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L?Oreal?s Redken boosts salon finder search traffic by 519pc year-over-year via mobile

Since L?Oreal?s Redken launched its mobile site and incorporated Google mobile ads into its strategy, the percentage of total salon searches coming from smartphone devices leapt to 23 percent ? a 519 percent increase year-over-year.

For L?Oreal, mobile is highly strategic. Currently, Redken takes a three-pronged approach by offering educational tools for cosmetology students through a tablet application, in-salon tools for stylists to upgrade the salon experience through a smartphone app, and access to product information and salon locations to consumers through a mobile-optimized site.

?Our strategy was to offer the right mobile experience for each of our target customers,? said Sarah Liang Kress, director of integrated marketing communications at L?Oreal, New York.

?For consumers, we launched a mobile site to quickly and easily access information and drive to salons,? she said. 

?For hairstylists we launched a mobile application that integrated into their existing habits and daily lives."

Next level
According to Ms. Kress, L?Oreal conducted significant research to hone its mobile marketing strategies and adapt it to each target audience.

For example, the company discovered that stylists ? who stand behind a chair versus sitting behind a desk with a computer ? upgrade to the latest smartphones quickly.

In 2012, 66 percent of stylists reported owning a smartphone.

Additionally, L?Oreal?s marketing team conducted a purchase intent study focused on desktop searchers.

After visiting the desktop site, 80 percent of users took action. Twenty-three percent of users called a salon to check availability, or ask about services and costs.

Moreover, 23 percent of users visited the salon and bought a product.

After seeing the data, Redken created several mobile options targeted to its audiences.

For consumers, the company created a mobile site.

The Redken mobile site includes a salon locator, product catalog, product recommendations and a lookbook.

In 2010, when L?Oreal did not have a mobile-optimized site for Redken, only three percent of searches on the salon locator came from smartphone devices.

In 2011, Redken launched its mobile site and saw mobile traffic increase to 10 percent of total salon searches.

Then in 2012, the company deployed Google Mobile ads into its efforts to drive search traffic. 

Mobile is a big deal for Redken.

The company is also transforming the education experience for its student audiences through tablet devices.

At the beginning of every class conducted at the Redken Exchange Academy, instructors ask students to download the app before the class begins to provide a guided, immersive educational experience.

The app serves as a virtual notebook so students can save their notes for future reference and build upon their educational journey.

?Mobile was a good fit for both of Redken?s audiences,? Ms. Kress said.

?Desktop computers have been challenging to integrate into the salon experience, and we found mobile to be the most seamless and appropriate device to engage clients and stylists alike,? she said. 

?Additionally, in our efforts to educate stylists, we have found portability of their learnings is essential and their mobile devices have become their preferred devices.?

Essentially mobile
Mobile is essential for marketers because it helps create a relationship between the consumer and the brand.

Furthermore, mobile sites are key. Nowadays, consumers are constantly on their mobile devices. Therefore, the content they consumer has to be mobile-optimized.

"In order to create a winning marketing strategy, you have to start with the customer at the center,? said Brendon Kraham, director of global mobile sales and strategy at Google, Mountain View, CA.

?Successful marketers understand who their different customer segments are, how those audiences interact with their brand, and how they can create experiences across devices and platforms that engage and delight those users,? he said.

?Redken is a great example of a brand that knows their audience and has put a lot of thought into creating the right multiscreen experiences across sites, apps and ads."

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York