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Episode 09 - From Beauty to Safety: The Journey of a Digital Marketing Expert in AI-driven Startups

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White Rabbit (00:03):
Welcome to the White Rabbit Hole podcast. Follow us to discover the wonders of creative digital communications for EU associations, corporates and NGOs in the Brussels bubble. We're thrilled to have Ines Knezevic joining us today. She kicked off her career in the digital marketing division at L'Oreal, where she gained invaluable expertise in the ever-changing realm of technology and marketing. After a while, she took a daring step and switched to a startup that utilises state-of-the-art AI technology to develop safety equipment for labourers. Her passion for technology and its capacity to enhance the lives of people in a variety of industries has been the driving force in her career. Our guest is a proud heck MBA graduate and has taught as a digital marketing professor at a university. She'll be sharing her insights and experiences with us today on how technology is revolutionising the marketing world, as well as how she has employed this knowledge in her profession.

Ines Knezevic (01:02):
Hello. And thank you for inviting me.

White Rabbit (01:05):
Can you tell us about your journey from working in the digital marketing department at L'Oreal to transitioning to a startup that uses AI to produce safety products for workers?

Ines Knezevic (01:15):
I would say that the transition was not straightforward. So after working in L'Oreal for a couple of years, for three different brands, as you have already mentioned, um, I started working at the university in marketing, so teaching, marketing, communication, digital marketing, while basically teaching, I understood that, to develop in this field and to be accurate in this field, you really need to be close to the companies that are executing the digital marketing strategies, and you need to be up to date with the new technology, which is developing, I would say, really, really fast. And, uh, that sparked my interest to move to another field, and I had an opportunity to transition to the tech company.

White Rabbit (02:01):
What sparked your interest in working with AI and safety products for workers?

Ines Knezevic (02:06):
So health and safety, it's one of the fastest-evolving sectors today in Europe. And if we combine, the technology and innovation with this, uh, very attractive sector, that's actually what sparked my interest the most.

White Rabbit (02:23):
How has your experience worked in digital marketing for a big company like L'Oreal prepared you for your current role?

Ines Knezevic (02:31):
So working in a company like L'Oreal, which is quite famous, we would say here in France, uh, for the marketing and all the digital, uh, marketing development, uh, prepared me quite well. I would say for the current role. First of all, it gave you the experience of working with the big campaigns, working with, uh, some very important brands, developing different kinds of projects. And it gave you the scope of one big group because, um, as we already talked, uh, about I worked for different brands, different, it was also different, uh, way of the executing the campaigns. And basically, currently, when you come to the startup after having the experience in the big company, you understand that, uh, probably you will be more creative by the experience you gain, uh, in the big groups. It's very valuable to help you shape, uh, and uh, to help you shape the project and, uh, plan the project.

White Rabbit (03:31):
In your opinion, what are some of the biggest challenges facing marketers in big companies today?

Ines Knezevic (03:37):
I would say this transitions from, uh, classical marketing and the standard tools to the new technologies like Chad, G P T, which everyone already is talking too much about it. I think currently the challenge we are all facing is how to adapt our way of working, how to adapt our way of thinking, and creating campaigns for new technologies. And in my opinion, we should adapt ourselves to that development rather than the technology should adapt, to the human.

White Rabbit (04:12):
Can you share any memorable campaigns or projects that you worked on while at L'Oreal?

Ines Knezevic (04:17):
Yes. So basically I will share, um, the campaign we did, uh, with Nick's professional. I was lucky enough when starting in L'Oreal to work with Nick's professional makeup, it was the first brand ever acquired by L'Oreal that was a hundred per cent digital brand. So starting working from the beginning, um, as you know, L'Oreal, it's very like strong in marketing. So most of the budget, let's say, goes to marketing, but it's very specialised in classical offline marketing. So in 2015, when I started working for Nick's professional makeup, the main challenge we had was how to adapt this digital strategy to the offline challenges. Um, so Nick's was executed over two years, only social media campaigns. Uh, never was, uh, published in any article, no, not tv. So very unusual at that stage. So our biggest challenge was how to connect this digital marketing to the, uh, in-store experience because as the brand started, uh, growing, we, we were opening the stores and the project, uh, at that time, which was quite one of the pioneers, uh, we did it, was that we put the big screens inside the stores and connected those screens with Instagram.

