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Behind Unilever Singapore’s digital ambitions

Small canvass. Savvy and demanding consumers. Rapidly developing technology. Increasing competition and diverse culture.

In this cluttered and challenging environment Unilever Singapore needed a strategy transformational enough to stay ahead of the market and deliver sustainable customer and business value.

In 2014, Unilever and Mindshare Singapore set the wheels in motion to transform its marketing mix from a traditional media, awareness based model to one which embraced the ethos of “marketing and media, like life itself, is one continuous beta”.

Managing chaos with an adaptive mindset and accountability at the heart underpinned its go-to-market communications approach – an approach which was a natural fit for the increasingly digitised and connected Singapore. From digital adolescence just two years ago, the metamorphosis to a behemoth in digital media and marketing is exceptionally remarkable even in a highly wired market.

3 strategic thrusts turbo-charged the transformation:

1. Single-minded focus on first-in-class thought leadership: premised on a data-centric, measurement framework that is localised for Singapore bolstered by a digital innovation roadmap and initiatives to fuel executional excellence.

2. Grounded in reality that we cannot go it all alone: brokering business collaborations with key partners such as but not limited to Google, Facebook, Yahoo, etc beyond media transactions or pricing.

These “Joint Business Partnerships” were landed on agreed pillars that would benefit the brand, the work, the people and relevant stakeholders.

3. Ultimately rooted in relentless pursuit and adherence to data-based decisions: beyond the usual CPCs, CPVs, CPMs, CTRs, applying learnings from MMMs, e-commerce pilots, purchase intents, custom audience portraits, ad verification, brand tracking studies, etc.

The writer is Ivan Wong, managing parter, Mindshare Singapore, and supported by Unilever Singapore’s marketing and media team.

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