Thursday, June 21, 2007

P&G to commit $2B to retail-marketing efforts

As Advertising Age announced a few days ago,

Procter & Gamble Co. is preparing to give some $2 billion in retail-marketing funds a seat at the same table as advertising.

The company is partially consolidating its marketing groups to put retail-marketing strategy under the same marketing directors who oversee brand teams instead of under the group that manages the sales force. Once the new system is introduced, general managers or marketing directors who find a brand responds better to trade marketing than consumer marketing will be able to shift more funds in-store. This should make for a more genuinely discipline-agnostic P&G.

The move aims to answer questions that long have dogged package-goods marketers: who should control the tens of billions of dollars spent on trade promotion -- often the largest part of the marketing budget -- and how to make those dollars work in the same strategic plan as advertising and consumer promotion.
Analysts estimate that Procter and Gamble spends over $2 billion a year on trade marketing, which is about twice as much as the entire digital signage industry generates right now. Of course, if you were to throw in all POP displays and merchandising the market is quite a bit larger, but a $2B addition is still extremely significant.

While there's no reason to think that 100% of that amount will be channeled in store -- after all, there are lots of other techniques like direct mail, online and event/promotion that could be successful -- given P&G's past indications that in-store marketing techniques (like digital signage) are becoming increasingly important it's probably safe to bet that we'll see some new things in-store from them (literally).

Here's the real question, though. If P&G is successful with this new plan, how/when will we find out about it? And will there be a cascade effect, where other major CPGs suddenly jump in and start redirecting large portions of their advertising budgets?

Tags: P&G, in-store marketing, marketing at retail

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