Marketing Research at P&G

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG075
Case Length : 12 Pages
Period : 2003
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : P & G
Industry : FMCG
Countries : USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"P&G studies its customers - both final consumers and the trade - through continuous marketing research and intelligence gathering. It paints its toll-free 800 number on every product."

- Philip Kotler, in Marketing Management.

"Unlike a lot of other companies, Procter really does use the research that they do. They like to listen to their consumers."1

- A former employee in the marketing research department at P&G.


In March 2003, Fortune magazine ranked Procter & Gamble (P&G), the world's leading fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) company, as #7 in the list of 'World's Most Admired Companies.'

P&G was one of the very few companies to have figured in this list for 17 consecutive years (1985-2002). P&G was ranked high on the parameter2 of 'ability to develop superior quality and highly innovative products on a consistent basis.'

Analysts attributed this 'ability' to the company's understanding of consumers' needs and preferences that had evolved out of its continuous focus on marketing research (MR) from the very beginning.

With the setting up of its MR department in 1924, P&G became one of the first companies in the world to conduct formal research on consumers' needs and preferences.

Over the next eight decades, the company developed several innovative MR techniques. Its researchers were trained to get the information they required from consumers. P&G employed advanced technology to analyze the feedback it obtained and arrive at the right conclusions.

Commending P&G's focus on , Tankut Turnaoglu, P&G's country manager in Kazakhstan, said, "P&G has a long history of success - a direct result of finding out what consumers want and developing superior-quality products to best meet their needs. P&G was among the first companies to establish in 1924 a special department for market research to identify consumer preferences and buying habits.

Marketing Research at P&G - Next Page>>

1] As quoted in the book, "P&G 99: 99 Principles and Practices of Procter and Gamble's Success," by Charles Decker, page 17, Harper Collins Business, 1998.

2] The companies were rated according to eight criteria - overall management quality, product or service quality, innovativeness, acquiring and keeping talent, value as a long-term investment, financial strength, commitment to community and the environment, and use of corporate assets.


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