Web Advertising Strategy Helps P&G Compete

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The consumer goods market is a global one and extremely competitive. Giant corporations such as Procter & Gamble, Colgate Palmolive, Unilever, Nestle, and The Coca-Cola company are competing on hundreds of products, ranging from toothpaste to baby diapers to beverages. To survive, these companies must constantly research the markets, develop new products, and advertise, advertise, advertise. Market research and advertising budgets can amount to as much as 20 percent of sales, thus reducing profits. However, failure to advertise sufficiently and properly suits in smaller revenue, loss of market share, and possibly going out of business. Thus, the proper advertising strategy, including Web advertising, is critical to the welfare of any company in the consumer goods industry. Procter & Gamble (P&G) is the largest packaged goods company in the United States, with over 300 brands ranging from Crest to Tide to Pampers) and annual sales :over $55 billion. P&G spends more money on advertising than any other company, about $5 billion a year. P&G's business problem is how to best use its advertising budget get the most marketing "bang for its bucks." The Solution:

P&G started to advertise on the Internet in the late 1990s, both on major portals (using pop-up and banner ads for Scope and Tide) and on its own Web sites. By 2000, it had 72 active sites, mostly one site for each product (e.g., pampers.com, tide.com, and crest.com). Several of the sites were general (e.g., pantene.com, where con¬sumers can get personalized hair consultations; and reflect.com, where consumers can get customized beauty products). Today, P&G is considered by many (e.g., Bulik 2000) to be "pushing the envelope on the Web" by experimenting with many Web projects, mostly related to market research online and online advertising. P&G's major objective is to build around each major product a community of users on the Web. The company has the following objectives in building and maintaining these...
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