Fire then Rehire: How does this strategy help one marketer stay fresh and innovative despite a 40-year tenure? [Monday: Marketing Marvels]
Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.
A Note from Miles Everson:
Happy Monday, everyone!
Let’s start this week with a dose of inspiration from one of the world’s greatest marketers a.k.a. “Marketing Marvels.”
I believe that as business owners and leaders, marketers, communicators, and independent professionals, it’s good for us to gain motivation and fresh ideas from these “Marvels” by learning about their work, experiences, and insights.
For today’s article, let’s talk about the Chief Brand Officer of one of the best-performing companies in the consumer goods industry.
Continue reading below and find out how this marketer’s expertise contributes to the constant growth and success of this multinational consumer goods corporation.
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute
American multinational consumer goods corporation Procter & Gamble (P&G) started with chance.
William Procter migrated from England to Cincinnati, U.S. with his first wife who later became ill and passed away after a few months. To earn a living, he became a candle maker using oil and other by-products from the meatpacking industry.
In the process, Procter met prominent candle maker Alexander Norris and married his daughter, Olivia Norris.
James Gamble migrated from Ireland to the U.S. with his family. While travelling to Illinois, he fell ill so he and his family made a stop in Cincinnati. Once he recovered, the whole family decided to stay there.
Gamble became an apprentice to a local soap maker when he was 18 years old. After some time, he opened a soap and candle shop with a friend.
Not long after, he met and married Elizabeth Ann Norris, Alexander Norris’ second daughter.
With Procter and Gamble competing for the same raw materials, Alexander Norris suggested both men to join forces. After all, they’re family!
So, on October 31, 1837, the Procter & Gamble Company was born.
… and that “chance” we’re talking about?
Procter and Gamble (the founders) might have never met and founded P&G if they didn’t marry Norris’ daughters.
From Humble Beginnings to Worldwide Success
As a small family-run candle and soap business 184 years ago, P&G grew to become the largest consumer goods company in the world today.
How did the company achieve that?
Through innovation, creative marketing, and acquisitions! In fact, P&G had a lot of “firsts” in business and marketing:
- The first company to introduce the profit-sharing program for its workers.
- The first company to establish research and development laboratories in the U.S..
- One of the first major sponsors of cooking shows and soap operas on network radios.
- The first company to promote products through sampling and promotional item giveaways.
- The first company to study consumer purchasing habits through its own market research department.
- Introduced innovative products like the Ivory soap, Tide laundry detergent, Joy dishwashing liquid, Head & Shoulders dandruff shampoo, Pampers diapers, and Pringles.
- Introduced market segmentation, a brand management strategy that divides a business’ target market into approachable groups.
- Acquired other companies and brands to further expand its reach―Clorox, Mr. Clean, Folgers, Pantene, Vicks, Olay, Old Spice, Tampax, and Gillette.
Until today, P&G continues to be a leading consumer goods company… and part of that is through the services and leadership of Marc Pritchard as Chief Brand Officer.
A veteran of P&G, Pritchard has been with the company for 4 decades now. He joined the company in 1982 as a Cost Analyst in the Paper Division, then moved into marketing in 1987.
Pritchard has over 20 years of experience in the company’s Health and Beauty categories, earning him a higher appointment as President of Global Cosmetics and Personal Care in 2003. After that, he served as President of Global Strategy for 3 years due to his pioneering approach to product and operational innovation.
From 2008 onwards, Pritchard became the company’s Chief Brand Officer, driving sustainable growth and expanded productivity for P&G.
Pritchard handles the company’s media, marketing, and advertising strategies. He also leads marketing innovations that help boost communications and brand building for P&G’s portfolio of quality brands.
One of his personal strategies to stay excellent, fresh, and inventive in his 40-year career?
He “fires” himself every year and a half!
According to Pritchard,
“About every 18 months, I take the mindset that I’m going to fire myself and rehire myself as if I was coming in new.”
