Clorox CMO: Voice and e-commerce will grow faster than marketers expect

If one were to sum it up The Clorox Company\’s marketing outlook in a word, the expression may be optimistic – even bullish -?based on the conversation with CMO Eric Reynolds.?This can be a fairly sunny position to have as traditional packaged goods businesses reach an important juncture, wrestling with Amazon and e-commerce generally, emergent technology like voice and widespread transparency issues plaguing digital media.

Rather than shying off from these channels, however, Reynolds largely sees rich opportunities for growth and learning. To the heels of Clorox\’s sixth iConnect conference in San Francisco, once a year event the place that the brand offers its executive team which has a volume of partners, platforms and fellow brands for insights-driven collaboration, he shared his biggest takeaways. Reynolds spoke about how they can fit into Clorox\’s 2020 Strategy, launched in 2013, of delivering long-term, profitable growth and innovation to get a portfolio that includes the namesake wipes and bleach, coupled with items like Glad, Pine-Sol, Brita, Hidden Valley and Burt\’s Bees.

Eric Reynolds, CMO, The Clorox Company.
The Clorox Company
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\”The death knell for any company, including CPGs, will be too inwardly focused,\” he stated on the inspiration behind iConnect, which this holiday season had keynote speakers from companies as diverse as Alibaba and NatureBox. \”IConnect is a catalyst that individuals use all year round to inspire customers to go learn during the wild in order that and we don\’t just become too referential. We say we enjoy consumers, but you\’re we really going out to discover their whereabouts? We like technology, can we totally appreciate what is happening?\”

In a wide-ranging Q&A with Marketing Dive, that was condensed and edited for readability below, Reynolds managed to get clear that they sees a far bigger opportunity in e-commerce and voice than other CPGs might – Clorox is reportedly in talks with Amazon to promote Alexa audio ads? while also pertaining to other areas of digital like content and programmatic where business is expanding:

MARKETING DIVE: The Clorox Company has long been big on e-commerce, growing its business while using the channel 50% two years ago. How did discussions around e-commerce play into iConnect and just how should it match the business\’s strategy more broadly in 2018?

REYNOLDS: The e-commerce content of iConnect is definitely rising as time passes, with some in our key customers visiting for the conference like Walmart, Target, Kroger, Amazon whilst others. Our entire e-commerce team was there. That reflects how you notice that more consumers will think it is not extraordinary to acquire everyday items through digital shelves.


\”People say: \’Why would you put often times more resources on e-commerce whether it is 5% of sales?\’ Because we believe it can be a quarter of sales faster than people think.\”

Eric Reynolds

CMO, The Clorox Company


People say: \’Ah, that\’s crazy, you\’d never buy toothpaste through Amazon.\’ Currently lots of people do. Last year, about 5% your business was e-commerce, and we all think will probably be about 7-8% in 2010. All of our studies show that after you can about 10%, man\’s tendencies below it really set out to grow, and this may around 20-25% of the [sales] volume. Now is the time. People say:?\’Why could you put more often than not more resources on e-commerce if it is 5% of sales?\’ Because we think it will be one-fourth of sales faster than people think.

It\’s an ecosystem on its own which induces all kinds of new opportunities for marketing. We currently plan the Amazon platform plus the Walmart.com platform the same as we do for CVS, Twitter and Instagram. The maddening thing that\’s fun but hard is:?How do you make it all fit together so it\’s just not a couple of stuff in a number of little places?

Reaching people as e-commerce customers differs from reaching them as retail customers via traditional channels like TV. Clorox has championed digital and social media previously, but wait, how do you think about those channels each time when a number of other CPGs are approaching these with caution?

REYNOLDS: We\’re only emboldened to prevent pushing into what we should broadly have to say is digital. But we\’re dealing with a degree now where digital is not enough, we need to break it down into its various components.

We have got to follow people where there\’re, and our brands should try their life. I cannot interrupt them anymore. It\’s hard to muscle on your path into human attention, and we\’re finding everyone is decent at shutting us out. Whether it be social or it\’s digital, I\’d the question might be the material piece. We\’re now designing the channel first and creating stuff for any channel.

This is not a shock, however when I spent their childhood years as a marketer, we launched a 30-second TV ad after which broke that up into different pieces to push it to social. Now we create content that\’s culturally-relevant for social that\’s entirely diverse from TV. What a really important and profound increase in our industry -?a channel-first message will have to be accommodated to individuals precisely what variety of mode they\’re in when.

In relation to a lot of the more thrilling new technology platforms to emerge combined with surge in e-commerce, how is Clorox using the services of voice?

