Georgia-Pacific Pro’s Personal Bathroom Chatter

Posted on by Beth Negus Viveiros
The Take Notice campaign helps GP Pro customers recognize terrific custodial teammates.

Georgia-Pacific Professional wants to get personal with its B2B customers. Very personal, as in so personal they’re involved in their bathroom conversations.

No, the company—home of brands line enMotion paper towel dispensers, ActiveAir toilet tissue dispensers, and AngelSoft toilet tissue—isn’t verging on getting too intimate. Rather, they want to get a handle on the conversations being had about and by their customers in social media surrounding an area where many of their products are used, public restrooms.

“The bathroom is a deeply personal space,” says Gloria Potichko, director, brand, digital and content marketing communications, GP Pro. who spoke at the recent MarketingProfs B2B Forum in Boston. “Our customers—and our customers’ customers— are talking, so why wouldn’t we want to jump into those conversations?”

Of course, you can’t just spurt meaningless chatter in social media. It’s important that when you jump into social conversations, you’re listening too, so you can show your customers that you understand their business model and what concerns their customers.

For example, say a restaurant is spending considerable time and money overhauling their menu. That’s great, but if a large number of customers go on to social media and say the restrooms in the establishment smell awful, that’s going to undermine the restaurant—no matter how good the new entrees taste.

Being able to share this type of data with a customer helps GP Pro become a trusted information source and partner, she notes.

“Sixty-five percent won’t tell someone [in the restaurant] if a bathroom smells bad,” she says, but they will spread the word on social. “Perception is reality and over 90% of customers believe the restroom reflects the overall cleanliness of your entire establishment.”

People’s boldness on social media about talking about bathrooms made GP Pro feel they could be more bold about how they spoke about bathrooms, and use a bit of humor. For example, people were challenging the capabilities of the motion sensitivity of the enMotion paper towel dispenser. A funny series of videos showed what would and would not potentially trigger the machines.

“Showing people your brand personality can be fun,” says Potichko. “The people who share your video might not be buyers, but buyers might be listening.”

GP Pro also used social listening as part of an integrated campaign to help customers with the problem of significant churn in custodial staff. “There’s a 200 percent turnover in the custodial space,” notes Potichko. “As you train someone, you need to start with the next person.”

The company found that there was a lot of positive sentiment around janitors on social media, and began “Take Notice,” a recognition program to help give customers tools to show their appreciation for their building staff. The effort was built around the idea that “buildings work because they do,” and was purely focused on people and not Georgia-Pacific Pro products.

Customers can register online to receive a kit they can use to recognize their valuable employees, and enter them into monthly prize drawings. “We want to help our customers with retention,” she says.

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