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A marketing report is an outcome in a report format of the marketing campaign of some organisation. A marketing report is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the marketing campaign. In this report, Unilever is the chosen organisation. In this report, the internal environment, macro-environment, and micro-environment will be given focus. All these environmental elements are useful enough to understand the market demands of the company. A proper understanding of the marketing campaign Unilever will require knowledge of marketing communication. At the same time, usage of offline and online media in marketing will be addressed as well.
(Source: (Unilever, 2022)
Unilever, a consumer products and service provider company, started its journey in 1929. Based in London, the United Kingdom, this British multinational company right now owns about 400 brands. The annual estimated turnover of the company is 51 billion euros as per the report of 2020. 13 brands amongst these 400 brands like Lux, Magnum has sales that crossed already 1 billion euros. At the same time, the company is working with around 149,000 employees with a public limited company structure. The company has divided its ventures into three segments mainly. Food and refreshments, beauty and personal care, and home care products are the main segments of operations. The company provides excellent consumer goods to the consumers and targets the market of 190 countries at the same time. The company has its own research and development unit working in India, China, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Netherlands. The company is restructured often for better performance. At the same time, the company has a holding company named Unilever PLC. The company wished to centralise the systems while simplifying its internal operations of the company. In the capability pyramid, the company is currently trying to achieve the bottom position to reach more audiences. The company is trying to expand its operations across various continents to help the brands to grow eventually. At the same time, the company intends to focus on varieties using various marketing strategies to sell them properly. Currently, senior management changed and Nils Andersen soon will be replacing the current chairman of the organisation. The change in the management will also bring change in the internal operations. Big data analytics is being used in the company to deal with the customers and their huge amount of data. Around 6 to 8 Tb of data is being generated in the organisation every month (Unilever, 2022).
The marketing environment focuses on all the external and internal factors which are influencing the marketing campaign of the organisation. To understand the impacts of these factors, SWOT analysis, Porter’s 5 forces analysis, SLEPTS, etc models are used.
(Source: Unilever, 2022)
Right now, Unilever is one of the top 10 companies providing consumer goods and services to customers. In three divisions, the company is providing services. Personal care, home care, and food divisions are doing good business across various countries. Loreal is the company owned by Unilever and is the second-most loved company across the world. At the same time, the company is providing services to at least 190 countries. 2.5 billion people are taking advantage of the company. In 2020, 58 percent revenue of Unilever came from the merging market. The company has made about 52 billion euros as revenue in 2020 (Unilever, 2022).
The company needs to reflect on the supply chain. Due to the pandemic and various government regulations, the production and distribution of Unilever to some extent have faced problems. Blocks in the Suez Canal also had an adverse impact on various operations of the company. The company also felt huge issues as the consumers' buying patterns have changed due to the pandemic. The global recession also had a significant effect on the behaviours of the consumers. At the same time, the pandemic changed the focus of the consumers. Now Unilever can not cope with the changed behaviours of the customers (Unilever, 2022).
To enhance the internal operations of Unilever, the management can use various technologies. The advancement of technology actually can enhance the productivity of the organisation. Artificial intelligence can provide more customer services. They can deal with the queries of the customers and the feedback from them. At the same time, blockchain technology can help the organisation to store information about its finances. Unilever can make good use of technologies while putting more focus on e-commerce. They can use various social media platforms to promote their brands and reach a wide variety of customers. At the same time, Unilever can use technology to make the process faster in various operations. This will have a positive impact on various operations (Anitah et al., 2019).
Unilever right now is the owner of 400 brands and operates in 190 countries. Due to the pandemic, the company has observed that the behaviours of the consumers have changed to some extent. They are not relying on physical stores. At the same time, the customers are relying more on online services where they can order from their homes and get it at their doorsteps. In the meantime, consumers are not wasting money on unnecessary products. The advancement of technology, also helped the consumers explore more options online. Due to low switching costs, the customers can change from one company to another very easily (Raji et al., 2019).
