Interview with Grace Taittinger, Marketing Director at Gisele Delorme
Grace Taittinger was the marketing director of Gisele Delorme, a heritage beauty brand that went through a noticeable rebranding and repositioning back in 2017. She was responsible for defining and implementing the overall new branding and the marketing and communication strategy.
Your Journey as a Marketing Professional.
I studied business and specialized in marketing by acquiring a master’s degree at New York University in Integrated Marketing and brand management.
Before leaving New York, I was working at BBDO, a leading creative agency, where I had the opportunity to work in behavioral and communication planning. I’ve learned how to identify key consumer insights and create above and below the line marketing campaigns around it.
I am extremely curious about the understanding of societal trends and underlying customer behaviors. I truly love the psychological aspect of marketing and the creativity involved in elaborating strategies instead of focusing solely on metrics and data. Even though marketing has evolved to become more of a science than an art, I find human psychology and creativity to remain the primary assets for any business that aims to make an impact in the long-run.
Two years ago, I was offered the opportunity to help rebuild a French heritage beauty brand that had been losing traction over the years. At that time, the brand had no existent marketing team nor tools, but great products and loyal customers. My job as a marketing director was to have a vision, to create value and to make my brand stronger, little by little. The first step was to dig into the DNA of the 40 years old brand: what was its purpose, its personality, its strengths? How can it still appeal to today’s customers?
My primary task was to modernize the brand and build interest among a new customer segment. The main challenge was to achieve this while remaining true to the brand’s DNA and its loyal customers.
I got to build everything from scratch: the branding and the packaging, the website, the marketing and communication tools, the media strategy, the marketing team, the development and go-to-market strategy of 3 new products. This translated into a phenomenal increase in sales. It was immensely challenging but rewarding.
What are the primary marketing channels you have worked on? What will be your advice to young marketers on each of these channels?
PR and Press-
Depending on your audience and objectives, PR and press can be extremely useful to build trust, credibility and market legitimacy.
My advice: Go big or go home – surround yourself with the best people out there or risk losing your money and energy. Set clear and ambitious KPI’s and frequent follow-ups to guarantee that the objectives are being met.
Take care of the influencer strategy internally – influencers like to build authentic and intimate relationships with the brands without the intermediary of an agency. If the relationship is well-maintained, they usually become long-term ambassadors, organically building your brand reputation among both their follower base & their influencer-friends.
Make the best of it – I suggest adding the best reviews from the most reputable sources on your owned media channels. (website, social, brand book..).
Social media is a fantastic opportunity to vocalize your brand story, explain the why’s and the how’s and involve your audience.
It has indeed been a great way to attract new customers based on our brand aesthetics, influencer strategy, and creative community building initiatives.
My advice: To attract and retain customers, generate (a lot) of content (whether it is user-generated or your own) that reflect your brand values and USP and use that massive portfolio of content strategically across different platforms. For example, Instagram will allow you to be more artistic or informative, while I find Facebook to be more appropriate for deeper emotional sharing.
Be authentic, humble, listen to your customers and focus your efforts on building strong relationships: they just want to feel loved and valued.
Nevertheless, you should carry out rigorous testing including social media listening and pre and post testing of your campaigns.
Email marketing has been a great tool to improve conversion and stay at the top-of of our customer’s mind. It allows you to diversify and personalize the content, whether you want to inform your dear customers about a sales promotion, a new product launch, a tip you want to share, or simply tell them you miss them.
My advice: Test and learn – test at different times of the day/week, vary the message (product-oriented, informative, etc.) and check your metrics (CTR, open rate..).
Soon enough, you’ll know exactly what kind of content works best for your audience. And of course, the email title is absolutely key: keep it simple, short and benefit-oriented.
Blogs are a great SEO tool. They also help you build brand associations and enlarge your brand content. As a professional skin care brand, I found it to be the perfect channel to share educational content and build trust.
My advice: Don’t miss out on specific keywords and cross-selling opportunities.
What are some of the important marketing software that you have used and found to be really useful for your company?
Given our scale, we haven’t used many marketing software. However, the ones that have been useful on a daily basis were:
- MailChimp for email marketing.
- Google Analytics for website and blog metrics.
- Facebook Business Manager to target your audience, track and measure your social media campaigns.
Your 2 line advice to people entering in the marketing domain.
Know your brand inside-out and stay focused. Once you find your vision and unique value proposition, trust the vision and give trust to the strategy. Learn to select the opportunities that are relevant to your brand and let go of the ones that aren’t.