4 min read

Clorox’s CMO On Transitioning to Digital, Scaling Content Creation

On the sixth episode of Season 3 of The Rough Cut, Storyhunter co-founder Alex Ragir went to the Association of National Advertisers…
Clorox’s CMO On Transitioning to Digital, Scaling Content Creation

On the sixth episode of Season 3 of The Rough Cut, Storyhunter co-founder Alex Ragir went to the Association of National Advertisers Master’s of Marketing Week in Orlando, Florida to meet with Stacey Grier, Chief Marketing Officer for The Clorox Company, which won “Best In-House Agency” this year from the In-House Agency Forum (IHAF). Stacey is in charge of marketing for household brands like Clorox, Pine-Sol, Burt’s Bees and Brita. Alex and Stacey discussed how to develop an ecosystem of content creators, purpose-driven brands, influencer marketing strategy, and how consumers expect different production quality in different forms of media.

On the go? Listen to the interview on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and anywhere else you listen to your shows. Be sure to rate and review!

Below are edited highlights of the conversation:

Develop An Ecosystem of Content Creators

“I think user-generated content is going to become more important. We’re still, of course, going to rely on external agencies. We continue to build our internal agency so that we have a strong content machine there. We’re looking for publishers to help us and other partners. As we partner with other people, getting content from them. That requires that you have such a strong core understanding of your brand and be able to evaluate all that content and hold it together. That becomes the hard skill: how do we sit at the center of all that content and make sure it’s coherent, it represents the brand, and it tells stories well.”

Position Your Content Where The Consumers Are

“We started our digital journey about five years ago. For our industry, we leaned pretty hard into digital. Over 50% of our spend is in digital, which is pretty unique for CPG. That’s because we believe you have to be where consumers are. So the way we deal with change is trying to be human-centered about it. We ask ‘Where are people? What are they doing? How can we connect with them?’ We find places where we can interact with people that feel authentic to us. That’s how we keep on top of digital: not by going with the new hot thing, but by figuring out how to connect with people in a relevant way.”

Being Authentically Purpose Driven Can Set Your Brand Apart

“We believe in human-centered, purpose-driven, technology-enabled brands. Purpose is a big piece of what we are doing right now. In 2009, we acquired Burt’s Bees which was our first purpose-driven brand. When that brand was formed, there weren’t a lot of purpose-driven brands, and there’s such an authentic backstory to Burt and his creation of that brand, and it really has a powerful respect for nature.”

Know When To Use Content Across Different Media

“Liquid Plumber is drain clog cleaner. That becomes pretty invisible work. So we had a team of people who were really good, who said that we could do some pretty interesting work with influencers, and we created this campaign called Will It Clog? which was basically putting all these things down a drain, and seeing if we could remove it. We actually moved it from influencer content to television. Usually, people take television content and try to move it into digital, but we went the opposite way. This year, we were recognized for the best use of the YouTube platform for that work, which I have to say, you wouldn’t think a drain cleaner would do that.”

Influencers Are Becoming More Data-Savvy

“We’ve really looked into influencers who are getting good at the analytics side of influencers. So as you know, there was a long time that influencers were just influencers and they didn’t really know what was behind anything, even their followers. But now I think the analytic base behind them is much better. And as we learn more about influencers and their analytics, we start with bigger bases and get to more of the people who for us in the right way.”

Production Quality Can Be Sacrificed In The Right Context

“You have to bring the quality that people expect in that context. There are places that people expect high production value content. No doubt about it. You’re gonna be on some big linear event that’s a moment in time; you need a higher production value. But people are very intuitive, and they know that if you’re gonna respond in a daily way to something that’s happening, you’re not going out and doing that. You’re literally responding to it. So people are much more open to you shooting something on a camera and bringing it to them because they understand the immediacy of it. Gone are the days where consumers don’t understand production value. They themselves are making so much content. They get it!”

Use Data To Personalize Content

“We took what we knew about people from our website, and then we took where people were searching, and we crossed all that data. What that allowed us to do is make 35 different pieces of content. If you were on a parenting sight, you saw an ad that was about kids’ art projects. If you were on a personal care site, it was all about a gross drain with hair product in it. So we were able to personalize content to where you were by taking data to understand these are the contexts that people would see this [our product] in.”

Previous episodes of The Rough Cut:

Season Three:

Alan Schulman, Chief Creative Officer, Deloitte Digital

Jeffrey Wisenbaugh, Head of Content, Instagram (Part 2)

Jeffrey Wisenbaugh, Head of Content, Instagram (Part 1)

Kate Whitney, Director of Digital, Pernod Ricard

Charlie Chappell, Head of Integrated Media, The Hershey Company

Season Two:

David Weinstock, Chief Creative Officer, RF|Binder

Bonin Bough, Founder & CEO, Bonin Ventures

Mary Kate McGrath, Chief Content Officer, Gallery Media Group

Barri Rafferty, President & CEO, Ketchum

Stacy Minero, Global Head of Content Creation, Twitter

Ari Halper, Chief Creative Officer, FCB New York

Mickey Meyer, President of Network, Group Nine Media

Season One:

Courtney Coupe, VP of Content, Great Big Story

Stone Roberts, VP of Global Video Strategy, Refinery29

Jason Beauregard, Head of Studio, VaynerMedia

Zahra Rasool, Editorial Lead, Contrast VR

Warren Cohen, Head of Video, New York Post

Greg Gilderman, Global Head of Video and Editor-in-Chief, Weather Channel

Jamie Bolding, Founder and CEO, Jungle Creations

Craig Duff, Video Journalism Professor, Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism


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By Jake Watkins, Content Marketing Manager