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P&G Asia CMO: ‘ad industry pride means genuine consumer insights are lost’

Freddy Bharucha: brands need to stay humble

Freddy Bharucha: ‘we need to stay humble’

Procter & Gamble’s top Asia marketer has said that hubris in the ad industry is stopping brands from uncovering valuable consumer insights.

Freddy Bharucha, P&G’s Asia CMO, told an audience at the APPIES event in Singapore today that “too much pride” in the industry means that genuine consumer insights are getting lost.

“As communicators, it’s critical that we stay humble,” he said.

“There is too much pride in the industry. Often the insights that we generate are not genuine insights. They are just accepted beliefs of how consumers behave.”

“We seem to think that we can get insights by sitting in focus groups. We seem to think we can figure out consumers by sitting in our offices,” he said.

“We need to get out there in the field and experience what our consumers are experiencing,” said Bharucha, referencing time he had spent in a village in India washing clothes.

“At P&G, we are accused of doing too much testing. But testing is humility.”

“It’s easy for me, as CMO, to say I’ve got it, I’m smart, I know the answer. But I don’t. Too often we go back to accepted consumer beliefs – which are not insights,” he said.

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