Chief Marketing Officer

Clorox's VP of Digital Experience Transformation on Brand Building in the Technology Age

Doug Milliken, Vice President, Digital Experience Transformation, Clorox, discussed what it takes for a legacy brand to embrace and optimize digital transformation during his keynote presentation to Argyle’s CMO membership at the 2017 Leadership in Digital Marketing Forum in San Francisco on June 8. In his presentation, “Building a Brand in the Age of Tech,” Milliken described how Clorox invested in digital to instill a larger focus on cross-channel marketing than ever before.

According to Milliken, technology is making it easier than ever before for marketers to build customer loyalty and retention.

With the right technology in place, marketers can gain deep insights into customer patterns and trends. Then, marketers can use these insights to understand how customers feel about a brand, its products and its services and map out their day-to-day efforts accordingly.

Furthermore, technology has empowered one-to-one marketing – a trend that appears likely to continue over the next few years.

“Very rapidly, we could start doing one-to-one marketing,” Milliken stated. “We could start doing things like buying individual audiences and cookies … and we could start measuring engagement at a one-to-one discipline.”

The combination of marketing and technology has led many technologists to pursue marketing careers.

“To be a successful a successful marketing organization, we need to be ‘and’ profession and an ‘and’ organization.”

In marketing roles, technologists can analyze a broad assortment of customer data and gain unparalleled insights to drive informed decision-making. That way, technologists can serve as key contributors within their respective organizations.

“Technologists started to flock to marketing because marketing has very interesting and compelling problems for technology to solve,” Milliken noted. “[Technology] is allowing us to do things that were unfathomable three to four years ago.”

Although technology creates many opportunities for marketing professionals, it also creates risks as well.

If a company invests in technology, it can use the latest and greatest tools to understand customer behaviors. On the other hand, a company that invests in technology may collect an overwhelming amount of structured and unstructured data that can be difficult to analyze.

“There’s a risk that we can get a little bit out of balance managing our way through [digital transformation],” Milliken said. “Managing our way through this requires an immense amount of organizational capacity. There’s a lot of sexiness about what we can do with data, and that creates a risk of tilting us out of balance.”

Today’s companies must understand the short-term benefits of customer data analysis. By taking the time to drive gradual customer experience improvements, marketers can identify patterns and trends that are hidden within large customer data sets and boost their chances of driving long-lasting customer partnerships.

“We are tilted more toward short-term digital activation. In that way, we may start to have a negative impact on the volume and growth of our brands,” Milliken noted.

In addition, a successful marketing team must focus on immediate and long-term goals.

“Technologists started to flock to marketing because marketing has very interesting and compelling problems for technology to solve. [Technology] is allowing us to do things that were unfathomable three to four years ago.”

A marketing team that understands the importance of building a top-notch strategy can determine the best steps to achieve assorted goals. Plus, this team should have no trouble generating customer trust as well as highlighting its value within a company.

“To be a successful a successful marketing organization, we need to be ‘and’ profession and an ‘and’ organization,” Milliken pointed out. “The longer-term brand-building goal is driving growth over time and the performance marketing that is driving revenue over the course of a given year.”

As part of a marketing strategy, a company must begin with a brand purpose. This initiative will drive a business’ marketing efforts and can help the company develop the ideal stories and marketing materials to connect with customers consistently.

“A strong brand starts with a brand purpose … that’s rooted in truth and tension that inspires actions and guides purpose. That brand purpose is then told through stories, and those stories are delivered through data and insights that let us create relevant experiences,” Milliken said.

Also, marketers must be able to use data to identify consumers at a one-to-one level and deliver personalized messages to them.

How a company fosters personalization may dictate its long-term success, according to Milliken.

If a business understands how to collect and analyze customer data effectively, it may be better equipped than rivals to tailor its marketing efforts to meet or surpass consumer expectations.

Conversely, a company that lacks customer insights may struggle to connect with a target audience. This business may be unable to respond to customer requests in real-time, thereby missing out on opportunities to promote its brand and extend its global reach.

Using customer data and insights can lead to personalized and unforgettable customer experiences. As a result, these experiences can help a company provide personalized content that hits the mark with customers, resulting in superior customer partnerships.

Visit Argyle Executive Forum's 2019 Marketing Dinner: Leading Change and Collaboration in Chicago, IL on Sep 10, 2019

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