How Estee Lauder Redirected Marketing Budget to Stay Current


Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR 

When many millennial age women were younger, they’re likely to have seen their mothers applying Estee Lauder makeup on one occasion or another. An early direct to consumer brand that relied heavily on its distribution reps to handle much of its sales, Estee Lauder was quick to establish itself as a cornerstone of women’s makeup and skincare. 

But then, those women who watched their mothers use Estee Lauder grew up. They moved away from the choices their mothers made in favor of newer, trendier brands. Now, the beauty industry is a much different looking space, with countless brands shuffling for consumer attention around every corner. 

How Estee Lauder Redirected Marketing Budget to Stay CurrentEstee Lauder saw the industry evolving and knew it needed to stay in the game, so it shifted some of its marketing spend to digital. Today, the social media influencer has proven to be one of the most effective mediums of success for brands, particularly in the beauty industry. So Estee Lauder made a gamble, and it paid off in a big way. 

Estee Lauder is now no longer only known for its original brand of products. It now is a beauty giant, having branched out and purchased other brands to bring under its umbrella such as Aveda, Clinique, and MAC. With the integration of influencer marketing and a heavier spend on digital on a whole, Estee Lauder saw a nine percent gain in Q4 2018 sales after redirecting some of its marketing budget to digital. Once those results were in, President and CEO of Estee Lauder, Fabrizio Freda, committed 75 percent of the brand’s marketing budget to influencer marketing and digital platforms.By directing investment into areas of the market that were seeing growth, Estee Lauder was able to see a positive ROI on the increase in digital spend, and the company predicts similar growth potential for the upcoming year. 

Influencer marketing continues to be a big pull for brands that are looking to either stay current in the game or make an entrance into it. By going after the right influencers in the right places, brands such as Estee Lauder are able to remain attractive to a younger demographic. As each generation ages, this will be highly important for the brand to continue to do. 

Of course, time will tell what influencer marketing will look like in the coming years. Growing up rapidly — and loyal to its own lion’s share of brands already — is Generation Z, which favors other platforms than just Instagram and will present its own type of challenges for companies in the beauty space. By continuing to focus its digital efforts on influencer marketing, Estee Lauder will be able to reach a higher number of potential customers in its target demographic, even if that demographic skews younger each year. A diverse marketing strategy that both crosses platforms as well as generations will be integral into the beauty giant’s success in keeping customers loyal as they continue to grow and mature.

Ronn Torossian - Pot for PetsAbout the Author: Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading beauty PR firm.