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How digital and social marketing drive sales and innovation for CPG brands.
6 June 2011
............Table of Contents How Digital and Social Marketing Drive Sales and Innovation for CPG Brands..................................................... 8 Customers’ words enhance cross-channel marketing ........................................... 3 CPG consumers want to hear from one another ..... 5 Negative reviews: an unexpected asset ........................... 4 Customer advocacy builds shopper trust ....................................................................... 9 ......
consumers continue to engage with brands after purchase. Rubbermaid products can be found almost everywhere. In March 2011. and enhance marketing initiatives for products that consumers buy every week. Green Works® naturally derived home care products. and this brand-consumer conversation ultimately informs the preferences of shoppers and brings them closer to the brand. home and garden. Innovative consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands are fueling consumer conversations to increase sales and loyalty. high-quality products that help simplify life. In the loyalty loop. including mass retail. The company’s products are manufactured in more than two dozen countries. supermarkets. and more. Director. Global Marketing and PR for Clorox. Pine-Sol® cleaners. Today. and sold in more than 100 countries. Ives. Nearly 90% of Clorox Company brands hold the number one or number two market share positions in their categories. Their product portfolio builds from a strong core of beauty and personal care brands. including durable housewares. seasonal. Alberto Culver is among the fastestgrowing CPG companies. St. Recognized as a “Brand of the Century. Consumer Decision Journey. 3 . making the best use of customer insights in product development. Rubbermaid® brand represents innovative. three top CPG brands participated in a panel webinar to discuss how consumer insights drive sales. build brand trust. and letting customer conversations drive cross-channel marketing. Clorox markets some of consumers’ most trusted and recognized brand names. A small company compared to others in the category. Global Director of Interactive for Alberto Culver. The panel and this paper feature commentary from: Stephen Strong. Nexxus. Mary O’Connell. department stores. drug stores. and to gain real-time insight into product and marketing strategies.” Rubbermaid is one of only 100 companies named as having an impact on the American way of life. Hidden Valley® salad dressings. hardware and home center stores. and more. including TRESemmé. warehouse clubs. Senior Manager. focusing on core themes including customer trust. eBusiness for Newell Rubbermaid. This paper examines the social marketing insights and results that were discussed on the panel. and commercial products.Online and in the Aisles How Digital and Social Marketing Drive Sales and Innovation for CPG Brands The purchase behavior of today’s consumer has evolved from the traditional consideration funnel into what McKinsey termed the “loyalty loop” in their 2009 report. and specialty stores. including its namesake bleach and cleaning products. Jim Deitzel. Noxzema.
which yielded over 10. reviews let Hidden Valley Ranch tap into the dressing’s passionate fan base.” Clorox’s O’Connell says. At Rubbermaid.Online and in the Aisles: How Digital and Social Marketing Drive Sales and Innovation for CPG Brands.” Respondents also say they find reviews helpful. but they are also likely to be active online influencers. the consumer is ready to tell you what she thinks about it.000 consumer reviews. “Even in categories people think are low-involvement. Fresh Step cat litter collected more than 12. In the first 24 hours of Pine-Sol’s “Scent Away” contest. inviting customers to share and rate each other’s recipes. CPG brands find that consumers want to share and read reviews on everyday products. Similarly. CPG consumers want to hear from one another Consistently. when Alberto Culver asks focus groups. Beginning with consumer research.000 reviews “almost overnight. A survey of Rubbermaid.com users finds that 73% of respondents say reviews are helpful or very helpful.com users overwhelmingly say they visit the site for product reviews from current owners. reviews are second only to “organizational ideas. more than 2. “What do you expect on a brand site?” consumers repeatedly indicate that they expect customer-written product reviews. especially for a sweepstakes gathering more than just email addresses. Clorox is surprised to discover that core Pine-Sol consumers aren’t just online.000 customers shared personal stories inspired by Pine-Sol scents – an incredible number.” Similarly. customer surveys reveal that Rubbermaid. 4 .
