While there was little big news, the bigger takeaway for
marketers may be the strong endorsements for digital marketing that
P&G Chairman-CEO Bob McDonald and Global Brand-Building Officer
Marc Pritchard gave from the dais.
Mr. McDonald, who has of late talked much about the potential
for digital marketing to help P&G save money, also discussed
the power of digital to make marketing better. Responding to a
question -- really more of a complaint -- from a marketer for
P&G's Venus brand about the restrictive nature of P&G's
privacy policies, Mr. McDonald said the opt-in nature of
social-media programs helps instill a new incentive to create "big
ideas" that get consumers to voluntarily engage.
P&G's internal surveys still suggest employees see the
company as too bureaucratic and hierarchical, Mr. McDonald said,
but it's been trimming management ranks in part to address that
One goal is speed in digital and elsewhere, he said, noting a
24-hour turnaround on a MyTide video and 15-second TV ad showing
use of the detergent to clean up a jet-fuel spill following an
accident at the Daytona 500.
"As a brand builder, you have to take advantage of that ," Mr.
McDonald said. "You can't be mired in this plan you put together in
But, he added, "I feel like we're in the early innings" in
digital marketing, in part because "it took us some time to get the
right leaders in place, like [Global Brand-Building Officer] Marc
Mr. Pritchard pushed P&G's recent digital-is -more-efficient
strategy, saying digital and public relations give P&G the
greatest return on investment and "go hand in hand."
Digital-media vendors took the cue in presentations that ranged
from subtle to overt plays for bigger pieces of P&G's $9.3
billion annual media budget.
One of the more aggressive -- and data-filled -- pitches came
from an increasingly important P&G retail customer: Amazon. Lisa Utzschneider, global
VP-advertising sales for Amazon, revealed results from a campaign
last year that involved an ad for a $10-off online deal for Crest
Whitestrips on Amazon. It produced a 26% lift in sales for
Whitestrips on Amazon, she said, but, more interestingly, an 8%
lift in offline sales, representing $1 million in incremental
"Think about that promotion," she said. "It's 10% off on Amazon.
You can't redeem that off of Amazon. Yet customers responded to
this message, and we love the ROI we saw offline."
Those results are similar to what Amazon is seeing for other CPG
advertisers as it increasingly uses marketing-mix models to
evaluate the offline impact of ads on its site, she said.
Only 4% of Amazon shoppers are buying CPG products today, Ms.
Utzschneider said, calling it "day one in the CPG category" -- like
it was for other goods in 1997. But that 's not stopping Amazon,
she said, "in moving further and further up the funnel and
connecting with customers."
Twitter's Mr. Costolo said P&G was one of the first users of
sponsored Tweets, despite recent media reports suggesting meager
spending by the likes of P&G was an impediment to its revenue
prospects. Among the earliest and most successful uses of Promoted
Tweets was the one that pushed the Old Spice "Responses" campaign
"Our revenues are the last thing I worry about," Mr. Costolo
said in a Q&A with Federated Exec-Chairman John Batelle. "The
business is growing exceptionally well."
Digital is helping transform P&G market research, too, said
Nick Nyhan, chief digital officer of WPP's Kantar. After extensive
testing of various social-media metrics against conventional
metrics, P&G found the strongest correlation between Twitter
volume and purchase consideration via the survey-based
brand-tracker P&G uses, he said.
"We drilled down and found a good leading indicator," Mr. Nyhan
Mr. Pritchard said he'd spent the day writing down "a list of
applications our brands can and should be doing for every speaker.
And I hope everyone did that ."
He said marketers should stop asking themselves "what is the
P&G way" and urged them to listen to their gut feelings.
"You're not going to get your head cut off for trying things.
"We're doing things like this because we want everyone to know
we are open for business" on digital marketing, Mr. Pritchard said,
noting that P&G had worked with Federated to put the summit
together in less than seven weeks.