CINCINATTI: Procter & Gamble, the consumer goods giant, is seeking to create "movements" behind its brands by combining big ideas with digital media.

"The ideal for me is a one-on-one relationship with every customer in the world," Bob McDonald, P&G's chief executive, told Women's Wear Daily in an interview. "Eventually someone is going to get there. Digital technology permits that.

"We have to have each of our brands have that kind of relationship with the customer. We want to understand the insights and then develop big ideas into ways people can participate and turn their participation into movements."

Another method by which P&G is pursuing this goal is via a "purpose-inspired" approach to branding, broadly linked to its mantra of "touching and improving" the lives of consumers.

This does not always have to be based on philanthropy or corporate social responsibility, as shown by Old Spice, which has sought to "help young guys navigate the seas of manhood".

"We at P&G don't buy that there are mature categories and mature brands," McDonald added. "Look at what we've done with Olay and Old Spice. People thought those brands were dead."

Innovation often dovetails with this marketing model, as proved by Pantene, the haircare range, which was transformed into a global force by a mixture of market research and R&D.

"What we figured out is that every woman in the world thought her hair was damaged - that wasn't new news really - and we figured out a formula that made the hair healthy, but the key was to be able to show the difference in shine," said McDonald.

The firm is hoping to boast 5bn customers by 2015, and is leveraging a multi-channel strategy to driving growth, from expanding its reach in Indian retailers to opening e-stores within Facebook in the US.

"Winning wherever people shop is a manifestation of our scale," McDonald said.

Elsewhere, P&G wants to increase per capita expenditure in emerging markets, as the average Chinese shopper only spends $3 a year on P&G products, measured against $100 in the US.

Reflecting the shifting "centre of gravity", McDonald said young consumers in Asia and Africa, Hispanic shoppers in the US and Islamic customers in the Middle East were among the core target groups for the next three decades.

Data sourced from Women's Wear Daily; additional content by Warc staff