Personalization and keeping up with trends are vital to marketing in the beauty and wellness industry. Over the past two decades, Vimla Black Gupta has helped shape the marketing efforts for industry giants like Procter and Gamble and Estée Lauder.
Gupta joined AList to explain the importance of personalization and being adaptable to survive as a marketer in today’s industry.
Please explain your job in the context of Equinox.
Our motto is “it’s not fitness, it’s life,” and I’m in charge of making sure that we deliver on that promise in whatever we do. Fitness also reaches into food and travel and grooming and music and entertainment, emotional well being… all these things that contribute to the greatest life. We’re in charge from a marketing standpoint to drive those connections and lead the conversations in a highly curatorial way.
How has the nature of your work changed in the last five years?
The trends are very similar. Wellness is beauty and beauty is wellness. The trends on both sides are really dictated by the consumer. Beauty and wellness are the two things that every consumer male and female want globally. The other similarity is that they’re both fueled by digital. I know every category is, but these categories are in particular are because digital allows you to become your own expert.
Beauty is very product-oriented whereas in wellness brands, there are so many tentacles. Yes, there are gyms, but that’s just one piece of the greater experience that we’re giving the consumer. That’s the biggest difference from being in the beauty industry.
Where do you find inspiration?
This is the stuff that I literally think about even if I wasn’t working here. I am just naturally curious about every single one of those categories from fashion to health, so I seek inspiration from the interesting people that are leading the conversation. To me, it’s about the most interesting and not necessarily the most elite or expensive. That’s so well suited for Equinox because we really do love to be very choosy about what we expose our members to. We think we have a unique point of view and distinct sensibility so it’s my great privilege to be able to guide us in those directions that are going to add the most value to our consumer who are super discerning.
How important is personalization to your work?
For us, personalization is incredibly important. Our members are individuals first and foremost. They come into our gyms and our ecosystem for a myriad of reasons. Those reasons can change in a day or over time. We as a company are not a one size fits all brand. We have the luxury of getting to know our members quite intimately. We have a good sense of their patterns to the extent that they opt into our technology. Our creative opportunity is serving our member, which we do.
What do you believe are important qualities of the modern day marketer?
Be flexible. This job is changing on a dime every single day. It is becoming increasingly technical. Understanding how the technology can help you and how to use it, how to invest in it, recruit the right people or partner with the right agency is critical. Many of us are learning on the job because the industry is moving so quickly.
You can always argue that marketing has always been about delivering an experience, but our member is relentless in the pursuit of the ultimate experience. Ensuring that you can deliver that day in and day out, that you’re surprising and delighting and creating immersive situations for them. It’s a privilege to be able to do that, but it’s also a challenge to make sure you’re staying ahead of it and that you’re doing it in a distinctive way for your brand.
Going to Advertising Week? Vimla Gupta will be participating in AList’s panel, THE REBOUND: Recovering From Failure on October 2, at 10:20 am.