It's the End of 'Marketing' As We Know It at Procter & Gamble

Title Change Reflects Broader Purview for Reorganized Marketing Role

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The end of marketing as we know it officially comes today at Procter & Gamble Co.

Well, at least the title. As of July 1, hundreds of marketing directors and associate marketing directors at the world's biggest advertising spender will officially become brand directors and associate brand directors.

Marc Pritchard, one of the first marketing directors, presides over title's end.
Marc Pritchard, one of the first marketing directors, presides over title's end.

The move is part of the organization re-design P&G announced in February, in which the marketing organization becomes "Brand Management" with "single-point responsibility for the strategies, plans and results for the brands," a P&G spokeswoman said in an e-mail.

Eliminating marketing from the title and the organization doesn't really mean marketing is a thing of the past, she said. It's meant to signify the broader purview of marketing directors and the organization they're part of now.

Brand Management at P&G now encompasses four functions -- including, of course, brand management (formerly known as marketing), consumer and marketing knowledge (a.k.a. market research), communications (known as public relations at some companies and up until a couple of years ago as external relations at P&G), and design (known as design pretty much everywhere, except where it's called visual brand identity and such).

P&G's Brand Management organization will now be housed entirely within its global business units rather than parts residing in reconfigured regional units.

Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller has pointed out in recent presentations that this move doesn't mean everything will be run from one place in the world. Much of the brand management organization remains focused regionally, such as in North America. Rather, the "single point" business is supposed to eliminate overlapping responsibilities between the global and regional organizations in such areas as shopper and local marketing initiatives. Media planning and buying remains within the regional units.

"These changes will help us unify brand-building resources to focus on delivering better brand and business results, clarify roles and responsibilities to make faster decisions, and simplify our structure to free up time for creativity and better execution," the P&G spokeswoman said.

It's also a big change, title-wise, in an industry that's gotten used to marketing directors. P&G seems well out in front of the rest of the marketing world -- or what used to be known as the marketing world -- on this. A search on LinkedIn shows nearly 73,000 marketing directors and associate marketing directors, including more than 100 P&Gers who haven't updated their info yet, but only 1,350 brand directors or associate/assistant brand directors.

The marketing director title has existed at P&G since 1993, when the company did away with the more linguistically restrictive "advertising manager" title in a world that clearly was moving beyond advertising as the only way to build brands. Indeed, P&G Global Brand Building Officer Marc Pritchard made that title transition himself in 1993, becoming one of the company's first marketing directors.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of the story referred to P&G Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller as Chief Marketing Officer