REYNOLDS: Just like of my contemporaries, we\’re thinking about voice clearly. [Amazon] Alexa\’s not about to read you 18 options for disinfecting wipes -?she\’s planning to read you maybe two or three, and then we find that we have a excellent shot as we earn peoples\’ right to their business.


\”People predict eliminate brands: \’Oh, it\’s not a visible medium, you\’re dead.\’ I really like my odds okay.\”

Eric Reynolds

CMO, The Clorox Company


We have a very great Amazon team, there exists a great Google team, and we are sitting right alongside their voice teams. In truth, I was just at CES meeting their whole voice teams, the CIO, me as well as the chief sales officer counseled me there because we now have major projects with him or her on voice. We\’re using 1 another to try out how voice works extremely well on the likes of Glad trash bags and dealing with Google how we can easily think about search.

Consumer behavior will quickly be adopted quite quickly. People say it shall be years before voice ordering,?and I\’m like really? It is certainly easy. On everyday items, people want the cognitive load to lower. In the event you say, \’fine, offer me a trash bag -?what did I order last time??-?give me that.\’ That is not time travel stuff, and we all have to make sure we\’re ready for this.?

People predict the end of brands: \’Oh, it may not be a visible medium, you\’re dead.\’ I really like my odds properly competing over voice so long we let consumer behavior drive the choice plus the folks who own the voice interface don\’t disintermediate me with something diffrent. So i don\’t even think it\’s in Amazon\’s welfare, as a rational actor, to start out supplanting people\’s choices.

Looking at digital strategies, programmatic – something Clorox tripled spending?on four years ago -?has been recently finding a wide range of attention, specifically comparison to its issues muddying originates from. Bed mattress Clorox thinking about it given those headwinds?

REYNOLDS: It\’s minus the question of \’do we think programmatic?\’ It\’s more about the caliber of programmatic. From 2015, we\’ve gotten materially better with it largely because our data strategies that fuel it have grown substantially more refined. You will find there\’s more informed understanding of what amount targeting is needed by some kinds of categories. When would you get over-targeted or under-targeted?

We still trust the basic promise of programmatic, and also at the same time, the publishers as well as platforms increasingly becoming better. They\’re tidying up their act along with the Wild West days are starting to smooth out and move into adolescence. It\’s a timing issue. I do not see programmatic fundamentally not being a leading player inside the landscape since the tech and all sorts of actors mature.

It\’s not really a area for the average person or perhaps the ill-informed. You can lose lots of money in programmatic merely by believing from the promise and letting it run. We\’ve found that extreme vigilance on every little bit of the available appointments chain is essential. Those who face trouble on programmatic don\’t necessarily appreciate the nuance that will greatly get a new outcome, and then they bang on programmatic if they should really be taking a look at improving it.

The linchpin tying all these different pieces together originating from a marketing perspective may be the creative strategy. Clorox debuted its \”Clean Matters\” campaign last September with a consentrate on unscripted moments with real people. Exactly what does the creative approach appear as if in 2018?

REYNOLDS: We\’re with a major campaign to perform a couple of things: one for the \’what.\’ We continue to say humanity, but we would like to bring real life into our brands. Do not want to create a utopian vision of when the brand lives, and then folks have to reside in another life. Individuals need to consider our brands and say, \’at some level they get me, I can tell myself and my well being because brand.\’ That\’s critical. It isn\’t sufficient for the brand to win nevertheless it\’s the appropriate as well as.


\”For me to be a CMO, smashing nevertheless it\’s terrifying because costs of manufacturing all that content \’re going up.\”

Eric Reynolds

CMO, The Clorox Company?


The other place is our multi-year journey and keep raising the bar about what is incredible creative has to continue up. We\’ve got some new external agencies, we\’re revamping our internal agency quite significantly. The big themes are, let\’s ensure that our brands speak inside a real voice, not too fake CPG voice we had been famous for for many years. Let\’s ensure that the creativity plus the content are aligned immediately. Make something exclusively for Instagram, don\’t merely repurpose stuff. For me to be a CMO, it\’s essential nevertheless it\’s terrifying because costs of producing the only thing that content \’re going up. Need to solve that issue yet another way because I guarantee you and also guarantee us that we will not win unless carry out it doing this. ????

IConnect is due to plenty of different ways a microcosm of the we\’re wanting to do for the entire organization. It\’s the indisputable fact that you can get the whole partners together everyone from within the company. This is actually the essence with the items our challenge is today – creating a huge rich network to resolve these marketing problems. Using a business office tower in Oakland, CA, together with your brand team just attempting to bang against each other isn\’t strategy to run anymore.

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