SMG’s Lead on P&G Wants to See a Shift From Social Media to Commerce

A chat with Lisa Hurwitz


Who Lisa Hurwitz

Age 37

New gig Evp, managing director, SMG, overseeing the Procter & Gamble North American communications planning business

Old gig Evp, group account director, Leo Burnett and Arc Worldwide

What’s the mission statement for your new position?

I’d say to drive the convergence of content and media for P&G across categories. You can no longer separate what you’re seeing from where you are seeing it. I see myself as a pioneer in bringing those two things together.

What do the creative and media worlds have to do to make that work?

The creative world has to better understand data, analytics and measurement. There, it’s still mostly the idea, and the idea is king. Conversely, the media space needs to let go and be more creative and less reliant on metrics and focus on the art and less on the science.

Do the people coming up under you have both these mind/skill sets?

That is a big push of mine. The media and creative world we live in needs to be raising generalists and not just specialists. The true future of the talent market are people who are fluid in multiple channels, really comfortable with technology, ideas and data. I’m hoping to create some new hybrid roles.

What industry buzzword are you most sick of right now?

I’m kind of sick of social media. I come from a commerce background, and in my previous role, I was doing a tremendous amount of work on the convergence of commerce and creative —how are ideas showing up and how are people able to buy right out of the content we’re creating? So I’m over social channels being front and center and would like to move on to a conversation about the convergence of e-commerce and media. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t use Amazon, and the commerce component is a big piece of the future.

Thoughts on the David Beckham-H&M commerce activation during the Super Bowl?

Everything is getting stacked on top of each other. Again, look at Amazon. It’s a data and analytics platform, it’s a media platform and it’s a retailer, all in the same place. We are going to see more of that—where you can buy directly from media, and retailers are getting more savvy, and customers are getting more comfortable in the space. Commerce is a sleeper.

Are agencies on this learning curve?

Agencies will need to bring in retailers, people who understand customer marketing and merchandising. That’s a whole new skill set that doesn’t exist within most agencies right now.

What is the most important task at hand?

We need to evolve the role of communications planning for P&G. We need to elevate it from just planning media into the convergence of content and commerce and really leverage our media partnerships to drive the big ideas and be more upstream partnering with our creative agencies.

Where does mobile fit into your thinking?

Mobile is probably the most disruptive technology we’ve seen and will continue to see. I don’t think that advertisers and markets have fully taken advantage of mobile. People now, if you want to reach them, are mobile-centric. It’s a huge priority and will become a cornerstone of our communications planning and commerce/mobile focus of buying from the phone or the tablet.

Where do you get thought leadership?

A lot of word of mouth. Listening to colleagues that I have a tremendous amount of respect for and cultivating a network of people who have gone into totally diversified places.

Photo: Saverio Truglia