they’re hearing it from the consumer.” O’Connell says.Reviews aren’t just a nice way to get customers talking to each other – they also drive important KPIs. Clorox found that consumers who specifically tried Green Works became natural advocates. And they’re hearing it not in [the brand’s] voice. “You’re trying to tell the consumer that they’re making the right decision. but didn’t have a platform to spread 5 . brand credibility increases. Fresh Step collected over 12. Clorox finds consumers willing to share their opinions.” When reviews and ratings are present.000 reviews “almost overnight. it didn’t work. and found them expensive and ineffective. but when customers reinforce the message using their own experiences. When the Clorox Green Works brand launched. Clorox finds consumers: • Are more likely to click “Where to buy” • Are more likely to convert from site visitor to community member Customer advocacy builds shopper trust in Green Works product claims. most of their target consumers had already tested other “green” cleaners.” to worry about. it was like consumers had earned their “green merit badge” – they’d tried green. “that this is a product that they don’t need • Spend more time on the brand site • View more pages per visit Customer advocacy builds shopper trust In a sea of products with similar claims. That it’s going to deliver because they’re hearing it from their friends. it can be difficult to convince shoppers to trust a brand’s promise. but in the consumer’s voice. and they didn’t feel compelled to try again. According to O’Connell. even in low-involvement categories like cat litter.
Before product launches.Online and in the Aisles: How Digital and Social Marketing Drive Sales and Innovation for CPG Brands. the word. a hair care system that promises to mend split ends by fusing them back together with just one use. wiped off literally years of dirt. writing a blog post. Alberto Culver launched its Nexxus ProMend product.” assures skeptics that the green product really does work. Rubbermaid reaches out to bloggers with free samples.” O’Connell says. Rubbermaid also finds that customer advocacy relieves some shopper hesitation about trying new products. Customer input such as. etc. making a video. Compelling reviews pour in. Since the bold claim could naturally Consumers submit video reviews of actual product use on Rubbermaid. Green Works now gives these advocates a place to express their love through reviews. “I sprayed it on and. where Clorox now listens and learns from them. In 2010. Bloggers can use the samples and comment however they like – by writing a review. with a sponge.com. 6 . – with no pressure from Rubbermaid. “saying it a lot better than I could.
A week after consumers Nexxus uses customer reviews in online and print ads to assure skeptical shoppers that their new product truly works. with a 4. The campaign gathered 30 reviews for each product in the system. Nexxus carefully segmented their customer database. About 50% of recipients requested the free trial. Nexxus sent these customers an email introducing the ProMend product system. asking them to review the system. “We wanted to make sure we got to what we call the ‘high quality Nexxus consumer.7 average star rating.” received the samples. pre-launch customer advocacy campaign.draw skepticism. “We had overwhelmingly positive comments talking about how great it worked.4 to 4.000 samples and cross our fingers that people come back to the site to leave reviews. They also targeted customers who indicated they had specific hair concerns. supporting the products’ efficacy. positive recommendations from real customers. gave fairly high net promoter scores. This was the content Nexxus was looking for: authentic. Nexxus sent a follow-up email. the team created a targeted. and that’s the type Nexxus targeted “high quality consumers” for a pre-launch trial to gain customer advocacy for a new product. Most importantly. reviews indicated the product truly did work. including split ends.’” Strong says. “and not just send out 10. inviting them to be part of an exclusive pre-launch trial. and showed a willingness to recommend Nexxus products. 7 . They reached out to brand advocates who had requested samples and written reviews in the past. all before the product was available in stores.
