54 - Doug Jensen, Estée Lauder Companies
Voiceover: Explore the minds and marketing strategies behind today's winning brands and businesses. Tap into the power of the creator economy with Earned by CreatorIQ. Here's Conor Begley.
Conor Begley: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Earned. Thanks for joining today. Today, I have Doug Jensen, the SVP of Go-to-Market Analytics & Activation within the Center of Excellence at Estee Lauder. Thanks for joining the show, Doug.
Doug Jensen: Thanks, Conor. It's been a long time. We've known each other for what? About 10 years. So it's a honor and privilege to join you today.
Conor Begley: Yes, it all goes back to that infamous folder you had when I came to your office in New York and you said," Let's talk about this data that you have here," way back when.
Doug Jensen: Yes, you did make a splash and you guys still do that with how you publish things in WWD and Beauty Inc, so yes, that was a long time ago, conor. You've grown as a company a long way.
Conor Begley: Yeah. I mean, you personally were one of our earliest advocates and believers, so thank you for all of the things that you contributed to our success.
Doug Jensen: Of course, I'm happy to be here.
Conor Begley: So let's do a quick brag reel on Doug. Doug has been at Estee for about nine years, and we should talk about what your role is, so it's going to be the first question just so people know what you focus on. Prior to that, you held senior analytics roles, VP, SVP at IRI, Nielsen, Avon. You got some board advisor roles, et cetera. So you're somebody that spent a lot of time looking at analytics, marketing, and particularly how this affects this consumer products industries and beauty in particular over close to decade. And so, really excited to have you in. I think you're going to provide a very unique perspective. We've had a lot of operators. We've had founders. We've had entrepreneurs. We've had Wall Street analysts. You're the first person to come in with pure analytics focus, which is really exciting.
Doug Jensen: Yeah, I do have a unique role at Estee Lauder companies, and I would say unique in the beauty industry and maybe in larger or more other industries. I've been at Estee Lauder, as you said, for about nine years, and I wear basically a variety of roles within the analytics space. In my current role, I look after CRM engagement, CRM activation, general marketing analytics. I am in charge of our martech operations. I do competitive and marketing intelligence. I do earned media measurement and social listening analytics, marketing mix modeling, which is my expertise and what I'm really most passionate about. And we'll talk today about how we use that to measure earned media. And then I'm also in charge of enterprise- wide marketing training. So as it relates to this conversation, we'll talk about earned media for the most part. But my journey has been really interesting from a marketing analytics perspective. I was in university studying journalism and statistics. My very first job at AC Nielsen was to basically use statistical models to measure advertising, which is a form of journalism. So for the 30 years I've been in the business, I have really been focused on that core sweet spot of measurement. I would say my journey has been from being a statistical analyst to going into all companies within the CPG space on the vendor side, and then about 15 years ago I made the choice to go to the client side, so Avon and now Estee Lauder. My career journey has been from statistical analyst to business consultant to beauty analytics expert, meaning expertise within the beauty industry.
Conor Begley: Well, I think what's fascinating about analytics, and I remember having this conversation with Steve who was our only board... So the board members were John, me, and then Steve who's been a CFO for maybe, I don't know, 25, 30 years, very successfully in the software space. He said the reason he loved being CFO, he's like," When you have all the numbers," he's like" all the levers of the business. What drives what, what works well, why this works within this." He's like," It ends up being really critical to decision- making," which is I think for you got to be really fun to just have access to everything, be able to see what works and what doesn't. I know personally that's something that I've always been attracted to and part of the reason that Tribe is so focused on the analytics work. Is that what attracted you to that space in the first place? Or what was it that made you want to dive in?
Doug Jensen: Well, as I said, I landed my first job at the intersection of using statistics to measure advertising. And from there, I basically did analytics across the whole host of clients on the vendor side, so worked at AC Nielsen and Information Resources. Those two companies collect data from grocery, drug, and mass merchandiser stores, so at your disposal you have all the consumer sell- through information. And so then what we would do is then compliment that and measure advertising GRPs and pricing and you name it. It was really cool to be a kid in a candy store with these companies who had all that data. The way that I think about moving into the client side is that you want to move into a client side to be closer to where the decisions are being made. And that's really what I found the most rewarding, is that whatever data you have at a given company, and in our company we have a lot of first- party data, we have a lot of second party data and so on, so the ability to measure all that and then make better business decisions by working closely with brands and the brand presidents, our heads of marketing, that's what really is fun about my job today. So the transformation of working on a vendor side across clients to now going deep within a given company, especially in the beauty industry, has been really exciting. I think the other thing I would say about the industry that you're in, I mean, prestige beauty, as you know, is a really attractive industry. It's been growing at almost 10% globally, and it has been for a few years. Many markets and many categories are growing even above that. My unsolicited advice to any young person listening to us is you always want to start your career in an industry that's growing because that growth drives opportunity. It's when you're working in a declining industries it really is difficult and you're always doing non- sustainable activities like cost cutting. I know that I've been in many industries like magazine publishing that was in decline, so it's not as fun as beauty. So beauty's a really attractive and fun category.
