CMO Eric Reynolds talks about how Clorox has shifted from a messaging-first approach to a consumer-first approach to reach today's customers in the moments that matter.

September 2016

Embrace Micro-Targeting

In an overstimulated, fragmented world, the biggest threat for Clorox—and our packaged goods industry—is consumers becoming increasingly indifferent to our brands. We very quickly realized that to capture our consumers' attention, we could no longer strictly be mass marketers. Instead, we had to balance our reach goals with more targeted efforts, in order to better connect to consumers with personalized and relevant stories about our brands. But what is the best way to reach each person with the message that will have the most impact on them? Do we deliver a mobile video? An article? A podcast?

Know and Anticipate Consumer Needs in the Moment


We concluded that the best way to figure this out was to look at consumer intent signals and need states, then match our creative and content to that. So, we organized our teams, processes, and approaches to analyze data and then determine appropriate ways to respond to our consumers' needs. As a result, we can now segment our audiences into smaller micro-targets, in order to better deliver customized messaging and test impact. Essentially, we've shifted from a messaging-first to a consumer-first mentality.

Essentially, we've shifted from a messaging-first to a consumer-first mentality.

Meet Them in the Moment

Once we understand our consumers' needs, we look to deliver the right message, on the right device, at the right time. Without a personalized approach, we believe the consumer connection can be sub-optimized.

For example, Our Liquid Plumr® team attended a BrandLab workshop, where Google helped us uncover unique insights about the way "proactive pourers"—those consumers who use drain cleaner before the pipes are even clogged—search for solutions to blocked drains. We discovered that for more general and initial queries such as "best drain cleaner," these consumers searched using desktop, but turned to YouTube on mobile for more specific directions and how-to advice, such as "how to unclog a bathtub drain." Based on these insights, the Liquid Plumr® team is creating six new mobile-friendly how-to videos that will be launching on YouTube and on our website in October.


We also use programmatic media buying to meet our goal of micro-targeted marketing by reaching consumers in a hyper-relevant, scalable way in the right moment. Our cat litter brand, Fresh Step®, partnered with Google to craft a custom affinity segment that mimicked an audience we call "Cat Cuddling Odor Controllers." When we launched our new Febreze™-scented Fresh Step® product, we saw significantly higher engagement with our ads, which jumped from a 15% view-through rate to a ~24% view-through rate.

3 Takeaways for Reaching Today's Consumers

Balance reach with precision. Move away from only targeting large, demographic-based audience segments and focus on targeting the behaviors and need states of more specific consumer groups.

To be consumer-first, embrace the data. Don't start with your message; start with the consumer need. Gather and analyze data aggressively, then match your message to the needs you uncover.

Mobile is a powerful channel to meet consumers in the moment. Mobile provides a unique advantage: it helps us be useful to consumers in real time. Through mobile, you're more likely to reach people in their true moments of need, and convert searching to sales.