“Marketing teams should act like a newsroom” says P&G boss

Screen Shot 2012-03-30 at 16.19.32Interesting comments from P&G's branding boss Marc Pritchard, about how brand/agency teams today need to be more reactive and have a "newsroom mentality", to capitalise on the opportunities in today's digitally-enabled world. He also shares his views on how social media can help you sell more stuff.

Some of his recommendations:

1. Proving "social media shows you the money"

Pritchard picks up on a point I've posted on before, that social media alone is not the answer. Rather, its about great content worth talking about, with this content often created on TV. He says:

"Generally, if you get high hits on social media, you're also getting high public relations happening at the same time. And if you can combine that with TV advertising, you can really fuel a great deal of awareness."

I'd love to see the Market Mix Modelling work that Pritchard refers to, as he says "We've been able to apply it to every form of digital, be that search, social media, public relations." If anyone would be able to crack the measurement of social media, its P&G.

2. Get the newsroom team together:

Pritchard says that having the brand and agency team together is key to creatively respond quickly to events: "You have to organise so you're all co-located. It's not just the client but the agencies. You ask 'what's happened in the past 24 hours, how do we need to respond to it? We get people who are constantly on Twitter, Facebook and all forms of social media'.

3. The 80/20 planning rule

I like the suggestion that "You can still plan a lot – 80% of your activities – you just have to be ready for the unplanned activities." This means having some budget and time allocated to be responsive. Pritchard gives the Olympics as an example: "We're ready to see how our athletes do, ready to see how our brands do."

4. Learn by doing

Its amazing to hear Pritchard saying that the way P&G works today is "To do things and learn about them." In my days at P&G you had to make a data-based recommendation to do any marketing. He goes on to comment: 

"I know if we put a YouTube video out there and it gets 7,000 hits in three days, it's a pig! Take it down. Do something else."

And here he is again talking about the amplification of activity using advertising, social media and PR, using the example of the Old Spice campaign I posted on here:

"With Old Spice we knew we had a hit. And then we poured the gas on. We went to our PR people about getting Issiah Mustafa on talk shows. We ran some more advertising and "heavied" it up. And so we fuelled the fire."

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In conclusion, today's brand and agency teams need to be more reactive to capitalise on today's digital world. This means amplifying marketing that includes TV, social and PR. And this means closer collaboration, and an ability to learn by doing, not taking months to test stuff prior to market.