A.G. Lafley

Andrea Syverson is the founder and president of IER Partners, which has guided and strengthened brands of all sizes with savvy best practices for creating customers for life. Combining her passion of adventurous listening and working across diverse industries, her "outsider-insider" creative branding and merchandising expertise and objectivity has been valued by companies as diverse as Spanx, Ben & Jerry's, Celestial Seasonings, CHEFS and Boston Proper.  She holds an MBA and has dedicated more than 20 years to providing clients both domestic and international with innovative approaches to branding, product development and creative messaging. She is the author of  two books in which she shares her hands-on approach for both brand building and creating customer-centric products that enhance brands: ThinkAbout: 77 Creative Prompts for Innovators, and BrandAbout: A Seriously Playful Approach for Passionate Brand-Builders and Merchants. You may reach her at asyverson@ierpartners.com.

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

Procter & Gamble Co. Chairman, CEO A.G. Lafley raised eyebrows on a recent earnings call, estimating the company spends up to 35 percent of its massive marketing budget on digital. The number seemed baffling considering the packaged-goods industry leans heavily on TV and magazine ads and has long lagged the broader market in digital. Kantar Media shows P&G spent 6.8 percent of its $2.9 billion measured-media budget last year on online display advertising. Yet a deeper look shows Lafley was likely on target and helps illuminate just how different digital is from the rest of the media world.

I write frequently about how new buyer behaviors are driving far-reaching changes in what is required to make B-to-B marketing and sales effective. In my view, this is the single most significant issue facing B-to-B marketing and sales professionals. Google weighed in on this topic last year when it published an excellent e-book titled, "Winning the Zero Moment of Truth." The e-book was written by Jim Lecinski, Google's managing director of U.S. sales and service, and it is based on an analysis of Google's voluminous data regarding internet searches and on primary research Google commissioned.

It’s fair to say we all have a place either in our homes or offices that we hope others won’t see. Whether it’s a crammed closet, junk drawer, three-car garage with no cars in it, musty attic boxes or sagging basement shelves, we all have some place that doesn’t pass Martha Stewart muster. We have just accumulated too much stuff.

“Database marketing is officially sexy,” gushed researcher Julie Katz on April 11, 2007 in Forrester’s Marketing Blog in response to the announcement that Procter & Gamble’s Elva Lewis has conned her management into testing the database marketing waters. “The boat’s setting sail, and we have one foot on the dock and one on the boat,” Lewis told AdAge.com’s Matthew Creamer. “If you listen to A.G. Lafley or Jim Stengel, they’re all talking about the declining return on investment in TV. This trend tells us that we should go to one-to-one marketing. We just haven’t put our money where our mouth is.” If you listen

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