Proctor and Gamble has had a massive impact on the way companeis use social media and online communities. Much of this is thanks to A.G.Lafley who just announced that he’s leaving his role as President and Chief Executive to become Chairman of the Board. Bob McDonald will be taking his place.
Lafley’s determination to make P&G an open innovation company has had a major effect on the business over the last 9 years and an knock-on impact on other branded goods firms. He pushed the consumer-driven innovation model that led to the creation of Connect & Develop and numerous other online communities.
Being Girl, for example, a community focussed on young women, is four times as effective per dollar spend as advertising in encouraging sampling and driving sales. It has been rolled out in 21 markets.
Over the last decade, Lafley helped the firm become one of the 10 most valuable companies on the planet. And his open innovation communities have resulted in external collaboration playing a key role in nearly 50% of their products.
As Jim McNerney, presiding director of P&G’s Board, put it “P&G is a far more consumer-driven, externally focused and innovative company than it was a decade ago”. And it’s thank to this that so many otehr companies are now following suit with their own online communities for innovation.
Am I just a P&G fanboy? maybe. I did work there on interactive marketing back in 2000. And it was partly that experience that inspired me to start building online communities for innovaiton. So thanks A.G. good luck in the new role.
Some more reading
- A tough job for P&G’s new CEO (money.cnn.com)
- On P&G’s Lafley: Why Step Down Now? (blogs.harvardbusiness.org)
- P&G’s leadership machine (money.cnn.com)