Yesterday, I had some time to catch up with Marc Menesguen, the managing director of strategic marketing at L'Oréal. While Marc has been with L'Oréal for years, he's just Marc Menesguenrecently taken on this new — for him and for the company — role at L'Oréal. He was finishing work on one very beautiful presentation for the Forrester Marketing Forum in San Francisco next week. Marc's keynote, "L'Oréal: Where Digital Unleashes The Power Of Beauty," tells the story of brands — like Lancome, Maybelline, Vichy, and L'Oréal Paris — which can finally interact with consumers.  

I asked Marc a few questions about how technology and beauty fit together. As my pre-teen daughter would have told me, it turns out that they fit together well, very well. Both beauty and digital are keys to connection. I like that. And I'm looking forward to hearing more from him.     

MBK: Marc, what one thing most surprises you about consumers’ adoption and use of technology? 

MM: Technology is changing so rapidly that the most surprising thing to me is how technology-savvy these customers are. Consumers today want to be part of the conversation, and it’s up to us to engage them in ways that are meaningful and relevant.  

My role at L’Oréal is to drive our digital revolution, and one of my most important tasks is to organize, together with our HR team, the training of our marketing leaders. Two years from now, every marketer at L’Oréal will also be a digital marketer so that he or she can fully serve all our customers.

MBK: What is your favorite example of what L’Oreal has been able to do thanks to digital? And why?

MM: The partnership that we developed with Michelle Phan and Lancome — Michelle is a 23-year-old Asian American vlogger who has become the reference for makeup how-to videos. Five out of the top 10 how-to videos online are Michelle Phan videos. Consumers are massively leveraging digital to self-educate themselves on beauty and makeup, in particular. We could call Michelle Phan a next-generation beauty advisor — online — and she perfectly responds to these needs. 

She enables the brand to reach a new generation of consumers, getting on average of 2 million views for the videos that feature Lancome products. In fact, a new "moment of truth" happens BEFORE consumers go to the store. It’s a broader view of the shopper journey.

MBK: Why is digital and beauty a magical match?

MM: Beauty is about connections. By feeling beautiful, you connect better, with the people around you, with the planet where you live. Beauty is the universal language for making meaningful connections.

This is why beauty and digital are natural bedfellows: The digital world is a connected world, where you can connect to any of your peers at the speed of light. Digital builds social networks.

But beauty isn't a destination; it’s the oldest social network in the world. Beauty finds a natural and very personal expression through digital — it unleashes our creativity in a new and vibrant way. Digital helps us bring meaningful connections to our customers for a more beautiful world!