MS in Marketing Guest Speakers: Mario Moreno, L'Oreal Paris

The USC MS in Marketing experience is unique among graduate level marketing programs largely due to the incredible list of guest speakers each semester. In our ‘Guest Speaker’ blog series, we recap students’ favorite presentations given by senior-level professionals to our MS in Marketing core and elective classes.

September 28, 2017

LOreal Paris Mario Moreno


Guest Speaker: Mario Moreno, Director of Social Media Strategy, L’Oreal Paris


One of the most sought after social media professionals in the fashion and beauty industries, Mario Moreno started his career in communications at Guess Jeans in Los Angeles after graduating with a degree in Communications & Media Studies from Loyola Marymount University. Shortly after Instagram was released, Mario took a risk and made a Powerpoint presentation for the CEO, proposing how Guess could use this new platform to capture new customers and invigorate the brand. At the age of 24, Mario’s bold move paid off, as he was promoted into a Social Media Manager role for a brand new, yet-untested platform.


After a total of six years at Guess, Mario became a Social Media for Business Marketing professor at FIDM, and eventually moved over to social media management at Forever 21, where he grew the fast-fashion retailer’s social media following from 4 million to 12 million in approximately 2 years. Stolen away by L’Oreal Paris in 2016, Mario currently resides in New York and was virtually conferenced in to USC Marshall’s Fashion, Luxury, and Lifestyle Marketing class taught by Dr. Badame in September.


With a bright, engaging, and personable demeanor, Mario spoke candidly to our students about the different types of content creation and how effective they are, the value of influencer marketing and how it’s used by L’Oreal Paris, and how the company attempts to track the effect that social media has on sales. Since about 60% of social media content is now generated by influencers, Mario spends a lot of his time carefully vetting new influencers to establish partnerships with (which involves a staggering 6 month interview process), managing relationships with influencers, and negotiating rates.


There are different pillars of social media. – there is your own content strategy, which is all the things your social media team produces and creates – then you have your social advertising content, which is a little more elevated and deeper into the consumer journey, so you’re really trying to drive advertising to new customers outside of the audience that you have. And then, you really have to understand [social media] influencers.” – Mario Moreno


Mario also stressed the importance of creating new content constantly. Since we live in a world where everyone is now on their phone 24/7, updating your social media profile with new, exciting, and on-brand content is more important than ever. According to Mario, “the way that brands win is to lean in to trends.” Creating something NEW, rather than contributing to a sea of sameness, is key.


To help our students determine whether a career in social media is right for them, Mario developed the “10 Commandments of Social Media,” which describes what you need to be successful:


1. Know what’s trending

2. Have a sense of urgency

3. Build relationships   

4. Digital first approach

5. Comfortable building a plane while flying it

6. Test first, then scale

7. Build a team of owners

8. Stay open to change

9. Take a step back

10. Have a good attitude


Is a career in social media management right for you? Check out Mario Moreno on Instagram @followmario, and L’Oreal Paris @lorealmakeup & @lorealhair.


USC Marshall Guest Speaker Mario Moreno