MUMBAI: Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant, has announced plans for a new mobile marketing initiative aimed at shoring up its sales position in Asia, with a particular focus on India, China and Indonesia.
has teamed up with Brandtone, the Dublin-based mobile specialists, to support
its expansion into these markets – plus the US – while also building on their
existing relationship in other key emerging markets, such as Brazil, Russia and
The company expects to use Brandtone's technology to contact
consumers who have agreed to receive offers and rewards in exchange for their
profile information, the
Wall Street Journal reported, and low-end mobile phone users will be the
main target of this initiative.
Keith Weed, Unilever's chief marketing
officer, said the communications were "something that can be done through a
text," and therefore did not require customers to have a smartphone.
over half of Unilever's turnover already coming from emerging markets, Weed
added: "Mobile provides a direct means of engagement with almost every consumer
in those countries, and it is therefore absolutely critical for our brands'
He explained that people are willing to share information in
order to get more relevant advertising and offers, which provided opportunities
as long as the company approached them with respect, maintained trust and
ensured a "two-way dialogue."
"By building relationships with our
consumers and adding something of value to them we can increase both purchase
and brand loyalty," Weed added.
There are more than 2bn mobile phone
users in India and China. The new campaign suggests that Unilever believes this
initiative is a useful way of reaching consumers who are not always accessible
via TV ads.
Data sourced from Wall
Street Journal, The Drum; additional content by Warc staff