A Real-Time Demonstration of the Power of Digital
Last week, the sunny Silicon Valley descended on our rainy Cincinnati Headquarters for Signal P&G — a one-day conference organized by Federated Media focusing on brand building in a digital world.
The format followed the same rapid, staccato-like rhythm we’ve all come to expect from social media with quick, thought-provoking interviews and case studies from some of the most iconic digital leaders in the world.
Like the other Signal events organized by Federated Media, the day was masterfully hosted by John Battelle, co-founder of Wired Magazine, Executive Chairman of Federated Media Publishing, and one of the nation’s foremost thought leaders on the intersection of the Internet with the practice of marketing.
Our Global Marketing & Brand Building Officer Marc Pritchard (shown above) began the day by telling the audience: “Today is not about digital marketing; it’s about brand building in a digital world,” which set a resounding tone for the role he wants digital to play for P&G. He went on to make it clear that digital is no longer a trendy use of technology for technology’s sake, but it’s the way P&G will engage with people in real-time to build brands like never before.
Our Chairman of the Board, President and CEO Bob McDonald (shown in photo above with Battelle) followed with a candid and transparent conversation with Battelle, where he further emphasized the urgency of being agile and responsive in the digital age. But most importantly, he openly gave the organization permission to fail early and fail well in digital, citing mistakes he’d made early in his career that taught valuable lessons he still carries with him today.
Tweets leading up to the day seeded the #SignalPG hashtag as an identifier for the event, building momentum and interest before it ever began. Then during the day, hundreds of P&G employees watched by webcast, while thousands outside P&G followed the hashtag on Twitter and viewed backstage video interviews via the @ProcterGamble Twitter feed and Facebook page.
With the help of the hashtag, buzz about the event reached a tipping point on Twitter just two hours into the conference. Live and virtual audience members generated more than 3,500 tweets with more than 14 million impressions, making the relatively small 400-seat gathering the epicenter of a worldwide trending topic on Twitter.
A few of the high-profile speakers in attendance included Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, Facebook VP David Fischer, and Yahoo! Chief Product Officer Blake Irving. You can view their backstage interviews below, which were posted on P&G’s YouTube page during the event:
kind of first-hand investment, that people can see, helps them understand how
deeply committed the management team is to social media."
— Twitter CEO Dick Costolo
“The openness and transparency with which the team from Procter & Gamble is approaching this … speaks volumes to me.”
— Facebook VP David Fischer
“[P&G’s] eagerness to get into digital in a way that actually can pull them into a deeper relationship with their customers on a 1-to-1 basis is something you don’t find at a whole lot of CPG companies.”
— Yahoo! Chief Product Officer Blake Irving