In a Q&A with Marketing Dive, Eric Reynolds dishes on why he’s bullish on a number of digital technology areas other CPGs have either stepped back from or might be considerably underestimating.

If one were to sum up The Clorox Company’s marketing outlook in one word, the word might be optimistic — even bullish — based on a conversation with CMO Eric Reynolds. This is a fairly sunny position to take as traditional packaged goods businesses reach a critical juncture, wrestling with Amazon and e-commerce generally, emergent technology like voice and widespread transparency issues plaguing digital media.

Rather than shying away from these channels, however, Reynolds largely sees rich opportunities for growth and learning. On the heels of Clorox’s sixth iConnect conference in San Francisco, an annual event where the brand brings together its executive team with a number of partners, platforms and fellow brands for insights-driven collaboration, he shared his biggest takeaways. Reynolds spoke on how they fit into Clorox’s 2020 Strategy, launched in 2013, of delivering long-term, profitable growth and innovation for a portfolio that includes the namesake wipes and bleach, along with products like Glad, Pine-Sol, Brita, Hidden Valley and Burt’s Bees.

“The death knell of any company, including CPGs, is being too inwardly focused,” he said of the inspiration behind iConnect, which this year had keynote speakers from companies as diverse as Alibaba and NatureBox. “IConnect is a catalyst that we use throughout the year to encourage people to go learn in the wild so that we don’t just become too referential. We say we love consumers, but are we really going out to see them? We love technology, do we really know what’s going on?”

In a wide-ranging Q&A with Marketing Dive, which has been condensed and edited for readability below, Reynolds made it clear that he sees a significantly bigger opportunity in e-commerce and voice than other CPGs might — Clorox is reportedly in talks with Amazon to sell Alexa audio ads — while also touching on other areas of digital like content and programmatic where the company is expanding:

MARKETING DIVE: The Clorox Company has been big on e-commerce, growing its business with the channel 50% two years ago. How did discussions around e-commerce play into iConnect and how does it fit into the company’s strategy more broadly in 2018?

REYNOLDS: The e-commerce content of iConnect is actually going up over time, with some of our key customers coming to the conference like Walmart, Target, Kroger, Amazon and others. Our entire e-commerce team was there. That reflects how we see that more consumers will soon find it not extraordinary to purchase everyday items through digital shelves.

“People say: ‘Why would you put many times more resources on e-commerce when it’s 5% of sales?’ Because we think it’s going to be a quarter of sales faster than people think.”

In a Q&A with Marketing Dive, Eric Reynolds dishes on why he’s bullish on a number of digital technology areas other CPGs have either stepped back from or might be considerably underestimating.

If one were to sum up The Clorox Company’s marketing outlook in one word, the word might be optimistic — even bullish — based on a conversation with CMO Eric Reynolds. This is a fairly sunny position to take as traditional packaged goods businesses reach a critical juncture, wrestling with Amazon and e-commerce generally, emergent technology like voice and widespread transparency issues plaguing digital media.

Rather than shying away from these channels, however, Reynolds largely sees rich opportunities for growth and learning. On the heels of Clorox’s sixth iConnect conference in San Francisco, an annual event where the brand brings together its executive team with a number of partners, platforms and fellow brands for insights-driven collaboration, he shared his biggest takeaways. Reynolds spoke on how they fit into Clorox’s 2020 Strategy, launched in 2013, of delivering long-term, profitable growth and innovation for a portfolio that includes the namesake wipes and bleach, along with products like Glad, Pine-Sol, Brita, Hidden Valley and Burt’s Bees.

“The death knell of any company, including CPGs, is being too inwardly focused,” he said of the inspiration behind iConnect, which this year had keynote speakers from companies as diverse as Alibaba and NatureBox. “IConnect is a catalyst that we use throughout the year to encourage people to go learn in the wild so that we don’t just become too referential. We say we love consumers, but are we really going out to see them? We love technology, do we really know what’s going on?”

In a wide-ranging Q&A with Marketing Dive, which has been condensed and edited for readability below, Reynolds made it clear that he sees a significantly bigger opportunity in e-commerce and voice than other CPGs might — Clorox is reportedly in talks with Amazon to sell Alexa audio ads — while also touching on other areas of digital like content and programmatic where the company is expanding:

MARKETING DIVE: The Clorox Company has been big on e-commerce, growing its business with the channel 50% two years ago. How did discussions around e-commerce play into iConnect and how does it fit into the company’s strategy more broadly in 2018?

REYNOLDS: The e-commerce content of iConnect is actually going up over time, with some of our key customers coming to the conference like Walmart, Target, Kroger, Amazon and others. Our entire e-commerce team was there. That reflects how we see that more consumers will soon find it not extraordinary to purchase everyday items through digital shelves.

“People say: ‘Why would you put many times more resources on e-commerce when it’s 5% of sales?’ Because we think it’s going to be a quarter of sales faster than people think.”

 

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