How Procter & Gamble Used ‘Old’ Content to Reach Their Best Buyers

One of the greatest schemes in marketing history was pulled off in the early 1930s …

It was a risky move — yet one that ended up putting products for one of today’s most prominent companies in front of a national audience of their best buyers.

In fact, the plan worked so well that it played out for more than 80 years. And, in the process, helped turn a small Cincinnati company into a $200-billion brand.

So here’s what happened:

In 1933, Procter & Gamble launched its first soap opera on NBC Radio. The plan was to produce a daytime program with steamy storylines that appealed to the company’s primary demographic — housewives.

Their reasoning was brilliant.

You see, P&G used commercial breaks to advertise their consumer goods, especially soaps and detergents. These were popular products to promote because women were often cleaning during the day, while listening to the radio.

When televisions starting replacing radios in people’s homes, P&G simply moved their soap operas to the new medium.

The strategy worked so well over the years that P&G started its own production company. P&G Productions created 20 soap operas on radio and television, becoming a pioneer in producing daytime programs like As The World Turns and Guiding Light.

In fact, Guiding Light still holds the Guinness World Record for the longest running show in broadcast history.

So what’s all this soap opera stuff have to do with your business?

Well, look at P&G’s strategy and you’ll see it’s pretty easy to replicate. All they did was consistently create and distribute content that attracted their best buyers.

Plain and simple.

Now, it wasn’t until they had the attention and interest of an audience that they then presented their products.

Unfortunately, too many businesses go about this process the opposite way and it messes up their marketing. They pitch products and services first — before there’s any attention or interest.

The other benefit of P&G’s strategy is that they controlled the communication to their audience. P&G didn’t have to keep paying to get in front of potential buyers.

They had a built-in audience that craved their content and talked about it with other people.

Keep these concepts in mind as you review your marketing efforts. Of course, you’re welcome to reach out to me, too, and we’ll discuss a content plan that gets your message in front of your best buyers.

NOTE: In case you missed the announcement over the weekend, I started a new Facebook group to share marketing tips and allow anyone to get group feedback on their marketing challenges. Click the “Join” button here and I’ll let you in. (You must be logged in to Facebook.)

Photo Credit: photo credit: Wielrennersvrouw / Wife of cyclist Wim van Est via photopin (license)

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