SeneGence: how one beauty company is “making REAL connections in a virtual world”

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

2020 SeneGence Leaders Conference (photo courtesy of the company)
2020 SeneGence Leaders Conference (photo courtesy of the company)

Related tags: SeneGence, Direct sales, Multi-level marketing, digital, COVID-19

The skin care and color cosmetics company, founded in 1999 by Joni Rogers-Kante, is no stranger to digital technology. Still, 2020 meant big changes for SeneGence and the thousands of global brand distributors accustomed to attending large in-person events like the annual Leaders Conference.

“We strongly feel that ‘making REAL connections in a virtual world’ is an important element to making each event successful and meaningful,” ​Karen Goodman, Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Development at SeneGence, tells Cosmetics Design, explaining the motivation behind this year’s carefully produced Leaders Conference where executives and keynote speakers spoke from a 360-degree stage, addressing and engaging some 2,000 company representatives from around the world, live on Zoom.

The SeneGence Leaders Conference is one of 3 major annual events that the multi-level marketing company holds each year. And despite the challenges of COVID, the beauty company has managed to keep its distributors inspired and its business growing into new markets (SeneGence calls its independent brand representatives ‘distributors’.)

Digital engagement is up at SeneGence in 2020

SeneGence leverages digital tech in both good and challenging times. Distributors use 3 apps to help sell product and run their individual beauty businesses: The SeneLook app is a virtual makeover tool showcasing SeneGence products, SeneBiz is the representatives’ CRM system and includes business and marketing tools as well, and DOTS is the SeneGence Distributor Online Training app with lessons and learnings for team members at every level, Goodman tells Cosmetics Design.

Additionally she says, the company regularly connects via social media and more: “SeneGence is a big believer in constant training and our sales team produces weekly Facebook Live training to help our Distributors grow their business….Our executive team also hosts weekly calls with our distributor leaders to provide them with company updates and news to ensure they are kept up to speed with any corporate advancements, training, product launches, etc.”

SeneGence company executives see better business opportunities ahead because of digital

So, while the format of this October’s Leaders Conference was a bit of a departure, it wasn’t outside of the norm. “Our distributors have adapted to the new reality of virtual engagement with enthusiasm and professionalism,” ​says Goodman.

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“We have seen overall higher attendance numbers as more people who may not have had the opportunity to attend a live event have now had the ability to be a part of the fun and excitement these events bring. Also, we have seen higher engagement overall as interest and participation in company incentives, promotions, and business development has increased after each virtual event we have held during 2020,” ​she tells Cosmetics Design.

And, Goodman and her colleagues on the SeneGence executive team have learned from the experience as well and see great potential in hybrid digital / in-person events going forward. “The learning curve,” ​acknowledges Goodman, “was steep but meaningful.”

“The most important lesson learned was that even whenwe can fully return to hosting live events, we will always have a strong virtual component and continueto leverage and utilize technology to expand our global reach and bring more of our distributors to thetable as they continue to learn, grow, and develop their independent businesses. We are investing instate-of-the-art technology to make this happen and will be continuing to host virtual events with liveinteraction all throughout 2021 and beyond from our SeneGence Global Events Center and new VirtualMedia Wall sound stage located in Sapulpa, Oklahoma.”

SeneGence continues to grow with new product launches and new market expansion  

Among the keynote speeches and other activities that took place during the 2020 SeneGence Leaders Conference (staged this year from the Cox Business Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma), the beauty company launched a selection of the new products, including a Digital Age Defense Serum that helps protect against the effects of blue light, the HairBalance Hair Care Collection, the Bella Celebration Collection, and a pH Tinted Gloss Duo.

SeneGence operates throughout North America (in the US, Mexico, and Canada) as well as in Australia.​ And in 2019 the company expanded into both New Zealand and Hong Kong. “We have not changed course on our growth initiatives in either of these markets, despite the challengesthis year has brought,” ​confirms Goodman.

“We have strong corporate and leadership teams in each country guiding us along,” ​she says, “and we are constantly looking for new ways to connect online and get creative with virtual events and training in each region....In fact, just this month we were able to host our first in-person event in Hong Kong!”

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