Unilever in deal with Brandtone to drive mobile presence in key markets

London/Rotterdam - Unilever has signed a new deal with mobile marketing company, Brandtone, which will enable its brands to use the power of mobile and big data to build long-term one-to-one relationships with consumers, particularly in emerging markets, where mobile is a key tool to reach them - and to do so at scale.

Keith Weed talks about the new partnership with Brandtone

Keith Weed talks about the new partnership with Brandtone

Additional media - 2 items

  • Keith Weed talks about the new partnership with Brandtone
  • View this case study of previous work done with Brandtone

 


India, Indonesia, China & US to be a focus of new mobile marketing initiatives

As part of the deal, which was announced at the Mobile Marketing Association’s SM2 event in New York last night, Unilever will support Brandtone’s expansion into four new markets: India, China, Indonesia, and the US. Unilever will also build on the existing relationship with Brandtone in South Africa, Brazil, Kenya, Nigeria, Russia and Turkey.

Keith Weed, Unilever Chief Marketing Officer, explains: “Over half our turnover comes from emerging markets. Mobile provides a direct means of engagement with almost every consumer in those countries, and it is therefore absolutely critical for our brands’ growth.

“People are willing to share information about themselves in order to get more relevant advertising and offers. So the opportunity is there – if we do it correctly. We need to approach people with respect – maintaining trust and ensuring two-way dialogue. The work we do with Brandtone enables us to do exactly that. By building relationships with our consumers and adding something of value to them we can increase both purchase and brand loyalty” adds Weed.

Unilever has already run a number of very successful campaigns with Brandtone, including a promotion for OMO washing power in South Africa, which generated response rates of 30%, far above the industry average.

Partnering to open up key growth markets

Donald Fitzmaurice, Co-founder and CEO, Brandtone, said: “This agreement takes our partnership with Unilever to a new level, and sees us partnering to open up key growth markets. There, we will continue to offer Unilever the means to responsibly and sustainably engage consumers in the most important developing and emerging markets. Our state-of-the-art technology platform, available globally through the cloud, with teams of highly experienced marketeers present in each market, allows us to achieve unparalleled results for our clients. We have already delivered some remarkable campaigns for Unilever brands in Russia, Brazil and South Africa, and we're excited about taking this approach into the remaining BRICS - as well as other key growth markets - with their support.”

At the heart of Brandtone’s business model is meaningful value exchange; based on providing incentives, such as free mobile airtime, to reward consumers for interacting with brands and sharing information via their mobile phones. Campaigns to date have seen over 90% of consumers opt-in to further engagement, creating databases of profiled consumers that brands can build on-going relationships with. The campaigns devised by Brandtone are accessible to all consumers – using USSD (an interactive form of data messaging), SMS and IVR (voice message) technology – and are free-to-enter due to the company’s partnerships with the telco providers in each market. This provides an ideal channel for engagement in markets where mobile is the most reliable and widespread communication channel.

Founding investor in Brandtone in 2010, Unilever Ventures has played an active role in its development and global expansion to help brands to re-invent the way they do marketing via mobile.

Ends

About Brandtone

Brandtone is an international company that provides the means for the leading brands in fast-growing markets to conduct mobile marketing campaigns that increase sales, profile engaged consumers and build trusted brands. To date, Brandtone’s world leading clients include Unilever, SAB-Miller, Kellogg’s, Pepsi, Kraft and BP. The company now has operations in South Africa, Brazil, Russia, Turkey, Kenya, Nigeria, India, China, Indonesia and the US.

For further information please visit: www.brandtone.ie(Link opens in a new window)

Safe Harbour

This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, including 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as 'will', 'aim', 'expects', 'anticipates', 'intends', 'looks', 'believes', 'vision' or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, and their negatives, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Unilever group (the "Group"). They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance. Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Among other risks and uncertainties, the material or principal factors which could cause actual results to differ materially are: Unilever's global brands not meeting consumer preferences; increasing competitive pressures; Unilever's investment choices in its portfolio management; inability to find sustainable solutions to support long-term growth; customer relationships; the recruitment and retention of talented employees; disruptions in our supply chain; the cost of raw materials and commodities; secure and reliable IT infrastructure; successful execution of acquisitions, divestitures and business transformation projects; economic and political risks and natural disasters; the debt crisis in Europe; financial risks; failure to meet high product safety and ethical standards; and managing regulatory, tax and legal matters. Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group's filings with the London Stock Exchange, NYSE Euronext in Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Group's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended 31 December 2012 and Annual Report and Accounts 2012. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Unilever PLC

Unilever House
100 Victoria Embankment
London
EC4Y 0DY

+44 (0) 20 7822 5252
Press-Office.London@Unilever.com

Unilever NV

Weena 455
3013AL Rotterdam

www.unilever.nl(Link opens in a new window)

+31 (0) 10 217 4000
mediarelations.rotterdam@unilever.com

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