Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest advertiser with over 400 well-known consumer brands, recently concluded an in-depth, 18-month study of their marketing tools and tactics. The result yielded a bit of a surprise. P&G found that public relations more than any other discipline provided the best return on investment within the company's vast marketing mix.
P&G developed the study to measures its PR efforts in the context of, and in relation to, all of its other marketing efforts such as advertising, sponsorships, promotions, direct response, and merchandising. The study incorporates detailed analysis, including information on cost, scope, audience, geographic markets, and possible synergy with other marketing tactics.
The result? P&G’s findings showed a greater ROI from PR than other marketing discipline in four of the six brands tested.
Given the difficulty in measuring PR’s effectiveness (this is an age-old problem and a good subject for a subsequent post) it is gratifying that a sophisticated marketer like P&G has finally put their analytical muscle behind what we in the PR field have known for a long time – that pound for pound, PR is the most effective way to market a product or service.
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