OpenMarket Helps Brands Like Unilever Make Mobile a Key Marketing Strategy

By Paul Rasmussen, Fierce Wireless Europe

Unilever, the FMCG giant, aims to use mobile as its top marketing channel by 2020. The company says that it has already started to implement this strategy by absorbing the mobile data charges when users access Unilever brand websites.

The company says that it is paying the data costs when mobile subscribers download and use an app for its Lynx Stream aftershave campaign. Josh Dean, senior brand manager at Unilever, told New Media Age that the company was willing to pay the connection costs to encourage usage by those with limited data tariff plans.

“The app has already launched and the feedback so far has been really good,” Dean said. “The retention and use of those who have downloaded the app has been really high.”

The Lynx app enables users to share photos and post updates of events via their social networks, with Unilever subcontracting to mobile payment platform provider Openmarket to minimise the cost for those using the app.

Commenting on this agreement with Unilever, Openmarket’s associate director for marketing and communications, Andrew Darling, said: “We have a shortcode that lets users send a free SMS and get free web access to complete registration with the service. This helps facilitate the conversation between the brand and the consumer over mobile.”

Providing a wider perspective on the potential usage of mobile within Unilever, its global communications planning director, Jay Altschuler, commented last week: “Mobile is the most-used channel in growth markets,” adding that the company will position mobile advertising, couponing and commerce at the centre of its strategy in these markets over the next 10 years.