Conor Begley: Yeah. It's funny, I give the exact same advice to people. The way I've always explained it is if you're at a company that's growing, say, 50% a year, right, what happens? Well, jobs are created at roughly 50% a year. That's roughly how many people are going to be added to the company, plus or minus. And so what that means is that, okay, there's a new management role that was created above you, and generally there's a preference inside of those companies to promote from within rather than to hire outside because they know who you are, you know the business, et cetera. And so, what it allows you to do as a young person is to get the opportunity for advancement in your career much more quickly than a company that's in decline, where the only way for you to go up in a company that's in decline is to actually have somebody leave or get fired or whatever. That's the only way for you to move up. And so, it just makes it much more difficult to grow in your career. If you had to give an ideal path when it comes to analytics specifically, because, again, I think part of the people that are listening to this or the CMOs, et cetera, but part of them are junior people that are looking to move up in their careers, would you recommend they go to the vendor side like a Nielsen or somebody else that's more the digitally- focused analytic side of things? Or would you say go brand side first?
Doug Jensen: Yeah, that's a good question. By the way, everyone should listen to you about career advice. You definitely have a lot to say there. From my perspective on that question, I think marketing analytics is an attractive space. It's relatively new relative to marketing, I would say, and so I would say if you're an inquisitive person, analytics is for you. I mentioned my university education which was a nice mix of journalism and statistics. And so, from journalism what I learned is how to ask questions and how to ask the next question and how to keep asking the next question to get to the truth or to get to the why. And then from statistics I learned skills to imply that inquisitiveness, so how do you apply models or other frames of reference within measurement to really measure everything and get to measurable business outcomes. Analytics as a practice has been around for a few decades, but I think focusing on it earlier in your career can take you further. To your question I would say, starting on a vendor side, it doesn't have to be a Nielsen or an IRI, you could be with a digital marketing agency or someplace where you're looking to learn across categories. I think that's one of the things that was strong about my career is that I learned a lot from just analyzing category X to category Y and applying that. The other thing I would say about analytics as an industry is that for every 10 marketers, there's one marketing analytics person, so your opportunity to rise in your organization and my point of view is you're competing with a lot less people, especially if you do your job well. I think the other piece of advice I have for analytics people and anyone in the world is if you are in marketing or marketing analytics, how do you strive to deliver strong insights? What I mean by that is you really listen to your marketer's question and then you deliver the answer to that question. And then you follow up with that business partner or that marketer to ensure that the analytics understood. That whole journey of that cycle really makes you become a trusted business partner. I think that's what I've strived to do over my career is how to make sure that I'm listening, answering questions, and then coming back and making sure that, A, that people understand the analytics and what to do with them, but then to be there to make sure that the decisions are supported by the analytics and to be that trusted advisor. One of the ways I was able to do that in my career is through an industry technique called marketing mix modeling, which many people have heard of and some younger people have not. It is leveraged by all major companies in assessing the incremental sales and contribution across the entire marketing funnel. Our company hired me to drive and build that capability, and most companies have had it. Procter& Gamble has had it for 30 years, our company for about eight years. And we are using that, and I think we'll talk a little bit more about this today, we use marketing mix modeling to measure all of the different marketing and media elements, including earned media. It's been our way to prove to ourselves that the earned media investments we're doing are paying off.
Conor Begley: So talk to me high level, if you were explaining marketing mix modeling to somebody that was entirely new, what does that process look like? What are you doing? What's the goals? What are the inputs? All those things.
Doug Jensen: Yeah. Good question. Marketing mix modeling is essentially you're explaining some dependent variable, and that could be sales, it could be search, it could be traffic. And then what you do is you build models to take all the other, what we call, independent variables, which are the explanatory variables that explain the dependent variable. So what we are doing at our company is we build models at upper funnel, which is desirability is what we call it, and we look at Google search volume. One of our brands is Clinique. If more people search for the brand Clinique in Google search driven by the other marketing levers, then that's what we're explaining in the model. And if you take a model on traffic, you're trying to figure out, are people coming to your site more often because you did some marketing or media element? Models were always built on sales, which is bottom of the funnel. But for us what was interesting is that early on in using your data in particular, I want to say five, six years ago, we were trying to figure out whether influencer marketing and influencer EMV was driving sales. We initially couldn't detect a relationship, and what we realized is you're not always looking for a direct sales relationship. You're looking to see whether influencers and creators are driving desirability and then driving traffic and then ultimately driving sales. By changing our approach to measure all parts of the funnel, we're actually able to show and prove that it's a strong ROI. I think the other thing that I would say is you need to use an agency. So when you asked earlier," Should you work on a client side or work on a vendor side?" the other idea is to go deep into these models, either attribution models or marketing mix models, and learn how to bring that kind of core measurement over time, analyze it across companies, and then bring it to the client side, which is what I did later in my career. My ability to know what those models are and then be the arbiter of the results of them with our brands and our brand marketers has been the core sweet spot of how I've grown in my career.
