The beauty industry thrives at the cutting edge of Social Commerce and Brand Advocacy. It’s fast-moving, easily visual, and fully embraced by creators. 

Join Paul & Verity LIVE from the Social Commerce Summit: London 2024, at the dynamic intersection of beauty, commerce, and community. They’re joined by industry insiders, Charlotte Geoghan (Head of Brand Marketing @ REFY), Camilla Craven (Fractional CMO, ex-Charlotte Tilbury, and ex-FaceGym), and Hannah Sheanan (Head of Social @ ELEMIS). 

Their tactical conversation dives deep into: 

  • The changing dynamics of Social Commerce and Advocacy in the beauty space; from the rise of nano influencers and the concept of ROBO (Research Online, Buy Offline), to the resurgence of OG word-of-mouth marketing and the pivotal role of in-store experiences to bridge the digital divide.
  • REFY's remarkable journey over the last 18 months, dissecting the factors that propelled the brand’s success and sharing the secrets behind what makes REFY one of the hottest beauty brands right now.
  • Nailing the briefing process when working with creators, and the success formula ELEMIS has cracked when it comes to the creative execution of conversion briefs.
  • The art of working with creators across the entire marketing funnel – from awareness, to conversion, to creating conversations. REFY shares success in partnering with nano and micro-influencers to deliver authentic product education, while ELEMIS leverages affiliate marketing to fuel a content-making machine. They do both while driving Advocacy, and fostering stronger connections with customers. 

Tune in to gain practical strategies and considerations that are necessary for navigating the changing retail, marketing and influencer landscape in the beauty industry. 

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REFY, ELEMIS &The Beauty Power Players: A Tactical Guide to Beauty Marketing in 2024 

Paul - Right now we're gonna be digging into the beauty world as we've spoken to, well, quite a lot with TikTok and with Yasso. This is one of the easiest spaces, I'd say, for social commerce in terms of it's so visual, it's fast moving, and it's something which is embraced by creators. And it's an industry that is, or has always been on the cutting edge of social commerce and of advocacy. So I know that we sort of mentioned Camilla earlier, you had advocacy in your job title in 2018 at Charlotte Tilbury, which is just incredible. So that sort of shows BTR on the cutting edge. So really excited to find out what you guys have to say and how we can all learn about what's coming up as well. So would you like to give us a little bit of an intro to who you are, where you work? And yeah, that would be great. Hannah, do you want to kick us off? 

Hannah - Sure. I'm Hannah. I'm the head of social content at LMS. So my role is really looking after own social and influencer marketing. So creating interesting, educational, entertaining social content, whether that's for our own platform or via creator partners. 

Camilla - I'm Camilla, lovely to meet you all. Thank you for being patient with my son as well throughout the day. My background is Brand Advocacy, comms, social, mostly in health and beauty. I've worked at Charlotte Tilbury, Face Gym, I worked on agency side on 40 brands or so. These days I work for myself as a fractional CMO, advising brands at all different stages of life on everything, social advocacy, through to brand marketing.

Charlotte - And I'm Charlotte and I'm Head of Brand Marketing for REFY and the way that I explain that to people is I do all the fun stuff. So it's brand experience, events, PR, influencer, social, and at the minute the creative team kind of sit under us as well, but we're just going through quite a lot of growth and change, which is really exciting. We've just turned three in November, but it feels like I've been there for 10 years. 

Paul - Can you just tell us a little bit about REFY, if anyone doesn't know about this brand, what you do and what's happened over the past 18 months? 

