Natura is a Brazilian multinational cosmetics and personal-care manufacturer, with operations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, the United States, France, Mexico, and Peru. The company, founded in 1969, also has more than 1.8 million consultants who are part of its direct-sales network.
Success in the beauty business is very much contingent on customer relationships. Natura relies on mature and robust data analysis to deliver contextually customized customer experiences, according to Andrea Alvares, vice president of marketing, innovation, and sustainability. She recently spoke to CMO.com about the intersection between marketing and technology.
CMO.com: Natura represents what many companies are aiming for today: to be a broad and engaged network. What role has new technologies played from a marketing perspective?
Alvares: Technology is an amplifier for our network. Today, 99% of our product order transactions are done digitally. Our Natura Consulting application has been downloaded 500 million times, and this number should only increase. The present and future of direct selling undoubtedly passes through mobile.
CMO.com: Is there a right way for marketers to leverage mobile?
Alvares: The watchword is relevance. It is necessary to approach people in the right context by offering them what is appropriate. The challenge in our area is to offer experiences that are relevant to each of these people without interrupting them.
CMO.com: Providing experiences in the right context involves data analysis. Where will this evolution of CRM lead us?
Alvares: We are 100% immersed in this process. We have an online monitoring room to analyze aggregate data, sales, consumer interactions, and consultants. But, for any marketing leader, this is a journey, and we are seeing only the tip of the iceberg of what it is possible to do with data analysis. We learn every day, we use bots to test our possibilities, and we are trying to increasingly customize our approach. We are only at the beginning of a big and greater revolution.
CMO.com: Does this revolution reinvent what we know as customer experience?
Alvares: We always treat customer experience as a priority. What we have now is a way to follow the different journeys of the final consumer and consultants in our network. With data analysis, we can follow more closely and ensure a greater continuity of the relationships we build. We are obsessed with the integrity of our relationships and believe that customer experience goes through this responsibility.
CMO.com: Considering the influence of technology on people’s behaviors and consumption patterns, what is the profile of the new marketing leader?
Alvares: One of the key features is insatiable curiosity. In a world that changes so much, it is important to be thirsty for learning and sharing. You need a sense of accomplishment and entrepreneurship, courage to take risks and fight, and an ability of materialization. Understanding and liking technology is important, but this is becoming increasingly invisible because technology is so intrinsic in our daily lives. The debate about understanding it or not will not be relevant anymore. It is something that will already be there naturally.