Case Study Unilever

Written Case Study Unilever Question 1 Briefly explain the concept of integrated marketing communication (IMC). How well has Unilever – (product brand selected) used the main elements of the promotion mix to create an IMC? Justify and support your answer with examples of the various elements used. Introduction Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) is quite a simple concept once you understand it. It makes sure that all forms of messages and communications get linked together. So what this actually means is that IMC is used to connect all the promotional tools, so that they can work together in harmony.

One major goal of IMC is to send a consistent message to customers. Integrated marketing communications make sure to help an organization with coordination and management of its promotional efforts to make sure that the customers receive consistent messages (Pride, Elliot, Rundle-Thiele, Waller, Paladino, Ferrell, 2007, p. 391). When this approach is used, long-term relationship with the customers is created as well the efficient use of promotional resources. The IMC concept has been adapted for many reasons. Mass audience advertising which was a popular promotional method in the past, is not used as much today.

The cost is high and the size of the audience is unpredictable. Today marketers can use more precisely targeted promotional tools such as cable TV, mail, internet and special magazines. Database marketing make it allows marketers to target individual customers more precisely (Pride et al, 2007, p. 391). Unilever has created innovative websites for their familiar brands as; Dove, Persil and Vaseline, Lipton, Flora, Ben & Jerry’s and more. Unilever has been famous because of their marketing success in using TV, web and viral strategies.

Dove for an example which is a soap brand won a big price at Cannes because of its viral video “Evolution” (Kotler, Brown, Burton, Deans & Armstrong, 2010). Ben & Jerry’s In the following section I will explain how Unilever has used the main elements of the promotion mix to create an IMC. The promotion mix consist; advertising, personal selling, public relations and sales promotion. The brand I chosen to use is Ben & Jerry’s, because it’s a popular brand in the world and in Singapore. Most people, young as old love to eat the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, the scoop shops that serve Ben & Jerry’s are always packed with people.

In most of the department stores, you can find a separate freeze containing Ben & Jerry’s, so by own experience and research it’s a popular brand, not only because of its taste, but because of the marketing. Advertising Unilever has been successful in doing attractive websites. By doing innovative websites, it’s a perfect medium that can be used to inform, entertain, and persuade the target market to accept an organization’s product or service (Pride et al, 2007, p. 406). The Ben and Jerry’s website is one of the advertising strategies that are currently being used.

The website is designed just for the target market in Singapore, so the promotions, services and products are only applied in Singapore. They also have an international website, but I put focus on the Singapore site. In the sense of effective advertising the website is a low-cost advertising. The only cost is to keep the website up on the internet comparing with having a TV commercial for Ben & Jerry’s which is expensive. To have a website makes it possible for customers to go back and look for promotions and news about Ben & Jerry’s and read about their products.

Another quite common advertising for companies is to put their ads on buses, or at the bus stops. I saw this once for Ben & Jerry’s, I find it clever, because people always stay on a bus stop for several minutes, waiting for the bus. This gives them time to look and read the ads on the bus stop or when the buses stop in front of them. Personal selling This part involves direct interaction between representatives from a company and the customer. Advantages of personal selling are to modify the message to the customer in real time.

I can connect personal selling with the sales promotion further down in this text, because sales representatives are giving free samples. When I visited Carrefour, which is a grocery store in Singapore, originally from France. Carrefour is present in 29 countries throughout the world with more than 12,217 stores, hypermarkets, supermarkets and convenience stores (Carrefour. com, 2011). In Carrefour there were sales representatives from Ben & Jerry’s. It’s not very often I see this kind of personal selling of Ben & Jerry’s, the brand is already so strong, and they got so many scoop shops.

