Unilever connects with hard-to-reach consumers in Asia

Low Lai Chow

Marketers in many Asian nations face a dual challenge: reaching "media dark" consumers without access to traditional or digital channels, and engaging those affluent shoppers who are embracing a range of new platforms and tools.

Rudratej Singh, Unilever's vice president of marketing operations, told delegates at SES Singapore that its undoubted success in Southeast Asia (SEA) actually went a long way to demonstrating this problem in practice. "In SEA, we reach two out of three people who exist in the region. That's better than television," he said.

However, even in large markets like India and Indonesia – where traditional channels retain enormous influence – this means Unilever's reach stands at around 66% of the population: a total clearly below the maximum level it desires. "Media reach is not 100% in most geographies," said Singh. "Even if you were to look at total reach of all mediums, at any cost, it is still not going to reach 100%."