P&G marketing chief admits it needs to fundamentally shift how it operates

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has admitted that it needs to make "fundamental shifts" in its approach to digital marketing and move spend out of TV advertising into digital channels.

Marc Pritchard: global marketing and brand building officer, P&G
Marc Pritchard: global marketing and brand building officer, P&G

Marc Pritchard, global marketing and brand building officer at P&G, was talking at a P&G conference held in the consumer goods company's Cincinnati headquarters.

In the UK, P&G is by far the biggest spender on TV advertising, where it directed £136m out of its overall advertising spend of £203m in 2010, according to Nielsen.

The move to focus more on digital marketing comes as the maker of Gillette aims to drive up lower cost sales and forge closer relationships with its global customers through digital channels.

Pritchard outlined its new approach to digital marketing as it aimed to build "lifelong, one-to-one relationships in real time with every person in the world".

He said: "Today is not about digital marketing, it's about brand building in the digital world."

The conference looked at issues such as changes in consumers' digital lifestyles, which the company said have been "accelerated" by the widespread adoption of mobile devices and have turned shopping into a digitally enhanced experience.

Pritchard said P&G needs to make some "fundamental shifts" in the way it operates, according to The Wall Street Journal, so that it can create better consumer loyalty and improve sales at lower costs.

This will include moving away from broadcasting to create more personal conversations with consumers. Pritchard said this will see the company focus on "anywhere, anytime shopping".

His speech comes weeks after P&G's chief executive Bob McDonald promised to deliver $1bn (£632m) in savings during the next five years through more efficient marketing.

At the time, McDonald said that P&G is using technology "to shift our spending from the more traditional advertising on television to digital and mobile advertising".

Pritchard expanded on McDonald's comments, outlining that digital marketing was no longer a "trendy use of technology for technology’s sake", but instead the way that P&G aimed to engage with people in "real-time" and build brands, according to the press report.

He said: "Technology will mean that people will increasingly expect brands to understand their unique needs and deliver.

"We want P&G to be the first to create this trusted, indispensable relationship, because it will create greater loyalty, more purchases across categories, and more sales at lower costs. Achieving this vision requires some fundamental shifts in how we operate."

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