Mark: Welcome to Family First: The Wild World of Marketing to Parents. My name is Mark Giovino, CEO and founder at the Allionce Group
I’d like to welcome Jenna Paquin to this episode of Family First. Jenna has spent the better part of the last decade working in FMCG marketing with some of the country’s most well-known brands, including Lysol, Coca-Cola, Honest Tea and Resolve. She’s currently the category manager for the Air Wick Equity team at Reckitt Benckiser. Jenna’s leadership as a senior marketer is only surpassed by the pride she takes in being a mom. Jenna, thanks for joining me!
Jenna: Thanks for having me! And kudos to you because you just pronounced two of the hardest things correctly. My last name and our company name, Reckitt Benckiser. So well done.
Jenna: Yeah, sure. Our first daughter, her name is Elie. Although most people mispronounce her name and call her Arley, I don’t know if that’s a regional thing or not. She is seven and a half and her biggest passions. I think she was four when she decided she wanted to be an entomologist when she grow, grew up. She also has been to environmental protests with my dad. So she loves her grandfather and loves the world and she loves all the sports.
And she has a great big sister to our son, Asher, who is four and a half. And the thing I love about Asher is he’s usually in maybe the 10th percentile for height. Very petite , but he is like the most competent athlete I’ve ever seen at his age. So he always surprises people. And then I’m gonna go ahead and include, because we consider them our family. We have a 10 year old dog and a four month old dog. So the 10 year old is Turley and the four month old is Wille.
Jenna: Yes. They’re a big part of our life.
Jenna: The biggest thing I feel like every day when I wake up is that there’s so much going on and so much that I have to keep my mind on, to stay on track, to get the kids stuff done to get the dog stuff done, to get my stuff done. That it really has helped me to hone in on like simplicity when it comes to messaging.
It actually works very well for us because we always really focus on our MMX and our ROIs when it comes to our TVC campaigns. We buy mostly 15 second commercial spots, and in 15 seconds you have to be really honed in on whatever that key message is you’re trying to convey to consumers.
So I think that in conjunction with just really focusing on what matters and trying to pull that thread between the product to. How it’s gonna resonate with consumer from an emotional standpoint.
Jenna: Yeah I think those two questions are actually very well linked. While it’s always the ideal to have very simple, fast messages that connect to emotional benefits, it’s not always an easy thing to do. Most recently I have worked on Lysol and Air Wick. Lysol was a bit easier in that the whole purpose of Lysol is around keeping your loved ones safe, so that automatically creates that tie, especially because within the portfolio I was focused on wipes, which have a very functional benefit of killing germs that ties to an emotional benefit of keeping your loved ones on illness free.
That one was a bit easier, but on Air Wick it’s a bit less clear. Are we using home fragrance as a, like a reflection of you to the world? Is it more of a me benefit that I’m projecting something out? Or is it more of a we benefit of I’m making my home feel welcoming and setting up a great place for people to gather in my home?
Sometimes it’s easy like Lysol, but sometimes it’s a little bit more difficult. Before Lysol I was even on Resolve, and so it’s shifting between the pet, parent, kid, parent thing. Resolve was all about trying to make the obstacles you face in life as a pet parent a little bit easier.
Brazil has historically had equity and in carpet cleaning, but as we see carpets become less prevalent in homes if we shifted our position to be more for like pet stains and carpets, cuz we know that people still have rugs around and that was an ink facing incidence as people are having more animals in the home.
So you’re able to tease out that transition of what the obstacle you’re facing is, but then pull it into, okay, but if we are helping you to overcome your obstacle of. A pet mess in your home, then our product helps remove that barrier so you can focus more on, on loving your animal, loving whatever it is.
Jenna: Yeah. I don’t have experience of a lot of other companies, but I certainly feel that in record sometimes we’re drowning in data, like good data, but there’s so much that I can’t even. digest it all and really internalize it. But if you can wade through it all and, and pull through in conjunction with some qualitative group studies, those important insights to your point about primary research, like that’s really where the insights come.
I think that tends to be the most meaningful. Pretty much every year we at least a couple times try to have those qualitative groups with consumers to have those direct conversations. It’s fundamental, especially working in the current role that I’m in when we’re talking about our TVCs and our comms platforms making sure that we are really taking relevant insights and putting them into the marketplace in a way that people are going to like, resonate with.
