What does P&G know that you don’t know?


“If you step back and look at our [marketing] mix across most of the major brands, it’s clearly shifting, and it’s shifting from measured media to in-store, to the internet and to trial activity,” [Chairman-CEO A.G.] Lafley said. The latter he didn’t define precisely, though he gave Gillette sampling programs, which include distribution of free razors by mail, as one example. On Gillette Fusion razors, he said, “you are going to see … more sampling, because we still have relatively low trial rates.”

In other words, less broad-based advertising and more tactical promotion: in-store, online (where there is usually a coupon or trial link), and trial (on-site, in-mail, or whatever).

Trial is the primary challenge, says Mr. Lafley, because without trial you have no usage and no repeat usage (TSL in radio lingo). Without trial all the “awareness” in the world counts for zip.

Trial is about promotion.

Unless your product is so dramatically different, so terrifically novel, so incredibly “Purple Cow.”

And even then, without trial…nothing.

So before you do your marketing plan for the year, ask this critical question:

What are we doing to promote trial?

“Cume” is not a goal – “trial” is a goal.

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