NEW YORK: Unilever, the FMCG manufacturer, believes that following a “5Cs” strategy can help marketers navigate the rapidly-changing communications landscape.

Keith Weed, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Unilever, discussed this subject during a keynote session at Advertising Week 2017.

And the heart of the “5Cs” formula, he suggested, is made up of “consumers” – with brands needing to understand the evolving customer journey, and look beyond demographics to gain a deeply granular picture of individuals.

“It’s a move from mass-marketing to massive customization,” he said. (For further details, read WARC’s in-depth report: Unilever’s (new) formula for brand success.)

The second component of Weed’s schematic is to “connect” in a digital world, which will involve being more integrated and holistic in approach than is often the case at present.

A third consideration is encouraging a “community” to form. “We’re finding that people are more and more interested in engaging with brands that really align with their values. It’s not just the product; it’s an idea to buy into as well,” said Weed.

Fourth on the Unilever marketer’s list was “content”. In breaking out one important sub-division of this concept, Weed cited “Seek-Out Advertising”, which is premised on crafting output that people want to discover based on their needs or passions.

“We’re using entertainment to build content, but in a way that’s truly entertaining. That’s why we call it ‘Seek-Out’ – [consumers will] want to find it because it’s great content, not because we’re pushing it towards them,” he added.

Commerce represents the final “C” on Weed’s list. And drilling down into consumer perceptions by picking up vital cues from online conversations is a vital element of the marketing toolkit in this area.

“The beauty with social listening is that we can actually hear what people are talking about in real time, with a view to understand better what’s going on. We’ve found whole new ways of understanding about products and, indeed, sources of innovation as well,” Weed said.

Data sourced from WARC