Hindustan Unilever Limited: Consumer 360


Client: Hindustan Unilever Limited
Agency: PHD India
Country: India
Year: 2015


Campaign Summary

Consumer 360 is an enterprise-wide, mobile-based initiative that was designed to help Hindustan Unilever Limited build a mass, actionable consumer database across India. The campaign was designed around mobile – keeping in mind that the interactions had to be simple and most importantly cost-free for penny-wise consumers in India.


Objective and Context

India, with its huge population, is a critical market, and with its large native mobile population, needs to be approached in a unique manner. HUL’s objective was to build one billion global profiles by 2020 since data-driven marketing is now the future.

With such a huge opportunity at stake, HUL needed to devise a strategy to gain dependable and owned consumer profiling data. Since 95 percent of mobile users in India are on pre-paid connections, mobile has two times the strength of other channels, allowing it to not just reach consumers but also offer them a value exchange.

The aim of the campaign was to build a central repository of consumer data which could be analyzed and filtered to come up with insights on consumer behavior.

India, with a mobile penetration of over 80 percent, is one of the most mobile-friendly nations globally, second only to China. Mobile is therefore  the most accessible medium, since it can reach people even in otherwise “media dark” areas . The mobile phone clearly became the number one media choice for HUL's mass consumer brands. A handset-agnostic interactive voice response-based solution was the preferred way to give consumers access to the messaging that was rolled out.


Creative Strategy

The campaign communication was carried on packaging for multiple HUL brands including 3 Roses, Cornetto, Vim, Surf, Taaza, Huggies, Fair & Lovely, Bru, Close-up and Sunlight, with the messaging including a toll-free number and a unique code inside. HUL’s interactive platform guided the caller through a menu of options after verifying the unique code and asked a series of incremental questions about each consumer and her shopping habits specific to the brand. It then instantly rewarded respondents with free talk time. The data that was gathered was continually used to re-engage consumers in a relevant manner, allowing HUL to gather 70 million consumer profiles.



Below are the campaign’s results:

  • The campaign built data on five percent, or 70 milllion, of the total Indian population profiling users by their demographics and buying patterns. Consumers could also opt-in to receive additional offers from HUL, and the company was also able to perform competition mapping using the gathered data.
  • There was a 16 percent uplift in in engaged consumers and a two percent increase in market share for detergent brand Sunlight in West Bengal. Sharper targeting helped it gain 80 percent penetration compared to its closest competitor, Safed, within six months of the campaign.  
  • Cross promotion for Vim dishwashing soap, using the database, helped increase sales by 40 percent. There was an additional increase of 5.5 percent among consumers who bought competitors’ brands.
  • Seventy-five percent of the communication sent to the consumer database were delivered successfully for each campaign.  
  • An SMS promotion for the Cornetto frozen dessert brand, timed to coincide with the Hindu festival Durga Puja, resulted in a five percent spike in call traffic compared to non-promotion days.  
  • The Cornetto promotion also saw an 18 percent increase in volume and a 28 percent increase in value, with an ROI of 168 percent.
  • Capturing data centrally, which had detailed information on each user, enabled HUL to push out relevant messaging to consumers across cohorts and build relationships that would be relevant for future campaigns.

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