Will Ethical Cosmetics Brand Lush Set A New Standard On Social?

It will not have escaped the attention of any social media professionals that marketing on social has had a significant sea change in the last few years. The bottom line is that much of the truly lucrative social media work is done on third-party platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Brands have to invest the sometimes considerable amounts of money required to gain attention, and then to convert that attention into engagement. There simply isn’t much more of a space to exploit in the organic arena. Some brands are doing ‘okay’ with organic, but the majority have to use paid media to make progress.
So how does a brand manage this in a sensible way? Does it keep pouring money into advertising on platforms? Or does it find a more creative way of managing things? Well, an interesting development came recently, when cosmetics brand Lush decided to do things a little differently, and showed a touch more brand confidence than its competitors might expect.

So what has it done?
Lush has decided that it is going to stop using 3rd party paid advertising from now on, and is instead going to focus on it’s owned media. This is a pretty bold move to be honest. But it does fit nicely into the way Lush has run things since it entered the industry.
Lush started out in the 1980s as Constantine and Weir, and it wasn’t long before it seemed to clearly offer an alternative to more traditional cosmetics brands in the high street. It saw some considerable initial success due to it selling its products to The Body Shop for millions. This prevented the company from operating fully for years though, as The Body Shop owned much of its product line.
Later, Lush as a brand was founded in 1995 and has seen success ever since, with the founders being awarded the OBE in 2010 for services to the beauty industry. Ever since it was founded it has followed a ‘no advertising’ policy, which has meant it hasn’t used TV or other mainstream avenues to advertise the brand and its products. This has not always been as clear cut as the brand might like you to think it is. The company has enjoyed some celebrity endorsement, which did involve some paid work for TV stars. However, on the whole the ‘no ads’ thing seems to be a serious approach.
As part of this approach, Lush has invested in various ‘owned’ platforms. These gain real engagment from loyal customers and fans, and have always been positive tools in the marketing the brand has used. At the same time, Lush has focused on using 3rd party platforms for organic reach and engagement.
Like many brands in many industries, it has found that organic on platforms like Facebook and Twitter etc. simply isn’t bringing the kind of results it wants. And so it has made the interesting move towards abandoning the 3rd party platforms.

We're switching up social.
Increasingly, social media is making it harder and harder for us to talk to each other directly. We are tired of fighting with algorithms, and we do not want to pay to appear in your newsfeed.
— LUSH UK (@LushLtd) April 8, 2019

The UK arm of Lush states on its website:
As a business, we don’t pay for advertising. The same applies when it comes to social media. Over the years we have created, published and cross-promoted organic content and conversations with the Lush community across multiple platforms and accounts. However, it has become more and more apparent that these genuine conversations with the Lush Community cannot grow without us paying for the reach and engagement. We are proud of what we have built organically using borrowed platforms, but it is time for a change. An audit of our social content and strategy demonstrated that on average, only 6% of our followers are serviced with our content in their newsfeed because we don’t pay to play. So in an effort to make Lush better educated as both technologists and consumers, we’re making the bold step to evolve our social media strategy.
So what happens next?
Well, this is where it gets very interesting. Firstly, it’s important to note that this new owned media approach is being followed only (so far) by the Lush operation in the UK. This is key, because it shows Lush has been looking carefully at it’s metrics, and has made a decision using its data.
Lush is confident that the owned approach is better for the UK. There are clear benefits to having owned media. The most obvious is that the brand is allowed to create the platforms it uses itself. Even with websites designed by other parties and hosted on a rented server, the property is still the brand’s property. This means it allows for direct, unfettered and targeted engagement with an audience that is loyal.
Essentially, it allows Lush UK to have complete control and freedom with its social media. Only brands that are brave enough to ignore paid ads can do this, and only brands that have a dedicated audience on owned media can do this.
On the plus side, it shows that paid advertising isn’t the be all and end all on social media. The negative, however, tells us that paid is shutting brands out. Not every brand is confident enough and capable enough to convert to owned media, and if you aren’t, there is less room to move.
Has this changed social media marketing? No.
Will it make it more interesting?
Most definitely yes.

