A look at Allergan’s $ 1 billion aesthetic marketing engine


Allergan and its flagship product Botox have reigned supreme in the medical aesthetics market since the injectable product was first approved for medical use in 2002. But as the aesthetic market has grown. developed, Allergan had to find more innovative ways to stay at the forefront. for current and potential customers.

Namely, Allergan has developed Allergan’s internal data labs, a team of over 100 people in the United States and Europe who develop and drive Allergan’s technology and marketing projects. Allergan Data Labs, which previously operated in stealth mode, was established in 2018 to modernize and relaunch Allergan’s consumer loyalty program, called Brilliant Distinctions. The 9-year loyalty program became Allē, which arrived in January 2020. It currently has 3 million active members and 17,000 suppliers are using it, according to data shared by Allergan. Allergan Data Labs is also responsible for social media marketing, creating gift card options for Botox and Juvéderm, and the “Botox Cosmetic Day” marketing party, which falls on November 17.

“Our brands are pharmaceutical and medical devices, but our consumer market opportunity is not limited by diagnostic codes like other pharmaceuticals,” said Carrie Strom, AbbVie svp and President of Global Allergan Aesthetics. “To develop the market and educate consumers about our brands, we needed to move from traditional pharmaceutical marketing to modern tactics used by beauty and consumer companies. “

Allergan regularly launches new digital tactics and products to stay ahead of the competition. In June 2021, the brand changed its marketing and advertising to use “real” Botox users, as opposed to celebrities and spokespersons, in TV commercials for a campaign called “See Yourself”. Prior to that, in 2019, Allergan focused on communicating with consumers under 40 as part of a campaign called ‘Own Your Look’. These developments follow Allergan’s integration into biopharmaceutical company AbbVie, which announced the acquisition of the company for $ 63 billion in June 2019.

But not all of Allergan’s older digital products have succeeded. In October 2018, Allergan launched its first editorial site called Spotlyte, followed by an on-demand booking site called Regi in April 2019. Spotlyte and Regi both closed in 2020, with reservation content and functionality being integrated into Allē.

Allē itself has several new features over its predecessor. Every cosmetic procedure at an Allē provider earns points, even non-Allergan cosmetic products and services. In addition, Allē has other interest-based offers such as vacations and theater tickets. The idea here, according to Jasson Gilmore, co-founder of Allergan Data Labs and vice president of digital, is to foster vendor retention and encourage consumers to come back for additional procedures.

“My work and that of my team grow the aesthetic category, and not just explicitly for Allergan products. The market is under-penetrated. In a rapidly growing market such as [aesthetics], we have to develop the market as a whole, ”said Gilmore. “For providers, [Allē] is a tool to retain their consumers and keep them coming back. This creates an opportunity for them to grow their business.

The aesthetics market is generally under-penetrated. A 2019 report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that there were just under 9 million botulinum toxin type A and filler procedures in the United States in 2019 – but Botox has the biggest notoriety regarding the botulinum toxin type A procedure. AbbVie reported in its second quarter results in July that the aesthetics division achieved net sales of $ 1.4 billion, more than 100% year-over-year growth.

“By far the highest brand awareness among patients comes from injections of neuromodulators, known commercially as Botox. About 90% of new patients come to us for these types of injections, ”said Lisa Goodman, Founder and Medical Assistant at GoodSkin. “Brand awareness for filler injections, known commercially as [Allergan-owned] Juvéderm, are slightly less prominent, but still high at around 70%.

Besides Gone, Allergan Data Labs works in software engineering, data science, and consumer marketing. Coming before the end of the year, Allē will add a new feature called Flash Rewards to receive targeted and personalized promotions for other Allergan procedures like Juvéderm and Kybella. It works by scanning a QR code in the office of a cosmetic supplier. From there, a pop-up window will display all current or ongoing promotions.

“[Allergan] has always invested rigorously in consumer marketing. As we began to look for other ways to engage consumers, [we found that] personalization and technology are increasingly important in the way consumers make their purchasing decisions, ”said Gilmore. “Our # 1 source for new patients is word of mouth, but our # 2 is social media. “

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