Procter and Gamble embraces Facebook

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When the world’s biggest marketing firm, Procter & Gamble, says it’s making a huge marketing move with a massive online presence, you really need to sit and up and pay close attention.

Silicon Valley venture capitalist David Hornick reports from a P&G presentation to the investment community last weekend that an explicit goal for 2010 is to ensure that each of its brands has a meaningful presence on Facebook.

[…] while P&G’s thought leaders expressed some skepticism about the efficacy of Facebook’s ‘engagement ads,’ they certainly view Facebook as a must-have for digital advertising and brand building. They didn’t quantify what they are paying for that exposure, but it is quite clear that the numbers are very big.

Hornick includes some fascinating metrics in his post about P&G’s online and digital activities and plans.

For instance, he reports that the company has more than a dozen “social media platforms” (no clear explanation exactly what that means) in trial and they continue to assess more.

P&G continues to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in television advertising, Hornick says. But P&G needs to "bring the experience to where she [the consumer] already is" and they know that these days that’s online. So they’re working hard to have a big presence in digital media.

And here’s what P&G thinks of Twitter according to Hornick:

[…] Perhaps as interesting as P&G’s love of Facebook, was its skepticism about Twitter. They described Twitter as "much more like television than one might think." To P&G, Twitter is a great broadcast medium — it is best for one to many communications that are short bursts of timely information — but as good as it is for timely information, the P&G folks do not view it as particularly relevant to what they are doing on the brand building and advertising side. For those things that Proctor & Gamble thinks are most interesting and important, they do not believe that Twitter will ever approach the value they can get out of a Google or Facebook. But they are open to looking at other alternatives that will have more of the engagement and brand building attributes that they hope to exploit in Facebook.

If you needed any further indicator of P&G’s serious intent to take all of this down a real road rather than simply point at a map, Hornick reports that the firm is establishing a presence in Silicon Valley:

[…] P&G is opening an innovation office in the Bay Area and they’ve committed to have their senior execs make more frequent trips out to what they view as the "most important innovation ecosystem globally." It will be great to continue the conversation. There’s no question that it will benefit P&G and Bay Area startups alike.

Intelligence for brand marketers everywhere.

(Via AdAge.com)

About Neville Hobson

Entrepreneurial business communicator with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Co-host of the weekly business podcast For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report. Also an occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Follow me on Twitter and Google+.