Conor Begley: Yeah, the concept of using Google search data to then measure basically consumer interest," Is this driving consumers to want to look for us?" is both obvious when you say it but not something that people talk about, right? It's like, oh yeah, well, like that's a really clear indication of interest for people that may buy. I don't know, I love it. And then I think on the early career thing, I can't remember who it was that I was listening to but was basically saying," We teach calculus in high school, but how often do you use calculus?"
Doug Jensen: So true.
Conor Begley: Almost every role these days, though, within business requires some base level understanding of statistics, analytics, how to use Excel, and then how to present that information in a way that's compelling and makes sense and is statistically accurate, et cetera. Statistics should really be one of the core things that you're taught as a high schooler and then into college as well. It just isn't.
Doug Jensen: Yeah, it isn't. You're right about calculus, so I was one of those guys in calculus, I loved math. At the time in the university, I was focused first on journalism. I can simply remember being in sophomore year calculus because I love math so much. The professor was going around the room saying the name and the degree or the major of the person," Person X, electrical engineering. Person Y computer engineering. Doug Jensen, journalism." He's like,"Are you sure you're in the right place?" I was like," I don't know, I just love math." So when I told you I found the first job combining both, that was cool. I would say you're right, statistics and economics can be very daunting and intimidating to a lot of people. I have talked to a lot of marketers, many feel like it's so off- putting. And so, one of the things that I try to do, I really think about this a lot, Conor, when I'm talking about a model, I don't go into the nerdy parts about how you build the model. I try to convince people that these models have been around for 30 years. They are trusted. Trust me as your business advisor that I wouldn't bring something to you that I didn't think worked. And then let's have a conversation about what the results show and then obviously what are the insights to action we should do with them. So I'm trying to transform the conversation to get more into what are we going to do about that. We'll talk more about this, but what we're using the models for is to go fairly granular in terms of making decisions." Should we be in Meta's Facebook and doing paid social and doing video versus static images? Should we be doing online video in Roku versus YouTube?" The placement of where you can actually put your marketing and media is incredibly interesting. And then, of course, in the earned media space, we actually look at it two different ways. We put the influencer, creators on one side of the equation and then we put how do you harness or generate word of mouth media value through beauty editors and other people, retailer partners, celebrities, and use the models actually to tell us which of all those factors are most important.
Conor Begley: Yeah, for sure. Let's dive into some of the social media, influencers, creators effects on sales, those things, because I think what's interesting for me is you started your career on the Nielsen side. Imagine IRI similarly has a focus on TV, which is very much direct response. That's why you might use it to measure sales, because I showed an ad, did people buy things after the ad? It's not really about creating community or trust. Is it desirability? Which I love that term. I'd love to hear about, one, you've had the perspective of seeing social media from the beginning to today, particularly over the last nine years at Estee Lauder. How do you guys evaluate the effect on the buying cycle for consumers and how has that changed over the last, call it, nine or 10 years when it comes to social, creators, influencers, the whole thing?
Doug Jensen: Yeah, there's just so much we can talk about here, Conor. I mean, the measurement we started with when we looked at the EMV, which internally we call influencer EMV to make sure that we're distinguishing it and focusing on influencers and creators, so early on in the industry, I mean, think back to 2014, 2015, and you taught us that makeup creators could show these full face looks by creators using multiple products, for smaller brands that had no other paid media support, it was very easy to see that their share growth was driven in large part by fostering the sense of community from influencers. Today, it's more evolved, and everyone knows the tricks of the trade about how to work with influencers and creators, and so it's harder in my experience to see a direct relationship between EMV and market share. So that's why we use the marketing mix models that I was describing earlier, because it's able to tease apart... And not to get too nerdy or techy on what models do, but essentially what they're doing is, all us being equal, looking at all different marketing levers. The models tell us what's the incremental contribution either to desirability, traffic, or sales based on each of those levers. So that's why we use the marketing mix models because it is harder to see in the measurement. The other thing I would say that we had done a lot in the past is a lot of benchmarking just to find out where does our brand rank in drive, where does our brand rank in other tools similar to Tribe. We're actually looking at that again to see how do we compete better, how do we make sure that our brands are on the forefront of this, and then partnering with them to make sure that we've got strong earned media strategies and that we're driving those strategies by looking at the benchmarking. We do all of that, and I have fun with it because I'm passionate about earned media, I'm passionate about measurement, and I'm passionate about driving the measurement to create business outcomes.