Charlotte - Yeah, it's been nuts. So I actually joined the brand in January of 2022. And when I joined the team that I had in the marketing was one creative manager and one social exec, and that was it. So we've grown massively. I think I've got a team of 12 now, the business is 70. It's been phenomenal. I think the reason that it's been so successful, I would say, is because it's a nice mix of a few different factors. Obviously, a lot of you that know of REFY, we are an influencer founded with two co-founders, one of which is an influencer. And I think we were able to kind of leverage her understanding of the audience. Because the one thing I always say about Advocacy and if you don't know your audience, then you're never going to get anywhere, especially in the content world. We were talking about the content you were creating earlier, Laura. You obviously know your audience really well though, to be able to create content that resonates with them. So I think we had that platform to leverage off. But I think what's resonated really with the customer is the products themselves. So obviously we've got a lovely brand. Aesthetically, it's visually pleasing. But I think what they come back for is the product. What we say is we're not going to release anything that already exists in the market, we're always looking to fill a gap and we always push for high performance. So they kind of shop with us because of brand. I like to kind of say it's almost like Tinder. So the Tinder bio, like the brand is why you're swiping right and then the reason you're going on the second date is because the product is just so strong and I think it's that mix that's really taken us from zero to a hundred real quick. 

Verity - It feels like you've been everywhere, especially like last year and every time I kind of go on LinkedIn, someone's done another kind of appreciation post to the brand. What do you think the secret sauce is that you guys have done? And I suppose the activations that you guys did last year as well, like how does that convert these brand experiences to advocacy? 

Charlotte - Yeah, I'm such an analogue girly in this digital world, which I know might shock a lot of you. Like I think these live streams and TikTok is kind of the future of commerce, but I think the future of brands is an experience and I don't think that needs to just be online. I think offline is just as important. I really think that a brand is all about the feeling that we give the customer. And like, I think it's really hard to walk away from the TikTok piece of content with a really strong feeling. I think it's that infinity loop. It's only after you buy the product that you wanna advocate. Whereas if you come in and you get in the full brand experience and an authentic kind of real-life moment with that brand, I think you're more likely to go and tell your friend, I think as well on Brogan's slides, speaking, it was recommendations from your friends and family. They're still the top forms of marketing and I think that word-of-mouth marketing for us is really what we wanna tap into going forward because I do think that as we move more social commerce and everything's online, I think an experience is actually a luxury that the customers gonna wanna buy into and I think it's what's gonna keep them coming back again and again. 

Paul - How do you actually tactically drive that leaning into it? It's all well and good having a cool brand and a product that people like. Those are sort of the baseline things that probably a lot of people in the room may not have control over. But what are the levers that you can pull that can make that just something you can really make effective? 

Charlotte - I mean, I think it's all well and good having a really lovely aesthetic brand, but that is very shallow to be completely transparent. So I think you've got to add depth and I think that you can do that without being able to have these massive experiences. When I say customer experience, it doesn't need to just be like a huge event. For example, we did a wine bar in Manchester and all we did was put up logos and have some lip glosses it was just a partner brand that we all go and drink at in Manchester and we literally like, let's get together and do something fun. But I think experiences across the board like you can all the way down to how the customer care team are answering emails. I think there are so many levers that you can pull, both digital and in real life that are gonna really elevate the customer experience. I suppose even in the relevance of like doing these live commerce moments and TikTok shop, it's how are you responding to that customer's comment and how are you giving them that authentic brand engagement as well digitally. I think there's loads really. The opportunities are endless. And I think like, so give it a go. I think just try it and see what sticks to your audience. 

Paul - Camilla, I mean, you've got experience across a wide range of brands. And we've talked a lot about digital and social commerce from an online perspective. And Charlotte was referring to that experience, that offline piece. How are you seeing brick-and-mortar working within the beauty space to drive advocacy? 

Camilla - I mean, I think.. The most important thing right now is the concept of Robo, which, I sort of have to say Robo, it's probably got another acronym, but just researching online and buying offline is quite a big momentum in beauty and that return, I hate to say return to stores post COVID since it was so long ago, but there is still that huge impact. People are using online, as we all know, as a search engine. I mean, TikTok has taken over Google in a lot of the audience categories as a search function. People are starting their journeys there, they're being inspired. They're also ending their journeys there in shopping or vice versa, it's that infinity loop that you talked about. The role of in-store is always going to be important. I can't see that going anywhere in beauty. You can't get that touch, feel, or smell that you can quite get online. That being said, like what we were talking about with live shopping earlier and sort of saying, can you help swatch that? Tell me what it sounds like, tell me what it smells like. You can start to get that experience across. And Brands, as we all know, are investing a ton of money into trying to solve some of those friction points, whether it's shopping your complexion products online and trying to use AI to figure out the right complexion product for you or fragrance brands now testing a sampling mechanic where you buy online you get it at home and You can then redeem that cost against the full price once you choose from a selection box of what you like So I guess in short, I don't see the in-store piece disappearing It's just how do you integrate it and how do you have social commerce integrated into the store experience? I mean, I bought something on H&M this week and it was cheaper to get it dropped off at the local H&M than get it to my door. I went in there, they have the drop boxes, I don't know if you've seen them where you like login and the box pops open. And then I did so much more damage shopping there whilst trying to find the boxes in the stores if there's anyone from H&M here. So that's just one example of just how I see bringing digital into store and vice versa, pushing it back into the online experience. 

