Carolyn Holba, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Maybelline New York, Garnier and Essie is a shining example of a marketer keeping up with the changes—and lightning speed pace—of the marketing world. Carolyn recently spoke with Beauty Insider about some of the strategies her group employs to keep consumers engaged.

BI: Please discuss the realigned marketing approach within Maybelline New York*Garnier*essie.

We are a team that fully embraces an integrated media strategy. Each group has a seat at the table from digital, public relations, social media, traditional media, experiential and diversity marketing, as well as our agency partners. We find it to be a more holistic approach to bringing products to market and we all bring something valuable to the mix. For every launch, we ask ourselves tough and honest questions to make sure we’re clear on the proposition, as well as our target audience and how we capture her.

BI: Talk about the consistency in brand imagery being so important these days.

As you expand, consistency in brand imagery is crucial to momentum and success. If we don’t present a strong and clear brand message, the consumer doesn’t know whether she wants to opt into the brand or not. There’s a lot to be said about a great product but there’s a lot to be said about an emotional connection, too.

BI: The key to Maybelline/Garnier/essie success, you said, has been a strong, clear vision.

You have to have a vision and a position of who you are versus the competition and stay focused. For us, the marketing strategies may change, but our vision remains the same: to bring to market the best beauty brands out there. It is important for us to have honest conversations where we ask ourselves: What is the vision? What do we want to accomplish? Does a certain idea fit or do we move on?

BI: You’ve mentioned the relevance of the Hispanic consumer for the brands. What are you doing to target this consumer.

Particularly, for our Hispanic consumers, it is critical to understand where she plays, gets her information from, shops, etc. Maybelline New York over-indexes with Hispanics. This past summer, we re-launched our Spanish language website as well as our Spanish language mobile app because we know the Hispanic consumer is very involved in these two areas when it comes to purchasing.
When you look at the range of foundations within the Maybelline New York portfolio from the formulas and shades in products such as the Dream Mousse franchise and Fit Me, we have more shades with yellow undertones to meet the Hispanic woman’s needs. Garnier Sleek and Shine is a leading brand with Hispanics because it targets their specific hair type. We also found that hyperpigmentation and dark spots are an issue for Hispanics, which we address with our Garnier Skin Renew Dark Spot Corrector.

BI: What would you tell an up-and-comer is the most important thing to know about the next two years in beauty marketing?


The business of beauty is going to continue to evolve. Consumers have so much information now and you have to make sure that you are delivering products that do what they say and make her feel confident in her purchasing choice. In a blink of an eye you can have people talking about how their experience was with a product, if they liked your advertising or what they thought about their shopping experience. That dramatically changes everything. The shopping experience is going to continue to change and one must understand how the consumer is changing with that. You have to be able to reach her in new ways, excite her and find her in new places.