Unilever describes the tool – Konnect from marketing partner Brandtone – as a “Bloomberg Terminal for marketers” because it provides real-time insights and also allows the company to manage and adapt campaigns live.
It also helps shift what would have previously been months of planning and agency support into one application. Unilever’s marketers can tap into directly via their own mobiles and desktop computers.
Konnect allows Unilever to target consumers via SMS on feature phones and rich media via smartphones. It also supports rewards ranging from video content to mobile airtime – an incentivised approach Brandtone says delivers response rates 10 times the industry average.
The platform works on permission-based database built by Brandtone, where consumers have volunteered profile information in the course of purchasing a product.
Unilever will launch its first campaign from the platform in India, for its Sunlight soap brand. It then plans to extend campaigns to China and Indonesia.
Rahul Welde, Unilever vice president of media, says: “With competition to attract consumer in fast growth markets increasing, mobile offers the only universal way of engaging with them. Brandtone’s model makes campaigns accessible to all mobile users, regardless of handset or network, an important factor when over 90 per cent of handsets in these markets are basic feature phones.”
Unilever Ventures is a founding investor in Brandtone and has used the marketing partner to run a number of mobile campaigns across India, Indonesia, China and the US. More than half of Unilever’s turnover now comes from emerging markets.