As one of the world’s largest manufacturers of consumer goods, Procter & Gamble has earned the title of the world’s top marketer. This also means they have the highest annual ad budget ($10 billion), which I have to say, was well spent when those Old Spice ads began running a few years ago ;). P&G received 1.8 billion in free impressions generated by this campaign – not too shabby!
A few days ago, current CEO Robert McDonald announced P&G is cutting marketing costs and focusing more on utilizing Facebook to reach their audiences. He told Wall Street analysts that he would have to “moderate” his ad budget because Facebook and Google can be “more efficient” than the traditional media that usually eats the lion’s share of P&G’s ad budget. Wow, he’s JUST coming to this realization? I’m not saying he’s wrong, but the headline from Business Insider that explained the story was a little misleading, “P&G To Lay Off 1,600 After Discovering It’s Free To Advertise On Facebook.”
People need to stop citing that it’s FREE to advertise on Facebook. It’s not. A business needs to budget for social media strategists, a social media plan, Facebook Ads, creation of content, etc. – there are a lot of moving parts to maintaining a fruitful social media presence. However, I do think allocating more of their ad dollars to social branding is a step in the right direction for P&G. Facebook seems to agree as they favorably cited P&G in their IPO released yesterday:
“Procter & Gamble chose to advertise on Facebook to generate awareness for Secret deodorant’s “Mean Stinks” program and selected a female audience likely to be receptive to the campaign. The ad featured a confessional-style video of a girl admitting that she had bullied others, realizing the damage she had caused, and apologizing. In the 26 weeks after the Mean Stinks campaign launched, Secret experienced a 9% increase in U.S. sales and an increase in engagement with its Facebook Page.”
While our clients are all aware of the necessity and relevance of designating funds to social media in their marketing budgets, there are many who are just discovering and realizing the potential of these social streams. It’s time for an intervention: If you or someone you know would like to reach your target audience via the channels that they spend the majority of their time online, hire a social media team.