Marketing’s 3 Biggest Paradigm Shifts: A Deep Dive

The world of marketing is always changing. It has to. As buyer expectations shift while technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, marketing cannot stand still.
If you’re in marketing, think about your career for a minute. Could you have predicted you would be doing what you’re doing now at the start of your career? Did your job even exist several years ago?
There are many ways that marketing has evolved over the years, but I think there are three key paradigm shifts that have driven that change. I’ll explore them in this blog post.
Paradigm Shift #1: From One-Size-Fits-All to Individualized Customer Connections
Historically, marketing was all about reaching the largest audience possible with the same experience. TV ads, print ads, billboards, etc. were the tactics employed by mass marketers of the past.
But the dream of individualized communication was there from the early days of internet marketing. In their seminal book, The One to One Future, published in the early 1990’s, Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D. predicted that “using new media of the one-to-one future, you will be able to communicate directly with consumers, individually, rather than shouting at them, in groups.” Unfortunately, early technology didn’t allow for this yet. Each online experience was the same, just as it was for a TV or print ad.
Now, over two decades later, the technology finally exists to deliver individualized experiences. Personally, I can’t go a week without relying on Netflix or Spotify recommendations to help me pick what I should watch or listen to. I couldn’t navigate most e-commerce sites effectively without clicking on the products they recommend for me. These are examples of businesses learning about me and delivering experiences that are relevant to me.
But those are just the most noticeable instances of personalization. There are many subtle ways that marketers are leveraging technology to deliver more relevant experiences today across websites, mobile apps, email campaigns, digital ads, and in-person channels like stores or branch locations, call centers, or online chat. Check out this blog post on the definition of personalization for more details and examples.
Marketers are finally able to speak to their customers and prospects as the unique individuals they are — they no longer need to “shout at them in groups.” As both a marketer and a consumer myself, that’s one of the most exciting paradigm shifts I’ve seen.
Paradigm Shift #2: From Delayed Decision Making to Real-Time Action
In a follow-up white paper to Peppers and Rogers’ book in 2008, Infor director of CRM Patric Timmermans made a point about the status of real-time analytics:
Companies used to cheer about having updated data every six weeks. Then they felt great about updating customer data every week. Now we’ve progressed to the point where companies can have constantly updated customer information, but I don’t think enough companies understand exactly how important real-time customer information can be.
We’ve made huge advances in big data processing since the early days of the internet. These days, any delay in data processing is seen as a massive inconvenience. Real-time data is the standard. And even if marketers may not have known how to use real-time data in 2008, they clearly know how to use it today.
We can monitor campaign performance in real time and make decisions quickly if a campaign isn’t performing as well as we’d hoped. We can respond to customers in the moment if they’re experiencing a problem. And we can understand and react to different things we learn about customers or prospects in the moment.
It’s this last one that has big implications for paradigm shift #1. What good is an experience that’s targeted to you based on something the company learned about you, if it comes too late? The ability to take in information and act on it to personalize an experience in real time is certainly possible with today’s technology, and it’s something that marketers must take advantage of.
Paradigm Shift #3: From Guesswork to Experimentation and Measurement
Think back to the olden days of marketing. Think Mad Men days. When those marketers had a decision to make about how to allocate their budgets or which creative to select for an ad, how did they decide? They may have relied on something that worked in the past or made a decision based on what an executive wanted. Or they went with their “gut.” Then, they might have been able to roughly measure the results at a later time to decide if the decision paid off. But there was no way to know for sure if another approach would have produced better results, because there was no good way to test the approaches against each other.
Today, marketing has a heavy focus on experimentation and testing to find the best approach. This is also called “optimization.” If your team can’t decide between two different website homepage designs, you simply set up an A/B test to tell you for sure which one produces the best results. And most modern and successful marketers I know are never satisfied that they have everything figured out. They know there is always a way to improve so they are always iterating on their successes.
These days, testing is evolving even further, blending into paradigm shift #1 as well. The focus of traditional A/B testing is on finding the best experience for everyone, but marketers have moved from focusing on one-size-fits-all experiences to individualized communication. A/B testing and experimentation don’t go away in a personalized world — they help marketers find the optimal experience for each segment or individual, rather than a mass audience. This blog post on combining A/B testing and personalization goes into more detail on this important trend.
Final Thoughts
Marketing has seen a lot of change over the years, but one thing has never changed: marketers have always strived to reach buyers where they are. Today, there are many more ways to reach those same buyers than in the past. Technological advances have sparked paradigm shifts in marketing in the form of individualized communication, real-time analytics and action, and experimentation and measurement.

