‘Digital marketing is dead’ proclaims Procter & Gamble’s global brand building officer Marc Pritchard

 18 September 2013 – 6:38pm Updated
Originally posted by Stephen Lepitak
Pricepoints! concurs without reservation.


Pricepoints! CMO’s know that the key success factors begin and end with customers (behavior, attitudes, etc etc). The velocity of digital technology innovation (growth of devices, explosion of touch points, and engagements) has added complex layers of new customer data (opportunities). The key success factor for brands is in the knowledge of their customer, it all starts and ends strategic insights.

Customer experience management begins with the customer experinece (CX) journey map. Many brands have already begun this process in order to gain competitive advantage (i.e. “first to learn, first to earn”). These “walk a mile in your customers shoes as customers” SWOT audits that define the CX key drivers are priceless.6072ce77-590a-4df5-b3d9-3f3c167bd5ae

Ok, back to the quote. It certainly gets your attention and makes you step back and get grounded in the customer insights that drive the marketing mix strategies first. I will step back and let the thought leader speak for himself.

Speaking at Dmexco, the chief marketer from the world’s largest advertiser, asked; “Try and resist thinking about digital in terms of the tools, the platforms, the QR Codes and all of the technology coming next. We [Procter & Gamble] try and see it for what it is, which is a tool for engaging people with fresh, creative campaigns…the era of digital marketing is over. It’s almost dead. It’s now just brand building. It’s what we do.”

He made this statement after running a video advertisement for a Braun electric shaver that initially ran online only, ignoring all traditional marketing, driving sales before running through traditional media.

“It wasn’t the digital component. It was the campaign,” he declared, explaining that it prove to the company what could be achieved in the digital world.

“This is a mindset that we are trying to infuse in our company and it’s creating a tremendous shift [within P&G.] It’s freeing up our minds on building creative ideas that come to life through the mediums that we engage with every single day – search, social, mobile, PR, and yes, even TV.”

He continued to describe the strategy as ‘Digital Back’, explaining; “start in the digital world and build your way back to the rest of the marketing mix. Our best agencies do that right now…it’s an approach that is building our brand equities, our sales and our profits.”

He said that digital technology was a “means to reach people” through brands and capture consumer imaginations in a way that had been impossible before.

“But we can only do that if we have this one component that has been a constant since the beginning of brand building – an idea. Fresh creative ideas that are powered by insights, that are powered by the way people think and feel and are inspired by creativity, always have and always will create great campaigns. Digital tools just give us a new way to spread those ideas in ways that we’ve never imagined before…great ideas matter more now than they ever have before, because with these digital tools at our disposal we have the chance to be successful widely beyond whatever we had imagined.”

Pritchard continued to explore some of his company’s brands and how they had utilised new technology, powered by ideas to be a global success, including Old Spice, Vella Koleston and Oral B work.

Discussing the ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ Old Spice online campaign led to Pritchard offering the insight that “brand insight shouldn’t be something you change with every new campaign.”

He continued: “You should find that insight and invest in it to the best if your brand’s ability,” before running several stages of the campaign to explore its evolution.

Pritchard concluded the talk by imploring the room to “build brands with campaigns that matter, make people think and feel and laugh. We have the chance to do all of those things now in a way that is so much more exciting than we did before. So let’s celebrate the end, the death of digital marketing and let’s focus on celebrating the great idea of these brands and let’s leverage the platforms and technologies that allow us to engage with people like we never have before. I’m certain that our brand building teams, our agencies and the people who see our stuff all around the world will thank us for it.”

Pritchard’s views on the importance of the need for creativity echoed those of Keith Weed, CMO for Unilever earlier in the day, who spoke about the need to use mobile, social and data to help develop more engaging campaigns.

Read more at http://www.thedrum.com/news/2013/09/18/dmexco-digital-marketing-dead-proclaims-procter-gambles-global-brand-building#wgy49OMQM7IF8jd0.99

The Consumerization of Healthcare

HealthConsumersOnline_InfographiThe systemic change in US healthcare delivery has been called many things, but they all refer to one thing: the future of healthcare will be in the hands of the consumers. Today, consumers are better able to make choices about their healthcare needs, because the majority of medical information formerly held by a select group of people is now available to anyone with internet access. People can research conditions, symptoms, treatment options, and best practice information before even calling a doctor. This enables patients to take an active rather than traditionally passive role in their personal healthcare.

As the roles continue to change, the future consumer-driven healthcare system will most likely see drastic changes in three main areas:


In a new dynamic of healthcare, the patient visit will increasingly be outcome-based. The traditional fee-for-service model incentivizes activity rather than outcome, which means that patient results are low priority. In order to improve outcomes in healthcare, the way doctors communicate with their patients needs to change. Studies consistently find that health outcomes improve when patients better understand their physician and are a part of the treatment/management process.

A systematic review of patient communication interventions in clinical trials revealed that principal outcomes (effects of the intervention on the process of the consultation) favored the intervention groups in 74% of cases, and positive health outcomes (a positive effect on any health outcome) were found in 80% of cases, significantly so in 44%. (Griffin et al. 2004).


The healthcare system will become increasingly reliant on technology to improve outcomes and cut costs while increasing coverage. The US government fully supports the move to technology-driven healthcare, and is subsidizing hospitals that make the switch to electronic health records (EHRs) for Medicare/Medicaid patients, while penalizing those who do not, beginning in 2015.

The growth of mobile health in the past few years has been exponential.  Manhattan Research found that 62% of US physicians own a tablet in 2012, up from 31% in 2011, and 50% of tablet owning physicians have used their device at the point of care. Meanwhile, 90% of patients want to self-manage their healthcare leveraging technology (Accenture, 2012). As the goals and actions of the physician and patient align, technology can play a much greater role in reaching those goals.


Managed care reimbursement cuts are creating more industry competition for the patient’s dollar, which means physicians will have to start competing for those dollars. Up until now, the clinic visit hasn’t been based on much choice beyond location. Insurance dictates which doctors you can see, and whether the doctors are any good or priced fairly has been a total black box. All trends indicate that the current system will become a relic of the past. If patients are able to make a decision based off more than just insurance acceptance, they will likely choose the best doctor with the fairest price. Increasing demand for better price and quality can significantly improve the supply of hospitals and physicians who meet these criteria.

The consumerization of healthcare is just that – the consumers taking an active role in how healthcare delivery benefits them. The gears are shifting, and it is up to consumers to influence where they shift to.