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What: Paula’s Choice Skincare’s Rajaa Grar, Senior Director, Global Brand Marketing, reveals to Portada the keys to keeping content coherent across channels and why authenticity is critical to successful influencer marketing.
Why it matters: Paula’s Choice Skincare has built a cult following of consumers worldwide. At Portada Los Angeles, Grar will provide insights into how she uses influencers and informative content to generate brand awareness with new consumers, while deepening bonds with existing ones.

Paula’s Choice Skincare has built a cult following of enthusiastic consumers across the globe with “real talk about real facts,” and a singular focus on helping women with the truth about skincare. Founded by Paula Begoun in 1994, the highly successful cosmetic brand “helps women see real results,” according to its website. “We create skincare that’s shockingly straightforward.”

Senior Director of Global Brand Marketing Rajaa Grar is building upon and expanding the brand’s success with highly strategic influencer marketing and insightful awareness of the best approach for keeping content coherent across all marketing channels. Portada caught up with Grar for a preview of her participation at #PortadaLA on March 15th and where she will speak on “Influencer marketing: why passion and shared values are key.”

Portada: Content needs to be coherent across channels. What are the best practices for that? How do you get to that result?

 RG: For us, it all starts with a robust content and social strategy that is rooted in science-backed research and truly addresses our consumers and brand needs. We strive to empower our audience with the most educational and informative content on skin’s health and skincare while being relevant and engaging. Of course, the content may need to be customized depending on the platform but, it always needs to be aligned with our brand strategy and DNA.

Paula’s Choice Skincare’s Rajaa Grar, Senior Director, Global Brand Marketing, will be a featured speaker at #PortadaLA on March 15 when she will provide insights into how she uses influencers and informative content to generate brand awareness with new consumers.

Portada: Driving passion points through brand loyalty is key for you. How do you accomplish this and what role does influencer marketing play in that?

RG: At Paula’s Choice, we are passionate and absolutely love all aspects of skincare. Our consumers know it and it is one of the main reasons that the brand has a loyal following for the past 24 years and many of our products are cult favorites across the globe. Our influencer marketing strategy is centered around generating brand awareness among new consumers and deepening our bond with existing ones. Hence, many of the content creators that we collaborate with are skincare enthusiasts and share our skincare passion. They also have followers who are Paula’s choice fans as well. They also truly respect our brand and skincare philosophy, rooted in truth and advocacy and are themselves fans of the brand.

Portada: What do you see as being the three top tips/lessons to follow when using influencers in marketing efforts?

RG:  Stay authentic to your brand’s essence when aligning with ambassadors. Don’t be driven solely by the number of followers an influencer has. Deploy your marketing resources carefully.

Getting to know our influencers on a deeper level is essential as they are an extended part of our brand family.

Portada: How does Paula’s Choice protect its brand ethos/image when using influencer marketers?

RG: We go through a careful vetting process ahead of any collaboration and of course getting to know our influencers on a deeper level is essential as they are an extended part of our brand family. When doing so, the results are not only most authentic, but our brand efforts are reaping the benefits for a longer period of time after the content goes live.

Portada: What is the profile of the typical influencer Paula’s Choice prefers to use?

RG: We do not have really a typical profile of one influencer as we want to appeal to a diverse pool of consumers. We want to empower a wider audience to discover the power of our products as our brand truly transforms skin for the better and has changed people’s lives time and time again. We aim to collaborate with influencers that authentically love our brand and have experienced the transformative nature of our products. We found that those people are the most loyal and effective brand ambassadors.

What: Global eCommerce market will grow at an average of 11% over the next five years with Latin America leading the way, according to new data from leading payments company Worldpay.
Why it matters: Latin American eCommerce market is set to grow at a CAGR of 19% over the next five years, rising from US$59bn today to US$118bn in 2021 – the biggest rise of any region.

The global eCommerce market will grow at an average of 11% over the next five years with Latin America leading the way, according to new data from leading payments company Worldpay.

In its annual Global Payments Report, Worldpay found that the Latin American eCommerce market is set to grow at a CAGR of 19% over the next five years, rising from US$59bn today to US$118bn in 2021 – the biggest rise of any region.

The research also found that the three fastest-growing countries for eCommerce are Colombia, Nigeria, and Argentina. These “CAN countries” are forecast to lead the world with annual rises in eCommerce of 31, 30 and 24% respectively.

Worldpay’s research also examined the growth in mobile commerce, and found that total mCommerce penetration is set to rise from 38% in 2017 to 47% in 2021, driven by increased smartphone ownership and faster mobile networks. Latin America is set to be in the vanguard of mCommerce growth, with Colombia seeing a 64% rise, and 45%  in Argentina – putting them in first and fifth position globally.

With its incredibly strong growth in both eCommerce and mCommerce, Argentina provides a fascinating case study that illustrates the rapidly rising Latin America market. In spite of a difficult economic history in recent years, Argentina benefits from an Internet penetration rate of over 80%, and the largest proportion of mobile Internet users of all Latin American countries. The country is now on track to become an eCommerce powerhouse, on par with Brazil as early as 2024.

Strong connectivity is helping to power the Argentinian eCommerce revolution, as the country’s recovery has taken hold thanks to the greater integration with world markets and economic deregulation that followed President Macri’s election in 2015.

Latin America is set to be in the vanguard of mCommerce growth, with Colombia seeing a 64% rise, and 45%  in Argentina – putting them in first and fifth position globally.

According to the PEW Research Center, Argentina also benefits from a population with higher spending power and a larger middle class compared to its regional neighbors. These factors help to explain Argentina’s outstanding predicted growth in both eCommerce and mCommerce, and demonstrate the investment and growth opportunities for the world’s retailers and other merchants.

Shane Happach, Chief Executive Officer – Global eCom at Worldpay explained: “No-one can predict the global economic climate over the next five years, but we can be sure that consumer appetite for online and mobile shopping will continue to see extremely strong growth. The rise in smartphone adoption and the continued improvement in mobile networks have important implications for merchants looking to take advantage of an increasingly well-connected middle class with greater disposable income.

“However, it’s important for retailers to understand the idiosyncrasies of each territory. No two markets are the same in terms of the population’s preferred payments methods, and each has different regulatory requirements, mobile penetration and banking practices. That is why it’s so important that merchants do their homework before they invest in new countries to ensure that they make the right strategic decisions.

“With the right support, however, retailers can seize a unique opportunity to take a lead in these emerging eCommerce markets,” Happach concluded.

Worldpay’s Global Payment Report 2017 report also highlighted how the payments landscape is continuing to fragment, with options such as bank transfers, cash on delivery and pre-paid cards stealing market share from more traditional methods like credit and debit cards. The research found that bank transfers are set to overtake both credit and debit cards as the second most popular global payment method behind e-wallets, adding an additional factor for retailers to consider when planning their eCommerce strategies.

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