Sunday, December 26, 2010

P&G embraces social media, abandons soap operas

Now big companies are putting all muscle behind social media and P&G is leading the race.P&G used to promote soaps and detergents to day time television viewers using Soap Operas, the day time television that had kept users engaged for over 70 years. Moreover, P&G also produced soap operas. Arguably Procter and Gamble is the world's most sophisticated brand marketing company with net annual sales in its 2010 fiscal year close to $80 billion. But why is this behemoth turning towards Social Media ?
Matt Prichard, the Marketing Chief at P&G says
Digital media has “become very integrated with how we operate, it’s become part of the way we do marketing,”  “It’s kind of the oldest form of marketing — word of mouth — with the newest form of technology.”
But P&G did have its doubts about Social Media. Barry says that it took a while for P&G to admit and embrace social media. But, once they were on board with Facebook, they realized its huge potential. They also held their own digital marketing summit where they had people from Facebook, Google, Twitter and other online companies visit their headquarters to talk about online marketing.
Their online campaign for Old Spice ("Smell Like a Man, Man") has generated the maximum buzz on the internet. According to sources at P&G, the Old Spice commercials generated approximately 1.8 billion impressions. i.e. The campaign also resulted in a 2,700% increase in Old Spice Twitter followers. It might be difficult to digest, but that is "2700%" growth.
Social Media in India
At the Academy of Indian Marketing Conference I had a small debate with an eminent professor from IIM Ahmadabad who said that Social Media is on the periphery in India. With due respect to the faculty who is supporting unarguably a good and different form of innovation, here are some statistics that he and you would like to have a look at
These are the top five countries using Facebook.com as on 26th Dec, 2010. If websites such as Facebook.com can have Indian companies to increase their online spending, we are definitely looking at a new form of Industry (backed by innovation) coming up that will help manage and sustain these campaigns.
With P&G being an authority in Branding and Marketing, they might have just shown the way to many others who are still skeptical of Social Media.
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