch on Mary Kay?s brand ethos. Staying true to a stated social-first strategy, the campaign calls on the personal narratives of hundreds of Mary Kay independent beauty consultants for content, which has recently become a familiar game plan within the retail beauty sector.

?The Mary Kay ?I CAN? campaign was created with a ?social-first? strategy,? said Kim Sater, director of U.S. consumer marketing at Mary Kay. ?The goal of the campaign is to amplify the thousands of stories organically shared by Independent Beauty Consultants on individual and corporate social media channels. 

?Social media and the mobile space, more often than not, play hand-in-hand,? she said. ?Of the visitors to that clicked through from one of the I CAN ads, more than 90% came in from mobile or tables. 

Therefore, Mary Kay needed to ensure all of our creative assets for the campaign rendered for mobile. Additionally, the first seed of our campaign, the hashtag #MyMKLife, was first created as a way for our Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants to share their experiences on Instagram ? a purely mobile network.?

Social outreach
In keeping with the brand?s focus on social media, the campaign is actually a continuation of an outreach initiative that began on the platform late last year that was anchored by the hashtag #MyMKLife. 

Following the success of #MyMKLife, Mary Kay has decided to shift its marketing focus towards catering to its workforce, curating content by and for its myriad independent beauty consultants. 

The campaign includes mobile-optimized videos and posters geared towards social sharing featuring inspirational stories and quotes from the independent beauty consultants themselves, focusing on how their Mary Kay business has positively impacted their lives. Slogans on campaign materials include ?I can make a difference, not just an income,? ?I can be a good example for my kids? and ?I can be me.? 

A screenshot from a campaign video

The materials will be broadcast on traditional, outdoor, and print media in conjunction with a full digital rollout that includes hosting on Mary Kay?s mobile-optimized Web site and social channels. The broadcast arm of the campaign is focused on a design and beauty-minded consumer, with a commercial featuring independent beauty consultants airing during the most recent season of Project Runway and promoted through Mary Kay?s twitter feed with the hashtag #MKProjectRunway. 

I Can also features a special photo filter that has managed over 40,000 uses, contributing to the campaign?s almost 44 million impressions and 1.2 million engagements since its launch in September. 

The traditional broadcast offering was aired during an episode of Project Runway

Same direction
Mary Kay?s I Can omnichannel campaign, with its use of mobile optimized video, social activation which includes a special photo filter and focus on the personal narratives of its workforce, bears a striking resemblance with direct competitor Avon?s This is Boss Life campaign announced earlier this month (see story). 

Both campaigns are bald attempts to drive recruitment and maintain employee morale, and both do it in a way that moves the process of generating campaign ethos away from marketers and crowdsources it, placing it directly into the hands of the demographic it is marketing to. The similar methods have produced nearly identical campaign products, down to the slogans featured on campaign content.

The commonality between the two competitors could be a massive coincidence, or it could be a signpost of change within the beauty retail industry, which is moving from predetermining beauty standards and best practices to endorsing and providing a mouthpiece for consumers? own standards.

Despite not participating in direct selling, beauty retailer Sephora?s marketing also seems to be falling in line with the company it keeps. It recently expanded its social impact initiative, Classes for Confidence, to more than 85 stores nationwide to promote attainable workplace beauty and confidence (see story).

?The Mary Kay business model started as the original social network ? women shared products and an opportunity they loved with their friends and network as they interacted on a daily basis,? Ms. Sater said. ?With social media, it is only natural for our Sales Force to take these conversations online and into the mobile world. 

?They are the masters at moving seamlessly from online to offline, and they interact with their customers in whatever way makes the most sense for that customer,? she said. ?Our Beauty Consultants are on the go, and their mobile phone is indispensable in their business.? 

?Social media and the use of mobile allows women to take that connection with their networks ? friends, family, colleagues, etc. ? and reach them in even more convenient ways. The personal connection women feel to Mary Kay is seen throughout the ?I CAN? campaign, as real people and the real faces of Mary Kay share their stories across all platforms ? including on social and mobile.?