In its latest organizational re-conceptualization, the largest advertising purchaser in the world, Proctor & Gamble (P&G), will do away with all marketing directors. Not that it plans wholesale layoffs though. Instead, the consumer goods giant plans to rechristen its marketing directors as brand directors, while the marketing department will be renamed “Brand Management.”
There is more to the move than just vocabulary changes though. According to a P&G spokesperson, the new Brand Management division will have “single-point responsibility for the strategies, plans and results for the brands.” In the new organizational chart, Brand Management thus encompasses four previously distinct roles:
- Brand management, of course, which previously would have been called marketing.
- Consumer and marketing knowledge, otherwise known as market research.
- Communications and public relations.
- Design, which also entails visual brand identity responsibilities.
This single-point department will take charge of all local marketing and shopper initiatives, but it will leave some decisions up to regional subunits, such as media buys and media planning. Overall, the goal is to eliminate overlapping responsibilities and activities across the global and the regional units of P&G. By combining brand resources, P&G also hopes to earn better returns on its brand investments.
Although P&G appears to be a trend setter in undertaking this name change for its employees, it is not the first time the company has shifted their titles to reflect changes in the market. In the early 1990s for example, it created marketing directors out of what were once known as advertising managers. Thus, if P&G is to be believed, the market trends have moved from the specific designation of advertising to the broader concept of marketing to the conceptual formulation of branding.
Jack Neff, “It’s the End of ‘Marketing’ as We Know It at Proctor & Gamble,” Advertising Age, June 30, 2014, http://adage.com