The scoop shop is a Ben & Jerry’s cafe where they serve different kind of Ben & Jerry’s. What happened at Carrefour was that they let customers try the ice cream, and then tried to sell it at the same time. This is an example of personal selling. Public relations In 2006 Ben & Jerry’ served their first Fair-trade vanilla ice cream. This was also the world’s first Fair-trade vanilla ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s pay the farmers who produce the vanilla and sugar a premium which makes it possible for them to get a better life. The company is currently on a long term partnership with the Fairtrade foundation (BenandJerry. om, 2011); ‘Fairtrade is about making sure people get their fair share of the pie. The whole concept of fair-trade goes to the heart of our values and the sense of right and wrong. Nobody wants to buy something that was made by exploiting somebody else. ’ – Jerry Greenfield. This action from Ben & Jerry’s show that they are concerned about the environment and of course about the people in the society, which is also a way to make relationships with the stakeholders. This is an example of public relations where Ben & Jerry’s make this socially responsible program to protect the environment (Pride et al, 2007, p402).

Sales promotion In this part examples of sales promotion could be, free samples, or contests. How Unilever – Ben & Jerry’s used sales promotion is with the famous Free Cone Day (Wikipedia. com, 2011). This sales promotion which I personally attended in April this year is an event where Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops gives free ice cream, and it’s held every year. I see this event as a chance to get more potential customers to try their products and later come back because of the taste experience they got.

How this can be effectual is that one customer that gets a chance to taste the ice cream for free, is just not one customer, maybe two, three or even more. What will happen is that the customers will tell all their friends or family about the ice cream, and eventually more people will come and try Ben & Jerry’s. So the technique is very useful to be applied in the sales promotion. Conclusion By using these 4 elements effectively Unilever have succeeded making Ben & jerry’s an attractive ice cream for customers.

Wherever you go today it’s easy to find Ben & Jerry’s, and people like it so much. If the demand wouldn’t be as high as it is, the product wouldn’t obviously continue being on the market. This is all because of good marketing, and success of making people aware of the product, and at least a very good product. The importance is to combine these 4 promotion mixes; a company needs to work with all steps and not just one. Question 2 How can an understanding of ‘push’ & ‘pull’ marketing channel strategies assist in planning promotional campaigns?

Evaluate how these 2 strategies are used in relation to the Unilever product brand selected. Support with examples. Introduction Marketers use a push or a pull policy when they plan their promotion mix, with the push policy the producer promotes their product down to the next source in the marketing channel. The marketing channel consist wholesalers and retailers except from the producers and customers. In the push policy the producer promotes directly down to the wholesaler, and then the wholesaler promotes to the retailers and so on.

The company that use pull policy promotes directly to the consumers, with advertising and sales promotion which was explained in question one. This means that they create a consumer demand which help pulling the products through the marketing channel (Pride et al, 2007, p. 406) How Unilever use these strategies with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is mostly by using a pull policy. By creating a demand for the ice cream, they promote directly to the customers and not to wholesalers or retailers. For an example the biggest promotion event they created was the Free Coon Day, which aimed straight to the customers.

As earlier mentioned they gave free ice cream to people, which in turn created a wider demand for the ice cream. So when customers go for grocery shopping they’ll ask for Ben & Jerry’s, and if the retailer doesn’t have it, they’ll in turn demand the wholesaler. So this chain is what we call a pull policy. I think that because Ben & Jerry’s are an ice cream company and also one of the biggest in the world, they produce mass quantities of the ice cream around the world. Travado is a wholesale company that use drop shipping around the world.

Buyers can directly from their website make easy orders, and Ben & Jerry’s is one of their products they ship (Travado. com, 2010). So to reach out to these kinds of wholesalers, of course Unilever have to use a push policy, that’s why I think combined uses of these strategies are useful. Conclusion What we can learn from this is that depending on what kind of product or service you promote I think a company have to choose wisely which strategy to use if you don’t use both. For an example let’s say a producer is making rice, the most obvious tactic would be to use the push policy.

The producer would promote directly to a wholesaler who in turn would push it down the marketing channel, free samples on the street and a promotion directly to customers wouldn’t be as effective. So comparing with ice cream, depending on the product we choose different policy. Question 3 How effectively has Unilever integrated digital and traditional media for the promotion of the selected product brand? Provide examples of digital media used. Introduction Unilever has comparing to more than many other companies mastered the digital marketing space, Unilever recently won the ‘Digital Marketer of the Year’ by advertising age.

