Personalization is crucial for today’s marketers. Simply putting someone’s name in an email subject line increases open rate by 50%, and that’s not even scratching the surface of personalized experiences. But how can you pull that off when you’re the world’s largest advertiser and reach 5 million consumers per day?
Procter & Gamble’s strategy is “mass one-to-one marketing,” which Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard acknowledges sounds like an oxymoron.
Pritchard explained what he means by that during a Q+A with NFL reporter Erin Andrews at a WHOSAY event at the ANA Masters of Marketing in Orlando, Florida.
“Our products are everyday products. Everybody brushes their teeth, washes their hair and uses toilet paper—at least, we hope they do,” he says. “So we need to reach as many people as possible. But we want to do that with more precision and reach you when it really matters. That’s how we can give you useful and engaging experiences.”
Elaborating on mass one-to-one
When a woman gets pregnant, who’s the first to know? Her partner sounds like the logical answer, but it’s just as likely to be Google.
When she does a search, it sends a signal to Pampers. The brand then has an opportunity to reach out to her, start a dialogue, and get her enrolled in its rewards program. Pampers also has a chatbot on Facebook Messenger that answers questions about pregnancy and child care.
“That’s the future of marketing: utility so we can help you use the products effectively in your everyday life,” says Pritchard. “That is absolutely the next wave.”
Consumer ID data fuels personalization for Procter & Gamble. Smartphones have unique identifiers that are collected in databases. Technology allows marketers to combine those databases with their own, in order to reach people “when and where it matters.”
“We work with companies like Amazon, and Alibaba in China, that have your purchase patterns,” adds Pritchard. “We try to reach you when you need the product and not reach you when you don’t. If you buy Tide, we’re not going to keep sending you things. That’s one way to get more of a mass focus.”
Procter & Gamble prioritizes diversity and inclusion just as much as technology. Pritchard believes brands have not only a huge opportunity, but a responsibility, to be “great citizens of the world.” By that, he means using their huge reach to help promote equality.
Three years ago, feminine hygiene brand Always’ “Like A Girl” was one of the stars of the Super Bowl. The ad has since been viewed more than 550 million times and contributed to the term “like a girl” having a 56% more positive sentiment.
More recently, Procter & Gamble’s launched a campaign for the Olympics that asks consumers to “imagine what the world could be if we all saw each other through a mom’s eyes.” #LoveOverBias features Olympians sharing their personal stories, such as skier Gus Kenworthy famously coming out on the cover of ESPN The Magazine.
“We’re also focusing on racial equality,” says Pritchard. “We have this great platform called ‘My Black is Beautiful,’ which started off with prejudice and bias on black beauty. We’re addressing that to promote conversations. That’s making a difference.”