Fig 3: Monthly growth of card spending among the customers of the UK
(Source: Jaziri, 2019)
While analysing micro-environmental factors using Porter’s 5 forces framework, customers are one of the most important forces which should be given enough attention. Customers are important because they are the ones who are investing in the products of the company. At the same time, the high revenue for Unilever can be generated because of the power of these customers across 190 countries. The power of the customers is quite high. Due to low switching costs, the customers are getting more options. They can easily shift from one product to another product without thinking twice. At the same time, advanced technology is providing them with more knowledge about the products. So they can search more about the products and can choose what they actually want. At the same time, the size of an individual customer’s purchase has also had a significant impact on Unilever. The more one customer buys from the company, the more revenue of the company increases. By 2020, the consumer spending in the United Kingdom was 1647 billion USD. Unilever this is why can not ignore the bargaining power of the customers. Low switching costs and highly developed technology are providing more help to the customers (Jaziri, 2019).
Fig 4: Difference between P & G and Unilever
While analysing micro-environmental factors using Porter’s 5 forces framework, competitors are one of the most important forces which should be given enough attention. There are multiple companies in this retail industry that are providing such goods to customers. P & G, Colgate-Palmolive, etc companies are the main competitors of Unilever. P & G is an American consumer goods production company and its revenue is 76 billion USD. Colgate-Palmolive is another American consumer goods production company whose revenue is 15 billion USD. Both these companies are old enough to compete with Unilever. At the same time, experiences while providing services for a long duration in this industry made these companies stronger. The marketing strategies are also unique to Unilever. In this industry, these firms are generally aggressive in nature and try to grasp the market as much as possible. They are providing products within an affordable range. At the same time, they are focusing on varieties of products to capture the market of consumer products as much as possible. Due to low switching costs, consumers can jump from one company to another very easily. At the same time, all these brands are providing more knowledge about their products. The advancement of technology is helping the customers to do full research on the products before buying (Saura et al., 2019).
Macro-environmental analysis of any company can be done with the help of the SLEPTS model. This model will give knowledge about the social, legal, economic, political, technological, and sustainability of the operations of Unilever. For this reason, SLEPTS is chosen as it will give a detailed analysis of the macro elements of the environment.
Social factors are one of the most important drivers of the macro-environment of Unilever. Often the operations of the organisation are influenced by social factors. For example, healthy lifestyles these days are being promoted on various social media platforms. As more people are observing these trends, they are getting more motivation to follow a healthy lifestyle. For this reason, Unilever is trying its best to bring healthy products in its variety. Also, Unilever is introducing healthy trends. For now, they are arranging consultations with the dentists’ for their consumers. They are promoting Lifebuoy products to encourage healthy habits amongst the people. At the same time, Unilever is using various social media and media influencers to promote its campaigns and products. This is a good marketing strategy for the organisation as people follow these influencers on social media pages. At the same time, the company is very much influenced by the campaigns done by celebrities. They are engaging high-profile celebrities to endorse their products to their customers. Customers tend to get influenced by the lifestyle of these celebrities and they tend to invest in these products eventually. In the meantime, customers are often influenced by the trends going on. The company tries its best to grasp the gist of these trends (Røstvik, 2022).
There are various political factors that are actually influencing the operations of Unilever. The company is based in the United Kingdom but at the same time, provides services in around 190 countries across the globe. Brexit is an important incident that has influenced the economy and business of the United Kingdom. Being a part of the country, Unilever also has faced adverse effects. Various new legislations were imposed on the company. While dealing with some other countries of the European Union, Unilever has to comply with the newly imposed regulations of trading. It also has an adverse impact on the supply chains of the company. Due to Brexit, the company could not receive enough supply of the products and that is why the price of the products increased to some extent. At the same time, the consumers experience a shortage of the products in the markets. On the other hand, the stable government of the country tries its best to support the businesses of Unilever. They stood by it by relaxing the taxation to some extent. At the same time, the government also provided support in various forms of help. The stable government of the United Kingdom also tried to promote the operations of Unilever for the betterment of the business (Moolchandani and Moolchandani, 2022).
Integrated marketing communication is nothing but refers to a whole bunch of elements related to marketing communication purposes. Public relations, business development principles, advertising, social media etc all are united together in the name of communication required for marketing purposes. All of these elements will help to promote the ventures of any organisation and will help to reach a huge audience. It will improve the image of the organisation. At the same time, integrated marketing communication will build a customer base that will be loyal to the organisation. This will also enhance the relationship with the stakeholders (Cheng, 2021, February).
DRIP model simply refers to the differentiation, reinforcement, information and persuade. This model was introduced by Chriss Fill as an alternative to the AIDA model. As per the model, one product or service of Unilever will be differentiated from the others. At the same time, the message of Unilever will be reinforced along with the product or service. Then people will be informed about the product or service of Unilever. The customers will be persuaded to buy the products which is the original aim of Unilever. To do this, the company needs to rely on its marketing communication mix. The marketing communication mix will focus on advertising, sales promotion, and direct and digital marketing (Zwerin et al., 2020).