Conor Begley: Yeah. In terms of other tools, so let's just assume Tribe is great... Well, at least you're using it, we know that much, right? So out of Tribe, what are some of the other systems, tools, measurement? We'll center it around the social media ecosystem that you've found had been really valuable to you, your teams, your brands, anything that you think is really great.
Doug Jensen: Yeah, so in our media, we look at influencer on one side of the equation. We look at you and some other tools around the world. And then on the other side of our media, when I mentioned about word of mouth, we have different technologies to measure word of mouth. We call it word of mouth media value. And then I should also say that what's important to us is we have a variety of tools to do social listening. So how can you look through or examine comments and readings and review sites, or can you look through blogs or forums and even parsing when people say good and bad things about you in social media? I call that social listening analytics, and there are different technologies to do that. The way I think about it, Conor, is I want to have on my team people who are well- versed across all these analytic techniques because the business question coming from our brands, it could be varied, it could be very specific. How do we win in our media? Or it could be, how do we find those trends of what people are talking about? And so, you need to employ different techniques to find that. In social listing analytics, the tools that we use there, we'll use machine learning to parse through and understand what are the kind of conversations people are talking about. I mean even go and think about rating and review sites. When people produce a rating on brand. com site or in a retailer. com site, there's such richness there in the verbatims that they talk about, but to figure it out on your own just by reading the reviews will take you forever. So that's why we use machine learning and the technologies that we use. What that does is it helps put buckets around the conversation. If there's, let's call it, a foundation conversation, there's going to be a conversation about coverage. Is it a full coverage or a medium coverage product? Or if it's in pigmentation, is the pigmentation of the color we have, is it paying off? And so, understanding those conversations. There can be discussions. We have one brand that does a lot in having scent. So is the scent payoff happening well, and do people... Are they buying the product because they find the scent attractive? Again, earned media measurement is one part social listening. Analytics is another part. And then apply applying that through marketing mix modeling is how I think about it.
Conor Begley: I think the review stuff-
Doug Jensen: It's a funny job.
Conor Begley: ...is so rich in terms of the volume. And there's just so much of it too, right.
Doug Jensen: It is.
Conor Begley: And it's not just about your company, right? There's a lot of other companies out there. It's like," Oh, wow, consumers are really attracted to this." We should pay attention here. Yeah, that's fascinating.
Doug Jensen: Yeah, I mean the amount of trends you can find... So in color products you want to figure out is there a shift in the kind of red lipstick. What kind of finish would there be within lipstick? Skincare has been super interesting as you know. During the pandemic, no one wore makeup, and so they all were focused on skincare, and the skin influencers is what we call some of those creators and derm influencers, as you know. We've been studying them and what they're saying and what trends they're tipping off and how consumers are responding to that. Again, when you think about earned media, it's measurement of what people are saying about you. But, again, looking into figuring out what those trends are and responding to those trends is a large part of what our company is focused on.
Conor Begley: Absolutely. One of the things I always thought was interesting was forward looking versus lagging indicators. Generally, sales is a lagging indicator of what's happened leading up to that point. Have you found that there are particular signals that are more forward looking versus lagging in either review data, social data, anything else?
Doug Jensen: I would say when we talk about the market mix models, they do analyze the past, but they are the best way, in my opinion, to figure out where you should spend your money in the future. What I mean by that is it's really hard to parse through a lot of the different signals that you have. If you could figure out, and we do, that a TikTok campaign in the past seems like it's working and resonating, the marketing mix models that we use will actually tell us that. And so, we've analyzed for a couple of our brands some preliminary campaigns, let's say, within TikTok that showed enormous ROI. What was fun in talking to the brand folks is that they'll say," Well, that was a campaign before we really had a good strategy against it, and now we do, so imagine how we can actually know that the future campaigns that we're doing." So my point is you need to analyze the past in order to influence the future. Again, my view is marketing mix models really do help you with that. I think the other thing that I think about is how can you use some of this influencer EMV data from you guys and put a forecast through it to figure out what are those trends. There's a fair amount in not my group but in other parts of the function that I sit in where they're spending a lot of time thinking through how can you use these inputs and put forecasting models through them to figure out the future. So it's used in multiple ways, and I think the fun part is there's no one right way to do in and every application is different. But for me when I think about all these different analytic tools, I hope the viewers here don't misinterpret, it's not the analytics for sake of analytics. It's really, really in service of brands and marketers making better decisions. And so, the more marketing analytics person who might be listening to this thinks about it... In my opinion, the reason why I'm bringing this up is I interview a lot of people, and it seems like there's some people who are heavy duty into the measurement for the sake of measurement. I try to teach them that it's measurement in service of an outcome. My team knows that, and they know what I'm passionate about that.
Conor Begley: How much of it is you bringing stuff to the brands that you observe versus them coming to you with questions that they want to have answered?
