Last time we checked in with Poshly, a startup that gathers data on consumers' beauty habits through quizzes that serve as entry to product giveaways, the young company had inked a deal with Teen Vogue to power its annual Beauty Awards. It was Poshly's first time working with a publication, one wing of a business strategy that also involves serving its data up to beauty companies in the form of reports and consultations.
This week the three-year-old company is back for more, launching a giveaway with People that's going to help scale its user base in a big way. It operates a lot like Poshly's own giveaways, which have everyday people answering a battery of questions like "Do you use hair primer?" and "Do you have freckles?" in exchange for the opportunity to win free products. The point of asking these super-granular questions is to create portraits of people's habits and physical characteristics — useful information to beauty companies as they go about creating or marketing their own products. They can slice that data in different ways, looking at the preferences of very specific groups: Pale women with dry skin who live in the Northeast, for instance.
This giveaway is People-branded and powered by Poshly's technology, with items chosen by the magazine's beauty editors. It's a pretty motivating mix of products, including Tom Ford lipsticks, Lush scrubs and Anastasia brow kits.
"We want more consumers interacting with our technology," says Poshly CEO Doreen Bloch. "We're at 400,000 people, but how do you get to millions? [People] has 58 million uniques a month. I couldn't pay for that scale."
The more people Poshly has contributing to its database, the stronger its reporting will be and the better it will be able to sell its data to the L'Oreals of the world. And working with People gives the startup better access to demographics beyond its current user base, which skews toward beauty enthusiasts. The more representative of U.S. consumers it can be, the better.
All of this is particularly relevant given that the startup is getting ready to release an insights dashboard, access to which the brands can pay for varying levels of access — think syndicated reports all the way up to consulting.
So what's People getting out of the deal? Engagement, and engagement with millennials, to begin with. If answering a battery of questions for entry into a giveaway keeps readers on the site for a few minutes longer, that's a win.