About the company
- Unilever is a British and Dutch multinational consumer goods company which is co-headquartered in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and London, United Kingdom.
- It was founded in 1930, when the Dutch margarine producer Unie and the British soap making company Lever Brothers merged.
- Its products include food, beverages,cleaning agents and personal care products.
- Unilever owns 400 brands with 14 categories of home, personal care and foods products. These brands range from some world favourite ones including Lipton, Knorr, Dove and Omo, Sunsilk, Rexona and trusted local brands which include Lynx and Persil.
- It is the world’s third-largest consumer goods company as of 2012 , after Procter & Gamble and Nestlé.
Business Objectives of Unilever
- To raise awareness about the launch of a new product and distribute samples on social media (in this case being Facebook).
- Launch a campaign on Facebook to distribute samples of its new Marmite Cereal Bar and promote their cereal bar by doing the same.
- Recognizing that it was the first company in the UK to run such a format which could be a good opportunity to revolutionalize the way of approaching the customers.
- To engage with customers who are active on social media and communicate with them, hence increasing their visibility in this medium as well.
- Bringing people on social media together as the “likes” and “comments” on Facebook not only help the Company in understanding the increasing popularity of their product but also attracting the prospective customers when they see their families and friends liking the product’s page and its’ posts on Facebook.
- Creating a push & a pull. Initially the customers are approached but as the product gains popularity, the visits on its page increase.
- Reaching the most likely customers without revealing their identity, by approaching consumers on the basis of their requirements.
Strategy employed by Unilever
- Brought the Facebook Ad Units format to its full use and made the ad appealing to the customers.
- The company took advantage of Facebook Targeting to target mothers and adults from 16- to 44-years of age.
- Unilever ran a Sampling Ad with an ad headline which read “Free Marmite Cereal Bar” This advertisement invited the users or the prospective customers to “Try the world’s first savoury cereal bar for free”which was also a punchline used to attract the customers.
- Creating brand loyalty through Facebook by showing to the customer how the brand is easier to approach through its social media presence through which customers can provide feedback and even ask questions.
- Customers were given the unique opportunity to fill out their shipping address within the Ad Unit, which provided them with a much faster and easier way to ask for a sample without leaving the Newsfeed thereby saving time as well and making the entire process smooth.
Results of the Campaign
- The campaign grew the main Marmite Facebook Page by 10 percent, with a total of 3 lakh people connected to the page. By the first and second week of October 2010, the number of people who were connected to the core Marmite Page had increased to more than 5.28 lakh.
- The campaign generated 21.5 million impressions in just more than two weeks which shows how the concept of social media marketing was successful in generating demand.
- Through the Facebook sampling initiative Unilever delivered 33,000 samples in two weeks to the target audience which shows how the concept showed good progress.
- On one hand it showed both the website’s viral nature and also showed that users are more likely to try products when they are recommended by their friends.
- This campaign helped create enthusiasm on Facebook making users realize different uses of social media marketing and its advantages which were well recognized by Unilever.
- It showed how using Facebook to help launch a new product can leverage the platform’s viral nature and the fact that users are more likely to try products when they are recommended by their friends which was the case noticed in this form of marketing.
- It is less time consuming as one does not have to go to the store to buy the sample but just order it through Facebook which also makes it convenient for the customer and therefore the probability of loyalty towards the brand increases.
- The social network can offer valuable media, as the ones loyal to the brand will continue to discuss products on Facebook long even after an advertising campaign has officially ended which is beneficial for the brand from a long term perspective.
- The advantages of social media marketing could lead to a shift from the conservative marketing strategy of various different sectors to a more digital approach towards marketing.
Image Credits: Unilever