Why Coty bought social content agency Beamly

Coty’s decision to buy social media agency Beamly comes as it looks to ensure its brands stand out through more personal connections with consumers as it prepares for expansion following its beauty deal with P&G.

Beamly is a social content and tech agency that works across all digital media including online video. Its technology is predominantly focused on measuring social media interactions and analysing what consumers are talking about.

That insight could be crucial as Coty acquires 43 of Procter & Gamble’s beauty brands for $15bn. The deal is set to take place in the second half of 2016 and will make Coty the biggest beauty brand in the market, giving it a new responsibility to promote the category not just its brands.

Camillo Pane, Coty’s executive VP category development, told Marketing Week that Coty is eager to keep up with digital developments and hopes that Beamly will fast-track in-house changes.

“We want to be fulfilling our ambition when it comes to digital marketing, not only in our current size but also when integrating companies we’ve acquired through P&G. Having Beamly in-house will help us inform our brand strategies in future,” he said.

“Being the biggest will come with some sort of responsibility of having to work on the category as well, not just our portfolio.”

Camillo Pane, EVP of category development, Coty

While the brand has already started moving its money to digital platforms, Coty wants to use Beamly’s technology to optimise its marketing spend and grow its e-commerce business.

“When the tool is connected to a brand campaign, it becomes easier to create relevant content and test it. In turn we’ll place more weight in the areas where the content is receiving more interaction,” Pane explained.

“As consumers’ shopping habits change, we need to get better at directing shoppers to online. It’s important to have in-house talent to step change in this area.”

Social media plans

In practical terms, the company is hoping to use content to interact with customers on a personal level. To achieve this, Pane wants the quality of the content to improve.

“Consumers no longer accept everything that’s pushed their way. The quality of the consumer content has to be of a different level and resonate with their lives, beliefs and ambitions,” he explained.

Every single Coty brand is expected to have a strong purpose, which will then be translated through content that talks to the consumers in a way that is relevant to them. However, exclusivity remains important – Coty’s brands can’t be for everybody.

“Some brands try to attract everyone and end up with a diluted message. We want to avoid this by having a clear brand purpose. I’m not saying we are there yet, but I’m convinced that if we work hard, many brands have potential of standing out,” he explained.

Working with other agencies

Even though Coty has acquired Beamly, the brand is still keen to work with other agencies as Pane says they can “bring their own proposition to the table”. However, Coty also wants to work with other clients of Beamly to give the company a competitive edge.

“Learnings cannot only come from inside, companies that are too insular will eventually lose sight of what’s happening out there. But the list of clients will have to be discussed in house,” he concluded.

  • Hear all about the importance of engaging social content at this year’s Festival of Marketing. Taking place on 11 and 12 November there will be 12 stages and hundreds of speakers. Click here for information and to book tickets.

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