Phil Lardner’s entire career has been spent in fast-moving consumer goods. He previously headed the marketplace analytics teams at Kraft and Conagra Brands before joining Clorox in 2017. Lardner is charged with driving revenue growth management – a group he started up and continues to lead.
Describe your current duties.
LARDNER: Clorox’s marketing focus starts and ends with driving superior consumer value. In regards to revenue growth, this equation is the intersection of consumers’ willingness to pay and the benefit our brands deliver. It doesn’t emanate from a Wall Street need or a zero-based budgeting approach. It begins with the consumer and a long-term focus on brand building. It has been a successful formula for our brands, and these times – more than ever – prove out the importance of being human-centered.
How do shopper/customer insights fit into your organization?
LARDNER: Shopper insights resides within our organization’s human insights group in marketing with direct accountabilities to sales. Our revenue management group is part of the Clorox Marketing Analytics Center of Excellence.
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What emerging technology and techniques do your team leverage?
LARDNER: The Clorox marketing analytics team is immersing itself in evolving data science applications. Since we are located on the West Coast, we have an advantage to partnership and talent as we drive toward tech transformation.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your team’s work?
LARDNER: Clorox owns an array of brands in many categories. All of our operations were deemed essential, and most are in extremely high demand not just in households but also in public places such as hospitals and care facilities. As a result, our supply leaders are focused on ensuring that demand is being met where it is most critically needed for everyone’s health.
What’s the biggest challenge facing CPG companies related to data and analytics?
LARDNER: With the inversion of the path to purchase funnel during the pandemic, certainly coverage of all the steps is more imperative. This includes consumption (especially e-commerce), mobility, digital and device data. In-home is becoming the most important step in the path for not only the purchase but for the demand drivers. These data points are not always readily available or only are available in uneven and discontinuous ways.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?
LARDNER: Clorox is a company that values diversity of people and ideas, backed by actions. All of this is in support of what our leadership call “Good Growth.” It’s defined as being profitable, sustainable and responsible. Note the emphasis on “and.” As a result, self-fulfillment in one’s work naturally evolves from that simple yet powerful focus.
LARDNER: Our group is focusing on value-added analytics. Not diagnosing simply what happened, but what could happen based on optimizing tools and simulators that play out different marketplace scenarios.