In our previous posts, we have been talking about the “Burning Question” that will rock the marketing world. Jim Stengel, the former Global Marketing Officer of Procter & Gamble, launched the Burning Question concept.
Jim is best known for reinvigorating P&G’s marketing culture. In his seven years as GMO, he led the transformation that established P&G as one of the most admired brand-building companies in the world. This transformation was based on a deep and unwavering commitment to innovation based on consumer understanding, paired with disciplined measurement techniques.
The following case study should help to illustrate Jim’s principles, while also reinforcing my own personal Burning Question: Why do we make marketing decisions based upon intuition, not facts? Or as Tilly Pick phrased it in her question, “…follow shiny metal objects every time they glitter in the sun…?”
So, focusing on facts and measurement…off we go.
Our client wanted to launch a new pain relief product. This product would be creating a completely new category in non-analgesic pain relief. Product adoption was slow because consumers needed to use the new product to fully understand its pain-relieving benefits.
There was no existing customer data, so we started with a national pre-launch survey to identify consumers with a high potential lifetime value as users of the new product – and used the survey as a way to test the possible sources of those prospects.
Demographics and lifestyle data were added, as was purchase intent data from other research. A robust prospect database was built, capable of holding complex research, response and transaction data that was integrated into the brand’s website and other consumer touch points.
Remember Jim’s mantra, “An unwavering commitment to innovation based upon consumer understanding, paired with disciplined measurement techniques.”
Based on data from the survey and other areas, at launch we were able to create a highly targeted sample mailing to get the product into the hands of 2.7 million known pain sufferers.
Consumer understanding + disciplined metrics + (disruptive) innovation = success.
The sample packages mailed at launch had the best ROI of any other medium, plus 30% of the respondents referred at least one other potential customer, proving (not just anecdotally) that word-of-mouth is a powerful marketing tool for acquiring new customers.
Jim mentions in his video the importance of “test and learn” as a part of the innovation process. Marketing analytics remains the foundation upon which we build test-and-learn programs for our clients. I wish him luck in his new venture and with his new book. I also hope he finds the Burning Question to spark the next marketing revolution!
About the Author:
Barb Coté is the Creative Director at SIGMA Marketing Group. Follow Barb on or connect with her on .