Ines Knezevic (05:44):
So all the influencers or random people that would tag the next professional makeup, their post on social media would be directly livestream in the store. And, uh, it boosted the engagement, um, up to 50% at that time, which is huge.

White Rabbit (06:03):
What do you see as the future of digital marketing in the beauty industry?

Ines Knezevic (06:07):
So the beauty industry is already now, it's very revolutionised by all the technology. Um, I see more and more coming with digitalisation and personalisation. I had a chance, uh, last year on Vitech, which was the biggest innovation fair in Europe. Uh, seeing the presentation of Lancom, uh, which is still not very, uh, it's not still public, where they basically scan the skin tone in two to three minutes and create the personalised cream only for your face. So basically it's already revolutionised in terms of the beauty industry.

White Rabbit (06:48):
Can you discuss any notable differences in the marketing strategies used by big companies versus startups?

Ines Knezevic (06:54):
So I would say that startups, most of the startups are more focused on digital marketing using online tools because they are much cheaper. So starting from the website, optimising the SEO, social media, uh, even we don't see them much on YouTube because to produce the video it costs more, um, while basically the other bigger groups, they have a budget and they can actually already afford themselves that pr, um, agencies, creative agencies, TV advertisement, and uh, that's what I would say it's the biggest difference. And then again, pointing out when you are in the startup, um, most of the budget, what you get or the revenue that you have, it goes to the product, to the service and not that much, uh, to the marketing. So it's creativity at its peak.

White Rabbit (07:51):
How has your experience working with Chat G P T impacted your work with AI and marketing?

Ines Knezevic (07:57):
So I can say about my own example. So basically chat, G P t I think make everyone life easier. So basically from start to, to actually to help you out the shape, uh, social media strategies, sometimes create posts in my case, uh, sometimes help me out to structure the project, um, I think it gives you really good ideas and maybe the starting point. Um, then in my work we also do quite a lot of research and if I compare it, uh, one year ago when I spent a couple of hours on Google trying to research about the company, now with the chat G P t I have those answers in five minutes. So I don't think, uh, that child g p t can really replace the human because human factor, it's still necessary, but uh, it definitely makes our life easier.

White Rabbit (08:56):
Can you discuss any ethical considerations that come into play when using AI and marketing or product development?

Ines Knezevic (09:03):
So I think that today we have those two, two sides, those who love the technology, they love the innovation and, those that are very resistant to innovation. So me working in the tech company that is actually using the innovative solutions, I'm acting really like, uh, open to do all the innovation. So regarding this, in my opinion, the whole working environment, um, I would also say for example, currently the education system will need to switch and adapt to the new innovation rather than innovation, adapting to use my own experience in the startup. So basically we use artificial intelligence to reduce musculoskeletal injuries. So basically we have produced this small device that the employee is wearing and it's coaching him how to behave, meaning that how to, uh, band correctly, how to use the movement correctly. And no matter how this wearable, it's very, very useful.

Ines Knezevic (10:07):
We always say it, in order to work, you need to have a human next to it. You need someone to oversee, you need to have this human factor involved. And that's what I would say in general. So Chad, g p t, in my opinion, it's going just to make our life easier. We will be able to get the information faster, we will be able to get maybe our inspiration, uh, faster. We will be able to do certain things faster, but it'll never replace humans because imagine how many jobs, uh, currently we are talking about. And already a couple of years ago we talk about this development of the machines. So today we have robots everywhere. Uh, but no, none of that equipment and none of those new coming, uh, things didn't replace the human. So I don't think the ChatGPTwill do it.

White Rabbit (11:00):
Thank you for tuning into the White Rabbit Hole podcast.
Join us for more insights into the world of creative and digital marketing.

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