P&G Embraces Facebook as Big Part of Its Marketing Plan

Procter & Gamble Co. loves Facebook, and besides encouraging brands to develop a presence there, the world’s biggest marketer has opened an office in Silicon Valley to help develop social-networking systems and digital-marketing capabilities with the website

Those messages came in a meeting last week between P&G executives and venture capitalists, recounted by David Hornik on VentureBlog in a post that quickly picked up currency over the weekend on, of all places, Twitter.

“P&G’s explicit goal for 2010 is to assure that each of its brands has a meaningful presence on Facebook, and they are willing to pay dearly for that,” Mr. Hornik wrote. “And while P&G’s thought leaders expressed some skepticism about the efficacy of Facebook’s ‘engagement ads,’ they certainly view Facebook as a must-have for digital advertising and brand building. They didn’t quantify what they are paying for that exposure, but it is quite clear that the numbers are very big.”

Mr. Hornik contrasted the enthusiastic outlook on Facebook to a less-enthusiastic one by P&G executives toward Twitter. “They described Twitter as ‘much more like television than one might think.’ To P&G, Twitter is a great broadcast medium — it is best for one-to-many communications that are short bursts of timely information,” he wrote. “P&G folks do not view it as particularly relevant to what they are doing on the brand-building and advertising side. … They do not believe that Twitter will ever approach the value they can get out of a Google or Facebook.”