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Connected Devices Mobile World Congress

P&G seeks third-party tie-ups to fuel connected device strategy


By Ronan Shields, Digital Editor

February 22, 2016 | 3 min read

A glimpse inside P&G's attitudes to partnering with third parties when it comes to its marketing strategy in the era of connected devices.

FMCG giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) is seeking out third party tie-ups to innovate its marketing capabilities using its new generation of connected devices, beginning with its latest connected toothbrush Oral-B Genius.

P&G unveiled the latest iteration of its connected device today (22 February) at Mobile World Congress, with global marketing director Stephen Squire, discussing how it was now seeking third-party partnerships to help evolve its marketing strategy .

The Oral-B Genius range is a connected device and the latest iteration of the device uses position detection technology to help them “brush like their dentist wants them to”, according to Squire. The accompanying app then helps users keep a track record of their oral hygiene routine.

To help promote the Oral-B Genius range, plus keep an ongoing relationship with existing customers, P&G has struck a partnership with German dental insurance outfit ERGO Direkt.

This partnership will see the insurance company reward users for complying with their recommended oral hygiene plan by sending them replacement brush heads for their Oral-B Genius devices.

Speaking on the tie-up with ERGO, Squire said it helped bring convenience to consumers’ lives, as those that would buy the product would often get confused by the amount of toothbrush heads on the market, etc., risking potential customer churn.

“There were a number of things we were trying to solve with this, and you know, you have to try some new stuff. With these kinds of programmes, they are relatively simple to execute, and you can get data on board,” he said.

The kinds of insights that P&G is able to build from the analytics passed on by such devices include which countries their users live in, how long people are brushing for, and how many downloads of the apps are they driving.

Squire added: “It’s important to connect the understanding of what people want, with the potential of what connectivity can do. It’s easy to do market research to understand what people want, but if you cannot offer them the potential of the technology, then there are problems you are not able to solve.”

P&G’s Squire was speaking on stage at the Mobile Media Summit strand of the event, where IconMobile chief executive Thomas Fellger was discussing the strategy, commonly termed as ‘ecosystem marketing’, with him.

Fellger, said: “Why do we do this? Are we connecting the toothbrush just because we can? However, it’s about using the data to understand things like people more-and-more getting into routines.”

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