Verity - I wanted to touch on affiliate marketing, Hannah, and I think again, in terms of some of the things that were coming through, in terms of what people wanted to learn about today was this area. I suppose with ELEMIS, how do you view the role of social affiliates in driving sales and Brand Advocacy? 

Hannah - Yeah, so it's something that's become really key to our brand marketing over the past year, I would say. We launched our ELEMIS SkinSiders program last year and that was really born from a desire to really want to mobilize our passionate social advocates who they're there, they've you know our brand has been around for over 30 years so there's a lot of brand love. And we wanted to find those people who were on their 10th pot of Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm and were... 

Verity - Which is amazing by the way. I got treated at Christmas

Hannah - Exactly, and they were.... They were sharing with their network that they just used the last scoop and they were really sad about it. And so we wanted to find those people. The first scoop is the best bit. The first scoop is the best bit there. The last scoop is the worst. So we wanted to find them and then we wanted to really mobilise them into creating, into a community that would be creating content for us in line with what they wanted to say about the brand and I think that you know this community for us now we lean on them to create trend-led content, we got such great content over the summer during the obviously the Barbie-like the Barbie summer. Barbie Renaissance created amazing pink-themed content that we then used across our social channels in email. So allowed us to tap into a conversation that maybe seemed a little bit like not something that we'd naturally lean into as a brand, but these creators were able to create that content for us and then we could use them in our social channels and across email. So that's been a really key content creation kind of machine for us to scale.

And then also from a sales perspective, we have been, to be honest, quite blown away by the conversion that these nano micro-influencers see and they're trusted within their network and they convert usually at a higher rate than our macro partners. So it's formed this really kind of key part of our always-on strategy. And now we're looking to kind of take that community outside of the digital space, bring them into eventing. They're also a bit of a go-to community for our product development team when they want to see insights and that kind of thing. So it's really being able to have this deeper relationship with a big community. I think we've got about 3,000 people within our Skinciders community now. And also have that one-on-one almost conversation with them. So because when it comes down to it with creators, It is all about relationships and relationship building and you don't have time necessarily to send emails to all of those people. So this SkinSiders program has allowed us to kind of scale that nano and micro influencer engagement which has been really great. 

Verity - Charlotte, just kind of going off a bit, obviously bringing that community piece in and that was obviously a key focus with some of those activations that you were doing. What, which ones really stand out to you from last year because it's not just as simple as obviously doing something in a wine bar. There's obviously a lot more to it, but I just, for anyone that hasn't heard of any of these activations, I just thought it might be nice to share some of those. 