Exploring Content Consumption Habits

The ways in which we choose to consume content have changed significantly in recent years. Recent data from Ofcom shows that more than 50% of UK adults enjoy being able to watch TV whenever and wherever they want via their smartphone or tablet and almost 70% prefer watching TV shows on-demand in order to avoid adverts. Additionally, ‘binge watching’ is becoming more prevalent, with 35% of adults in the UK admitting to doing so on a weekly basis.

While most everyday communications with family and friends were made via text message just five years ago, images are now a primary method of communication. The UK’s fastest-growing language is emoji and more than 180 million people use Snapchat every single day. Instagram Stories is racking up an impressive 400 million daily active users and when you throw in the fact that social media has created a whole new generation of internet celebrities, it’s clear that media consumption habits are very different to how they were just a handful of years ago.
The Changing Tides of Content Consumption
The Ofcom report analyses how UK consumers engage with content, look for information, communicate, shop and generally participate in the digital landscape. It reveals that 88% of adults have access to the internet at home, although reach is highest among younger demographics, with 53% of over-74s regularly accessing the internet.

More than 60% of 16-34s and 44% of 35-54s consider their smartphones to be their primary device for accessing the internet. Only 13% of over-54s view their smartphones in the same way, with 31% viewing their laptops as their most important device. 27% of over-54s consider their tablets to be their primary internet-access device, with just 22% naming their desktops as their most important device.
Millennials vs Baby Boomers
In an increasingly interconnected world, we have never been presented with a greater number of ways to consume a variety of media. Traditional media outlets have undergone a transformation to become “newsbrands”, ensuring that alongside their print formats they aren’t missing out on opportunities that can only be found in the digital space.
A collaborative study between Newsworks, the University of Bath and research companies Flamingo and Tapestry conducted to explore how millennials (aged 18-34 at the time) chose to consume news in comparison to baby boomers (aged 50-65 at the time). Interestingly, the findings illustrated that despite being faced with a more chaotic news landscape, millennials had still formed strong “newsbrand” consumption habits. Almost 75% turned to “newsbrands” for a balanced perspective, with almost 80% stating that “newsbrands” presented them with stories they wouldn’t otherwise have read elsewhere.

Millennials typically access news and other content in bitesize chunks periodically throughout the day and 73% admitted to visiting a “newsbrand” site to access more information on a story that piqued their interest on social media. More than a million baby boomers access “newsbrand” websites daily, noting the ease and speed at which they can consume information as a key benefit, however they tend to do so at specific times of the day.
Content Consumption According to Generation Z
The oldest members of Generation Z are now graduating from university, entering the workplace and establishing their own purchasing power. Notably, Gen Z consumes content in very different ways to other generations. Significantly, as the digital sphere is so embedded into their daily lives, many Gen Zers don’t make conscious decisions to consume content. Instead, it happens fluidly throughout the day. Although Millennials are also heavily invested in digital media, they consume digital content more consciously.
Although Gen Zers do watch TV, they prefer YouTube, Netflix and other over-the-top (OTT) services that aren’t linked to a specific satellite or cable service. 2015 research from Trifecta shows that around 70% of Gen Zers consume more than two hours of YouTube content daily, whereas Millennials are more inclined to combine their OTT consumption with TV and cable services. More recent research from Deloitte in 2018 shows that more than 55% of people across all generations in the US, from Gen Z to Matures only keep their TV subscriptions because it’s bundled together with their home internet package.