That actually is a bridge to some of the multicultural work we’ve done because we know historically, some companies have tried to do that, taken insights from certain groups of consumers and tried to put into a commercial, but they missed the mark quite a bit. And then there’s significant backlash and there’s lots of instances like that from oh gosh.
I think there was just a police car in Florida somewhere that they unleashed for Martin Luther King Day. They had designed it specially that was not well received. There’s that Juneteenth special edition things that, you know. So it’s really about making sure you’re checking yourself time and time again directly with those consumers to say this is what we heard, this is what we see. Is this right? Or is it.
Jenna: The first thing I would say is that we are still on a journey ourselves as well. I was very happy to be recognized. The team has done a lot of specific work around this in the last couple of years in our top two spots. One was they were created from very different approaches. So one was created with a Hispanic consumer insight in mind, and how they use air fragrance in their home and was actually we, when we put it into market, we put it in Spanish language. The other one we were facing a bit of a jam.
We knew that we wanted to reach Hispanic Spanish language consumers and we had made the media purchase, but we had lacked to create something unique for that audience. So we went to the marketplace, saw what we had been putting in market in English language, and assessed if there was a way that we could leverage that asset for the Spanish language audience.
And I was fortunate enough to have on my team a native Spanish speaker as well as the woman who was leading it was not, but they worked very conjunct. With a couple different external agencies to do a thorough translation. And it was fascinating to me to see specifically with Spanish, the different dialects and ways that people talk.
So for instance, we got an initial round back of a recommended translation that even, I’m not a native Spanish speaker, but I did study Spanish, didn’t make any. I was like, maybe I’m wrong, but that doesn’t seem right. And so they they figured it out and they went back. But then we had conversations about what dialect are we looking for?
We’re definitely not like Spain Spanish because we know that the representation of those consumers is not high in the US and trying to work through all of that. But I think all that to say that, it really is so much more involved of a process to put something that’s resonating with the right target audience into market than it might seem.
The other fascinating thing, so we haven’t had these assets go into market yet, but we worked all throughout the year on two other campaigns in which we were trying to take a similar approach. So there are very few instances where we can create a a whole campaign that is one cultural group specific from the top to the bottom.
So we have to make very choiceful decisions in how we’re representing people and how we’re representing the usage of the home fragrance. So I’m very excited to see these two come into market this year. They did preliminarily score very well. We had one that was targeting the Black American buyers for aircare, and then one that was targeting Hispanic American buyers for our holiday range. So they were of rooted in insights about those different aircare segments and how those are generally purchased.
Jenna: Yeah. We tried to really incorporate from the beginning, like not only our external view as well, like we have the research, we know what it’s saying, but not our interpretation of what that is.
And make sure we had voices that were the right voices in the room that could speak directly to how certain things should be done. . But I think, like I mentioned at the beginning, like it’s, we’re still on a journey even ourselves. And I think where we, I would like to see us go over the next couple of years is to bring and match up our purpose a little bit better with those multicultural consumers.
We, within air care, over index with those buyers. We know that they’re buying at a higher rate than white Americans, and specifically within Reckitt as well. We’re even higher there. So there’s a reason for us to obviously be doing the right thing and speaking to those consumers the right way. and I think the next step is for us to be delivering a purpose that also resonates best with them.
Jenna: Yeah a good question. The standard channels we tend to think about like linear TV and so on they’re just so wide blasting and ranging, and we know that everybody knows that, right? Those are awareness driving channels.
And so if you’re trying to get farther down the channel to really drive better targeting we’ve. This is not new or groundbreaking or anything, but we’ve really found success with the social media. So obviously the standard Meta, Facebook and Instagram, but we are also doing some really interesting things now on TikTok with influencers and airway.
So I think as far as channels, we still have some work to do on our end to find some, like more new and ground break breaking type of things. But when it comes to the message and reaching parents, I think we’ve touched on it a little bit before, but it really comes back down to purpose and making sure that there is a clear purpose for what the brand is standing for and that it resonates with the parents what they’re going for. For instance, on Resolve, it was making it easier to have that pet parent relationship and removing any barriers on Lysol. It was keeping your loved ones illness free and how we executed upon that.