Doug Jensen: It's a mix of both. I establish the function that I sit in, really, I was brought in as analytics person to build the marketing mix capability and then learned quickly that we needed to focus on market share reporting, which is a relatively easy thing to do, which we're still doing today. I mean, measuring market share is incredibly important. I'm very proud of the work that we do there. The questions that we get, it's a mix. Sometimes our team will go through an analysis. We have been launching and studying something, we call them competitive deep dives, where we will get a request from a brand as you asked and then go study that competitor from soup to nuts to figure out what are they doing to win and then what are the answers or what could we recommend that our brands do to respond. So that's an instance of a brand asking for it. Within the earned media space, a lot of it is us seeing what the patterns are and then basically putting forward our recommendations of how earned media strategies should change based on the trends that we're seeing from your data and from competitive data. That's the fun part, is any good analysis can be coming from anywhere. Sometimes if the brand asks the question, you know they're going to do something with it. And sometimes if we observe something and then put that forward, it might take a couple more conversations to get that through. One of the ways that I was asked to think about that is," Doug, how can you scale all this great learning that you do?" And that's why I'm now in charge of our enterprise marketing training, so that I can build training programs to cascade those learnings across the world.
Conor Begley: And that's the Center of Excellence component, right?
Doug Jensen: That's right, the Learning Center of Excellence that I'm in charge of. That's right.
Conor Begley: Very cool. I want to dive into that. I want to keep going here on this one a little bit more though.
Doug Jensen: Cool.
Conor Begley: Let's talk about other outcomes you're driving. I think one of the things that is fascinating to me about the internet is that it's allowed people to create community around topics that maybe they would've been really disconnected in the past. So whether that's like, hey, in high school, you might have been one of three people that wanted to be a makeup artist, but now you can find a community with 100, 000 people that want to be makeup artists online and be a part of that community. I think similarly you have that around brands, where like," Hey, I am part of the Glam Glow community. I am attached to this brand. I'm so into it." I think that creators, earned media influencers are one of the primary ways that that gets driven. Or one of the bigger drivers for it. I think the way to measure that outcome is you can say," Hey the actual community, the number of people following me online has grown as a result of this." I remember you bringing something to me that was pretty fascinating and, again, makes sense once you think about it but wouldn't be obvious on the surface, which was basically, you looked and said," Hey, the more influencer coverage we get, the more media we get, the faster our followings grow for our brands." Is that something that you're still seeing and have there been any other learnings like that you thought were interesting kind of connecting the dots across the channels?
Doug Jensen: Yeah, I think in earned media there is this knock- on effect so that when something goes viral or people talk about it, then there's a virality, as you know, that happens with it, and so that can actually explode the number of conversations. I would say that the relationship earlier on in the influencer space, so when influencers talked about you, that that drove conversation for brands themselves and there was this halo effect to the brands, it's harder in the mature beauty industry now to have that happen. But that doesn't mean we don't try. I think the other thing, what you're bringing up, is this larger ecosystem, how you think about it. In our case, we use the language of paid, owned, and earned, and we say," How do you make all of these levers work more effectively together?" Some of that revolves around organization design, meaning whoever's in charge of paid may not be in charge of earned, who may not be in charge of owned, and brands need to work across those functions to make that happen. There is a halo effect that can happen when you start to think about a campaign from the beginning. What is the objective? What's the brief? What's the consumer target? How many more consumers do I need to reach? What's the part of the funnel I want to reach? And then, what are the components of paid? What are the components of owned? And what are the components of earned? And plan that all together. That's where the sweet spot happens, and that's the kind of training that we're trying to do within our organization to reinforce those principles.
Conor Begley: Mm- hmm. We'll talk, owned, earned, paid, whatever, all TikTok, so I want to talk TikTok for a second just because I think that when I talk to marketers, like I was talking to Amy, the founder of Tower 28 yesterday, she was on a panel we did, and," TikTok, TikTok, TikTok," she said," that's all I care about anymore." She's like," I'm trying to dial back a little bit of my investment in Instagram." Which I'm not saying that's what you should do, but that was one of the discussions you were having. And so, what have been some of your learnings about TikTok so far from an analytics perspective as well as what your brands are seeing? I have to imagine that it's a hot topic within Estee Lauder as well and an area of focus for the marketers. So talk to me about TikTok a little bit and what you're seeing.
