Estée Lauder and Revolve demonstrate the importance of influencer marketing to their profits by devoting 70%-75% of marketing spend to the discipline


Jeremy Clarkson knows a lot about cars. He presented the BBC flagship car show Top Gear for 13 years before jumping ship to promote the new Amazon Prime channel with a car show - The Grand Tour. 

Jamie Oliver knows a thing or two about cooking. He’s published 26 approachable cuisine cookery books and starred in TV cooking shows for two decades.

I wouldn’t buy a car that Clarkson had built. The demise of the Jamie’s Italian restaurant chain shows that a different skill set is required to run a mid-level high-street restaurant brand than to star in TV shows or write cookery books.

Arii is an 18-year-old fashion influencer with 2 million Instagram followers. She hit headlines around the world a few months ago when unable to sell even three dozen items from her newly-launched clothing range. Influence is context-specific. Knowing about clothes, publishing images and commentary about fashion does not require the same skillset as designing clothes, - or appreciating the intricacies of the fashion industry’s supply chain.

Instagram hides follower count
Instagram hides follower count

A teenage influencer’s inability to sell clothes is not an indictment on influencer marketing. Her example does not prove influencer marketing to be an ineffective marketing and communications strategy any more than to say Jamie Oliver can’t cook or Jeremy Clarkson doesn’t know about cars. A better demonstration of influencer marketing’s worth lies in the proportion of spend increasingly devoted to it by large corporations. The proof of the pudding lies in two recent findings. 

Estée Lauder and the importance of influencer marketing

"75% of our investment now is in digital social media influencers and they're revealing to be highly productive," explained Estée Lauder president and CEO Fabrizio Freda during a Q4 earnings call earlier this month.

"Frankly [our advertising has been] very productive because we have learned... how to focus our investment where there is growth," Freda continued, adding this had resulted in a "much better rate of return" for the business. 

Estée Lauder is the company behind prestige skincare, makeup, fragrance and hair care products, such as AVEDA, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, LAB Series, M.A.C and Jo Malone. 

Revolve and the importance of influencer marketing to its bottom line

Revolve Group is a US-based e-commerce clothing company. It was valued at nearly $1.5 billion in June when it listed on NY:SE.

Influencer marketing is integral to its marketing strategy. Up to "70% of current overall sales at are driven by an influencer” according to an October 2017 article in WWD.

Revolve uses much of its marketing budget to nurture around 3,500 Instagram influencers. The clothing e-tailer began working with bloggers a decade ago in 2009: “We were working with influencers when they were still called bloggers, before Instagram. That strategy revolutionised our business.” Co-founder and co CEO Michael Mente told The Los Angels Times.

Revolve’s survival during that economic crisis lies in part because the fashion blogger network kept driving business to the e-commerce site. 

“In this day and age with the democratisation of content production, we can create imagery that really connects with the consumer on an emotional level, delivers our core message of aspiration and a great, happy lifestyle, and ultimately do it in a way that’s more authentic,” Mente said.

Revolve cultivates and rewards its influencers in a variety of ways helping to strength the bond and build a mutually beneficial community. These influencers enjoy :

  • Discount rates on Revolve merchandise 
  • Invitations to participate in over 100 social events annually - including at Coachella. 
  • Travel assignments to Instagram-friendly holiday spots around the world

Influencer marketing is enjoying a larger share of the marketing budget because it works. Enlightened outliers are working with influencers right the way through the customer journey demonstrating value at each touchpoint. Instead of amplifying influencer fails and extrapolating them to describe the state of the industry look instead at what is succeeding and the positive lessons which can be learned from them. 

Scott Guthrie is a professional adviser within the influencer marketing industry. He is an event speaker, university guest lecturer, media commentator on influencer marketing and active blogger. He works with brands, agencies and platforms to achieve meaningful results from influencer marketing. That tells you something about him but it's not giving you a lot of detail, is it? So, read more here.

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  1. You really have an incredible point of view for this business and the techniques that companies use to position themselves, I swear to you that I do not consider myself anything good in these matters and with what you have just presented I could really understand a little more! Thank you very much for the very valuable information and very well synthesized!

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