Unilever targets 'low-end' mobile users in emerging markets


Unilever has partnered with mobile marketing firm Brandtone, as the FMCG giant looks to target low-end mobile users in emerging markets including China, India and Indonesia.

Watch this video from Brandtone, featuring Keith Weed, Unilever CMO, explaining the initiative below:

Under the new initiative, Unilever will use Brandtone’s technology to entice consumers to interact with Unilever advertisers via their mobile phones.

Via Brandtone, consumers are offered incentives in exchange for sharing information about themselves or completing certain marketing actions.

Unilever already works with Brandtone in several developing markets, including South Africa, Brazil, Kenya Nigeria, Russia and Turkey.

Unilever, the world's second biggest advertiser after Procter & Gamble, is hoping the initiative will use the power of mobile and big data to build long-term one-to-one relationships with consumers.

The new deal is particularly relevant for emerging markets, where mobile is a key tool to reach them, and to do so at scale.

"Over half our turnover comes from emerging markets," said Keith Weed, Unilever chief marketing officer. "Mobile provides a direct means of engagement with almost every consumer in those countries, and it is therefore absolutely critical for our brands' growth.

"People are willing to share information about themselves in order to get more relevant advertising and offers, so the opportunity is there if we do it correctly. We need to approach people with respect, maintaining trust and ensuring two-way dialogue. The work we do with Brandtone enables us to do exactly that. By building relationships with our consumers and adding something of value to them, we can increase purchase and brand loyalty."

Unilever has already run a number of very successful campaigns with Brandtone, including a promotion for OMO washing power in South Africa, which generated response rates of 30%, far above the industry average.

Donald Fitzmaurice, co-founder and CEO, Brandtone, said: "This agreement takes our partnership with Unilever to a new level, and sees us partnering to open up key growth markets. There, we will continue to offer Unilever the means to responsibly and sustainably engage consumers in the most important developing and emerging markets. Our state-of-the-art technology platform, available globally through the cloud, with teams of highly experienced marketeers present in each market, allows us to achieve unparalleled results for our clients. We have already delivered some remarkable campaigns for Unilever brands in Russia, Brazil and South Africa, and we're excited about taking this approach into the remaining BRICS, as well as other key growth markets, with their support."

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