“There’s more harm done selling products that are defective and performing poorly than by a handful of reviews you might get on your web site. and transparent with it. When gaining internal buy-in for 8 . However. Nexxus launched the ProMend system with reviews already in place. Strong showed executives at Alberto Culver reviews on competitors’ sites. The review is negative. this fear vanishes once the reviews actually come in. and on the brand’s Facebook page. of content that we knew from a consumer support standpoint we were really going after.” Deitzel says. Not every product is right for every customer. and they felt it was okay. all of a sudden that substantiated all the positive reviews. “On product pages that only had four. “In the case that you have a product that might be defective or failing.or five-star reviews. Reviews help customers buy the right products for their specific needs. For CPG brands. Customer insights drive improvements and new products. In all. and decreasing returns. and they share this content everywhere potential customers will find it.” he says. with four or five stars out of a possible five. Alberto Culver is now looking into building similar pre-launch customer advocacy campaigns into all of their brands for future product launches. but can actually be very helpful – Rubbermaid offers larger drainers.” Negative reviews help shoppers select the right product. Bad reviews make good reviews seem more trustworthy. Displaying negative reviews shows visitors that brands are open to feedback. I think I’d like to know that. so shoppers looking to drain pots and pans now know to buy a bigger size. Bazaarvoice research reveals that 75% of all customer reviews are positive. “On pages that had a one.Online and in the Aisles: How Digital and Social Marketing Drive Sales and Innovation for CPG Brands. however. Rubbermaid’s Deitzel recalls a one-star review complaining that a dish drainer is too small for pots and pans. negative feedback has clear benefits. the campaign was a cost-efficient success. They also syndicate the reviews to major retailer sites. increasing their satisfaction and loyalty. to help support the overall claim and overcome that skepticism. including online and print advertising.” Negative reviews: an unexpected asset Many brands admit they fear negative reviews.or two-star review thrown in there. customer reviews.” Strong says. [our executives] just assumed the brand was gaming the system and only allowing the positive ones.
Shoppers on Rubbermaid. Ratings and reviews are usergenerated. online. It makes a difference to us. shopping. Rubbermaid pulls new customer reviews and distributes them throughout their organization.com can filter category pages by star rating.” O’Connell says. especially in some of our product categories that are heavily regulated. Not only is it a loyalty loop. A month after we launched. “We found that when we include ratings and reviews content within an email. and social media. we showed [the legal team] the reviews getting approved and the ones rejected. what they’ve asked for. and see review content in search results. We actually get to connect with consumers.” Deitzel says. reaching them is an increasing challenge for brands. but… they’re curated and moderated. very difficult to let go of the control that legal is accustomed to having over discussion.Each week. “It’s very. “ I’m certain everybody is thinking about ‘Where is the consumer today and where can I contact them? How do I reach them?’” O’Connell says. Reviews are structured. building the products… We really listen to the voice of our consumer. product-focused earned media that can power marketing across channels.” 9 . it just came down to the moderation guide. “We look at reviews and actually make changes.” Clorox’s O’Connell says. “For us.” “You’ll see us introduce new products based on what consumers have told us. “Reviews actually make it all the way down to the person working in the plant.” Nexxus’ Strong echoes this thought. and that gave them a comfort level. based on what consumers are saying. “This is so hugely important. “We use reviews everywhere on Rubbermaid. including print.” Moderation protects the brand.” he says. some of those areas are clicked more often than areas without that content. Rubbermaid also uses reviews in marketing emails. “The moderation guides. it’s an incredible learning loop and insight loop for anyone dealing in this space. Moderation lets CPG brands open up to customer feedback without allowing content deemed inappropriate or a liability. I haven’t had to talk to them since about that.com that makes sense. and conversations across channels. that’s key.” Customers’ words enhance cross-channel marketing As consumers splinter their attention.
and it looks like people are actually choosing reviews and ratings over the videos and photos. reviews. for all of our brands. which we kind of expected. “You see the voice of the consumer [in Green Works ads] because that voice is so important for all of us. Like most companies. By sending an SMS text message or scanning a special code. but to the actual shelf. and also uses star ratings and customers’ words on product shelf tags to boost shoppers’ confidence that the product will work. to the digital shelf. All three brands use reviews in print and online advertising. CPG brands are experimenting with Facebook 10 . Green Works brings reviews to the point of purchase.” Deitzel says. Rubbermaid also uses in-store signage to encourage customers to read reviews via their mobile devices. too – “not just Rubbermaid uses reviews in-store via signage and mobile to influence in-store shoppers. “You’ll see us tap into that voice of the consumer in as many ways as we possibly can. “We’re starting to get the metrics.” O’Connell says. and see how-to videos.” Rubbermaid saw a 10% conversion lift for a free-standing insert that featured review content and a influence in-store purchases. Clorox makes customer reviews available in-store via mobile applications.” O’Connell says. view inspiring photos.Online and in the Aisles: How Digital and Social Marketing Drive Sales and Innovation for CPG Brands. customers are taken to a Rubbermaid mobile site where they can read product Clorox uses star ratings on shelf tags to boost shopper confidence.
