L2 Think Tank has taken a deep dive into the Digital IQ of one of Beauty Insider favorite categories: Hair Care. The overall message? Save for a few key players, hair care brands in both the mass and salon arenas need to step up their game. What isn’t working? The typical recipe of celebrity spokespersons + TV ads + print ads to support hefty launch loads. L2 sees this as a “media arms race that erodes margins.” Success stories, L2 points out, limit traditional media and retail channels, both of which L2 said “are in structural decline.” Here, key learnings from the study.

1. Content and Commerce: L2 found that opportunity lies within how brands utilize their interactive tools with the purchase experience. “Content is often poorly integrated with the purchase experience. Of brands with interactive tools only 16% save product recommendations to the user’s account for future reference.”

2. You’ve Got Mail: Health and beauty consumers consult brand emails to research products more than any other source, except website, said L2. For professional brands, which segment between consumers and salon professionals by offering accounts for each, do not capture advanced data often enough, L2 found. “Less than a quarter of professional accounts capture salon location or product usage patterns. For the 23 consumer facing accounts, just 39% capture hair characteristics and 22% collect product usage details.”

3. Mobile: L2 found that “while more than a fifth of global monthly searches for brands in the Index occur via a mobile device, only 47% of consumer brands have invested in mobile optimized sites.”

4. YouTube: Of the most-viewed branded videos on YouTube, 39 percent feature how-to content, 18 percent are repurposed television commercials, and 14 percent feature celebrities. Ten of the most-viewed branded videos display the brand URL in the video, and three also verbalize that users should visit the URL, according to L2.

To access an excerpt of L2’s Digital IQ Index: Hair Care & Color study, which includes a complete list of brand rankings, please click here