Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Keith Weed: Reflects on Universal Children’s Day (TriplePundit)

“There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they grow up in peace.”

Today is Universal Children’s Day, and these words spoken by Kofi Annan have never sounded more relevant. Every day, on the news and on social media, we see pictures and read stories of famine and floods, droughts and demonstrations; confronting us with the effects of increasing resource scarcity, climate change, food security, civil unrest and poverty. We are increasingly aware of the people left behind.

Many people wonder how we are going to address these challenges, which can feel overwhelming, confusing and insurmountable.

At Unilever, we think that the answer is in our children.

Read the full blog here.

Keith Weed: A Bright Future For All - Building Our Business Responsibly (Business Fights Poverty)

Every day, when watching the news and checking the social channels, we see pictures and read stories of famine and floods, droughts and demonstrations, confronting us with the effects of increasing resource scarcity, climate change, food security, civil unrest and poverty. We see the increasing numbers of people left behind.

Many wonder how on earth we all are going to address these challenges. They feel overwhelming and confusing. This can sometimes feel very depressing, but we should not lose sight of the fact that there is also plenty of 'good' to write home about. 

Read the full blog here.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

How Unilever Topped The Awards Report Chart (Advertising Age, Jack Neff)

CMO Weed Reveals Secret of Jumping From No. 8 to No. 1

When Keith Weed stepped into his job as Unilever's chief marketing and communications officer in 2010, the company had just been named Advertiser of the Year at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. But within a year, Unilever's award tallies slipped and by 2012 Unilever came in eighth overall in our Award Report rankings for campaigns like Dove "Real Beauty Sketches" and Ragu's "Long Days of Childhood."

Mr. Weed was determined to do something about that fall. And he's clearly delivered; this year Unilever is sitting pretty at the top of our list. More surprisingly, Mr. Weed managed this feat while stepping up copy testing and restraining agency and production fees.

Part of the success, he said, stems from Unilever's goal of doubling sales and increasing positive social impact while halving its environmental impact, which has inspired and motivated its ranks. The company has also boosted internal creativity by training 80% of its 6,500 marketers on his "Crafting Brands for Life" strategy.

Read the full article here.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Mobile is going to have a bigger impact than the Internet (The Drum, Stephen Lepitak)

"Mobile is going to have a bigger impact than the Internet," Unilever CMO Keith Weed talks new brand strategy, sustainability and the power of mobile

Crafting Brands for Life has been the marketing strategy global consumer goods supplier Unilever has adopted in recent months as it becomes a company that aims to make a difference and affect change in the lives of its customers, as well as selling their products to them.

The strategy is being led by Keith Weed, chief marketing officer for Unilever, who, when The Drum catches up with him in the press room at Dmexco in Cologne, has already been for a three mile run, held a couple of meetings and delivered the keynote talk for the conference. All this and it’s only 11am. This is a man who travels the world constantly, and is literally always on the move.

Despite the constant demand for his attention, Weed is found to be an enthusiastic and breezy individual, who has also been heading up the company’s sustainability effort, which he needs no excuse to talk about.

“According to WWF we are living off two-and-a-half planets. If the world lived like Europeans we'd need three planets and if the world lived like Americans we'd need five planets,” he tells The Drum, explaining that his role was created to combine overseeing the marketing, sustainability and communications coming out of Unilever.

Read the full article here.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Unilever concerned by fragmentation (Warc)

SINGAPORE: Unilever, the FMCG giant, regards the fragmentation of media channels as one of its biggest communications challenges as it moves to an "always-on" marketing approach, according to two senior executives.

"The thing that keeps me awake at night is integration versus fragmentation," Keith Weed, chief marketing and communications officer, told Campaign Asia-Pacific, as he outlined the need "to hold our brands together" and make them consistent and relevant "in a market and media that's fragmenting".

He foresaw "some sort of coming together on the agency side so there is an overall ownership/leadership of our brand idea and communication".

And he was emphatic on the need for a brand-centric approach, saying that "optimisation is done for the brand and not for the channel".

His colleague Luis di Como, senior vice president global media, agreed on the scale of the task posed by integration, but argued that it was also an opportunity as brands could use paid, owned and earned media to achieve personalisation at scale and bring together content and context.

He added that brands were now operating in a more real-time environment which changed the nature of campaigns, a point echoed by Weed, who said regular big marketing campaigns were no longer enough as brands had to reach out to consumers "24/7" via mobile and social media.

This socialisation of marketing had also led to creativity increasing in importance as brands needed to break through the growing clutter to earn the right to be noticed or engaged with.

Weed also observed that while Unilever wanted to be where its consumers were, whether TV, social or mobile, it also wanted to be ahead of them. "The role of marketing is to have a point of view on the future," he noted.

"We want to get to the future first .. [but] it can't be too far ahead," he added.

He referred to several instances where Unilever was achieving this, whether by the allocation of budget to digital – 30% in the US, low single digits in India – or the geographical shift in marketing emphasis – there are now more staff in the Singapore and Mumbai head offices than in the global head office.

Data sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by Warc staff

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Unilever targets Asian mobile users (Warc)

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.

The company 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 Turkey.

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.

With 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' growth."

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

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Unilever's Keith Weed puts mobile at heart of emerging markets strategy (Marketing, Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith)

Unilever's chief marketing officer Keith Weed has placed mobile marketing at the heart of the company's strategy for engaging with consumers in emerging markets.

Weed announced a strategic partnership with mobile marketing company Brandtone last night (24 September), which will see both companies expand their reach across 10 different markets, including India, China and Indonesia.

Over half of Unilever’s turnover comes from emerging markets, Weed said, which is expected to grow to around 75% over the coming years.

Read the full article here.