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P&G: ‘Now Is Not The Time To Be Pulling Back On Investments In Marketing.’

Procter & Gamble, radio’s largest parent company advertiser, reported a 4% increase in organic sales for its fiscal quarter ended December 2023. In a quarterly conference call with analysts, the CPG giant discussed the importance of sustained marketing efforts even as they cause the company’s expenses to rise.

CEO Jon Moeller partially attributed P&G’s sales improvements during the quarter to “superior innovations that are driven by deep consumer insights communicated to consumers with more effective and efficient marketing programs.” The company, which placed 16 brands in radio’s top 100 advertisers for the week of Jan. 15-21, according to Media Monitors, is famous in marketing circles for conducting rigorous and sophisticated research and analytics to ensure its marketing dollars deliver maximum return on investment.

That research starts at the consumer level. Moeller pointed to its Charmin Ultra Soft Smooth Tear “with scalloped edge perforations” as a great example of “consumer insights driving innovation to improve the in-use experience.” Consumer response to the new product “has been overwhelmingly positive and is driving word of mouth recommendations in social media,” Moeller said.

As P&G continues to invest in such products as Charmin and Gillette Labs razor, Moeller underscored the importance of marketing. “If you look at the amount of innovation that's coming to market, both currently and in the future, and if you look at the opportunity to fully penetrate households with that innovation in ways that delights them and improves their lives, now is not the time to be pulling back on investments in marketing or commercialization efforts of that innovation,” he told analysts. “And that's where the majority of the incremental spend has come from and will come from.”

He also said the company looks “very carefully” at the effectiveness of its advertising investments and said it uses “many tools and data sets” to increase advertising effectiveness and return on investment. “We'll be very disciplined in that effort. Neither [CFO] Andre [Schulten] or I or the rest of the team has any desire to spend money that isn't working for us.”

P&G has consistently ranked as radio’s top parent company advertiser, based on spot volume, in tracking by Media Monitors. At the 2019 Radio Show, P&G Senior Media Analyst John Fix said that radio delivers much needed reach for the consumer packaged goods giant, after the company dramatically amped its over-the-air spend in 2017. Its radio outlay has only grown in the years since.

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