Meet Raffaella, From Ballerina to Haircare Marketing Manager

Ever wondered what marketing and dance steps have in common? Well, the answer is the creative inspiration. Raffaella, Marketing Manager for Haircare at L’Oréal Paris, has leveraged her creativity in both those disciplines throughout her life.

In fact, our culture at L’Oréal is based on creativity and a sense of beauty. Our marketing teams live out these values every single day, by pushing back the boundaries of traditional marketing strategies with genuine creativity. Their mission? Create personalized brand experiences online and offline that put our customers at the heart of our brand story.

For Raffaella, there is no one right way to make things happen; it’s all just a matter of vision, motivation, passion and resilience. We caught up with her to hear all about her experience so far as a Marketing Manager in Italy.

I have always been a very creative person: I love to come up with new ideas and work to make them come true. At University, I became interested in advertising, but I felt like I was missing the concrete and decision-making aspect of the job. When I discovered marketing, I loved it right away. I think I knew immediately that that’s what I wanted to do! What I love about marketing are the endless possibilities, the strategic part of the job, analysing indicators, managing the product life cycle and just creating ideas in general and bringing them to life for our consumers.

Ever since graduating from college with a degree in Marketing & Communications, I’ve wanted to work at L’Oréal. For me, it’s the best place to experience consumer marketing! For the first eight years, I worked in several companies before finally joining the big L’Oréal family two years ago. At first, I started as a Senior Product Manager in Hair Coloration, and I have recently been promoted to Marketing Manager for the Haircare Consumer Division — definitely making my wishes come true!

“Good things come from big dreams! — that’s my motto”

At L’Oréal, you have the opportunity to work with incredible people, who are passionate about what they do, committed and full of energy. It really is a pleasure to collaborate with those people and learn from each other. What I love as well, is the level of autonomy and responsibility given to us — it encourages me to give my very best! I am also very fortunate to be so passionate about my job. As a woman and a ballerina, hair and makeup have played an essential role in my life, which makes me feel very close to the consumer insights.

Once again, the passion that everyone puts in every single day is not common, and it’s really inspiring. What makes Marketing unique here is that, at L’Oréal, there is a real entrepreneurial mindset, which makes it easier to propose your ideas and implement them — there’s space for everyone to be creative!

I recently launched a big local campaign for Elvive, with Miriam Leone, a famous Italian actress, as our ambassador. We produced a TV commercial, that was shot in Athens with the international production team, and some digital assets, that we shot in Rome for our specific local needs.

For the local campaign, the concept was based on the idea that every woman can express herself in any way she feels more confident, beyond stereotypes and models. That’s why we called the campaign “Capelli come voglio” — which translates to “Hair like I love it”. I wanted to promote the diversity of Italian beauty, through women with different personalities, to inspire and empower both current and new generations, by using a tone of voice that is closer to their actual life and needs.

Miriam Leone for L’Oréal Paris Elvive

Marketing is becoming more transparent towards consumers in order to offer more trustworthy brands and products. Today, it is our responsibility to tell the truth about brands. My role is to ensure that our marketing promises answer our consumers' expectations, but also respect their values and needs.

This also means that, when we market our products, we should promote diversity, focus on the local aspect, despite being global brands, and be more empathetic towards our consumers, in order to improve their experiences. If I translate these needs into my job, this implies that every decision I make has to be realistic, trustworthy and reliable: from in-store activations to media strategies, all the way to product claims.

Marketing has, of course, evolved a lot compared to what “digitalization” was 10 years ago when I first started. Brand and Marketing Managers used to talk about “digital”, but they only related it to the need of building a user-friendly website, revising social network content plans and addressing the target with the same unique message.

Today the biggest challenge is to establish a 1:1 relationship with your individual consumers. They are more knowledgeable about brands, products, prices and formulas than ever before. In this sense, digital has become a key lever in the marketing mix, to activate with the available online tools, to offer the right message through a wide variety of tailored content to potentially infinite targets. Precision advertising, programmatic, analytics are just some of the tools we use to understand and communicate better with our audiences.

Sharing is absolutely key in the learning process, especially cross-functionally. As a manager, I have learned the importance of giving the right amount of autonomy to my team members, while being there for them when they need my input. Show people that you trust them; listen to their needs so you can guide them as best you can and motivate them!

When I was in charge of Marketing for Hair Coloration, I launched a new campaign for the Excellence product line: from creating the idea for the concept to shooting a TV commercial with real women. The message was that Excellence is more than just a hair colour; it makes you feel better and empowers you. The campaign was a huge success and Excellence came back stronger after years of losing market shares!

The best advice you’ve ever received? — “Do what makes you smile, and your eyes shine!”

I love travelling and photography: it relaxes and inspires me. It allows me to discover new places, learn about different cultures while capturing the best moments in life.

I have done ballet for many years. I started at the age of 4 when even the smallest ballet shoes were too big for my feet, and I danced at a professional level until I was 21. So I spent years dancing in front of a mirror daily and performing on stage.

The funny thing is that I became obsessed with mirrors; I have mirrors everywhere at home, in my bag, even in my office. And since I also happen to be a perfectionist, I literally can’t go more than 1 or 2 hours without checking my hair and makeup!



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