Doug Jensen: Yeah, well, it is a hot topic at our company, and I know that Somer Tejwani, my friend from Too Face, was on one of your podcasts, and she talked about to the extent that it's so new and how you we've all had to learn and transform how we compete there, because 2019, no one was really talking about it... or let's say 2018, no one was talking about TikTok. I would say at this point in its evolution, we recognize clearly the importance of TikTok and the various ways that we need to show up, and it's in a couple different ways, right? If creators discover us or in some cases rediscover us, meaning our brands or our products, we need to react to that. And then on the other hand, we need to work to create our own campaigns. We've had really good success with some recent campaigns. If I may call out a couple of examples, so Estee Lauder, our namesake brand, launched a TikTok campaign a year ago called Night Done Right, that was the hashtag. It drove nearly 13 billion views and led to the creation of almost two million videos. So it's challenged diverse creators to educate a younger audience on how important it is to take care of your skin at night. The product there is called Advanced Night Repair for Estee Lauder. Then our Clinique brand, which is an overall skincare and makeup brand but it has a lot of affinity in the acne space, so they created a Zit Happens campaign on TikTok, and that became a viral sensation, and there were nearly 10 billion views of that. That created about 700, 000 views on the app. Those are campaigns that brands do, but a lot of virality happens to you, and it's really super exciting and interesting when that happens. Clinique has this product that was born in 1971 called Almost Lipstick. It's in the black honey color, so it's called Black Honey Almost Lipstick. As I said, it was born in 1971, but it went viral in the last year. The number of craters who discovered it, especially diverse creators and diverse consumers, made the product go viral. And so then the question is, what do you do once that happens? How do you make sure you harness that? I'm really in awe of our brand teams who not only create these new campaigns but react to those viral moments. You really have to be on top of it. Everybody in the brand is studying TikTok every day so, suffice it to say, it's incredibly valuable platform for us, but it's not the only thing that we do within the earned media space. To your point earlier, we use your data to dimensionalize where is all the influencer earned media value coming from, and Instagram is still the primary platform. It's just that TikTok is emerging and everyone knows that you need to play differently. This is obvious, but I'll say it anyway, you cannot take a piece of content that you create in Instagram and put it onto TikTok. It won't work. Everybody knows that, right, but then the question is, well, how do you find the right creators, and how do you make sure that those creators have the right briefs so that they produce authentic content if you're working with them? It's not easy to do that, and again, I'm in awe of our brand teams who have cracked the code to make these really great campaigns.
Conor Begley: Yeah, I wouldn't say everybody actually knows. I think two people are still doing it. I mean, because it costs a lot of time and money and effort to create brilliance.
Doug Jensen: It's an investment. It's definitely an investment, yes.
Conor Begley: But I think that the devil is in the nuance where there are specific inside jokes, there's a specific understanding to the way that you choose music, there's a specific understanding to the community that's there, and what they think is interesting that has a big effect on a piece of content success. And so, yeah, it's a real investment to be able to do great content across all these different platforms, but I think if you can get it right, obviously the payoffs there, right?
Doug Jensen: True.
Conor Begley: The TikTok made buy it trend, it tends to occur.
Doug Jensen: Yeah, and then the problem you'll have is TikTok made me buy it, and then we go out of stock, and then how do you react inaudible?
Conor Begley: I've always thought about the supply chain in the era of social media and virality, it just sounds like a mess. Because it's like something hits hot and you're like," Well, how am I supposed to predict that?" It's so hard to know that that's coming.
Doug Jensen: Yeah. We do have conversations within our supply chain teams like," How do you react to that?" And I don't think anyone's really cracked the code on it. It's really more, again, about reacting to the virality when it happens to you. How do you work with a creator to make sure it's okay if you want to repost their content? And oftentimes then, if the product goes out of stock, then you can come back when it comes back in stock and have another campaign related to that." Hey, you love this product. Sorry, it was out of stock, and now we have it in stock again." Some of our brands have done that.
Conor Begley: I talked to the ColourPop team about that a little bit, and I think because they've got a vertically integrated model and they've got their manufacturing basically in the same house as their marketing down in Southern California, they can react a little bit more quickly, which I think is nice in those circumstances.
Doug Jensen: Sure.
Conor Begley: Let's talk a little bit about you, so you, the industry, and then we'll do one fun end of show question. I think for you, obviously, you've achieved a lot of success, regardless of whether it's analytics or not analytics as represented by a very large leadership role at a large public company. So what would you say to the younger people that also want to get into more senior leadership roles over time? What would you say are some of the things that you've learned about leadership? What do you think are some of the philosophies that led you to where you are today in terms of how you operate within a business?
