P&G’s “Passion for Digital”

P&G is the largest marketer in the world.They are also one of the most successful. This recent article in Ad Age gives us some insights into why.

The article quotes Marc Pritchard, P&G’s global CMO:

“I’ve got a lot of passion for digital. It really is such an incredible way to connect with consumers and really have much deeper ongoing relationships with them… Our media strategy is pretty simple: Follow the consumer. And the consumer is becoming more and more engaged in the digital world.”

It’s that last part that’s most insightful for me. Keep it simple, follow the consumer. This is very good advice, as it seems too often marketers can get so focused on the dizzying array of niche products and capabilities online that they lose sight of what they are really trying to accomplish, which is exactly that: reach consumers. Lots of them. In the right environments and with the right messages. This is something near and dear to our hearts at Brand.net, because when done well it drives strong, measurable results.

The discussion of online spend ramping to the point that marketing mix models can begin routinely reading it is also an important one for 2 reasons.  First because the 5% threshold they mention for an MMM read can represent a real inflection point for online spend for the CPG category – an extremely important category for the long-term health of the online ad ecosystem.  Secondly, the discussion highlights that fact that marketers want to think of online as a medium in line with other media at their disposal.  Online media is often sold as “special” or “different”, but the path to higher spend isn’t in forcing marketers to learn and embrace new technologies and metrics.  Nor is it in driving marketers into niche strategies like BT or custom executions that are flashy, but have negligible reach and impact.  Increasing online spend will undoubtedly involve new technology and learning on both the buy-side and the sell-side, but to focus on technology for technology’s sake is to miss the point.  The path to long-term, significant, sustainable increases in digital spend will be paved in large part by helping marketers leverage the skills and tools they already have to better follow the consumer – a consumer who is becoming more and more engaged in the digital world.

About Andy Atherton
I am currently an SVP at AppNexus. I previously spent four years as COO and cofounder of Brand.net, a pioneer in programmatic reserve technology and leading digital media buying solution for top brands. Prior to Brand.net, I was Vice President of Pricing and Yield Management for Yahoo!, responsible for maximizing monetization of a global portfolio of display inventory worth $2B annually. Beginning in 2002, I created, developed and globalized Yahoo’s PYM function over a period of five years. Prior to Yahoo!, I was president and cofounder of Optivo, a venture-backed start-up that developed price optimization software for e-commerce retailers. More on LinkedIn...

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