#MakingDigitalWork | Autumn 2020

Unilever invests in digital hubs as it unlearns ‘the old ways of doing marketing’

Unilever, the FMCG giant is investing two-thirds of the £1.75bn it plans to save through efficiency programmes into marketing and digital, while the other third “to trickle down to the bottom line”, according to new CEO Alan Jope.

Speaking on an investor call today (31 January) Jope explained that a key priority for Unilever is improving its digital capabilities as more than 35% of the company’s media spend is on digital channels.

He explained: “It turns out that when you’re shifting directly and aggressively into digital, the constraint is not money in the BMI [brand and marketing investment] line, it’s people to run the digital campaigns.”

To combat this the business is aggressively hiring people for digital hubs to “build around the company”. In order to “manage the content-driven, highly-targeted, data-led campaigns” it needs “new people with new skills”.

In its first set of results since Jope became CEO of Unilever at the start of the year, he said the company now creates “content rather than advertising” while praising its personalised ads.

“Our old mass market model of driving consumer goods with mass brands sold in mass channels through mass distributions, systems and mass media is really being complemented by a very different type of marketing where we put purpose centre of our brands,” he says.

Source: Marketing Week