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P&G refines targeting tactics

News, 13 October 2016

NEW YORK: Major marketers may need to adopt a more nuanced definition of targeting in order to achieve their goals on digital platforms like Facebook, according to Marc Pritchard, Global Brand Officer at Procter & Gamble.

Speaking at Advertising Week 2016 in New York, Pritchard argued that P&G's digital campaigns do not always have to be aimed at an extremely granular, and narrow, group.

"Every audience is a target," he said. (For more details of the company's approach, read Warc's exclusive report: Procter & Gamble rethinks reach on Facebook.)

"So you need to think about, 'How many are you targeting?' If you want to reach all category buyers of toothpaste, it's almost everybody. If you want to reach pregnant women in their first trimester, it's a much narrower target."

This assertion followed on from recent headlines in the national and trade press indicating that P&G was scaling back its use of targeted ads on Facebook – notions that Pritchard suggested were taken slightly out of context.

"We wanted to get more reach," he said. And having discussed that objective with its partners at Facebook, the FMCG manufacturer learned that it should consider tweaking its own tactics in this area.

"We looked at it, and said, 'We were making choices on targeting that were too narrow, in some cases.' In some cases, it was great," Pritchard said.

"So we said, 'Look, let's open it up; let's get more reach.' So, now we can get 70 or 80 million users. And when we want to be targeted even more precisely, we do that."

Drilling down into this subject, Pritchard reported that in the consumer-products business, brands with everyday usage must typically reach significant numbers of people with the right level of frequency.

"Our brands have to be top of mind. They have to be top of mind because they use it every day, and they purchase it very frequently," he reminded the Advertising Week attendees.

Data sourced from Warc