Charlotte - Well, we did three last year that spring to mind. So one was the studio, which was actually a wellness space with a coffee kiosk at the bottom. And we ticketed Pilates and yoga classes there. More because we just wanted to meet our community, we actually have a premium offering on the REFY website as well. So we opened up the tickets to the premium customers in the UK before anyone else, to just give them the opportunity to come and have a little bit of the Refi lifestyle before anyone else. And then the coffee kiosk was open to everybody and anyone who came in could get a free ice coffee or ice vanilla matcha and a free mini lip gloss. And the council actually got really annoyed with us in Soho because we actually didn't think the queues would be as big, but they were like three and a half hours just to get a coffee and a matcha. And the matcha, I mean, the matcha was great, but do you know what I mean? Like there was a Joe and the juice around the corner, but no, and I think what was really nice about that was we actually did our first pop-up as a brand in 2020 or 2021 right before joined in November and that was a store and I think we'd taken such a long period of time between then and now to do another pop-up that we learned a lot more about the changes within our customer base. I think that queue, that long queue, it gave us an opportunity to speak to them. But I think what was really nice was a lot of the customers in the queue had seen some of the staff on social as well, so it got them to interact with staff in that way. So I really enjoyed that from a community-building aspect. We learned a lot more about our customer and how we'd evolved as a brand from their feedback. So it was really nice to get that in real life. Another reason we want to keep the kind of in real-life experiences going is because it gives the customer an opportunity to come and give that genuine feedback because some of it was like bad feedback as well that we've taken to like product development and different bits and pieces and we're using that to kind of steer where we're going. We did the wine bar in Manchester as well and I actually think the best part about that was the biggest result was we got so many LinkedIn posts, like so many LinkedIn posts because all the girlies that go Manmare or Manchester Uni and do fashion marketing and all those graduate degrees just came and they just told us about how much they love what we were doing from a marketing point of view. And again, we got feedback about kind of our branding, our messaging, what we were saying and how we were talking to them. And we could take that away, so that was really good. And we did a coffee shop up north in Manchester as well, where all the girlies came out again, that was after the Chanel show. So it was quite a busy weekend there in Manchester and got a couple of nice people down. But yeah, I think for me, the nicest part about that is that kind of customer engagement. And then as you were saying, it's those taking those brand advocates and trying to find a way to channel them into your marketing, whether you just use it as a feedback loop like we are at the moment or you put them on an affiliate program and take it that one step further. I think it's just really nice to kind of do that. And I've seen a lot of people doing that actually after we did it, but I don't know whether just because I've seen that we did it, I've seen it more. Like I've never seen so many pop-ups at 19 Greek Street in Soho, but if you're going to do one it's really good. I recommend it. Really great hosts.

Paul - How are you processing all this feedback? Because you both mentioned feedback. Is this just something that your team are just encouraged to scribble down on a note and then email over to someone? Have you processed it? Do you have a kind of a Slack channel? I mean, this has become really tactical, but I'd love to know how you guys go about it. 

Charlotte - We don't have anything like that at the moment, but we are going to develop it off the basis of these real-life experiences because it is so valuable to us. Because we're a beauty brand as well, we do have a testing community and a focus group community, but they're very northern-based because we're so we are trying to figure out a way to almost bring them together so we can kind of get that data into one place and really present a feedback loop. I do think what works really well if you don't have the opportunity to meet anyone in real life is just engaging with them on social. But what works really well for us is the Q&A box on stories. It's like so simple, but you can just ask a question and they immediately can answer that question and we can then send the feedback and down the line, we can show them something we've developed based on a question that they've answered. So there's so many ways that you can do it, but we kind of want to merge it all into one place and within that maybe even bring in an affiliate platform as well, just because they are such lovers of the brand, like this word of mouth friends and family thing, I think people focus on the big influences and the relevant influences, these mega girls, and I think what you're missing out is the actual true stan of the brand that you really could be working with, and they love to be a part of it as well, so why not bring them in a bit more. 

Paul- I have some ideas on affiliate platforms as well. We'll chat later. 

Charlotte - I thought you might. 

Paul - And Hannah, how large is LMS as an organization now? 

Hannah - Global organization. We've got offices in New York, China, APAC, and then of course in London as well. And we have a Bristol office as well. So there's lots of us in the team. So in terms of our feedback on product development from social and influencers, we use our community management software, Emplify. Which, and we have a tagging system, and then literally just a meeting every month with our NPD team to ensure that we're making sure all of that is kind of flowing through, literally going through the insights and sharing it with them. 

Paul - That's amazing. I wanted to go back to you, Camilla, and talk about that kind of history as you've seen it, being into advocacy since it was a thing, before it was a thing, actually, and we could never have sold out of the room of people to discuss advocacy even two years ago, let alone sort of five years ago. Like, what do you think has changed in the world in that time? 

