L’Oreal executive: China’s digital sector is inspiring

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/3/20 22:38:39

L'Oreal Group's Chief Digital Officer Lubomira Rochet Photo: Courtesy of L'Oreal Group

The digital sector has been developing at a fast pace in China in recent years, and has been at the core of many companies' business strategies. The Global Times (GT) talked to L'Oreal Group's Chief Digital Officer Lubomira Rochet (Rochet) recently. She described the company's digital performance in China and gave her views about the next big change in the digital sector.

GT: Please tell us about L'Oreal's digital performance in China.

Rochet: We have carried out a series of marketing campaigns in China in which we have integrated the latest online trends. For example, for the "Make it Happen" Maybelline campaign in 2016, we invited 50 online celebrities in China to livestream the campaign along with Chinese celebrity Angelababy. More than 10,000 lipsticks were sold during the two-hour livestreaming. We've also worked with Chinese online star Papi Jiang, who introduced our products in her videos.

Our e-commerce operations in China achieved 10-fold growth in the past five years and in some divisions, e-commerce reached more than 20 percent of sales. During the Double 11 shopping festival on November 11, 2016, 18 of our brands in China joined the shopping gala.

GT: What is the difference between China and other countries in terms of digital development?

Rochet: In terms of digital, China's market is going faster and is inspiring for other markets. China is pioneering the Internet and the mobile Internet sectors. If you look at Alibaba and WeChat, there's no equivalent elsewhere.

Today we are looking at what's happening in China and trying to adapt that to the rest of the world, whether it is e-commerce, new marketing models, or multi-screen advertising. The company's cooperation with online celebrities in China has also inspired us to do the same influencer-retail business in other markets.

GT: What do you think might be the next groundbreaking digital trend in China?

Rochet: In digital it's hard to anticipate, but I feel the power of artificial intelligence (AI) is going to change a lot, as China is working very hard on that. Connected technology and personalization will be other growth points. For example, in the future, a large percentage of searches might be done through voice instead of by typing, which would make shopping even more convenient.

GT: What role does digital play in L'Oreal's business strategy?

Rochet: Today digital is one of the biggest and most strategic transformations L'Oreal is going through. For example, in terms of marketing, we used to focus on print and TV commercials, but today it's more about the multi-screen touch and putting more weight on online and mobile platforms like WeChat and Youku. Currently, we have more than 30 percent of our investment going to digital on a global basis, and it's growing a lot every year.

GT: L'Oreal has had a series of strategic partnerships with companies and venture capital firms. Will L'Oreal consider such partnerships in China?

Rochet: We believe that to succeed in digital you have to have partnerships with both small and big companies. As a group we have had two strategic partnerships, one with an incubator and one with an investment fund. Both partnerships happened in the Western part of the world, but now we really want to look at how we can replicate this kind of mechanism to get closer to the startup community in China.

Posted in: COMPANIES

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