Doug Jensen: Well, I would say I never feel like I'm a good leader, I always feel like I'm always learning and growing. But I think one thing about being a good leader is that you always have to pay attention to what's important to grow your team. Good leaders are in service to their team, and that means whatever you can do to make something easier to get done or to build a relationship with someone so that you can have your team be successful, and how do you have moments where you give your team opportunities to shine in front of senior leaders? So I think about that a lot. I think the other thing about your leadership team is to pick the right leaders, give them the strategic vision and the roadmap, and then get out of their way to execute. But then be there to answer questions and steer them in areas of uncertainty. And of course, during the pandemic and even coming out of the pandemic, there's been a lot of uncertainty. How do we go back to the office? What does that look like? How do people respond to that, and how do I support my leaders when they make those decisions? I don't know if I'm a good leader. I try really hard. I think about it every day, like" What can I do better today?" There's no one right way to do that, but I do, I think about it every day. I think," What can I do to get person X to where they want to go in the career?" One of the things I started to do was to spend time with the younger team members, the junior ones, the ones we just hired in the company and spend time with them so that I could get smarter about getting them to where they want to go faster. Because I think the worst thing could be that you had someone leave your group or the company and they wanted to go somewhere and you didn't know that. That has happened to me in the last couple of years, so I strive to be better to find out,"Well, what is it that you want to do, and how can I get you where you want to go?" It's not always going to work, but as long as you try, that's the idea. I'm also really a big fan of having different leaders talk about talent. So, how can I get person X to a different place, to a brand or to a different function? And I spend a lot of time thinking through that. And then in general, I try to be a mentor. Conor, when I was growing up, I never really had a mentor. Now I'm in a couple of different programs internally and then I'm a mentor for Adweek, and that means getting a mentee outside of my company. I'm a mentor for our LGBT group. Again, I try to pay it forward a little bit to spend time with younger people to make sure that if I have wisdom I can impart that or I can at least talk to them about where they want to go and how I can help with that.
Conor Begley: Well, and honestly, I think that is what makes a good leader, is you're trying to think about how you help these people get to where they want to go. I know I was talking with Scott Friedman, who's the CEO of Rare Beauty and was the CEO of Nyx before that, and just is very well regarded by the people that he's worked with as a leader. I was talking to him about it. He's like," What I view my job as as CEO is to get the best possible people, so you get the best people in the right positions and then really try to remove as many barriers as I can. Just how can I-
Doug Jensen: Exactly.
Conor Begley: "...help them succeed and let them go." And then again, if it's not working or it's not the right fit, then you make a decision. But really getting the right people into the right places and then letting them thrive is I think the way to win in the long run. For sure.
Doug Jensen: Exactly. It sounds like you have that conversation with everybody you have on this podcast, which is good to hear. I mean, I think everyone should be thinking about ways to drive leadership and that younger people, again, listening to this, there's no sooner enough time to talk about what it means to be a good leader. Because the sooner you can think about that in your own career if you're very young, the more you're going to get to where you need to go.
Conor Begley: Yeah. I mean, honestly, part of the reason I ask that question is I try to think about it myself, right, similar growth mindset. I don't think I was particularly good at the beginning. I'm not great now, but I'm okay. One of the things that I've enjoyed most or I've observed that I think as interesting is, when we first started the company, I read an obscene amount of business literature. You'd find these patterns, it'd be three different people describing the same thing in three different ways, all getting to some kind of core truth. And so, I think when you hear different perspectives on one thing, you can start to get to your own version of that, that is a combination of other people's perspectives. Okay, so last question, obviously, your last nine years or so has been in the beauty industry, but before that, you touched a variety of different industries on the consumer good side. What have you noticed that is different about beauty versus other industries? Talk to me a little bit about that. How do these different industries operate from your perspective, the ones you've touched at least?
Doug Jensen: Yeah, so I've been in beauty nine years at Estee Lauder and seven years at Avon, so 16 years total. The whole social media movement, an earned media movement that we've been living through, let's say, it's relatively recent. I've always wondered," What would it be like to work at a traditional CPG company trying to make your way through how to harness and leverage social media?" I guess what I would say is for those people watching this who are not in the beauty industry, how could you get into the beauty industry because it's growing, as I mentioned earlier? It's growing roughly at 10% globally every year. And then secondly, because earned media and social media moves so quickly, I would say, just being in one industry and going deep on that and then understanding how those trends are evolving has been super interesting. We talked about this earlier, but for example, make up led the way 5, 6, 7 years ago with creators teaching consumers how to be creative. And then, as we all know, during that pandemic, no one was wearing makeup. Everyone then said they're going to take care of their skin. Yeah. And their hair actually. Fragrance, is another category, had a different distinct opportunity for growth. A lot of people were gifting fragrance and a lot of people were buying fragrance for themselves, especially in the luxury fragrance part. So, how do you basically check those trends and really tap into them in the beauty industry is what I find incredibly interesting. I think only in beauty does a consumer see such power in their voice about how a creator or a consumer, someone with very little following, as we said, in TikTok can go viral. I don't know if we talked about this, but 10 years ago, it was the beauty brand is the authority working with the beauty editor at a publication, and the consumer consume that content. That's all been flipped on its head, as we all know. And that's exciting because now the consumer's in control. I think for the brand, the exciting thing is to just pay that much more attention to what the consumer is saying. What do they like? What are they looking for? And as we said, ratings and review sites, you find out how people like or don't like your products. And that's just such a rich place to understand that. But more importantly in the trends, you have the opportunity to listen to that creator, listen to that consumer. And if you listen closely, you will learn a lot. I think all of us recognize that. It's just how do you focus on that. My job largely at my company is to bring those insights to the brands so that they can action on them and bring those insights for wherever they come from. For me, it's been really fun to work in the beauty industry. It's been fun to see the growth. I work for incredibly well- respected and well- run company, and I couldn't be more proud of that. It's been a good run, I'm not done. I don't see myself going anywhere else because of the richness of this inaudible.