Camilla - Yeah, we were just chatting about that answer and I think the short answer is we just think everyone's late adopters to it and the innovator versus sort of imitator curve. But no, the truth is, I think it's partly, I think there's a few things going on. The first is, that for a long time, it was very hard to attribute and to add commercial success to the world of social word of mouth in general, let alone social selling. I mean, we were talking earlier with TikTok and talking about other elements where there's now attribution built on meta, it's a dark hole. So I think for now, right now, the huge commercial success, like the case study we heard earlier, like Made by Mitchell's, who are doing two million a week on TikTok Shop. That's not how much they're doing on TikTok Shop. And that's just one example, like let alone the other programs, like what we were doing at Chart Tilbury through our Magic Makeup Stars program. I think the world linking brand objectives with commercial has to be the number one priority. I'm sure there's probably no one in this room that doesn't have a CEO breathing down your neck of how you can suddenly drive the bottom line. So I think that's the biggest piece. Do you think that there's been, and we talked about the sort of switching in brand attitudes and talked a lot today about like just let relinquishing control being a huge part of it. 

Paul - Do you think there's been a change in the way that consumers consume and what they want to buy? Because we often talk about which is what we want, we're marketers, this is what brands want. But how do people on the other side want to buy? How do they want to sell? Because that's another part, because actually, these guys are now becoming the social sellers. 

Camilla - They're almost as important as anyone else you work with. I think trust is, for me, trust is like the most key sort of theme that's going to come out the next year, which is how do we go back to the OG way of word-of-mouth selling, which is you got your recommendations from people you trusted. They were your best friends, they were your colleagues. It was, you know, and now they're your best friends and influencers, but looking at that micro-influencer space, the rise of experts, you know, who always had that credibility, but some of them, I'm talking, generalizing, but it's not everyone, you know, take like facialists they were quite slow to become creators on social channels yet are the one people you should be talking to about what you're buying for your skin versus someone who's young and educated on even how the function of your skin works. So I think the rise of how you look at your credible community base and then going back to how do you then create that community to be authentic and to have that trust piece. And you talked about employees, like employees for me it was…In fact, I looked back earlier on my interview tasks to get the job at Charlotte Tilbury and sort of one of the first things I had on the first slide about how to help them drive growth was their own make-up artists. Like how has it taken this long for us all to be thinking about using our number one advocates? Charlotte's doing a brilliant job of it on LinkedIn if you'd like to follow her later. As a, but you were saying about your, your customers talking to your team, like use the people around you and use your existing customers. What you said earlier, Paul, about going through a CRM database and finding out who are your existing customers and how are they talking about you and starting with those people. That's where the trust will start to evolve because the cost of mega influences as Laura touched on earlier and we all know in this room is just extortionate, doesn't always have the conversion. But also why should you have to use people that if you're a beauty brand you have to use the biggest beauty influence from the world. You might have the biggest impact from… I'm watching clearly a lot of new mom content on TikTok at four in the morning right now, but it might be someone who's got 300 followers, she's talking about something that's just really relevant to me in the moment, and that trust comes across. 

Verity - I'm definitely being more drawn to the experts these days and like the nutritionists. I mean, we were talking about this the other day, there's a nutritionist on Instagram and you know, just, I know she's not like you know, sort of skincare, but I still trust what she's saying when it comes to her skincare because I know she really looks after herself and I'm definitely gravitating more to that in terms of like where I'm trusting the recommendations. 

Verity - Charlotte, in terms of working with creators and obviously brands are starting to work with them throughout the whole funnel from awareness to consideration to conversion, what have been the biggest goals for you guys over the last year?

Charlotte - So for us, it was really just figuring out what worked because we were in a really privileged position because I think we were such like a hot new brand that we didn't have to really push for any coverage. We just got it organically for maybe the first 18 months of being a brand, which is fantastic. But you can't really steer the conversation, not necessarily steer the conversation, but you can't get what you need out of that relationship. So we spent the last year really trying everything that we could. We've paid big influencers, we've worked with a load of mid-tier influencers, we've worked with nano-creators, because I think for us, what we've focused on our biggest goal was to get that product education piece across, as I think social proof is really important, especially in a world where everything is online, to kind of give you that trust that what they're buying is gonna do what it says on the tin, but even just more than that, our products specifically are quite highly innovative. One comment we get all the time is, if anyone's ever used our brow sculpt, the extra brushes are in the lid and you would be surprised. There's extra bushes in the lid. 

