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With Smartphones, Clorox Meets Moms in the Shopping Aisle



Tiffany Tan
Senior Group Manager, Consumer & Shopper Promotions
The Clorox Company

The Clorox Company manufactures well-known household brands including Clorox Liquid Bleach, Fresh Step, Pine-Sol, Glad, Hidden Valley and Burt’s Bees. Tiffany Tan (pictured) heads the consumer and shopper promotions group within The Clorox Company’s marketing department. She also runs the Clorox blog, “Mom Moments.” David Kellis is director of public relations for Clorox. He also heads social media communication strategies for the company’s numerous cleaning, household and lifestyle brands. Kellis and Tan spoke with eMarketer’s Lauren McKay about one of The Clorox Company’s key demographics—moms—and how the group is reached on smartphones.

eMarketer: Can you provide an overview of Clorox’s mobile efforts geared toward moms?

David Kellis: Our overall approach to mobile and marketing to mobile moms is at the cross section of a couple of different insights or trends. Moms are a target for most of our brands, and our focus is on making her life easier. Based on our research, we approach mobile with five tenets: immediacy, utility, relevance, location and convenience.

Tiffany Tan: Immediacy is what’s unique to mobile. It means she can take action now. Whether it’s looking up information, shopping or networking, she can do that immediately. Then feeding into that are four more characteristics of mobile that well suit the lifestyle of busy moms. The first is utility. We know that when she’s on her mobile phone, she’s a hunter of information. She’s looking to take a specific action and a smartphone can provide her with that utility.

As it relates to relevance, we know that smartphones can be customized to her needs. For instance, she can download specific apps that fit her personal lifestyle and needs. With location, what’s unique about the mobile channel is that information and data can be delivered to her based on her physical location. In terms of convenience, the main feature about mobile is that it’s always in her pocket, so she has the convenience of being able to interact with her phone on her own time.

“Immediacy is what’s unique to mobile. It means [moms] can take action now.”

eMarketer: Given those tenets, how is Clorox communicating with moms via smartphones?

Kellis: We have mobile sites for the Clorox-branded cleaning and laundry products, for Pine Sol, for Glad, which is both trash and food storage, and for Brita. Those are currently our four main mobile sites that are up and running. We are in the process of pulling together mobile sites for Hidden Valley Ranch and Fresh Step, our cat litter. We also created a branded site, Grilling.com, which is an offshoot of our Kingsford site.

We have three main apps for the company. Our first app out of the gate was MyStain, which keeps evolving. We also developed one for our Glad trash products called Trash Smart, which educates people on how to best recycle any item. Our third app, Ingredients Inside, married the insights we mentioned about how our mom target is using the mobile phone and then what kind of information she was seeking. We know, for instance, 49% of mobile consumers have their smartphone on them while they are shopping. We conducted primary research and learned that more than 60% of our target group believes it’s important to understand what goes into cleaning products.

We further surveyed them and 60% of those who own smartphones said that a mobile app would make them more likely to review a household cleaning product’s ingredient information. So that was the impetus behind launching the Ingredients Inside app, which allows consumers to scan a Clorox product UPC code and then be immediately taken to the ingredient listing for that product.

eMarketer: How do moms respond to marketing and communications from brands on smartphones?

Tan: It’s important that the marketer is marrying insights with the unique properties or characteristics of the mobile channel. We are always asking: Is this really demonstrating a true understanding of who the mom is and what she needs at that moment? And what value are we actually providing? As long as we, as the brand, are becoming a valuable resource to her, through programs like Ingredients Inside, we hope she’ll be opening her smartphone to us. We need to earn the right to be in her pocket.

eMarketer: Do you have any more-detailed insights into how she is using her smartphone for shopping activities, such as researching products or using it in the physical store?

“The information we want to give [moms] on a mobile site tends to be highly actionable.”

Tan: She’s definitely using her smartphone for shopping. At Clorox, we definitely see potential and power for mobile use, not only in the shopping experience, but in pre-shopping activities. In fact, we’re looking at mobile as a broader step in terms of how we’re talking to the shoppers in the store. Mobile allows us to connect with her while she is standing in the aisle.

Last year, we did some primary research, and we learned that nearly half—about 48%—of our target audience uses her smartphone in some capacity while she is grocery shopping. Although the leading way she uses her smartphone isn’t necessarily app or web-based—she’s often using the calculator for budgeting purposes, for example. Moms are starting to reach for their phones to enhance the overall grocery shopping experience, whether it is to again price compare, do product research, locate the nearest store, build shopping lists or find deals and coupons.

eMarketer: How does moms’ smartphone behavior compare with their internet behavior?

Tan: On mobile, she is really a hunter, whereas on the desktop she’s a surfer. On mobile, instead of just aggregating everything about our brand, our product or company, we need to serve up information that’s highly relevant to her when she is on the go. The information we want to give her on a mobile site tends to be highly actionable. It’s meant to prompt immediate activity, or to prompt her to take action right away. Whereas, on the internet, she might be more of a surfer, scanning various sites before figuring out exactly what she needs.

A longer version of this interview is available to eMarketer Total Access clients only. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a Total Access client, click here.

Check out today’s other articles, “Is Your Social Media Strategy Global?” and “Internet Users in Mexico Embrace Online Entertainment.”

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