Home / P&G looks to the power of ‘influencer marketing’

P&G looks to the power of ‘influencer marketing’

Marketers in the Middle East need to wake up to the power of ‘influencer marketing’ if they are to cut through clutter and better reach consumers, says Procter & Gamble’s global external relations officer.

Marketers in the Middle East need to wake up to the power of ‘influencer marketing’ if they are to cut through clutter and better reach consumers, says Procter & Gamble’s global external relations officer.

Charlotte Otto, who heads up media relations and product publicity for the FMCG giant globally, told Campaign the region’s media landscape had become so fragmented that companies must look for new ways of building trust and connecting with consumers.

She said that influencer marketing — where companies make strategic partnerships with other organisations or ‘influencers’ — was becoming an increasingly important part of P&G’s marketing programmes in the region.

“The media market and its messages have become so fragmented that we must find really credible ways to win people’s trust,” said Otto.

“To me that is what has transferred influencer marketing from being a nice companion element of the marketing mix to actually, in many cases, becoming the conceptual driver. It has gone from side dish to main course.”

She added: “You can’t cut through strictly with the paid media anymore. I suspect that in this region that applies even more than anywhere else. Just look around at the explosion of messages and commercialisation.

“This is a commercial culture, above all. How do you cut through? I don’t think that it’s with more commercial messages.”

P&G is well-known for its strategic tie-ups with governmental organisations in the region, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this year the company formed a partnership with the UAE Ministry of Health’s dental department for its ‘Healthy Smiles’ initiative, which associated P&G’s Oral-B brand with efforts to fight tooth decay among children.

“It’s having that real depth of understanding of the consumer and who she wants to get information from because we recognise that consumers don’t always come to a brand or trust a brand,” said Otto.

“It may be beauty editors, health ministries, teachers — we help them to deliver an objective while really helping consumers as well.”

Otto said that the key challenge for influencer marketing in the Middle East was identifying the right influencers for each target market.

“I think that’s a real challenge, particularly in this part of the world — the diversity of people here and finding the right influencers that people can trust is a big challenge,” she said.

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