Gen Zers consumption drivers are shifting significantly as they spend more time engaging with content on social media. Social media isn’t simply a way for them to broadcast aspects of their lives, it is actually an important way for them to engage with their communities. This generation enjoys influencer content because it’s relatable, short-form and can be fluidly consumed throughout the day across a variety of channels and devices. This shift towards seamless content consumption requires brands and businesses to adapt to secure the loyalty and engagement of Gen Z.
Although there are differences between each demographic, Gen Xers, Millennials and Gen Zers are proving themselves to be adopters of digital media on a cutting-edge scale. Notably, Gen Xers increasingly digital savviness and rising disposable income should be viewed as a key opportunity for all providers of media and entertainment.

TV comedian Zelenskiy sworn in as Ukraine’s president

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Television star Volodymyr Zelenskiy has been sworn in as Ukraine's next president after he beat the incumbent at the polls last month.

The ceremony was held at Ukrainian parliament in Kiev on Monday morning.

Zelenskiy ditched the idea of a traditional motorcade and walked to the parliament through a park packed with people.Read more on

Oklahoma vs. Wisconsin softball: Time, how to watch, three things to know

By Joe MussattoOklahoma and Wisconsin will meet Sunday afternoon in the Norman Regional championship. Here’s how to watch, and three things to know about the matchup: OKLAHOMA (51-2) VS. WISCONSIN (42-13) When: 1 p.m., Sunday Where: Marita Hynes Field, Norman TV: Available online at Three things to know• Wisconsin advanced to the regional championship in dramatic fashion.Read more on

Oklahoma vs. Wisconsin softball: Time, TV channel, three things to know

By Joe MussattoNo. 1 seed Oklahoma will meet Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon in the winner’s bracket of the Norman Regional. Here’s how to watch, and three things to know about the matchup: OKLAHOMA (50-2) VS. WISCONSIN (41-12) When: 3 p.m., SaturdayWhere: Marita Hynes Field, Norman TV: ESPN (Cox 29/HD 720, Dish 140, DirecTV 206, U-verse 602/HD 1602)Three things to know• Wisconsin is making its third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Read more on

Want Better Social Media Engagement? Try Stand Up Comedy

As marketers, our goal is to help people make decisions that make their lives better. But too often, we fall into the cycle of “let me tell you all about me!” and fall short when it comes to engaging with our consumers. Especially on social media.
Customers are the heroes. We’re just here to help them along the way. Many times, that help comes by way of social media engagement.
No one is scrolling social media to have a bad time. Folks are often bored and looking for entertaining content, whether from friends or brands they follow. This is where we bring in our good friend: humor.

Why use humor for social media engagement?
People like to laugh
The Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice reported a survey and content analysis of 2,911 videos that revealed an attitude favorability toward humor over serious entertainment. That’s why folks who don’t enjoy sportsball tune into The Big Game every year—for the commercials.
Humor gets attention and drives likability
Adding humor to an advertising campaign is a way for organizations to make an emotional connection with consumers. Comedic elements weaved into writing give your brand a voice otherwise lost in business jargon and stuffy infographics.
Comedy can convert to sales
According to a 1993 Journal of Marketing study that examined multinational effects of humor on advertising (a study that still stands true), the major conclusion was that “humor is more likely to enhance recall, evaluation, and purchase intention…” We already knew that, because we’re hilarious and people like us, but we like to link things to look legit.
Use comedy tactics in your social copy
There are some simple writing ingredients that help convey a funny idea. Have fun and switch up your approach, but here are things that help us rein in our thoughts:
Use the “Rule of Threes”
This is a writing principle that suggests that a trio of events or characters is more humorous, satisfying, or effective than other numbers. Think “a redhead, a blonde, and a brunette…” or “a salesperson, a graphic designer, and a copywriter walk into a bar…” You get the idea. Most classic jokes are set up with three characters, situations, or examples. This helps create rhythm, pattern, and escalation.
Don’t sandwich your punchline
Back to the rule of threes… but you want to end on funny. When writing or giving a speech, people remember the first and last thing you say. Make it count. Ending on your joke gives your audience a breath to enjoy.
Cut the fat
In a world of Twitter limits and TL;DR (too long; didn’t read), we’re juggling our message and short attention spans. So, you gotta’ get to the heckin’ point! Reminiscing on the infamous Geico commercials: “It’s so easy to use, a caveman can do it.” Geico served their message while getting laughs.

