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P&G's Pritchard backs shift in metrics

News, 19 March 2015

HOLLYWOOD, FL: Marketers must move beyond "in-process" metrics to secure the maximum benefits from digital media, according to Marc Pritchard, Procter & Gamble's global marketing and brand building officer.

Pritchard discussed this topic at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2015 Media Leadership Conference in Hollywood.

And he reported that brands are increasingly able to provide "great creative delivered in context to the consumer at a time when they're most receptive". (For more, including the importance of transparency, trust and teamwork for marketers, read Warc's exclusive report: P&G's Pritchard: Digital practice lags digital process.)

They also, however, often remain focused on "in-process" snapshots of engagement. Such "sub-measures" and "sub-issues" incorporate impressions, page views, clickthroughs and similar numbers.

"It's when we get bollixed up in the middle and start working on things that are the sub-measures, things that are the sub-issues: that's where we get tangled up," Pritchard asserted.

"We just have to step back and ask, 'What is the outcome we're trying to achieve?'"

This shift will allow brand custodians to enhance their knowledge of consumer activity, and reduce the reliance on approximations that traditionally underpinned communications.

"They're in-process measures for a good reason: back in the old days – and still today, in parts of our industry – you didn't have enough technology to know exactly where your ads were going and what happened with them," said Pritchard.

"So we had to use a proxy – GRPs – to guess and give us a high probability ... The beauty of what digital technology does is that it takes the guesswork out. You can know exactly where it's served and when it's served.

Marketers, of course, are grappling with an enormous amount of new technology – and that has further distracted attention from the correct point of emphasis.

"We've all been understandably racing to master the new technologies in this ever-changing machine," Pritchard said.

"But I have a little secret for you: we will never master all these technologies. As long as we try, we will forever be on our heels.

"We need to lose our obsession with the technology in the machine and turn our attention to what really matters – the consumer experience. When we do that, magic happens and value is created for everyone in the industry."

Data sourced from Warc