Camilla - That's why I bought 10 of them. 

Charlotte - The extra bushes are in the lid, but it's surprising how many people still don't know that. 

Camilla - I don't think you should tell people because you'll stop selling as well. 

Charlotte -No, honestly, we have to repeat it so much, it's wild, especially because it was our first-ever product. That's by the by. But the easiest way for us to communicate where those brushes are is through working with creators. So for us, product education has been the number one goal with creators, and what we've been trying to do is figure out what creators work best for that, and the more we dig into it, it is more than Nano’s, it is more than Micros, because not only do they put the effort into their content because they have such trust with their audience, because it is smaller, and they do have time to engage with everyone and really build and strengthen that community but they also really care about making sure that everything's right and speaking properly to the product and they wanna grow as well. So it sounds parasitic that they wanna grow as well, but it means that they're gonna listen to all the advice that you give them to make sure that it's communicated effectively and everyone's using it properly. And that's been number one for us. I think moving forward as well, like just if I'm gonna beat the drum of anything, it's just like go for those smaller tier creators, the guys that really love your brand and they're gonna do the best work for you, whether it's educating about your product or driving brand awareness, in my opinion. 

Verity - I kind of feel sorry for some creators because they're kind of reaching a level where they've grown too much in this authentic way and now they're not actually getting, like I'm seeing, particularly on threads, a lot of influences saying, I'm not getting work anymore. It's almost like I've grown too much, but you're right, again, sort of some of my friends in this space and they put so much time and effort into the content and then they reach a certain point, they're like, well, I can't grow anymore now, but. 

Camilla - You've gotta divert, yeah, you can't. It's like what I was saying earlier, if you've got, say, the biggest beauty influencer, they're saying a lipstick is the best lipstick every day. And the best face cream. Now, not to say that, as you say, I think we've probably built up creators in a way that hasn't given them that longevity of that trust piece. But I mean, I think one of the biggest, on the creator side trend in the next year will be the sort of bust of some of those large ones. And certainly the bust of some of those brands coming up. Not yours, don't worry. Not Amy's, not any other creative in this room. But there has been, if you don't do it authentically, you can't just, you know, not everyone knows how to market a brand. But this comes back to community. We were talking about Tube Girl earlier. Yeah. I was like, what happened to Tube Girl? 

Verity - Paul's favourite influencer. 

Camilla - Yeah, she's my fave. I mean, she was my fave for a long time, but where's she gone? And then we were talking about how she made some incredible content that got people talking. God, she grew so fast, but she hasn't built a community to follow her. And how do you create that long-term sustenance? So I think to everyone, how do you build that around individuals? 

Charlotte - Yeah. Well, I would say, sorry to interrupt, there's actually one larger scale creator that I think has seen that almost grown too much and then not working with people that's had a bit of a resurgence later. I don't know if anyone follows Glamzilla. You might have seen the Laura Mercier video that she did of that. So she actually posted a video the other day saying she took herself off a load of PR lists because she didn't want to be that person that was going, I love this lipstick, I love this lipstick, I love this lipstick, and she's buying everything herself authentically and it's seen her grow massively. So I do wonder whether there's gonna be a trend or a spike of these kind of mega influences kind of swaying towards, kind of foregoing the payment for that trust and credibility. So when they do actually work with the brand, you know it's super authentic.

Camilla -I mean, I will bang till the drum for gifting, free gifting, till the cows come home, that's what I built what we built most these brands with, it's gotta be the basis of everything you do. That being said, a lot of people do get things and then that sort of relationship doesn't fly off the back of it. 

Verity - I mean Hannah, what have been some of your tactics and strategies in terms of working with creators and leveraging that content for elements? 

