P&G's Pritchard says industry needs more 'brand entrepreneurs,' fewer project managers
- Brands need more brand entrepreneurs and fewer project managers, Marc Pritchard, the chief brand officer of Procter & Gamble, said during a speech at the ANA Media Conference on March 1, Campaign reported. The executive also emphasized the benefits of reuniting media, creative and consumers, disrupting the outdated "Mad Men" model of marketing and advertising.
- P&G is in need of more creative talent, according to Pritchard, who said the company will more invest in these roles. He suggested that excess management and an overabundance of tasks like conference calls, travel, presentations and meetings that go along with the "buddy system" relationships with agencies can dampen creativity and waste time.
- Pritchard didn't name specific job titles that he feels are unnecessary but highlighted the need to remove anything that doesn't enhance creative output. Data and analytics are allowing companies to bring more media planning in-house, per Pritchard. He also said that in-house teams can negotiate and purchase digital media just as effectively as agencies.
Pritchard's latest comments will likely resonate with marketers, who keep a careful eye on the actions of P&G, the largest advertiser by media spend in the world. Investing more in creative talent and breaking down the silos between creative and media people might help the CPG giant save money and wrest more control over the campaigns that it delivers to consumers. That strategy additionally fits into Pritchard's vision for improving the overall quality of marketing to deliver content and ads that are relevant and useful to consumers, especially in the digital media space.
Pritchard has been outspoken about the need to clean up the digital advertising ecosystem to better meet the needs of consumers and marketers. He has also frequently cast a light on the outdated and sometimes overly-complex relationship between brands and agencies. P&G recently announced plans to reduce the number of agencies that it works with by half and to implement a new advertising and media model that would save the company $400 million over the next several years. P&G had previously reduced its number of agencies by 60%, saving $750 million in agency and production costs and boosting cash flow by more than $400 million.
The breakdown between increased digital media spend and decreased effectiveness and sales lift is an area where the agency-brand relationship has faltered, Pritchard has said. Several other brands have recently changed their marketing structures and how they work with agencies to better reflect their evolving needs and changing consumer behaviors.