Cossette named L’Oreal’s digital agency

The agency will work using a constantly-evolving compensation model tied to results.


After an in-depth selection process, Cossette has been named digital agency for L’Oréal Paris in Canada.

As part of the assignment, Cossette will provide the brand with strategic and technological support for web platform optimization, digital content development and CRM. Stéphane Bérubé, VP and CMO at L’Oréal Canada, says the main goal is to focus on improving the service to consumers on its digital properties, be it through web, the increasingly important CRM or new tech like the Makeup Genius app (pictured above). The assignment is specific to the L’Oréal Paris brand, which is currently the top-selling beauty brand within Canada.

“Finding new ways to give consumers the better level of service they’re looking for is the number one priority to elevate the brand,” Bérubé says. “We started with Makeup Genius, but there’s so much more we can do, and CRM comes so much more into this vision. This is something Cossette really demonstrated and is a very strategic aspect of what we’ll work to build together for the next little while.”

The agreement also comes with a new partnership model wherein Cossette will be compensated for its work based on results.

“We both had the same vision for what the partnership should look like in the future,” Mélanie Dunn, president and CEO of Cossette Canada, says about the development of the model. “We’re pushing the envelope here to have an even more collaborative model by sharing risks. There are upswings and downswings possible, sure, but at the end of the day, it makes us more accountable to the KPIs and to delivering real results.”

This new compensation model appears to directly address issues Bérubé has been vocal about when it comes to digital marketing. During a Q&A at the Association of Canadian Advertiser’s Executive Forum in October, Bérubé spoke frankly about L’Oréal’s plans to add as many digital capabilities internally as possible, which today include programmatic, community management, analytics and a content creation studio launched last year. While he said much of that was in order stay agile when it came to creating and putting out digital content, cost was also an important consideration, and he said the company has seen significant costs savings when it comes to its digital activities in addition to improved performance. In late 2014, he also told strategy one of his chief concerns at the time was how to best measure the return on investment for digital activities and if measurements being used were truly valid, as well as the need to push agency partners to come back with information that proved ROI.

Bérubé is careful to point out that none of the work it had brought internally had previously been handled by an agency, nor will the new partnership with Cossette take any work away from those teams. In addition, L’Oréal Paris will continue to work with Marketel as its creative agency and MEC as its media agency in Canada.

What KPIs Cossette’s work will be measured against hasn’t been specified, but Bérubé says that’s the “beauty” in the agreement, as it allows it to constantly evolve and reflect the metrics most relevant to the success of a given mandate at a given time.

“If you look at the digital KPIs we were measuring a year ago and the ones we measure today, the dashboard has completely changed,” Bérubé says. “So we can’t set in stone the KPIs we’ll be measuring for the next three years, because they’ll be in constant evolution and may change depending on the scope of work.”