P&G CEO: “Let Go Of Control”

Here are key talking points from P&G CEO and Chairman A.G., during his keynote at the ANA Masters of Marketing conference. He didn’t offer a drastic call to action, but offered an authentic, confident and modest snapshot of what’s achieving success at P&G, the world’s largest consumer marketer. The biggest underlying theme was “let go of control,” but it wasn’t delivered as a passionate mandate. Most of his passion reflected in his final words: “I’m a brand man and proud of it!”…


We have a crying need for more innovation in our industry.

The only real change for consumers and brand builders is that all the change is accelerating. Consumers are becoming more selective, their expectations are rising and choice is unlimited. New business models emerge and evolve rapidly. Trend from push to pull marketing is accelerating. We’re now seeing co-creation.

Key questions:

  • Who is our consumer?
  • What is our brand promise and equity?
  • How are we going to connect, communicate and build a lasting relationship?

Loyal customers are the most valuable stakeholders. 

So what has really changed?

  • Accelerating media.
  • Fragmentation.
  • Technology.

Consumers get choice, but it comes at a cost of complexity. For marketers, complexity is costly, but offers marketers opportunities to connect at more touch points.

My story is about basic human needs, which remain mostly the same. What’s different is how people are using media and technology changes to connect with one another and express themselves. It’s about connecting at every meaningful touch point.

Creating and building brands on her terms. We need to begin to let go. Understand brands not from our point of view, but the consumers’. They now own our brands. Let them participate…let go.

Interactive is important because it offers many new dynamic touchpoints. Our sites have become destinations because they are relevant to consumers’ needs.

Some of our sites most interacted with include:

  • Being Girl
  • Pampers
  • Home Made Simple

Influencer marketing is important because experts provide credibility and trust for our products. We know they connect, engage and achieve awareness and trial. 

Most experiments don’t work but we need to be out there trying. We must be able to measure response we get to stimulus. The effectiveness and efficiency of each medium, and the effectiveness and efficiency of the overall media mix.

We must move beyond transactions and to more meaningful relationships. Must achieve right balance of being in touch and in control. The paradox is that the more we are in control, the more out of touch we are. The more we give up control, the more we become in touch.

I’m a brand man and proud of it!


Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

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