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