Hindustan Unilever sets up lab to train managers on digital media marketing

26 Jul,2013

By Sagar Malviya & Amit Bapna

 

Unilever has set up its first media lab in the country in Mumbai, which will train its managers on digital media marketing and certify all digital initiatives of its Indian unit before they go public.

 

The development signals a sharp focus on digital marketing by the country’s largest advertiser, and may make other marketers too to take the digital world more seriously.

 

The lab at Hindustan Unilever’s headquarter at Andheri is the fourth such centre globally for the world’s second-largest consumer goods firm.

 

Atit Mehta, media services head at Hindustan Unilever, said so far the company has been focusing on doing the similar things much better than others on digital media.

 

“Now, we will be miles ahead from everybody else,” he said. The lab will ensure that all digital media campaigns of the consumer goods giant are compatible – from a basic mobile device to smartphone to tablet.

 

The company will also increasingly opt for digital hoardings instead of static old banners. Digital media spends in India, although still very small compared traditional media, is growing at a faster rate than television and print as a rapidly rising number of Indians access internet on phone.

 

CVL Srinivas

Experts say HUL’s latest initiative would make other advertisers too to focus more on digital media. “Presently digital in general is under-leveraged. HUL has definitely been ahead of the curve. It’s only a matter of time before more advertisers start making serious investments in the medium,” said CVL Srinivas, chief executive officer (South Asia) at media buying agency GroupM.

 

Vivek Bhargava, CEO of digital agency iProspect-Communicate2, says companies have no option but to take digital seriously as more and more consumers are trying to avoid conventional advertising. He says that if companies don’t allocate serious resources on digital marketing, then it could affect their survival.

 

Vivek Bhargava

Globally, Unilever increased its digital ad spends by about 40% in 2012-13. While Unilever has global partnerships with Samsung, Sony’s Arcade Creative Group and EA Sports, its Indian unit isn’t far behind. In the last few months, several HUL managers have been to global headquarters of Facebook and Google among others for training and digital certification.

 

HUL launched a India-specific initiative, BE Digital, last year to draw up a complete digital roadmap for premium brands such as Tresemme, Sunsilk, Lakme, Close-up and Surf, where the target audience online is high.

 

Source:The Economic Times

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