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Cosmetic Promotions in the News
Featured in WWD

Posted by Joann Marks on Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

WWDBy Faye Brookman for Women’s Wear Daily

Joann Marks probably knows more about the mass-market beauty consumer today than most in the business. As the founder and chief executive officer of Cosmetic Promotions, a beauty marketing company, she performs hundreds of store checks masquerading as a customer.

As Marks celebrates the 25th anniversary of her company, she uses that bird’s eye view to identify — and help solve — major challenges mass beauty chains face in the competitive beauty battlefield. Although she’s observed the enhancements retailers have made in stores, she noted there is still a lack of testers — a huge point of difference in the race against specialty stores. Another issue is that despite the addition of more beauty advisors, many aren’t approaching the shopper in an efficient manner. “The days of ‘Can I help you,’ are gone. They [beauty advisors] need to truly engage with the consumer and that is hard to do when you are stocking shelves or running a cash register,” said Marks.

Marks acknowledged selection in mass market doors with rows and rows of merchandising is challenging. “It can be overwhelming to walk in looking for a new products and seeing a 40-foot wall. Sometimes just finding someone to ring up your purchases can be a challenge,” she noted. Fragrances in particularly are tricky because testers are locked up. “Also, the mass beauty department is not normally a destination department. Mass is not only competing with department stress, but also Ulta and Sephora, which are destination places.”Demo Photo 2

She’s seen vast changes since she started her company in 1990 which at first was a side business devising end cap displays and a newsletter for beauty associates. Judy Wray, now the category manager for cosmetics at Rite Aid, nudged Marks into the business. At the time she was a buyer at Revco and asked Marks to create a newsletter for Revco’s associates to help nurture sales. Word of Marks’ success spread to other chains. She left her full-time job to focus on growing Cosmetic Promotions. Over the years she expanded from printing into a full-market company offering everything from in-store demonstrations (she has 1,500 professional makeup artists) to beauty box programs. Her goal is to bridge the gap between vendor and retailers. “Beauty manufacturers run national marketing campaigns, but they can’t effectively customize marketing programs for each retail chain,” she explained. Retailers on the other hand lack the resources to customized marketing programs for all items in their assortments.

Marks can be nimble when reacting to market demands. “It seems every few years we have a shift in how people want to promote,” she said. When retailers zeroed in on the ethnic market, she devised a sampling program with products for black and Hispanic shoppers. Next up was marketing to teens, so she came up with a Teen Program. “Currently, most of our work is providing interactive tool kits for vendors at all the chains,” she said. These kits include coupons which Marks said result in a higher rate of return than standard freestanding inserts. “We average about a 22 percent redemption while freestanding inserts are only about 1 percent to 2 percent.” She said the direct distribution and training used in tandem with the coupons encourages usage and drives online visits, too. During sampling programs, Marks said retailers’ Web site hits “spike,” too.

By adjusting her services to react to market demands over the past 25 years, Marks has increased her own sales — doubling her volume in the last five years. Recently, she saw a need to implement new technology to enhance live training. An interactive clicker system that grades students during the in-person sessions improves employee retention, she added.

Those who have worked with Marks call her a master at developing a sales concept from idea stage to execution. “Nothing leaves her facility without being checked and double-checked,” said Bradlee Farnworth, who worked on projects such as Cover Girl shade promotion rollouts with Cosmetic Promotions.

When Coty needs in-store demonstrators, Cosmetic Promotions is the “go-to” source, said Carolyn Goodrow, national account manager for Coty Beauty. The Cosmetic Promotion team, in fact, was influential in getting Coty’s Sally Hansen Miracle Gel off to a strong start.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAAnd Marks is crucial to efforts at Walgreens. According to the manager of strategic business development for cosmetics at Walgreens Michelle Hobson — who has worked with Cosmetic Promotions since 1997 — the chain has worked on training and continuing education efforts. “One of the most significant projects we’ve worked on together is around the recent relaunch of our “SaturDate with Beauty” program,” Hobson said. “This involved a strategic redesign around our participating suppliers, the event scope, training and education, and the actual event kits. Joann is intimately and personally involved in every project that we work on, from the first conference calls that identify scope and approach to the end result.”

To commemorate the anniversary, Cosmetic Promotions is donating $250 a month to a charity chosen from clients’ favorite causes. The e-mail campaign encourages those who work with the company to send in pictures of themselves from 1990 and the name of their charity.

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NEW Custom Counter Displays By Cosmetic Promotions

Posted by Joann Marks on Monday, December 15th, 2014

4239_DisplayOur team is always finding creative ways to solve problems, and we have executed some exciting new design concepts this past quarter.

Some of our most popular new items are sample and tester displays. These are custom designed to provide multiple functions, serving as a counter display, sample or tester holder, as well as accommodating coupon pads or instruction sheets.

Brochure holder displays are another way to combine both advertising and consumer education—great for a new product launch.

Whatever you have a need for, we have an answer! Let us know how we can help you come up with an innovative design solution today.

Check out more of our work HERE!
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Joann Marks and 22 Other Experts Share Advice on How Your Brand Can More Effectively Reach Today’s Media-Savvy Tweens

Posted by Joann Marks on Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

FashionPlaytes Tween Marketing ExpertTween Fashion Company, FashionPlaytes, reached out to 22 advertising and marketing experts to hear their advice on how to more effectively reach tweens in today’s high tech world. Joann Marks, Founder and CEO of Cosmetic Promotions, shares her knowledge and expertise on the subject. Cosmetic Promotions has conducted Beauty Marketing for Mass brands such as Revlon, Maybelline and CoverGirl. Cosmetic Promotions knows tweens/teens well through its experience over the past 5 years designing and managing a major drug chain’s teen marketing program.

