Imagine a 1950s-era housewife hanging a crisp white sheet on a clothesline in her suburban backyard complete with picket fence as a gentle breeze blows.
“We recognize that this woman doesn’t exist anymore, the happy woman with the billowing sheet,” said Erika Lamoreaux, associate director of digital media at The Clorox Company, speaking at the Advertising Research Foundation’s Audience Measurement 2015 conference on Monday in New York City.
“Mom is not a 1950s housewife and cleaning is not necessarily something she loves and focuses on,” said Lamoreaux. “So what [content] should we deliver?”
But it’s not as if Clorox has trouble producing creative content. Just look at the Clorox’s “Ick-tionary” project, a web-based dictionary aimed at parents cataloguing clever wordplay around all the gross, nasty and often funny messes they have to deal with in their day-to-day lives.
“Smear campaign,” for example, is jokingly defined as “lipstick graffiti on your walls,” while “odorcade” means “when a minivan is so saturated with the stench of spilled milk and mildewy shin guards that the odor penetrates to the closest five cars in traffic.”
The question, rather, centers on getting more strategic about who the content is being created for and why.
Clorox was looking for deeper insights around its customer base. Just serving media to the so-called “joyful guardian” segment – “a woman aged between 25 and 54 who is breathing,” Lamoreaux quipped – wasn’t cutting it.
Clorox turned to analytics and marketing intel company Resonate to try and understand the motivations of people who visit Clorox’s web properties and engage with the brand’s pre-roll.
To do that, Resonate tagged various parts of Clorox’s web presence, including the home page, certain product pages and the coupon landing page. Resonate also tagged Clorox’s video campaigns, overlaying it all with Datalogix data to see the difference in behavior between previous Clorox customers, previous Lysol customers and a control group of people who hadn’t made any purchases in the category.
Resonate then tied roughly 250,000 survey responses back to online behavior, modeling survey data to cookies representing about 90% of the online population in an effort to get at the “why” behind Clorox customers’ online behavior.
And, as expected, 1950s Mom also gave way to a series of new microtargets, including a group of regular web visitors who were older, more affluent, environmentally aware and particularly attracted to several new Clorox products designed to make cleaning easier and originally aimed largely at millennials.
It turned out that this older demo is more interested in discounts, not joining loyalty programs. They visit Clorox.com to download coupons. Armed with that insight, Clorox developed a mutually beneficial value exchange to encourage on-site engagement. Now, before a visitor can download a coupon, he or she has to contribute a piece of content in the form of a product review.
“Clorox focuses so much on millennials with our simple-to-use products, but it turns out that it’s not just millennials using these products, it’s also an older demographic,” Lamoreaux said. “This [insight has really] helped us validate our choices around product development.”
Through the study, Resonate also discovered that Clorox’s paid media audience was interested in “learning and knowledge,” which gave the brand an opportunity to provide more content-centric product information.
As a result, Clorox is going to focus on creating a series of how-to videos and other related custom content developed by mommy bloggers as part of an editorial partnership with The Huffington Post.