Hannah - Yeah, I think for us it's really been about nailing the briefing process. So being really clear with the creator about what our goals are with that particular collaboration.So for us we kind of like bucket it into like is this a content collaboration, is it for conversation or is it for conversion? So making it really clear to the creator, you know, it's a partnership and we want to make sure that they are set up for success and then really changing that kind of briefing process dependent on the goal. So with a content partnership, we would be much more prescriptive maybe we want content for a trend or working with an expert and we really want that particular expertise and take on an ingredient or a facial massage move or something like that. So we'll include like mood boards, maybe a storyboard. So we use super, super prescriptive with that kind of output in mind. But then like when we're looking for just kind of conversations, so we're looking for awareness and engagement, we can be much more open. And that's really where we want the creator to kind of come to us and wrap their like tone of voice, their creative flair around our key message and, you know, push it to their audience. And that's really where we're gonna see or where we do see the most success. So for instance, we had the launch of our, a limited edition of our Procology and Cleansing Balm. We brought out a green fig version, it was stunning. And we worked with this SFX creator, Holly Murray, and we were telling her about the product, and she was like, I'm gonna turn myself into a giant fig, and then I'm gonna take it off with Cleansing Balm. And she did, and it got like 1.8 million views across Instagram and TikTok. because it was weird, it was wonderful, it fit seamlessly with her content while showing our product efficacy. So that kind of thing where we can give the creator that freedom to wrap our message in a way that's gonna work really well for them. That's our ideal kind of scenario. But then if we do have a very specific creative execution kind of in mind with a creator, we make sure that we're personalizing that brief. So making sure we're pulling out like three to five pieces of content that our product would have fit seamlessly in, that's already on their page, and if you can't find that content easily, then they're probably not the right fit for that particular campaign. And then when it comes to conversion briefs, where we're really pushing sales, so this is always the collaborations that our internal teams are most interested in, we have really looked and deep-dived into what kind of creative execution really leads to that conversion, and we were sort of very clear a clear answer there and kind of have this success formula now of it's people demoing the product, usually in their bathroom, chatting to camera, which is really obvious. It's really marrying up that product efficacy, so you're seeing the product in use, but then also getting that really real review and that kind of advocacy and authenticity. So it feels like a friend on FaceTime and that's what leads to that kind of high conversion. And it's not always that we'll get high conversion off the back of that kind of creative, but all of our top conversions have been with that kind of creative, which is really interesting to see. And then so, you know, making sure we're just being super clear with the creator what we want from them and making sure that briefing process is really clear. 

Paul - It seems it's the two worlds where you've got the brand marketing piece in the PR world and then you've got performance coming in with the affiliate world. They've kind of collided recently. And we see a lot of this with who runs LTK in an organization is the question people have to ask because no one knows where it sits. But actually what you're saying there is then that kind of divide. And OK, well, you're going to make some amazing content. It's going to be a bit weird, but it's going to get. And you also come ready-made with Reach as well as the creation of it. But that's so different to what you're talking about performance. And they're very confused. I mean, do you see this as a trend? Do you think that brand and performance teams should be all one? There should be a community team like who's doing this really well, because it makes my brain hurt a little bit. 

Camilla - It makes my brain hurt and I don't feel living. Trying to help brands figure it out. And the truth is there isn't, my view is, my humble opinion is that there's no one solution. It depends, the life cycle of your brand, where you're at, the size of your teams, what you can invest in people going forward, et cetera. However, the best examples I've seen is where you've integrated that thinking. It doesn't mean you have to put all the performance marketing with all the brand marketing, et cetera, it's not gonna work. But certainly when it comes to thinking about the world of social advocacy, the owned, earned, paid flywheel, there's got to be either a team that's all defined as to how that works together or a really clear process to be able to be successful. Otherwise, you're all just going to be wasting, be busy fools, as many people could describe, and all be focusing on different things that aren't impactful, that don't collaborate together, and more importantly, as a customer, you're one person and you're seeing the ads, you're seeing the brand's page, you're seeing the founder's page, you're seeing the creator, it's gotta feel integrated into what you're working on. If it's, if one's running a campaign on one topic and one's running something on something else as one example, you're just gonna have real inauthenticity with your connection there. 

