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Kimberly-Clark leverages mobile for utility-driven engagements with moms

NEW YORK – A Kimberly-Clark executive at the Mobile Marketing Association’s SM2 Innovation Summit examined how the brand leverages mobile to help millennial moms through the potty-training process and influence purchase decisions.

The executive’s “Kimberly-Clark Uses Creative and Gaming Principles to Make an Engaging Digital Experience For Toddlers” session discussed the brand’s goals of empathizing with the millennial mom in order to create a useful experience to help her and her child through the potty-training journey. With 83 percent of new moms belonging to the millennial generation, using mobile to target that demographic is imperative for the brand to reach these consumers.

“One of kids’ biggest milestones is to become a big kid, and potty training is one of those big milestones for them,” said Melanie Huet, brand director of childcare for Kimberly-Clark, Irving, TX. “We want to be a partner for moms in the potty-training process.”

Targeting audience

Kimberly-Clark and advertising agency Organic teamed up to create the new Time to Potty app for the Pull-Ups brand. They found that the product alone was not enough for parents going through the taxing process of potty training, so the inspiration for the app stemmed from focusing on the success of learning to make the journey more fun for both parents and children.

They also stressed understanding a target audience as a paramount aspect of marketing.

“We took the brand purpose of making potty training easier and we needed to augment that with a service,” said Dwayne Raupp, executive creative director of Organic, Troy, MI. “We had a platform and experience that we thought we could deliver to help moms through this journey.”

The brand specifically targeted marketing to the millennial mom, and discovered that 23 percent of that demographic uses parenting or baby apps weekly or more often. Additionally, 70 percent of those individuals believe that technology helps them be better mothers, spurring brands to be on the cutting edge of technology.

In order to connect busy parents with the Pull-Ups brand and offer them relevant services, Kimberly-Clark and Organic undertook a parent-centric approach and focused on empathizing with the millennial mom to best understand her needs.

Because mobile is such a widely-used vehicle for quick information, the two companies found that creating an interactive potty training app would be the most effective manner of bridging the gap between helpful products and tips to make the journey easier for both sides.

“Competing for parents’ time is increasingly tough,” Mr. Raupp said. “We knew we couldn’t force the mom to come to us; we needed to provide enough value that she would come back in the thin splinters of time that she does have.”

Big Kid Academy

With an easily understandable interface, the “Time to Potty” app was created, with helpful features such as a potty timer, weekly progress charts and various hints and tips. Pull-Ups also partnered with Disney to offer a myriad of Disney-themed rewards that children can unlock after achieving success.

There are approximately 40 games leveraging Disney characters built into the app, including coloring challenges and simple puzzles. The sign-in process is also personalized to be fun for a mother and child to do together.

“We had assumptions that potty training is on-the-go, it’s non-stop, so we knew there was a role for mobile during this process of potty training for parents,” Mr. Raupp said. “Organizationally, we needed to be flexible in how we were approaching the Big Kid Academy.”

Parents can access the app by scanning their child’s Pull-Up pants, or by downloading it onto Android or iOS platforms. The brand placed high importance on making the app as simple as possible in order to reach a wider audience of millennial moms who are short on time.

“The simpler this is, the more it will feel like magic to her,” Mr. Raupp said.

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York