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NONE: Re: ONLINE-ADS>> P&G/branding

Re: ONLINE-ADS>> P&G/branding

Dale McCarthy (dale_at_xmharrow.com.au)
Fri, 28 Aug 1998 07:29:00 -0500 (CDT)

Patrick Murphy wrote:

> Here's a company built on the time-honored business practice of
> branding as a way to sell product. Now it's faced with a medium
> that promises to subvert what P&G has practiced so successfully
> for over a hundred years. There's a lot of hype surrounding the
> Internet, but one thing is sure: e-commerce works. Whether it's
> direct marketing (e.g., Dell, Amazon.com) or the auction model
> (eBay) or good old-fashioned price competition (E*trade),
> branding has nothing to do with it. I can see why a company like
> P&G wants to foster online advertising. The FAST summit has the
> smell of desperation about it.

Saying that branding has nothing to do with successful use of the internet
is an incredibly naive statement that reinforces why so many people think
our industry is full of cowboys and become frustrated from lack of results
out of it. Brands have everything to do with any successful company,
whether they are selling consumer goods or ecommerce, online or offline. It
is not some old-fashioned way of selling products. Branding is intrinsically
linked to the way we communicate and form relationships as human beings.
They have always been around and will be around as long as we remain human,
through the internet, digital tv and beyond. What Patrick may have meant to
refer to is the nature of P&G products. Being fast moving consumer goods,
the purchase decision for P&G products tends to be relatively low
involvement, low informational and not suitable for direct sales online,
which means consumers are less likely to seek out P&G products online. This
being the case, consumer good companies are forced to rely more heavily on
the emotional nature of a relationship between a consumer and the brand and
cannot leverage the obvious advantages that others with high involvement,
high information and easily transacted goods are realising online.

Nevertheless, where there are eyeballs online there are people and people
spend more money on consumer goods in their lifetimes than they ever will on
books and computers - so P&G would be mad not to be where the people are
spending their time actively and interactively consuming messages. With the
options of analogue mass media and print, mass marketers could never afford
to talk individually to their customers, now, with the Internet and email
they can. The smell of desperation from the FAST summit is probably due to
the fact that our industry tends to be very blinkered, focused on marketing
ecommerce viable goods, which is fine, but it really is like concentrating
on the low-hanging fruit. Our industry and online publishers need to
challenge themselves and explore opportunities for marketing consumer goods
online - and that doesn't mean using the ways we market ecommerce brands.
It means being open to new ways. We need to help the P&G's of the world and
show them the Internet can help them build relationships with their
consumers like never before. They are the big budget holders, the lifeblood
of advertising and marketing agencies now. If we don't help solve it for
them and lose their belief and investment in the concept of marketing
through the internet, then we are doing ourselves and P&G a great
disservice.

Dale McCarthy dale_at_xmharrow.com.au
Strategic Director
> X/M Harrow ~ Sydney
>

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