Unilever sees ‘significant step up’ in effectiveness in shift to data-driven marketing

Alan Jope

Alan Jope

July 25, 2019 - Sarah Vizard of Marketing Week writes: The FMCG giant says a greater focus on data-driven marketing and a programmatic approach to media buying is helping improve ROI, but admits it is struggling to hire enough people to run these more complex digital campaigns.

Unilever has credited its shift to a more data-driven marketing approach for a “significant step up” it has seen in marketing effectiveness and ROI.

Speaking on a call with analysts this morning following its Q2 results, CEO Alan Jope [pictured] said its brand comms are now driven by data and programmatic, with its 24 digital hubs responsible for more than 600 data-driven marketing campaigns and 1.5 billion consumer connections.

That focus, he said, had helped Unilever decrease brand and marketing investment by 30 basis points while maintaining effectiveness through “new disciplines” including digital advertising and real-time spend optimisation.

“[We are] shifting to a data-driven marketing approach,” he added. “Our brand communications are led by a deliberate and data-driven audience segmentation and programmatic approach to media buying.”

Unilever has found that audience segments identified by its digital teams are relevant across multiple categories and brands, helping to improve efficiency. These include “super segments” such as vegans and fashionistas that can be leveraged across all three of its divisions. More...