First let me say that I love Mary Kay cosmetics. And, I am a big fan of Mary Kay, herself. What a superb role model and inspirational figure she was, in her day. And, in keeping with the honesty of this blog, I should let readers know I once was a Mary Kay consultant -- which I don't want to talk about. This letter is about the future of Mary Kay on the web.
After reading the interview by Beth Negus Viveiros in the January issue of Direct Magazine, I knew I had to write this letter. Here's the thing, Ms. Shasteen - the article says, "Top priority this year? Creating an online social network for the sales force, Shasteen says. When that's done, the company will focus on building one for its customers."
This is exciting news. I've been wondering for three years now when Mary Kay was going to make that positive leap into social media. I know that today's women (especially the Mary Kay market) are online more than offline, and if you don't have a way for them to connect to you - no, really connect, NOT just email an "[email protected]" message - they get frustrated and even annoyed. A social media network for consultants is a big plus, and thinking about one for customers is okay...but...I wonder if jumping on the social media networking band wagon should be your focus right now.
Because the Mary Kay brand is so powerful, and so well respected (despite some of the naysayers - the brand is enduring and the products are exceptional), you would do well, IMHO, to consider a blog. Yes, beyond the social networks you're creating...you need a blog.
Why a blog? Because we want to talk to the folks in charge (we being ME and the hundreds of thousands of other women like me)- to hear from YOU and the other executive staff. We want some information on what it's really like to work at Mary Kay headquarters, and how you decide on new products, and what you believe the latest trends in skin care are. We want a personal relationship with YOU, not just with each other and our consultants. When you consider that women are the majority of online shoppers, and we are eager to connect with brands, it just makes sense for Mary Kay to have its own blog.
Yes, I know it's a bit of a leap for the executives of such a powerful brand to actually talk to their customers online but it's happening now, and CMOs need to get on board instead of dragging their feet. Blogs are not like the Wild Wild West, despite what you may have heard. Blogs are conversations - and bloggers build connections with and for brands, every day. In a myriad of ways. From the young women of the SAHM group (stay-at-home Moms) to the WAHM (work-at-home Moms) to the Savvy Aunties and baby boomers, the opportunity to create exciting and positive relationships via a blog - is staring you in the face - now. Social networks are a good idea, but a blog is a great idea.
Really. We want you to blog.
Most sincerely yours,