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Case Study: Proctor And Gamble

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Case study : Proctor and Gamble

Can you name the best marketing company in the world? It is a very difficult question. Too often we confuse big revenues, innovative products, famous brands or remarkable ad campaigns with marketing excellence. Don't get me wrong: all of the above are wonderful corporate assets, but they do not necessarily denote marketing excellence.

A truly great marketing organisation displays excellence in all fields of our discipline. And that is why I have no hesitation in telling you that Procter & Gamble is the single greatest marketing company in the world.

Five years ago P&G was the last company you would associate with marketing excellence. Half of its leading brands were losing market share, employee morale was at an all-time low, and a once powerful marketing function had been decimated by a disastrous restructuring.

But the recruitment of a new chief executive -- AG Lafley, himself a talented marketer -- and the promotion of James Stengel to the post of chief marketing officer a year later has transformed the once ailing FMCG giant and propelled it into the vanguard of marketing practice.

Take market research. P&G recognised that it was awash with too much quantitative analysis that only served to stifle consumer insight. In response it has radically revised its research architecture, first by installing observational methods such as ethnography at its core, and then using these insights to drive its quantitative analyses.

When Jim Stengel began the restructuring of P&G's marketing function, his team shadowed marketing managers, studying how they used observational methods. The results were translated into a 300-item questionnaire that was distributed to more than 3000 staff. The data was analysed using structural equation modelling. The very best of qual and quant, in synergy.

Take marketing communications. While TV advertising prices and expenditures have continued to rise, Stengel has been an out-spoken critic of the medium and agencies that extol it. A year ago he delivered a remarkable speech to US advertising executives in which he predicted the imminent demise of the 30-second TV spot, berated the industry for failing to evolve in any meaningful way, and announced that the mass-marketing approach P&G had helped to develop was effectively dead.

It wasn't just talk. Stengel has overseen a dramatic 20% shift in P&G's global marketing budgets away from TV advertising



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