Our italian partner MCI Brand Appeal, had a very interesting interview with Matteo Moretti, POLO TECNOLOGICO DELLA COSMESI CHAIRMAN. They talked about China and Chindo too.
It’s a great pleasure publishing it in our magazine.
- Question 1) The Polo Tecnologico della Cosmesi in Crema is a hub that is growing and consolidating fast; in just a few years, what began as an ad hoc association of companies has grown to acquire an organisation and a mission; what has been the role of marketing and communication in the project so far?
M.M. (Matteo Moretti) Marketing and communication have played a major role in our growth; they are tools the use of which has brought our Association and the advice and services we offer our members to the attention of a variety of organisations.
Today, the most effective method for us to increase the Polo’s notoriety is the use of the standard communication channels, such as LinkedIn, our Internet site, Instagram and Facebook.
- Question 2) At the Innovation Day in November, the speaker from The European House – Ambrosetti also discussed the ideal of gaining formal recognition and institutional status for the Crema makeup & beauty district: from this point of view, do you think specific communications and properly targeted marketing can help you to achieve this specific aim, also in relation to the competent institutions?
M.M. I definitely think so. It is not easy to get across the importance of what we are doing (also and above all for the local area) to outsiders. Although government institutions are aware of the strategic worth of this opportunity, we cannot take it for granted that public opinion is equally well informed. This may not be crucial, but it would deprive the project of considerable specific weight. And at times like this, it is essential to access all the inputs available – apart from the duty to provide unrestricted information. So communication and marketing become strategic weapons, both for breaking out of tight local boundaries and for putting the message across to as many people as possible.
- Question 3) For the Polo’s individual member companies, or at least for some of them, do marketing and communications make any sense, since most of them are private label producers whose market is B2B, so they do not target the final customer?
M.M. Yes, even in the B2B sector, creating a successful marketing strategy that guarantees results that help to grow the business is fundamental.
Companies must have a strategic approach. They must be able to acquire a target-oriented method and perspective, clarify their ideas about languages and tools, and learn to measure results and obtain practical feedback for their business. The aim must be to draw up a clearly defined map of what has to be developed to improve the company’s business-to-business operations: increasing contacts and improving their quality, making sales more efficient, converting visitors into customers, getting the best returns on the budget, etc.
- Question 4) In your opinion, which would be the most useful marketing and communication skills? Are you thinking in terms of training to create these skills within the company, or the use of specialist agencies and firms?
M.M. Do we really know who our customer is? The buyer persona. Do we know about the competition, about how to compete? How do my customers buy? Who influences them? What objectives do I set myself? How do I measure them? Contents: what they are and why are useful for selling. How to lead people to you through useful contents. How to overcome the “I don’t have anything to say” syndrome. Which social media should I use? And how?
Therefore, to answer all these questions, you must have a clear, detailed marketing plan covering what should be done (which also bears in mind the time and resources available) to obtain the best possible results from the use of these major tools.
The Polo’s member companies are both large firms, which have a properly organised in-house marketing department, and medium-small enterprises which still allocate budgets for communication, in many cases through specialised external agencies and firms.
- Question 5) China is, of course “the” market on which Italian businesses focus their attention in every industry: how does the Polo view Chinese firms in the makeup & beauty sector? As low-cost suppliers of products or raw materials? As partners? As potential competitors?
M.M. One of the strong points of the Polo della Cosmesi is that it supports firms wishing to approach new markets. Our industry, which covers the entire value chain from raw materials to product, packaging and automation, is an area in which Italy claims excellence, and the Polo wants to promote this value chain worldwide, as well as acting as a facilitator for companies, the most innovative ideas, and brands.
The Chinese cosmetics market offers a great investment opportunity. The growth in demand and rapid changes in purchasing habits are the key factors for developing successful business. Co-operation between companies located in different countries, with different cultures and lifestyles, can definitely generate fruitful partnerships.
- Question 6) What is the Polo companies’ degree of penetration of the Chinese market?
M.M. It is the world’s second largest cosmetics market after the United States, with a potential of 1.5 billion consumers: a strategic market for Italian beauty industry firms, whose products are very popular with Asian shoppers thanks to their quality, their innovation and their trendsetting abilities. The cosmetics industry is one of China’s most promising retail sectors, and it is their main area of business for many Italian firms. In the last 20 years, Italian cosmetics companies have been focusing more attention on the Asian, and especially the Chinese, market, which over this period has grown more and more strongly, becoming dynamic and highly competitive in the cosmetics sector.
- Question 7) Returning to the Innovation Day a few weeks, ago, how significant for you was the presence of Chinese exhibitor, CHINDO, a producer of very high quality makeup & beauty brushes, which offered itself as a partner for the Polo and its companies to help structure your penetration of the Chinese market?
M.M. We were delighted to welcome CHINDO, from Shanghai, to talk about their range of high-end makeup & beauty brushes on the stage at the Innovation Day.
We view this company’s participation, as well as the involvement of other brands, including some from France and Germany, as a first step in showing that the Innovation Day is being transformed into an event which is international and not merely Italian, which will be able to attract companies from all over the world in the near future.