This strategy prevents the Chief Brand Officer from becoming stagnant in his job and approach―a common concern among marketers that contributes to a decrease in average tenure.
Thanks to this fire-and-rehire technique, Pritchard manages to stay on top of technological leaps and the rapidly changing marketing landscape!
This enabled his works and contributions at P&G to be recognized in the entire marketing industry and in 2020, he became the World Federation of Advertisers’ (WFA) “Global Marketer of The Year!”
The WFA awarded Pritchard the title due to his laser-sharp focus on brand purpose, sustainability, and business growth.
Here are a few more reasons why the WFA named him the “Global Marketer of The Year”:
- He focuses on greater transparency in P&G’s marketing spend and shows commitment to purpose-led marketing.
- As Chief Brand Officer, Pritchard makes sure he and his team work effectively to create “how to” content around key issues during the COVID-19 pandemic such as sanitizing various objects, shaving for a better mask fit, and more.
- At the start of the pandemic, Pritchard pivoted the company’s global disaster relief program and donated millions of products in over 55 countries to ensure families had access to everyday basic needs.
- Under his leadership, P&G used its marketing muscle to promote mask-wearing and physical distancing and initiate conversations on various social issues.
- Pritchard and his team approved P&G’s strategic partnership with TikTok influencer Charli D’ Amelio in 2020 to encourage people to observe physical distancing via the #DistanceDance.
All these show that Pritchard is truly a key leader not just in P&G but also in the entire industry!
According to Raja Rajamannar, President of the WFA,
“Marc has been a key leader in our industry for many years and this award is fully deserved. In many ways he has set the standard for how marketing can drive both social change and business success. In doing so, he has helped to inspire an entire industry to improve.”
A round of applause for Pritchard! His work and performance are good examples of genuine commitment towards one’s responsibilities in the field.
Some things you can learn from his experiences and insights?
Strive to look at your job and responsibilities with a fresh perspective. No matter how long you may have been working for a company, leveling up your perspective from time to time will give you the motivation to constantly work with vigor, passion, and enthusiasm.
Never waste a good opportunity. If you’ve been entrusted with a major task or appointed to a higher position in a company, give it your best shot. Showcase your skills and capabilities and use them not only to contribute to the brand you work for but also to the entire industry.
P&G’s legacy may have started with chance, but the events that followed it are clearly not “by chance.”
The factors that led the company to where it is today are a combination of all the hard work, research, and efforts by the employees and leaders like Pritchard to make P&G one of the best-performing companies in the world.
… and as the company’s top brand builder, Pritchard believes in P&G’s power to serve consumers with a portfolio of trusted products while also being a force of good through:
- Ethics and responsibility
- Community impact
- Diversity and inclusion
- Gender equality
- Environmental sustainability
To “continually lead P&G’s brand-building reinvention and become a leading and inspiring voice in the media, marketing, and creative industries.”
(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Monday Marketing Marvels”
Too often, industry experts and the marketing press sing the praises of some brand or company’s marketing strategy.
… only for the audience to later find out that its product was a flop, or worse, that the brand or company went bankrupt.
The true ROI in marketing can’t be separated from the business as a whole.
What good is a marketing case study if one can’t prove that the company’s efforts actually paid off?
At the end of the day, either the entire business is successful or it isn’t. And the roles of marketing and communication are always paramount to that success.
Every Monday, we publish a case study that highlights the world’s greatest marketing strategies, marketers, and communicators.
However, the difference between our articles and the numerous ones out there is that we will always make certain that the firm really did generate and demonstrate earning power worthy of study in the first place (compliments of Valens Research’s finance group) in keeping with a person’s leadership skills in the area of marketing and/or communication.
We’ll also study the greatest marketing fails and analyze what they did wrong, or what they needed to improve. We all make our mistakes, but better we learn from others’ mistakes—and earlier, rather than later.
Hope you found this week’s marketing marvel interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next week’s Monday Marketing Marvels!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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