Stengel Looks At Total Impact

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[Dana Point, Calif.] Such varied tools as direct-response TV, events, e-mail clubs, online chat, and in-store marketing are playing ever-bigger roles in Procter & Gamble Co.'s marketing mix. But market research hasn't kept pace with the need to measure how they work collectively, Global Marketing Officer Jim Stengel was expected to tell the Association of National Advertisers annual meeting Oct. 18.

In an advance script given to Advertising Age, Mr. Stengel planned an interactive presentation with a Hispanic consumer and was to walk attendees through a day in her life and various ways in which P&G marketing intersected with it.

But Mr. Stengel was scheduled to add that market research hasn't kept pace with the need to measure how these disciplines work collectively. "While we have made some progress in developing new strategies, it's hard to tell exactly how effective they are," he said. "Our standard measurement and qualification tools are based upon a TV-driven media environment even though we all know the real power is when multiple channels work together to connect with consumers. Marketers need to find a new way to measure the collective impact of the total brand experience on our target."

P&G intends to try forging some of the new measurement systems needed on its own after its recent appointment of Bernhard Glock as manager-global media and communication.

"We intend to dramatically increase our innovation in this area, which includes understanding how to measure new consumer connections that haven't even been invented yet," Mr. Stengel said in the text.

One move P&G already has made in that direction is development last year of a $20 million, 100-million-strong database of shoppers from 25 retail chains in 30 countries, a survey Mr. Stengel said was surpassed only by the U.S. Census in scope.

Mr. Stengel said that by conventional measures, TV isn't working as well as it once did. He said that in 1965, 80% of people 18 to 49 in the U.S. could be reached with three 60-second TV ads. "In 2002, it took 117 prime-time commercials to produce the same result."

The cost of media has increased simultaneously, he said, with average cost per 30-second prime time spot up 317% since 1954. But day-after recall scores for TV ads have declined almost as fast-down from 38% to 42% in the early 1960s to about 20% currently. "And virtually no one is able to provide any meaningful form of copy-testing playback without [some form of prompt]," he said.

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