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MAC Cosmetics crafts mobile campaign to drive sales

MAC Cosmetics is maximizing its direct mail with QR codes that drive commerce and sign-ups for the makeup brand’s SMS program.

Consumers who shop MAC stores may be sent a thank you postcard with a QR code that links them to the retailer’s Web site when scanned, where they can view “how to” videos and browse and buy products. That is just one way that MAC initiates a sales transaction from static print collateral.

“Adding a QR code makes existing marketing materials work harder and often more trackable,” said Jeff Hasen, Seattle-based chief marketing officer of Mobivity. “Direct mail pieces have moved from passive to interactive, which is smart given the fact that calls-to-action are seen and acted upon by meaningful numbers of mobile users.”

Optimizing experiences
Mr. Hasen is not affiliated with MAC Cosmetics. He commented based on his expertise.

MAC did not respond to press inquiries.

MAC stores in New York are currently sending thank you postcards to customers in their in-store databases.

The postcards feature a QR code and text that reads: “Scan the QR code for instant access to the latest senior artist videos for enhancing your eye look.”

Upon scanning the code, the link opens up MAC’s mobile site to a page that includes links to videos such as “Art of the Eye,” “Pressed Pigments for Eyes” and “Long-Wearing Eye Shadow.”

The same mobile page features a menu bar with shopping, browsing and store locator tabs.

The direct mail piece feeds into a larger marketing strategy that MAC is carving out to bring the in-store and online experiences together.

MAC is known for its bold colors and edgy advertisements and sales staff, which is conveyed by its photo-dominant Web and mobile sites and direct mail pieces.

Image is very important to all retailers, and it is of utmost importance to cosmetics companies whose unstated goal is to ensure consumers: “If you buy our products, you can look like or be like us.”

At MAC stand-alone bricks-and-mortar stores or at MAC counters in department stores, staffers sport all black attire, and both women and men wear MAC products.

So when a MAC consumer visits its Web site or receives a piece of its direct mail, she expects that same in-store experience, even if she is interacting with MAC via her mobile phone.

Activating commerce
MAC’s mobile site in general is easy to navigate.

The mobile Web sites’ home page features a self-activated slide show with bright and bold photos of MAC products and advertisements.

The site also includes a call-to-action that invites consumers to “Tap to add us to your home screen.”

Consumers also can sign up to receive email or text messages, which helps MAC expand its customer database.

A consumer can order and purchase via the Web site or by placing a call to MAC on a telephone.

At this time, MAC does not have a branded mobile application.

MAC is a daughter company of Estée Lauder.

Last September, a senior executive from Estée Lauder stressed the importance of creating a seamless mobile commerce experience for everyday purchases to heighten the overall consumer experience (see story).

MAC also has a program called Shop Together that lets consumers consult their friends and family members for online shopping help.

Consumers and their friends who are registered in the program can virtually browse and shop online with each other, even if they are in different locations. They connect via social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, or by SMS and email.

As mobile commerce continues to grow, these types of personal recommendations will be key for MAC Cosmetics in strengthening its digital marketing strategy.

“Personal recommendations are big sales drivers,” Mr. Hasen said. “Facilitating interaction with friends makes sense, but only if value can be conveyed to the participants.”

Final Take
Kari Jensen is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York