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Kevin George: Unilever’s Digital Media Strategy

As you shift marketing dollars to nontraditional media, where effectiveness is often much more ambiguous, how do you measure success?
It’s more of a migration of dollars to digital rather than a large shift away from “traditional.” Overall we need to do a better job of understanding the funnel through which people consume media. They use a portfolio of media to experience our brands, so a dramatic shift from one medium to another would be a mistake. Unilever has certain measures for determining success in a promotional campaign that are standard across brands, and many that are based on specific brand objectives. The digital space brings a lot of opportunity for real-time feedback, and we monitor most of our digital campaigns every week. In fact, some of the best analytics tools are free right now on the Web. The digital world allows the company to be more of a data-driven, learning culture, which allows us to instantly change campaigns as they are executed in the market.

Author Profiles:

Andrea Rasmussen ([email protected]) is a principal with Booz Allen Hamilton in New York. She focuses on strategy development, marketing, and sales for consumer products and media companies. She is leading Booz Allen’s Marketing & Media Ecosystem 2010 study, in partnership with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA).
Carolyn Ude ([email protected]) is an associate with Booz Allen in New York. She focuses on strategy development, marketing, and new media for consumer, media, and entertainment companies. 
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  1. Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (NYU Press, 2006): The founder and director of MIT’s comparative media studies program rejects the idea that new media will replace old media. Instead, he says, the two will form twin pillars of a “convergence culture,” in which the difference between channels becomes less and less obvious. Click here.
  2. Geoffrey Precourt, editor, CMO Thought Leaders: The Rise of the Strategic Marketer (s+b Books, 2007): Interviews with 15 current and former marketing leaders at household name companies reveal how CMOs can become “growth champions,” raising the bar of customer-centric strategy and practice. Click here.
  3. Christopher Vollmer, John Frelinghuysen, and Randall Rothenberg, “The Future of Advertising Is Now,” s+b, Summer 2006: The so-called digital revolution is in the mainstream, and the methods by which consumers absorb information and entertainment — and the ways they perceive, retain, and engage with brands and brand messages — have changed irrevocably. Click here.
  4. Inside Digital Media Inc. Web site: Video and audio interviews with leading digital media thinkers. Click here. 
  5. Interactive Advertising Bureau Web site: Offers news analysis and guidelines relating to advertising on the Web, via e-mail or wireless technologies, or on interactive television. Click here.
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