“If it were a country. Facebook would be the second largest in the world. Two-way syndication displays all Green Works reviews gathered on the brand site on the brand’s Facebook page.com.” Customers read and write reviews on Facebook.” O’Connell says. 11 . to elevate the voice of the consumer.” O’Connell says. too.as a channel to reach consumers. and to build brand loyalty and advocacy. like Walgreens. All three manufacturers also syndicate their reviews to retailer sites. Nexxus also uses two-way review syndication on Facebook. “Consumers can tell a personal story that the brand can’t. Green Works encourages consumers to both read and write reviews on Facebook. playing within the conversational context users expect on social networks. “Obviously consumers are there. “Getting significant volume on any given product [on retailer sites] can “ We’re looking at how all of this works as an ecosystem to raise awareness. The numbers just keep going up every day. so their fans can read and write reviews. One out of four people is on Facebook every day. to raise preference. maximizing the volume and reach of the reviews.com and Lowes. and vice versa. which are syndicated automatically between the brand Facebook page and brand site.” But rather than pushing a marketing message.
Post-syndication. Rubbermaid syndicates reviews to retailer sites to increase volume.” Strong says. “As soon as they’re approved through the moderation. “and they can’t focus on getting reviews just on Rubbermaid products. Even more importantly.” Deitzel says. the consumer doesn’t have to do anything… You don’t need them to click ‘Share with a friend’ or anything like that. It just naturally happens. be difficult because they have so many products. fuel authentic social media interactions. and improve all types of marketing.400 product reviews on the retailer website ecosystem. “That’s just been phenomenal for us. they show up on our site and they show up on those retailer [and social] sites. the manufacturer now has close to 14.Online and in the Aisles: How Digital and Social Marketing Drive Sales and Innovation for CPG Brands. 12 .000 reviews in that ecosystem.” Deitzel says.” Prior to syndication. Because reviews gathered on and syndicated to retail sites and social networks pass through the same moderation process as reviews on the brand site.” These CPG brand marketers have proven to themselves and their fellow executives that the authentic views of consumers can increase brand trust. content is distributed safely and automatically throughout all of a brand’s online properties. Rubbermaid had approximately 1. “So it’s obviously very easy. because we don’t have to do anything.
Dell and QVC.Ratings & Reviews. The company was named in 2007’s Red Herring Global 100 and received the Technology Vendor of the Year award from Retail Systems in 2009. Bazaarvoice’s products . visit www. Halfords. ask and answer questions and share stories online. Retailers can also leverage the content generated across on and offline marketing channels.twitter. Thomas Cook. clients include Argos.bazaarvoice. Bazaarvoice has offices in the UK. US. Its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions have powered more than 200 billion customer conversations. For more information and access to client success stories. In the UK. increased search engine optimisation impact. helping over 1200 brands globally to harness and amplify customer online word of mouth.co.com/blog. Ask & Answer™ and Stories™ are social commerce applications that drive sales. They enable customers to review products. +44 (0)208 080 1100 13 . Contact us to see how we help CPG brands gain invaluable consumer and product insights by enabling conversations. Founded in 2005. and Australia.uk read the blog at www. and follow on Twitter at www. seamless customisation. but raise even more.About Bazaarvoice (www. Boots. advanced analytics and syndication across the web.bazaarvoice.com/BV_Intl.bazaarvoice. enhancing the online shopping experience and allowing them to make more informed and rewarding purchase decisions.com) is a social commerce technology company. Benefits for the retailer include content ownership. Wickes. France. Contact us This paper should answer some questions.
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