We had all of the standard channels on Lysol, but we also had a very important donation program we did, especially with the Covid and trying to get kids back in the classroom where we knew that they thrived the most. But also understanding it was scary, right? Like putting kids in the classroom and getting them in big groups. So we ha we expanded our program in which we donated wipes that we had through the Kids in Need Foundation. And it was a very simple activated unpack, which sometimes you find that these standard channels actually leverage your messaging better depending on what that might be.
But it was buy one pack and we donate one pack of whites. And so that really was an impactful way for us. Have the direct connection with the consumer where they felt that they were keeping their kids safe in the classroom, giving the wipes to teachers, but then also taking it further and protecting everybody.
Cuz with Covid there was really, we really started to see that community mentality of keeping my neighbors safe, helps keep me safe. And keeping kids in school helps everybody to be safer and decrease the spread.
Jenna: It’s an interesting question because going back to some of my initial work and marketing with like Honest Tea and in the sustainability department at Coca-Cola, there was less focus on what do I get out. That’s how those were founded. Honest Tea wasn’t necessarily founded to be top profit driving all the time. There was always an environmental angle to it and things like that. Whereas at Reckitt, we are definitely in the evolution of how we’re incorporating purpose into the company.
I’ve seen it a couple different ways. And it’s never quite the same. But I think in general, we need to identify as companies and what are the programs that we can take the handcuffs off there doesn’t need to be some kind of ROI we’re expecting out of it as long as we can get the right awareness behind it and invest into it.
And then consumers can just see that and drive goodwill. And I think that’s a message that resonates more and more with younger consumers as well. So sometimes we put the Lysol wipes. It is one of those perfect purpose types of scenarios. By activating on the purpose, you’re buying more product.
So it inherently works, right? We can easily track how many wipes we’re gonna sell because we have to tie it to how many we’re gonna donate. And we can all tie that through with all the partnerships we had with different PTAs and principal organizations What our usages in the classroom, what their sick days used to be, what they are now, that kind of stuff.
But on Reckitt, for instance, our current fight or activation of our purpose in the marketplace is to reseed wildflowers in the Northern Great Plains. And there is a tie there in that our our tag is. Feel outside, inside, bring nature in, connect people to nature. All around this nature element, but it’s not as though there’s some great clear tie like there was on Lysol wipes of, by buying aic you’re going to actually directly contribute to us planting wildflowers in the northern great plain. That’s something we’re doing either way. There are certain campaigns I think that you just have to understand they are about building your brand equity.
And you can track that of course. There’s not always gonna be obviously a direct tie either there. Cause brand equity is such a long term type of metric that. It takes a long time to build.
Jenna: Oh, definitely. Yeah. And I that’s how you build brand advocates. By doing things that there may not be a clear obvious tie to a sales lift, but you’re gonna get people who are willing to go do your job for you.
Right. talk to other people. I’m sure I’ve been there on plenty of other brands and. No, this thing’s amazing. Not only is the product great, but the company does awesome stuff too. I think about Patagonia’s and Cliff bars and stuff like that and you mentioned brand advocates.
Jenna: Yeah we definitely look at our NPS within our brand equity scores. We actually get them monthly. And it’s been it’s been a thing for airway. We’ve really been trying to move our score. Currently we are holding.
Equal with our market share. But we have ambitions to grow that. And that’s what that the whole idea, the whole initial execution of the fight with the WWF partnership and receding, the Northern Great Plains, that’s where that initiative was kicked off by. I don’t know if it’s necessarily crushing it for us.
We’re not rising up through the ranks. We’re not number one. But that’s why we’re always evolving and always thinking. So as we’re thinking about again, the multicultural consumers, this particular execution might not quite be the right thing for them. So we are going back to the drawing board and we’re gonna see what can we do that really drives the right resonance with the right consumers and making sure that we’re pressure testing that before we make that investment.
Jenna: I’ve had this conversation a lot with our UNI team to try and figure out how do we do this? And even though said if we get our scores monthly, they’ll consistently tell me that like they’re, you, even though you get the monthly, you can’t really tie it back to anything.
It’s such a long-term process to affect and impact those. Even if you think about just like the ownable assets that’s something we’re working towards, but it takes so long to get that ingrained within consumers minds. So it actually speaks, interestingly enough kind of contrast with society and how fast society’s moving to kind of balance that and stay relevant and be relevant, but also keep your roots and find the things that you can own and hold onto to.
