When IAC takes control of just-purchased Meredith Corporation later this year, it will get not only a major publishing company but a data powerhouse.
Meredith’s data capabilities were highlighted Wednesday during a discussion on Real Simple magazine’s brand extension into a line of cleaning products from Clorox.
The products, available since August at The Container Store’s physical and online outlets, were launched because of Clorox’s desire to reach consumers who simply weren’t interested in its brand, execs from both Clorox and Meredith told the Association of National Advertisers Masters of Marketing Conference on Wednesday.
Tad Kittredge, Clorox’s general manager of transformational growth and vice president of marketing, said the cleaning products giant turned to Meredith’s Product Studio and Data Studio to reach those elusive consumers. “There was a consumer we didn’t know very well, but Meredith knew very well,” he said.
For Marla Newman, Meredith’s executive vice president, digital sales, the key to this and other collaborations lies in “reimagining media and downstream partners as upfront innovation partners.”
Meredith’s data showed that Clorox-averse consumers, particularly millennial women and moms, had “tremendous interest” in eco-friendly and scented home products. “They were not interested in a harsh cleaning smell -- an efficacy cue that a lot of our current consumers are really delighted by,” Kittredge recalled.
“The switch was not to think about Meredith as a media partner, but of the data they have and the relationships that they have with [those] consumers,” he said.
From that data, Kittredge continued, “We identified the person we wanted to reach, we built the story around them, we really understood what we were looking for, and it became really clear as we were pulling this together that this need for smart solutions that were simple, clean, purposeful and fun all at the same time kept pointing us back to Real Simple -- a brand that already existed that stood for that type of experience.”
“Building brands can be incredibly expensive and time-intensive,” he explained. “In this situation, we understand the product experience that we want to create, we understand the brand experience that consumers desire, and Real Simple really met that need from a brand standpoint.”
The relationship with The Container Store came about because the Meredith data showed that these non-Clorox consumers were shopping in places “different from where we were typically selling our products.”
“We were able to bring from the Clorox side our knowledge about formulas, cleaning efficacy, fragrance, packaging [and] combine it with Meredith’s expertise in that data and relationship with the consumer,” Kittredge said.
“Just don’t assume us as a media company,” Newman insisted. “Data is at the center. The relationship we have with that consumer can unlock not just the ability to reach and target that audience, but to really understand and get insights that can help us inform strategy and inform products in so much more beyond media."
The Real Simple Cleaning Collection comprises an all-purpose cleaner spray and compostable wipes, each available in either sweet orange/basil or cherry blossom/rose.
Other recent Real Simple product extensions include a handbag collection via QVC.com and floral arrangements and succulents from 1-800-Flowers.com.
Real Simple, which launched in 2000, was acquired by Meredith in 2018 as part of its purchase of Time Inc.