Conor Begley: Yeah, for sure. I think the depth of knowledge you have about an industry compounds over time and becomes increasingly valuable.
Doug Jensen: It absolutely does.
Conor Begley: I think that-
Doug Jensen: Absolutely does.
Conor Begley: I observe a lot of entrepreneurs as well and it depends on what you're going for, what your goals are, but you'll see people, it was a guy who co- founded a company, it was called PeopleSoft. Then he sold that, then he started another one that was in the HR software space. And then the third one was Workday. Workday is obviously done very, very well, tens of billions of dollars. And it's like if you're going for economic outcomes, depth of expertise is really valuable from a career perspective. Now, if you're going from a variety of experiences, right, then that's a different goal. It won't, I think, necessarily have the same expected economic outcomes. But anyways, okay, enough with work stuff. So we're going to do one fun end of show question, and I'm actually going to let you pick from two. So you get to choose which question you want to answer, or you can answer both.
Doug Jensen: Okay.
Conor Begley: So the first one is, you love to travel. You gave us a bunch of recommendations on our safari trip down, and I really appreciated that. So one option is, where's your next big trip? What's the next bucket list place you guys want to go to? And then the second one is you're a notoriously good chef, and so I want to know-
Doug Jensen: I'm going to answer both because they're both fun.
Conor Begley: No, but you're getting into your journey of cooking. What's your latest dish that you're excited about? Or maybe you're not cooking anymore, I don't know.
Doug Jensen: I'm going to do the cooking one first. I am notoriously a horrible chef. I'm horrible in the kitchen, but here's what happened during the pandemic when I couldn't go to the grocery store, I signed up for HelloFresh, which is one of those meal delivery services. Every week you get three meals, let's say, and then everything comes prepared perfectly. Conor, I am becoming this little mini chef. I'm like," Little Doug Jensen who couldn't cook, who couldn't boil water, who couldn't cook pasta is making these incredible..." So people who know me well, they laugh at me because I've been posting Instagram Stories of all my meals. They're like," Yeah, enough of the meals, you've done that." Let me go back to the safari question. I'm super interested in Africa and safari, I've been on two. I've been to near Kruger National Park in South Africa, and then I've been in the Serengeti in Tanzania. My next big trip, Conor, is going to be in Botswana. The safari there is in the River Delta and then next door is Namibia where it's a desert, so the combination of desert and delta. If anyone wants any advice about safaris, I would love to give advice. This is fun, so my South Africa safari, we went to a camp and I was introduced to, what we call, our ranger, and our ranger is the guy who takes you on the safari. He then left that camp, started his own business, and he's who personally took me to Serengeti in Tanzania. He's emailing me every week like" When are we going? When are we going? When are we going to Botswana?" I'm like," Yeah, exactly. Let's get the world under a little bit of control." That's just probably a stupid thing to think, but yeah, that's my next big trip. It's inaudible.
Conor Begley: That's awesome. I love the HelloFresh, that's funny. I mean it's cool-
Doug Jensen: I know, right?
Conor Begley: It's awesome that it unlocked that for you, right, that they were able to create that experience.
Doug Jensen: Oh totally. Totally. HelloFresh, if you're listening, I am a micro, micro, micro influencer.
Conor Begley: Well now a little bit bigger, right? Well, Doug, I really appreciate you taking up the time. I'm so glad you're able to make this happen after so many years of working together.
Doug Jensen: I love this, Conor. Thank you so much for thinking of me, and inaudible.
Conor Begley: Glad you're continuing to do the mentorship stuff. I think it's going to be really valuable to people. Awesome. Right. Bye, Doug.
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On Ep. 54 of Earned, we spoke to Doug Jensen, SVP of Go-to-Market Analytics & Activation for the Estée Lauder Companies (ELC). We start the episode by unpacking what Doug’s analytics-focused role entails, and learn more about his path from statistical analyst to business consultant to beauty analytics expert. We then explore how Doug leverages an industry technique called “marketing mix modeling” to understand the impact that various marketing tactics have on ELC’s sales, search, and traffic. Doug explains how measuring all parts of the marketing funnel can help prove a strong relationship between influencer marketing and sales. From there, we dive deeper into the effect that content creators and social media have on consumer sales, before discussing ELC’s viral TikTok campaigns and learnings from the platform. To close the show, Doug emphasizes how his job is not measurement for the sake of measurement, but rather measurement in service of an outcome: brands and marketers making better decisions.