About Hindustan Unilever Linited (HUL)
Most of us would agree that going digital for the older generation is a tad more difficult than it is for the younger generation. Our grandfathers preferred to cut clippings of interesting news from a newspaper. While we like to share, post and tweet about anything that touches us. In this scenario, it is interesting to know how an 80 year old company has kept pace with the changing digital technologies. From soaps to soups and now social media ! The company which we are referring to is none other than Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL). It is interesting to know how it has not just adapted itself but has set some high standards in digital marketing with its own disruptive innovations and first of its kind digital campaigns.
Hindustan Unilever Limited is India’s largest FMCG company with a heritage of over 80 years in India. With over 35 brands spanning 20 distinct categories such as soaps, detergents, shampoos, skin care, toothpastes, deodorants, etc the Company is a part of the everyday life of millions of consumers across India. Its product portfolio includes leading household brands such as Lux, Lifebuoy, Surf Excel, Rin, Lakmé, Dove, etc. It is therefore no surprise that nine out of ten Indians use HUL products.
Business Objectives for Going Digital for HUL
Marketing has always been a strength area for HUL. However, this time HUL wanted to connect with its consumers at a level which was deeper than just looking at consumer as mere revenue generating agents. It wanted to look at them as people rather than just consumers. That is when HUL incorporated digital channels into its mainstream marketing strategy.
It adopted a digital framework internally, called ‘Turbo charging digital’. That became the key enabler in their ‘Crafting Brands for Life’ approach — putting people first in whatever they do and unlocking the magic of their brands.
A breakthrough innovation soon was born out of the turbo charging agenda. It was called the Digital Command Centre.
Approach and strategy Adopted by HUL
The Command Centre
A Digital Command Centre is an integrated brand communications facility that enables real-time management of marketing campaigns. It has state-of-the-art tools for advanced digital listening and monitoring trends that enable marketers to respond immediately to conversation opportunities on the web.
HUL’s Digital Command Centre enabled its brand teams to translate real-time data and metrics into information and subsequently into insights. Features like real-time visualization of key performance parameters, trends dashboards and analytics allowed HUL to make effective dynamic and instantaneous decisions that helped build the company’s online presence.
The command centre was actually developed in partnership with Mindshare and featured live data-streams and technology curated with other key global digital partners.
How Lakmé ‘commanded’ more share of voice at LFW
The Command Centre was first used in Mumbai for HUL’s Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) in October 2014 with the objective to de-clutter the ‘Lakmé’ from the ‘Fashion’ in Lakmé Fashion Week. The key problem area was that Lakmé as a make-up brand was getting lost in the Lakmé fashion week which primarily focuses on clothing and apparel.
The Command Centre, powered by numerous live data streams and resources, equipped HUL’s marketing teams to drive more effective and result oriented digital marketing strategies for Lakmé.
Deep insights, real time information and agile optimization tools all got integrated into the Command Centre and served as the power house of social media innovation for Lakmé.
The whole exercise was executed using social media tools which primarily included – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Command Centre was the key enabler to create and plug real-time conversations about Lakmé and Gloss as the big buzzwords for the season. The campaign lasted for five days of Lakmé Fashion Week.
During these five days, the Command Centre enabled the company to measure and strategise within a matter of minutes that allowed for speedy and relevant content creation around the event. What it specifically did was:
- It tracked what hashtags were being used around the event
- Whom people were talking about
- Tracking which celebrity/influencer was getting more traction at which point
- Who were taking ‘about’ the brand and who were talking ‘to’ the brand.
- Mix of LIVE organic content creation through FB, Twitter and Instagram
- Strategic forecasting and robust response management
- Disruptive response management to plug Gloss as the big word for the season.
In a unique approach, the team used a three days testing period for all its strategies. The learnings from this testing period were used to float content on social media in the next two days and go all out with the plan. The Command Centre taam, Lakmé team and the digital agency team all worked in sync throughout the project.
- Sentiment value of Lakmé was 89 on a scale of 0-100.
- Engagement rates on Twitter post were as high as 12%
- 30,589 new likes on Facebook over a 5 day period.
- Achieved a reach of 18 million compared to estimated 8 million in 5 days on Facebook with an average engagement of 3.2%
- Achieved an average engagement rate of 7% on Twitter compared to estimated engagement rate of 3.5% in 5 days.
- Engaging strategy
- Right content at the right time
- Targeting the audience well
- Testing content
- Allowing the posts to breathe
Photo credits: www.hul.co.in