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Emily Culp

In this Brand Innovator Spotlight, Emily Culp, VP Global Digital/Consumer Marketing & Media at Clinique, shares how the brand piloted its latest mobile app in Korea to ensure global adoption.

Brandon Gutman: Why did Clinique decide to create their Clinique Forecast mobile app program and launch it in Korea?

Emily Culp: In February, we developed the Clinique Forecast mobile application to be launched as a test-and-learn in Korea to confirm whether mobile applications had traction with our consumer – which they certainly do. The app was developed to help keep the user updated on the current weather, UV, pollution and humidity conditions as well as learn condition-relevant skin care tips. We wanted to ensure that the products being recommended were relevant to current weather conditions so users could help protect their skin accordingly. With the Asia-Pacific markets leading the way in terms of mobile use, we chose to pilot the Clinique Forecast app in Korea. We believed it would be the ultimate litmus test to launch it with some of the most digitally-savvy consumers. We partnered with our local counterparts to help develop and launch the application and with the key insights and lessons from our launch in Korea we were able to modify the application and launch strategy before rolling it out to other markets.

What are the key lessons you learned in Korea that you could apply globally?

First and foremost, it is critical to establish a fully integrated campaign early-on to ensure there is a consistent message across all relevant consumer touch-points. For example, we incorporated QR codes into our print advertisements and signage at counter. We reached key influencers to help build excitement around the application and used our digital properties such as Clinique.com, Facebook and Twitter to drive awareness within Clinique’s existing network.

Being fully equipped to be nimble and set up to measure the success of the program is also important. Therefore, before launch it’s important to identify your Key Performance Indicators and have the appropriate tracking mechanisms and capabilities in place so you can quickly optimize your program. It is also important to note that when delving into this space, in order to stay on top of the latest advancements, it is critical to have at least one dedicated mobile expert on your team. The space moves too quickly not to have someone fully immersed in it.

Many people are involved in the development and success of a mobile application. Getting to know your partners and having a close relationship with them will help when navigating these waters. It can also be immensely advantageous to enlist your consumers for feedback. We regularly poll Facebook and Twitter users and reference user reviews to help us address relevant consumer needs. All of these efforts have helped make the launch of the Clinique Forecast app a success. In fact, it was ranked #2 on Apple’s “New and Noteworthy” list of top apps within the first month of it being launched.

iPhone screenshot of Clinique Forecast Mobile App

How is your mobile application approach different than your web approach?

We recognize that the best mobile experiences start when they are created specifically for mobile. The mobile experience is unique in many ways; the mobile screen is always with our consumer and enables her to instantaneously connect with our brand whenever and wherever she is. Therefore, we want to honor her time and develop content, tools and experiences that help her learn, achieve a goal or provide her a service. In this space, utility is critical. Additionally, mobile (especially applications) allows unique, on-the-go functionality unavailable with traditional web. By embracing the utilities unique to mobile, such as the camera, GPS and push notification, we are able to reach the consumer through new touch points. Finally, we recognize the mobile space moves faster than the web’s so it is critical to have an “iterative” approach. Meaning launch, learn and codify learning so you can optimize and re-launch where needed.

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by Brandon Gutman
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Brandon is an expert connector and seasoned business development professional. As Principal of Brand Approved, he's led the advisory to become the bridge between brand marketers and best of breed service providers that are reshaping the industry.

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