Jenna: We have them, yeah, we have no real connection between them. And we’ll have we, we get our marketing mix and understand what campaigns work, but even within the marketing mix, right?
Unless you have consistent treatment in a media plan across all of them. You don’t know if it’s the creative that’s driving that or if it’s how that was served to the audience, or different things that go into that would determine your oi. It’s always a challenge I think within marketing is trying to dive through all the KPIs and the monitoring of your scores and whatnot.
I think flexibility is really key. And understanding that certain. , you may not always be able to draw parallels between certain things cuz you might be using, shifting different metrics or approaches or studies or whatever. And just trying to do the best that you can to draw the parallels to say maybe this is equivalent to that, or so on and so forth. Or maybe we drove this kind of a lift. And just leaning in on that.
Jenna: This is gonna sound a little silly, but I’m really fascinated by the new the new social media be real. Have you heard of BeReal? Yes. So I think that BeReal is interesting because it speaks so much to the insights around the Gen Z consumer coming in and how they digest media, how they think about things, how they look at things so much about it is very indicative to all the personalized demographics we hear about them.
It’s an interesting balance, isn’t it? Because like we were having this discussion with our media team about targeting and how there’s been like this initially, I don’t know, five, 10 years ago there was a great idea about, oh, you can hyper target people now, and there’s all this information that’s available.
And between the data privacy backlash to all of that, as well as really just focusing on your ROIs, nobody really does that anymore. Now we have to think more holistically about campaigns and honestly, if you’re trying to reach a certain demographic, Keeping it, you’re still gonna get a better ROI and reaching them with broad strokes.
So I think that’s an interesting way to go on that. And in regards to the AI thing, we actually did some parallel testing. We were having a really hard time landing our TV commercial for this past year and our standard link testing wasn’t giving us enough information that we could optimize on.
So there was an alternative method, I’ll have to send you the name cause I can’t remember it, but there was an AI approach to doing like link testing essentially pre ad testing before it goes on air, stuff like that. And it didn’t actually add up very well historically I heard our colleague that I worked with, every other time she had used it was spot on, she said and so that’s why she had recommended it. But this particular one they, it didn’t quite line up. So I think that there are some limitations on ai. What, what can really be done with it in this context if it comes to trying to reach people in how you go outreaching them? Maybe. But when it comes to messaging and content, I don’t think we’re quite there.
Jenna: So actually in between my time at Reckitt I was here for a couple years and I left and we went back to where I’m was raised in North Carolina and I worked for a small family owned candy company which was like drastically different than what the record world looks like. I was a marketing team of one. But I had at like my disposal anything I wanted to test and learn, like I was the head of R&D, I contacted the the supplier. The kids loved it. So obviously this is a very easy integration between the the family and work conversation. But it was fascinating to leverage the kids and their friends and things like that with different flavors of candy and how we’re approaching it.
But also it was a unique candy company cuz it was very old school, so the candy was 100% cane sugar and you had lots of conversations with parents from the schools and things like that about this candy doesn’t have artificial artificial things in it necessarily or how do we go about positioning a line that does it and stuff like that. So there was a lot of crossover for me because they didn’t have the disposal of a large budget for marketing research. And it was pretty just well integrated and I’m sure a big hit at all the kids’ parties. But just talking to parents and the kids themselves about how they felt about the product and how we could modify it, morph it, change it and an evolution of what that candy would be to be more relevant for younger consumers. Cuz it was a a very old school type of candy that we were trying to refresh and bring to life.
Jenna: So we are I think we have this in common, you’re family and mine, but we are big active people, so anything outside, hiking. And I’m super excited cuz my daughter, who’s seven and a half, so she’s just starting to get into the sports world. I have a soft spot for soccer. I played it pretty seriously growing up and so seeing her get in there and playing games is a lot of fun.
But really, anything where we can move our bodies. We had lots of conversations before we had kids. How we would raise them and all of that. And it was always it doesn’t matter what the outcome is if you’re fantastic at a sport or you just enjoy it, but whatever you can do to get out there and move your body is fun.
You enjoy it and it’s healthy and it’s grounding in a lot of ways. My husband and I run trail a lot and we try to get the kids on the trail to go hiking afterwards and stuff like that.
Jenna: Awesome. Thank you so much. I definitely enjoyed.