Unilever will unveil its first programmatic mobile marketing platform – Konnect – at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this afternoon.
The FMCG giant has likened Konnect, which is based on Brandtone's mobile marketing platform, to a “Bloomberg terminal for marketers”, letting marketers send targeted campaigns at scale to an opt-in database of customers.
Unilever is the first user of Konnect and will launch initially in India ahead of planned rollouts in China and Indonesia. Messages and feedback requests can be sent to consumers in emerging markets, who have already given Brandtone permission to store their details within its database.
The brand's vice president of media, Rahul Welde, will activate Konnect later today in Barcelona, using a message targeting consumers taking part in a campaign for Unilever's Sunlight soap brand in India.
Welde said: “We see Konnect as the marketing equivalent of the Bloomberg terminal – providing real-time insights and a way of managing campaigns as they happen. We can now identify, engage and reward individuals who use our products exactly at a time when it represents the most value for them.”
Unilever's senior vice president, media, Luis Di-Como, said mobility is “transforming” the way companies build brands.
“To ensure Unilever is prepared to meet this transformation, we have developed a marketing strategy called Crafting Brands for Life in a Connected World. This means Putting People First; Building Brand Love; and Unlocking the Magic.
“We believe that mobile is the connective tissue that holds this strategy together. In this way, mobile marketing is a great platform for building sustainable relationships, allowing us to create the proper context in which to interact with people in a personalised and addressable way,” he added.
The Konnect platform lets marketers use everything from SMS on basic phones to rich media on smartphones to contact consumers.
In a separate announcement, Unilever has teamed up with Facebook-led Internet.org - which aims to improve internet connectivity around the world - to investigate ways in which internet access can be improved in rural India, underlining its attention on the developing markets.