Use the element of surprise
In that very first Geico commercial that aired, we watched a man in a suit and tie talk to us about insurance. We had no idea the cameraman was a caveman who was going to be deeply offended by the script. He throws down his equipment and leaves. It’s funny! Geico caught us by surprise, established a character, and became a talking point in advertising… all while selling insurance
Build consistency and a relationship with callbacks
This is a great way to come back to a previous statement or known situation. After Geico established the character of the caveman, it was easy to write more stories around him. This tactic builds trust and likeability with your audience.
Connect with your audience
Instead of talking AT them, start a conversation with them. Humor is a great way to humanize your message. Instead of “blah blah blah” from Big Box Store, create and produce content you would want to read or watch. Be grateful to have your audience’s attention and don’t waste their time. Just like stand-up comics, if you’re “bombing” recognize that and pivot. Check your engagement on posts. Some may be doing better than others. Lean into what’s working.
Acknowledge the hecklers
In comedy, there’s always that drunk guy in the back of the room who wants to yell something in the middle of your set. As a pro, you can’t let this derail you from your story. The show must go on. However, you need to play off what just happened. In marketing, this can come up in negative reviews or nasty feedback in your comments section. We believe it’s best to address those, too. Shut down the situation the best you can (humor is helpful!) and privately message or reach out to your internet troll with a gameplan to fix their grievance.
Remember your “Tight Five”
On stage, we reference the “tight five.” In business, we call it an elevator pitch. In essence, it’s your MO, your go-to, your tried and true. Stay on-brand, work with what you know, and know what works. Introduce as much personality as you can while keeping your message concise. This will eventually become your story, the bit that defines you and your brand, and the way you introduce yourself to the world.
Think beyond social media
Now that you’re groomed to be the funniest clown at the party, let’s talk about how you can utilize these tips in social, blogs, e-newsletters, and ads.
Get Gif-y with it has about a billion gifs to choose from. From movies, commercials, TV shows, you name it. .Gifs are a way to engage with your audience and stay relevant without producing your own video.Example Facebook post: You’re not using humor in social posts!?

(That little diddy is from the blockbuster hit Mean Girls. If you don’t get the reference, you’re not my audience and I’m going to quickly pivot…)
Let your hair down a little
If you’re sharing the same daily restaurant promotions… daily… add something to spice up your post.
Example Twitter post:
Mention a friend who might turn into a lonely cat lady if she doesn’t come out to ladies night at XYZ bar! Free entry, half-off drinks, and social interaction with ACTUAL humans await you! #catlady
Look for creative opportunities to incorporate humor
There are little ways to plant funny easter eggs in all of your writing. From homepages, to unsubscribe texts, to package design and even 404 pages.
Example “Thank you for subscribing” copy:
Hey! Thanks for subscribing to Peanut Allergens Are All Around Us DOT COM.
April Fools! You subscribed to Big Sea. Get ready to have your socks rocked with the most business-boosting marketing content delivered right to your inbox! We’re glad we’re friends. Brunch Sunday? Mani-pedis after? Too soon? Okay… we’ll catch you on the flipside.