Innovator Insights: L'Oreal's Shenan Reed

Shenan Reed was just several weeks into her brand new role as SVP-Head of Media at L’Oreal when she spoke at Brand Innovators’ Influencer Marketing Virtual Summit on August 28. And unlike most marketers who’ve begun new positions since the beginning of COVID-19 lockdowns this spring, she’s had the benefit of a (mostly) in-person transition thus far, working at 50% capacity out of L’Oreal offices in New York’s Hudson Yards.

Shenan Reed was just several weeks into her brand new role as SVP-Head of Media at L’Oreal when she spoke at Brand Innovators’ Influencer Marketing Virtual Summit on August 28. And unlike most marketers who’ve begun new positions since the beginning of COVID-19 lockdowns this spring, she’s had the benefit of a (mostly) in-person transition thus far, working at 50% capacity out of L’Oreal offices in New York’s Hudson Yards.

“I’m enjoying being in a physical space, even if it’s limited,” Reed said in her Fireside Chat, moderated by Influential CEO Ryan Detert. “There’s something really cool about the spaces you build. It’s a little sad that it doesn’t have the same buzz I know that it has, but it's nice to interact with humans other than my family. Onboarding in this world is a little tough. You get Zoom fatigue, so there’s a lot of notes to be taken and constant back to back calls. It’s hard to get that personal experience.”

Reed is addressing those same challenges to the linear retail experience in her role with L’Oreal, which has necessitated a lot of creativity and innovation when it comes to how consumers interact with their products. “I think it’s true for every brand out there.” Reed said. “You don't have the same level of consultation, people aren't lingering to look at products and read the label as you had before. People are doing their research online or waiting for the delivery person from Amazon, Walmart, Target to bring it to them.”

Read on for five takeaways from Reed on how she’s navigating the ever-changing landscape for fashion & beauty marketing in her first weeks on the job, and click the link below to watch her Fireside Chat in full.


Digital relevance - with flexibility - is key. “The trend I've seen with every brand I've worked with over the past few years has been to build up their social media presence and find a way to bring that experience online. If you spend any time visiting our sites with L’Oreal, you’ll see great virtual try-on capabilities, bringing that to the forefront to experience and touch and be a little bit closer to the product. And new return and exchange policies - try it, let us know if you like it.” 

Consumers have more time on their hands - market to that. “The industry has seen tremendous shifts in consumer time spent. We’ve added an average of 41 minutes a day of media content consumption. That's a lot of time. I liken that to commute time on the subway, riding the train. That time is now spent on my couch watching a video I wouldn't have watched before, or allowing myself to browse those pieces of content that I wouldn't have because I was walking to a train station. Video is increasing, and so is time spent on mobile devices and time spent at home.” 

Legacy media companies make great digital partners. “Conde Nast and Hearst and Meredith Corp -- places we normally think of as magazines -- are becoming powerhouse digital partners building paywalls with access to first-party data. So how do we start to partner with folks like that to talk to consumers in a way that is authentic and well-targeted. It doesn’t answer every question about what cookies do for us, I am hopeful that some of the things the IAB are doing will be helpful, but I don't think we’ve agreed on universal terms and conditions. If we can agree on a universal ID I’ll be shocked.”

Expect some consumers to back away from Facebook in the next two months. “Facebook fatigue is real, especially as we go into an election cycle. So i think we’ll see a blip in how people consume Facebook over the next couple of months. But people are participating in other social platforms even more.”

Thanks to COVID, some influencer marketing has actually grown. “You’re seeing a meteoric rise of influencers, and I attribute some of that to the fact we haven’t been able to go shopping with friends. We often say that friends and family are the biggest influencers on a purchase. If I can’t go shopping with my best friend in California, where is that influence coming from? It’s likely going to come from those content producers that are entertaining, engaging and really building a relationship with you. I think influencers carry a strong sense of authenticity to their followers. They’re really careful about who they partner with. They feel their personal brand is on the line. And it’s as much a compliment to be chosen by them as it is for you to have a partnership with them.”

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