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Festival of Media 2009: Innovate or the opportunity of recession is lost – Bernhard Glock

22-April-2009
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Festival of Media 2009: Innovate or the opportunity of recession is lost – Bernhard Glock

When an advertiser speaks, everyone listens, and that was pretty much the case on the second and final day of the Festival of Media 2009. In a session on Marketers’ Response, Bernhard Glock, VP, Global Media & Communications, P&G, and Maarten L Albarda, Director, Media & Communication Innovation, The Coca Cola Company, spoke to the audience on how agencies and media owners could work with clients to provide solutions.

Glock began his address with a growth graph of P&G in the last three decades and said, “The company has been through quite a few recessions, but there has been constant growth, so it is possible to grow.” He explained that the need was to understand value, then create value with innovation, and enable value in conversations and transactions.

Consumer behaviour is changing, and Glock cited some examples to illustrate how P&G used consumer insights to attempt and provide more value to consumers through its products and its brand proposition. Glock must have reaffirmed some faith back in the audience when he stated that P&G “continues to commit to spending on branding as a priority”. However, he also informed that this was the first time that the P&G CEO was actively looking at making media choices. According to Glock, that was an opportunity for the media agencies.

He stated that P&G’s focus was now to simplify structures and hence, the decision making process. He spoke to the audience of the ‘Cs’ in the industry – Consumers, where it was important to be able to measure all the touch points that the consumers were at; Confidence, where there was the need to alter the situation where consumers didn’t trust advertising anymore; and Competition that should be embraced. The times of spending money were over, even for the consumer – the question now for all was where to get the best money and where to get the best returns.

Another C that was avoidable was Complexity. Glock stated that every member of the value chain needed to provide a unique value-add to the marketer, and not complexity.

A ‘C’ that needed to be kept an eye on was Children. There was a need to learn from them and there was a need to address them, since these were the consumers of tomorrow and if an advertiser missed them, it would be a significant loss.

The road ahead is to build brands together, and innovatively. Glock said, “If we do not innovate, we will lose the opportunity of recession.” The last C was Change – it was better to change than be changed, Glock observed.

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