Paul - Amazing, great response. Should we go to mum's iPad for a few final questions?

Verity - I feel like Yasso have been asking a lot of questions on here, there's a lot about China. I don't know if that's just a coincidence. Hannah, did any of the China talk ring true to what you are doing in the UK? 

Hannah - I think that we have some very interesting things to explore this year in terms of the live shopping, live streaming. For us as a brand, we were born on QVC pretty much, that's still actually a huge part of our business. We see incredible sales and actually an incredibly well-engaged, well-educated community come through from our TV shopping arm. So for us, we would love to be able to translate that into a UK TikTok Live, whatever that is, bringing that expertise and the expert voices. So yeah, that's something that we're kind of looking into for this year. 

Verity - And Charlotte, do you see an online sales spike during your offline executions and if so, to what scale?

Charlotte - You know what, it really depends on whether we're selling products or not at the events. So when we did the studio, for example, we were selling products at the same time. So we didn't necessarily see it, I suppose, from London itself, but we did see a lot more traffic to the website when we did it. And then if we're not selling product, we actually do see a spike. We see a lot of a spike from that particular place as well, where the people that are at the event are often going, oh, I'm here and I love this lip gloss, I might try something else. So we do try and make it quite seamless that they can easily access the website or there's a QR code or something, but we keep it aspirational, so it's not just QR codes everywhere, so that the customer can easily go online and browse as well because we don't want to take that shopping experience away from them where there's nothing available for them to touch, feel, or try. You're going to get the loyalty as well from those moments. I think there's a lot of obsession, I think, with trying to see immediate impact from one moment. And in many times there will be that one moment, but the long-term loyalty you generate from moments like that, whether it's an influencer initiative, a community, or whatever it might be, them coming back to you time and time again will give you that commercial success because you'll get the repeats. And I think as well, it depends on the KPIs for that event. I don't think any of the ones that we've done, we've actually had an objective to increase sales or sell. It's always been about engaging then and there with the customer usually social reach, impressions through press. It's never about the hard sell for us when we do those events. For us it's really about that experience and I think because it isn't about the hard sell, the customer kind of likes us more. So it really does depend, but yeah. 

Verity - Camila, this might be a good one for you. Great question. If you are a smaller brand, would you recommend focusing on community building or influencer marketing to help scale?

Camilla - Have they written either or?

Verity - Community building or influence and marketing. 

Camilla - I'm not going to show up whoever wrote that. But they're the same to me. I think, I guess it's semantics of how you describe it, but your community is made up of people who are different types of people, but focusing on building community. I think if you're a small brand and you're starting off, you don't want to do too many things and spread yourself too thin, but you do need to test and learn. So I would run a number of initiatives that target different groups within that community from your employees to your existing customers, to micro-influencers, to mid-tier gifting programs, whatever it might be, and start testing those initiatives learning very quickly. Because I think we're all looking for what is that silver bullet to be able to answer all our problems. The reality is it doesn't exist that works for everyone. You could try and do what RFI are doing or try and do what Chuck Tilbury are doing or it won't necessarily just work if you've got to find your way of doing it. So I would just start testing. I think there's a lot of pressure to spend a lot of money. I don't think you have to. I think you can test it with, um, you can make WhatsApp groups. I ran a WhatsApp community and I already feel the headache that you might have had through that. Um, but you know, start small, test, test on 10 people, test it on 20 people. I think that's a great thing about this industry testing is, you've got to test, you've got to experiment. So it's a great answer. And I think the, going back to trends, I think for the future, I, we're all creators, even if you're someone that's not super comfortable sharing a lot on social media publicly, you are a creator in yourself. And I think the rise of dark social and how we attribute to what's going on WhatsApp and word of mouth conversations, et cetera, has to be the solution for the next couple of years as well, because I think there's a lot of people starting to go private on certain channels like Instagram, so it's half a brand to communicate that. TikTok's obviously the opposite, you're very public and you can start with nothing and achieve a lot quickly.

Paul - We are overtime. We are, thank you so much to Charlotte, Camilla and Hannah, that was amazing. That was really good, thank you. Thank you very much.