Joseph Arthur
Apr 1, 2024

P&G’s Marc Pritchard on using media to grow markets: “The only ‘currency’ that matters is sales dollars”

Speaking at the ANA’s Media Conference, P&G’s chief brand officer emphasised the importance of reach, effectiveness and efficiency—and integrating the three.

P&G’s Marc Pritchard on using media to grow markets: “The only ‘currency’ that matters is sales dollars”

“To grow markets, expand to reach all potential consumers,” said Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble, the owner of a huge roster of FMCG brands including Tide, Always, Oral B and Old Spice among many others.

Speaking at last week’s Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) Media Conference, Pritchard urged brands to ensure they don’t neglect performance marketing when it comes to using media to achieve market growth, emphasising strategies like reach, effectiveness and efficiency. But for these strategies to succeed, they need to be employed effectively. Pritchard speaks on why brands are undermining their own reach strategies.

He said: “One reason is habits such as how media target audiences are defined. Why do we still consider the target audience of ‘women, ages 18-49?’ Does that mean women over the age of 50 don’t do laundry or brush their teeth?

“I’m not saying don’t use demographic target audiences, but think broadly—to grow markets, expand to reach all potential consumers.”

In short, Prichard believes it’s time to ensure all potential consumers and each consumer segment are targeted by brands.

In-market testing to prove effectiveness

The second point of emphasis Prichard shared with the ANA’s audience is effectiveness—investing in advertising proven to grow sales. But proving effectiveness can be difficult, a well-known challenge among marketers, particularly when it comes to winning over advertising budgets from the C-suite.

So, how do marketers prove effectiveness?

Prichard said: “One way is through in-market testing. For example, Downy developed three different campaigns and tested each in three different markets at the same level of reach to see which did the best at driving sales.”

Prichard also refers to two other brand examples that exemplify in-market testing at play, one across social media and the other across YouTube.

He said: “The results? All these brands are proven effective at driving sales, which has given the brands confidence to invest in media to drive market growth.”

It’s worth noting that Prichard raised a relevant factor that often mitigates marketers' ability to invest in effective media—lack of measurement.

He said: “Media companies, platforms and measurement companies have multiple measurement ‘currencies’ like impressions, ratings, clicks, likes, engagement, followers, view through rate, and more.

“These are nice to have, but the only ‘currency’ that matters is sales dollars. But the effort we go through to see if media drives sales is way too complex and it takes too much time and money.”

The solution Prichard posed is innovation.

Using programmatic media efficiently

The third point raised by Prichard for promoting market growth was efficiency. Crucially, he said “this is not just about negotiating the lowest CPMs. This is about growing sales among the people reached at a cost that generates a profitable return."

Both programmatic media and avoiding excess frequency were posited as strategies for avoiding overreliance on lower CPMs.

Prichard said: “Programmatic media is a powerful way to increase reach, avoid excess frequency, and reach audiences in a brand-safe way across the digital landscape.”

He added: “But the most urgent action needed is to address the media supply chain, which currently includes too many touchpoints where money gets taken along the way.

“We’re still flying with a sheet over the windshield among media providers with no idea how many times a consumer sees the same ad on the same day across platforms, websites and TV.”

To nail your programmatic and ensure it promotes efficiency without sacrificing profitability, Prichard recommended eliminating wasteful touchpoints in the programmatic supply chain and using cross-media measurement to avoid excess frequency.

To conclude, Prichard rounded-out his speech at the ANA conference by underscoring the importance of integrating each of reach, effectiveness and efficiency.

Bringing everything together, he believes, will see brands effectively achieve market growth. He said: “The most important part of marketing is market. Market matters. Growing markets is the best kind of growth because it creates business, versus taking business from others.”

Performance Marketing World

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