Success story of Douglas Marketing Solutions – how the N°1 beauty retailer wins over the web audience with digital media campaigns and first-party data

Most people associate the brand Douglas with the leading perfumery chain in Germany with over 2,400 stores in Europe. But at least since the Corona pandemic, it should have become clear to everyone that online retailing in particular is one of the safest and most consistent ways to shop for their favorite products. Douglas became aware of this even before the pandemic and for this reason the beauty retailer increasingly invested in its own online retail. Artificial intelligence, improvement of the user experience and an expansion of the online assortment were just a few measures to guarantee customers a relaxed and satisfying shopping experience even from home.

The history of Douglas Marketing Solutions

Today’s Douglas Group was founded in 1821 as a soap factory in Hamburg. It now secures jobs for over 5,200 employees in Germany. With the advance of digitalization, the group launched a Selective Partner Program in 2019, thus starting the cornerstone of one of the most important marketplaces for beauty products in Europe. This was very quickly expanded to international markets as well.

Matthias Brock, Head of Retail Media adds on the founding story: “”From the scratch” and after a few, but all the more intensive months of preparation, the go live of Douglas Marketing Solutions as a corporate startup took place in the fall of 2019, parallel to the marketplace launch. Day 1 Culture, teamwork and passion were and still are the cornerstones of our success!.”

The company always works according to the motto: “Digital First.” Douglas also put this motto at the center of its work with strategy programs such as #FORWARDBEAUTY.DIGITALFIRST. The focus of the growth strategy is the transformation to a digital company with stationary business. In the process, online stores, marketplace and the stores are to become a better networked, data-based beauty platform.

The Douglas Marketing Solutions’ success story begins in 2019. In parallel to the further development of Douglas described above, Douglas Marketing Solutions was founded. The company is a one-stop shop for brands looking to exercise data-driven advertising and marketing with first-hand data. Support in these areas can be found at Douglas Marketing Solutions. 

In the beginning, brands were able to successfully leverage Douglas Marketing Solutions’ first advertising solution with efficient product placement through Sponsored Product Ads. These offerings were then extended abroad for other markets in Europe. In addition, Douglas Marketing Solutions then further expanded its portfolio with display advertising solutions such as Audience Ads. New advertising formats are already in the works and are being further developed by Douglas Marketing Solutions at full speed.

The principle behind the Douglas Marketing Solutions’ success story

Douglas Marketing Solutions works according to an important principle that characterizes its success story. All advertising solutions offered by the company follow the SMART approach. Here, each letter stands for a characteristic that the advertising solutions represent. For simplification:

  • S: specific
  • M: measurable
  • A: actionable
  • R: result-driven
  • T: targeted

However, when developing various personalized advertising solutions for the customer, before applying the SMART approach, the target group is first defined and a solid database is created, which is based on Douglas’ CRM & e-commerce data. This way, a targeted activation is possible. The exceptional combination of first-hand e-commerce, store and CRM data promises data-driven and detailed targeting to find and address the target group most likely to buy the product.

Teamwork as an important part of the success story

At Douglas Marketing Solutions, teamwork is an absolute must, without which the entire marketing process would not work. 

The teamwork is cross-functional and very agile. The CRM, online marketing, analytics and data management teams are closely interlinked and there is a lively exchange. The main aim is to maximize added value for B2B partners and develop personalized advertising for end customers.

Step by step approach as an important part of the success story

The Douglas Marketing Solutions approach is simply explained:

  • Strategy & analysis: develop meaningful and customized media strategies based on the “data-to-insights-to-action” principle. Using existing 1st party data sets, Douglas Marketing Solutions derives exclusive target groups and develops the activation strategy.
  • Planning & implementation: Once the strategy is in place, a detailed media plan is drawn up to define performance values and KPIs, and the campaign can move into the operational business.
  • Control & reporting: The “go-live” has taken place and now it’s time for the ad operations team to continuously optimize the campaign. During the term, reports are created again and again. After the official end of the campaign, a transparent final reporting is done and the results are evaluated together.

Douglas Marketing Solutions is very well received on the market

It is no longer a secret that Douglas Marketing Solutions is well received on the market, as the company now works with all the major players in the traditional beauty industry. Likewise, many new brands and exclusive brands trust the approach and hundreds of campaigns have already been successfully implemented.

What also goes down very well with many B2B customers is the choice of being able to select the target groups relevant to the brand from a wide range of audiences. After all, brands are now well aware that retail media has become an indispensable part of marketing.

Secret of success and outlook – the success story continues

The success story of Douglas Marketing Solutions is based on a secret of success that the company reveals: the activation of the campaigns can only be as target-oriented, efficient and performant because all media strategies and campaign logics are derived from the customer insights on a data-driven basis. Douglas Marketing Solutions calls this principle “data-to-insights-to-action”.

In the future, other big things are planned in the company’s marketing cosmos to continue the success story. Jessica Koch, Director New Business & Retail Media, also sees great potential in retail media in the future:

“In the future, we estimate that 30% of all digital media spends will go to retail media. The sales-oriented, data- and performance-driven focus as well as an attractive ROI will lead to a strong shift.”

Jessica Koch - Douglas Marketing Solutions

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