Unilever to streamline comms, marketing

CPG giant Unilever said it would reduce its marketing headcount and streamline its marketing processes.

CPG giant Unilever said it would reduce its marketing headcount by 12% and streamline its marketing processes.

Unilever unveiled its plan at an investor relations meeting in London on Thursday. The company's strategy, which is focused on how it will “step up in marketing in the future,” involves decreasing 12% of its marketing staff in order to make its efforts simple, leaner, and more agile, according to a presentation by Keith Weed, chief marketing and communications officer at Unilever.

The company said it will streamline its marketing processes to six core elements, including communications; marketing insight; category and brand strategy; brand marketing plans, innovation and renovation; and in-market brand management, execution, tracking and optimization.

The presentation also revealed that Unilever will reduce spend on “non-working media,” which includes the amount of money the company pays to its agencies.

Unilever's decision to refocus its marketing spend comes about 18 months after fellow CPG behemoth Procter & Gamble announced plans to cut 5,700 non-manufacturing positions by the end of the 2013 fiscal year, thus streamlining its marketing spend and reducing $10 billion in costs.

Procter & Gamble also went through a major communications restructure last year, putting more focus on its PR and social media efforts than ever before.

“Public relations and digital and social media are less expensive than traditional advertising, have a higher return on investment, and get people to engage with the brand on a more personal level,” said Marc Pritchard, P&G's global marketing and brand building officer, in a previous interview with PRWeek

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