1) How are brands effectively interacting with tweens?
Many of the beauty brands are using younger Tween-loved celebrities to promote their
products and even develop color stories- if not full lines – for them. For example, Taylor Swift and Cover Girl, Justin Bieber and OPI polish. The Justin Bieber partnership is called The One Less Lonely Girl nail polish collection for Nicole by OPI and was sold exclusively at Walmart, who reported that within a few weeks of its debut, all six of the line’s launch colors sold out at more than 3,000 stores across America. His fragrance partnership with Elizabeth Arden includes a “Someday” fragrance for women as well as a unisex fragrance called “My World.”

2) What are some of the challenges companies face in advertising to tweens?
Companies have to be careful not to use the word tween or teen in any advertising. They don’t want to think they are “kids”, they want to believe they are mature and making decisions on their own. A company that can get good word of mouth going and have “brand ambassadors” wearing their logo to school will fare better than ones who deal in traditional methods of promotion – Tweens/teens are not watching TV commercials. The one thing they still do LOVE are magazines (such as Seventeen) but even Seventeen has expanded its reach to more APPS and social media to keep them engaged. Both Tweens and Teens also are actually budget conscious as well, so direct sampling and couponing work very well. If they get the product for free the first time and love it, they tell their friends and the company has more reach then via traditional marketing. Our company has a direct sampling program at Teen Concerts where a variety of manufacturers team up to be in a bag we distribute after those concerts. The manufacturers have reported huge lifts immediately following our sampling dates.

3) How is this generation (GenerationZ) different in their attitudes towards consumption of media, and advertising?
Companies who understand social media and technology have a better time engaging them. Traditional TV commercials won’t work – they want InstaGram, Twitter and Vine. They
love to text and basically have better developed thumbs then the rest of the population. Tweens have to be attached to their friends (and therefore their phones) all the time. This age group also wants to be accepted and more interested in what their peers think more than other age groups.

4) Where are tweens reached most effectively?
Their schools, through their friends and on social media. In addition, there are a ton of very young beauty bloggers that have tons of followers and smart companies are sending these bloggers information and product samples. My 12-year old niece follows a you-tube blogger who shows her how to do craft projects.

5) Are there brands that parents feel particularly good about\for their tweens?
Yes, parents feel good about healthy snacks that are not filled with sugars and artificial ingredients, they are willing to buy those items for their kids. They also are willing to be talked into products that are not too trendy, give them a chance to interact with their kids (such as craft projects) and encourage any form of education.

6) How savvy are kids about being messaged to?
Very savvy – again, they don’t want to feel like the product is for a TWEEN but rather something their older sibling would want. They want products that celebrities use and what their friends have and are texting about.

Read the entire article on the FashionPlaytes website.

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In-store Events Turns Shoppers into Buyers for Beauty Brands

Posted by Joann Marks on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

In-store sampling eventCosmetic Promotions, Inc., a national marketing and promotional company, coordinates monthly and quarterly beauty box programs and assists manufacturers with the development of their launch kits, in-store demo events and Beauty Advisor Programs. The Beauty Box is a kit with materials for store personnel to use to train them on new product launches and interact with customers. Each box contains manufacturer samples, coupons and testers along with point of purchase materials designed and created by Cosmetic Promotions.

Event results revealed that this direct marketing and educating of the store associates has been enormously successful. A recent 6-hour fragrance trial event, executed by store personnel with vendor supplied materials, resulted in a 460% lift for one brand and a 660% lift for the other from the previous Saturday (same store sales). 64% of the Brands’ sales for that week occurred during the event day. Another cosmetic company saw a 658% increase on their items during their event vs. the Saturday before. Cosmetic Promotions created the printed and promotional materials, collated all the items and handled the distribution for both brands. “Everyone knows that direct contact with the consumer is key;” says Joann Marks, CEO of Cosmetic Promotions, Inc., “The challenge is to make sure you are sending a consistent, correct message to your target audience”.

One manufacturer discovered that coupons distributed via a Beauty Box resulted in almost 700% higher redemption than the ones distributed through Dermatologists offices in the same time period. In addition, while most coupons via FSI and other avenues averaged about a 1.5% redemption rate, the ones that went via these Beauty Boxes earned 5.4% redemption.

Cosmetic Promotions also provides live professional training and on-going education via the beauty box, beauty newsletter and monthly quizzes. Their CosPro Agency can also provide professional makeup artists and beauty experts to execute in-store events for chains who don’t have the personnel to do so themselves. Marks adds, “We look for every opportunity to motivate and engage the Beauty Advisors and other store associates”.

Cosmetic Promotions is celebrating its 24th year in Beauty Marketing and works with all the major Beauty Manufacturers and Retailers.

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CPI In the News – Bartell Drugs Health & Beauty Event

Posted by kristen on Monday, March 18th, 2013

Cosmetic Promotions was the company that Bartells chose to handle the makeovers for their Health & Beauty Event recently highlighted in Drug Store News. Cosmetic Promotions provided professional, trained makeup artists to apply cosmetics from Almay, CoverGirl, Neutrogena, NYX and Revlon in 30 Bartell Stores. The events began last weekend and will continue until March 23rd.  Cosmetic Promotions has over 1500 makeup artists listed with our agency and can handle events small and large nationwide. Contact us today to see how we can help make your events more exciting!

To read more of this Drug Store News article, go to http://drugstorenews.com/article/mini-makeovers-product-demonstrations-feature-bartells-health-and-beauty-event

 

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Cosmetic Promotions: Retail Beauty Marketing
Cosmetic Promotions, Inc.
2111 W Pine St. Orlando, FL 32805
Phone: 407-310-4839