Procter & Gamble Scores with One-to-One Brand Building
By John Karolefski
Digital technology and data are continuing to transform today’s CPG marketing world. Procter & Gamble is one of the major companies leveraging these two change agents to move away from marketing to the masses to targeting consumers with precision.
The result for P&G has been greater efficiency in marketing and a boost in brand building for its world class portfolio that includes Always, Gillette, Olay, Tide, Ariel and others.
“We’re reinventing media [by] moving from mass blasting with a lot of waste to mass reach with a one-to-one precision through data, analytics, and digital technology,” said Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer for the Cincinnati-based CPG giant. “Our consumer database enables advanced programmatic media buying that finds people with the highest propensity to buy and then reaches them without annoying ad frequency,” he said in a recent presentation at the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer & Retail Conference where he outlined P&G’s digital marketing strategy.
Pritchard explained that there is a lot of waste in “really blasting things out there hoping to catch people to using data where we have ID profiles. They're mostly anonymous that can identify a consumer to target with precision and then cap frequency. Don’t reach them more than once a week because that’s about all you really need if it’s truly effective. So, we now have the biggest part of our digital spending in the programmatic area.”
The brand chief said more of P&G’s brands are now connecting directly with consumers. He gave the example of the Always skin advisor. Consumers can download the app and take a photo of themselves. “It tells you your skin’s age versus your actual age. which is a frightening experience by the way,” he said, but it creates that personal one-to-one connection.
“We made a very deliberate choice to focus on those categories where performance drives brand choice in household and personal care products,” he said, listing laundry, haircare, skincare, shaving and oral care. “Those kinds of things everybody uses. It gives us the ability for cross-sale.”
Aside from tech strategies, Pritchard said P&G periodically takes a stand on “brand-relevant” issues. For example, the company donates Always sanitary towels for girls experiencing what it calls “period poverty.” He said 50 million pads have been donated with a commitment for 100 million more in the next two years.
Other brands tied to social or environmental issues include Olay, Ariel, Gillette, Tide, and Head & Shoulders, according to Pritchard.
“I hope it’s evident how we’re constructively disrupting P&G,” he said. “The choices we’re making to drive growth and value and create value are working after a strong start to fiscal year 2020. We’re focused on leveraging our strength and portfolio of categories for performance by brand choice, to build brands through superiority on products, packaging, brand communication, retail execution, and value and to constantly innovate each and bring them together into a noticeably superior brand experience.
“We’re leading constructive disruption across all elements of the value chain including the reinvention of brand-building to drive growth,” he summed up.
Dara Mohsenian, Household Products, Beverage, and Food Analyst for Morgan Stanley, served as the interviewer for the session.
Editor’s Note: This story is based partially on a transcript provided by Seeking Alpha (www.seekingalpha.com).