The company has made headlines around the world because of their success with advertising using different media (Kotler et al, 2010). I will try to give examples how Unilever become so successful in promotion. The secret behind Unilever’s digital success is that they combine new and old media to make the customer involvement bigger and the brand experience better. Unilever’s say that they manage their marketing communication by not using a ‘digital media person’ instead everyone is fluent in digital.

Unilever’s online efforts are managed by their mainstream advertising agencies which help to integrate digital with more traditional promotional tactics (Kotler et al, 2010). Unilever has used a technique they call ‘superdistribution’, their idea is they got their videos picked up by other kind of media for free. For an example they had one of their videos shown on YouTube 20 million times. Combining with TV, news and the word – of – mouse which means something is spreading online. Today Unilever’s marketing is so rich and creative that whatever is shown in the digital media, the information gets fed into other channels.

In a way Unilever has really succeeded in integrating their online and offline communications (Kotler et al, 2010). To give an example how Unilever has used new digital media to promote Ben & Jerry’s is by making a Facebook fan page. Today Facebook is the biggest social network you can find, millions of millions users are almost addicted to this site and what can make it easier than promote your product there? The Ben & Jerry’s Facebook page got over two million users (Facebook. com, 2011). On the page you can find videos and news about the ice cream or about their progress with fair-trade and so on.

This is an example of a new digital media they use. However this is not their biggest success in the sense of promotions, the TV commercials they done for Ben & Jerry’s are probably the most successful in digital media. Conclusion Like I mentioned earlier in question two, combining the two strategies can be useful; I can somehow relate that to this question. I think that the best way to succeed with promotion of any kind is to combine different kind of methods. So in this case when Unilever combined digital media to traditional media they made a huge profit.

When a company goes wide, and use more than one model they reach out to more people and they get more opportunities. References Kotler, P. , Brown, L. , Burton, S. , Deans, K. , & Armstrong, G. (2010). Marketing (8th ed. ) Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education, pp. 504-5. Pride, Elliot, Rundle-Thiele, Waller, Paladino, Ferrell, (2007) Marketing: Core concepts & Applications, 2nd asia-pacific edition, John Wiley & Sons, Brisbane. Ben & Jerry’s legal stuff. Retrieved April 19, 2011 from: http://www. benjerry. com. sg/legalstuff/ Carrefour, about us. Retrieved April 19, 2011 from: http://www. arrefour. com. sg/aboutus. html Travado. Retrieved April 24, 2011 from: http://www. tradavo. com/wholesale-ben-jerrys/ Unilever, Brands. Retrieved April 21, 2011 from: http://www. unilever. com. sg/brands/foodbrands/benandjerrys. aspx Wikipedia, Ben & Jerry’s. Retrieved April 20, 2011 from: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Ben_&_Jerry%27s#Free_Cone_Day BU1008/BU2208: Written Case Study: Assessment Feedback Sheet Student Name:| | 25 Marks| Poor< 50% | Fair50 – 64%| Average65 – 74%| Good75– 84%| Excellent> 84%| Content – Case Study| | | | | | | * Explanation & application of marketing concepts.

Demonstrates understanding of concepts in case context. (10)| | | | | | | * Answers display breadth and depth to the analysis and evaluation. Sound justification (when required). Relevant answers. (10)| | | | | | | * Depth and breadth of research. Evidence of wider reading through cited sources and new information. (5)| | | | | | | * | /25| | | | | | Process| 15 Marks| | | | | | Presentation & Layout| | | | | | | * Assignment is professionally presented| | | | | | | * Figures, tables, appendices are neat, accurate & labelled| /4| | | | | | Communication Style| | | | | | | Essay style approach used for each question – introduction, body, conclusion | | | | | | | * Sentences & paragraphs are well constructed; clear & concise ideas| | | | | | | * The assignment demonstrates a good grasp of the standard writing conventions (i. e. spelling, punctuation, grammar)| /5| | | | | | Referencing| | | | | | | * APA conventions are correctly applied when citing sources in text| | | | | | | * The reference list is presented alphabetically using correct APA syntax| /6| | | | | | TOTAL ASSESSMENT| /40 Marks /20 MARKS| ADDITIONAL COMMENTS| | | | | |