Advertising of the products in Unilever is done in a unique way. Unilever believes that advertising opens a chance to communicate with the consumers openly about the products it has made for them. At the same time, Unilever believes in breaking stereotypes and giving social messages while advertising its products. International self-regulatory codes are used while advertising for Unilever. At the same time, the company hires celebrities to advertise. It believes that engagement with a celebrity will influence people more as people tend to follow them. It will help Unilever to do better operations while promoting its products across the world (Wen and Leung, 2021).
Sales promotion is a temporary strategy that will increase the demand for the products or services. At the same time, strategies of sale promotion will increase the interest of the customers instantly. Unilever also uses a sales promotion strategy to increase the demand for the products amongst the customers. It often provides buy one get one offers or gives some discounts. Unilever also provides discounts on bulk shopping of the products. The soaps, detergent, etc products are sold in bulk quantity while giving some kind of discounts. At the same time, these offers, discounts, etc can increase the demand for the products. As people often tend to buy more products at a low price. This increases their interest in the product (Oxford Analytica, 2019).
Direct and digital marketing is another marketing communication mix element used by Unilever. It generally refers to the electronic way of marketing using emails, websites, and various applications. The marketing ideas will reach the audience within a fraction of a second. At the same time, this method of marketing will connect directly to the consumer. Unilever also uses this method of marketing using newsletters and various applications. Pop-ups will arise while consumers are going through some relevant websites about the products (Raja, 2020).
Data analytics is a scientific approach to analysing the huge amounts of data generated by any organisation and it helps to come to some conclusion. Marketing campaigns to some extent has influenced the data analytics of Unilever. Various marketing campaigns like advertising with celebrities, sales promotions using offers and discounts and direct and digital marketing will help the organisation to understand data analytics. These marketing strategies will help to know how many customers are interested in buying the products, how many people are buying the products, how many people are saving the products for further references etc (Laurie and Mortimer, 2019).
Integration of offline and online media can be understood by promoting one offline product using an online channel or one online product using an offline channel. Tying up both the data from the offline and online media of Unilever can help to integrate the system. The consistency of the brands working under Unilever should be ensured while doing so. At the same time, social media should be used to promote the offline events of Unilever. Unilever can request its offline customers to go online for further help and suggestions. This will create a huge impact on the operations. The productivity and engagement of customers with Unilever will significantly increase (Duralia, 2018).
Unilever right now is using various social media to enhance the promotion quality of the organisation. On Instagram, Unilever currently has 168,000 followers while endorsing photo campaigns, meetings with scientists, etc. Unilever, India currently has 14.7K followers while they are trying to promote various events organised in various cities of India. On Facebook, 3.9 million people across the world are following Unilever. All of these social media accounts and the numbers of followers are suggesting the influence and popularity of Unilever amongst the people (Das, 2021).
The entire analysis tells that integration of online and offline media is rather helpful for Unilever. Promoting offline ventures on online media will help the tech-savvy and updated people know about it. At the same time, the promotion of online events on various offline modes will spread the word among the consumers who are not good with technology. The company will eventually receive benefits from both sides. Unilever is also trying to integrate both the facilities to optimise its marketing strategies so that words are spread amongst the potential customers. Letting more people know about the ventures and products of Unilever is the ultimate goal (Englund et al., 2020)
In this report, Unilever and its marketing strategies were explored to some extent. The main objective of this report was to deliver some ideas about the marketing environment. To understand the environment of the organisation, SWOT, SLEPTS, and Porter’s five forces analysis model was chosen. The company is focused on using various elements of marketing communication mixes. Advertisement, sales promotion, and direct and digital marketing are explored here while trying to understand the integration of online and offline media. For Unilever, it is best to integrate both the media which will optimise the services of the organisation. At the same time, a wide range of customer bases will be reached with the help of these integrations. Integration of offline and online media can be understood by promoting one offline product using an online channel or one online product using an offline channel. The proper amalgamation of online and offline media will eventually help Unilever to spread the word about its products and services. Unilever can use these ideas and numbers while implementing marketing campaign decisions. The increasing number of followers on every social media account is denoting the fact that people are taking more interest in the products and services of Unilever.
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