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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

P&G Admits What Worked, What Didn't in Pandemic

Some rare inside information re Digital details from my former colleagues at P&G.  Recall I have mentioned here that P&G was an early pioneer in AI based methods.  Its good you can admit to what did not work.  Lets you adjust your directions and methods in the future. 

P&G's Benjamin Spiegel Admits What He Got Wrong

The global chief digital officer also discussed AI, 'maskne,' virtual influencers and the lipstick effect.

By Paul Hiebert   in AdWeek

Benjamin Spiegel, global chief digital officer for Procter & Gamble’s beauty segment, is not afraid to admit that some changes in consumer behavior he thought might occur during the pandemic … well, did not occur.

“There were a lot of things that we assumed would happen early on that, in the end, didn’t quite pan out,” noted Spiegel while speaking at Adweek’s Elevate: AI summit.

One was an expected boom in direct-to-consumer shopping. Instead, Spiegel explained, retailers got creative and have updated their click-and-collect and last-mile delivery options. “That was a big one for me that I got totally wrong,” he said.

Another prediction was that people would struggle with working at home—that the ideas, creativity and collaboration just wouldn’t be there. While remote work certainly has its challenges, Spiegel said people have shown resilience and embraced new technology that enables workers to get the job done.

Spiegel said the company has begun thinking about campaigns as “always on,” as opposed to initiatives that start and stop. “The time[s] of day where people make decisions [and] consume content have definitely changed,” he said.

P&G has also tracked the popularity of certain search terms, such as “maskne” (i.e. acne caused by wearing a face mask), and responded with tailored messaging and educational content. Usually, trends come and go, Spiegel said, but trends during Covid-19 had a “big impact on how people thought about product and usage.”

The lipstick effect—the theory that shoppers still spend money on small indulgences during economic downturns—is still going strong during the pandemic, Spiegel said. For example, their research found that instead of buying a piece of clothing that costs $200, consumers would purchase a $40 beauty product.

“People went into saving money in certain places, but then they ended up spending more in other places,” he said.

For the quarter ending March 31, P&G’s beauty business, which includes the brands Olay, SK-II and Old Spice, saw net sales climb to $3.3 billion, up 9% compared to the same period in 2020.  ... '

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