How Clorox VP of Growth Harnesses Data and Predictive Modeling to Grow D2C Business

How Clorox VP of Growth Harnesses Data and Predictive Modeling to Grow D2C Business
Last updated on August 17, 2021

From Nestle to Nike, consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are ramping up their direct-to-consumer (DTC) models at a fierce pace to stay competitive*. But they are also pioneering strategies to take it a step further, customizing their direct relationships with consumers to build trust and collect the first-party data that will allow them to deliver a superior experience across different brand channels.

The Clorox Company* is making impressive progress on both fronts, taking its 50+ brands DTC with the help of data science, predictive modeling, and deep data-driven insights*. For Vivian Chang, Clorox VP of Growth, the excitement centers on efforts to “start bringing together these different brands and really curating for the customer based on their needs.” Delivering personal, valuable and relevant experiences is a must for CPG to build brand loyalty.

But, Chang says, it’s a strategy intertwined with significant challenges. “How can we leverage […] data and also our tech experiences and marketing to bring a holistic shopping platform and experiences and curated products and innovation – and all of those things – to bear for the consumer?” she asks. In her view, part of the answer lies in “creating a surround sound for consumers.” In this scenario, companies leverage a mix of channels and partnerships to fit changing consumer behaviors and expectations for convenient, omnichannel shopping experiences.

In this episode of CleverTap Engage — our podcast and video interview series where we shine a light on marketing leaders achieving meaningful and memorable customer engagement — co-hosts Peggy Anne Salz and John Koetsier sit down with Chang to discuss how the company is tapping data and deep customer insights to add value at every stage in the omnichannel customer experience. She also speaks candidly about the impact of digital and DTC on the traditional relationships between brands and retailers and explains how and why CPG brands, including Clorox, can embrace the subscription model.

Key Takeaways

Data Is the Prize

It’s a given that DTC companies have to focus on generating revenue. However, Chang stresses this priority shouldn’t overshadow the importance of “acquiring first-party data that can be used across different channels and to understand the consumer better.”

Making data actionable also makes your brand more visible and valuable. Chang recommends a hybrid approach with a focus on “thinking about the omnichannel consumer experience and how we can add value across all of those [channels] versus purely on a DTC kind of criteria only.” It’s all about finding ways to insert your brand in the consumer’s regular routine and find ways to “plug in beyond just the revenue story,” Chang says.

Age Is Outdated

Going through retailers isn’t going out of style. But CPG should explore all options to get closer to the customer — and increase convenience wherever possible. At the same time, they also shouldn’t assume the desire for convenience is limited to Millennial and Gen Z consumers. It’s the preconceived notion that often colors marketing and messaging. 

But Clorox is breaking the pattern. “We made the pivot to say, ‘Why are we focusing just on Gen X? We’re all busy. We’re all overstretched, and so we’re really leaning into that story now instead of defining it by the traditional age and gender demos.” 

And it doesn’t stop with models and mindset. Clorox is also “putting that lens against the creative.” From lifestyle photography to the tone of emails, Chang adds, “those are the places we’re trying to make that pivot.”

You Can’t Afford to Annoy

Personalization is more than part of best practice. It’s also the only way to avoid the customer experience disconnects that drive churn. Brands don’t always get it right – but they could if they would use the data and details provided.

“The information that I’ve given to you as a consumer, I expect you to be acting on it.  So don’t send me emails about a product that I just bought yesterday because it’s not going to be relevant,” Chang says. The worst is retargeting ads. “They’re just following you, 24/7 across the web. That’s not actually very helpful.” In her view, marketers should draw from data to curate content and details that add value to the shopping experience. This includes “recommending products that fit together into your life so that you don’t have to go through every single brand and make a decision.” 

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