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Simplify, not complicate digital mktg, says Unilever’s Rahul Welde

It is widely agreed that marketing strategies need not alter the basic of advertising quoted in the textbooks but their approach has to be tweaked in order to blend with the audience of the digital community. In a connected world, the consumer has transformed to one who is always hungry for better services and brands need to up their game to face the competition.

Among the largest advertisers in the Indian marketing domain, Rahul Welde, Vice President – Media, Asia, Africa, Middle East, Turkey and Russia at Unilever Asia Private Ltd shared his commitment towards crafting brands of life at ad:tech 2015 in Delhi. Unilever may be game for adopting bolder strategies to differentiate itself for its FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) peers but ‘people-first’ is the principle that brands across India must follow.

The highlight of his address was ‘turbo charging digital’ through which Unilever seeks to simplify marketing and not be baffled due to the sheer size of the digital media. “Today we are looking at social media platforms which did not even exist 2-3 years ago. In a complex media environment we have to find ways to navigate,” said Mr Welde.

Unlike many in the industry, Mr Welde does not carried away by the mobile revolution in India. He believe that marketing strategies must be coherent with the marketing objective of the company. Quoting the example of ‘Kan Khajura Tesan’, he emphasised on the reach of a medium like feature phones to connect with people in areas which are not connected to digital.

In 2013, Unilever rolled out ‘Digital Experimentation Foundry’ which seeks to fund disruptive projects for companies which do not have enough resources to do o themselves. The Foundry set up by the FMCG giant seeks to contribute to the growth in the digital medium. Further, it also launched ‘Unilever Foundry’ which serves as a similar platform for start-ups and companies in the technology space.

Besides the foundry, other step Unilever has taken in the digital space is that of the command center, which is a digital powered analytics system focussed on a realtime analytics-based approach. As a representation, command centre was set up to prepare for the live streamed the event at the Lakme Fashion Week, Mr Welde explained.