Unilever's Mathieu pledges to make marketing 'noble'

NEW YORK: Marketers should stop thinking of people as consumers, shoppers, and targets and view them as human beings, said Unilever marketing SVP Marc Mathieu on Wednesday at the ANA/WFA Global Marketing Conference in New York.

NEW YORK: Marketers should stop thinking of people as consumers, shoppers, and targets and view them as human beings, said Unilever marketing SVP Marc Mathieu on Wednesday at the ANA/WFA Global Marketing Conference in New York.

“I pledge for all of us to embrace the idea of making marketing noble again,” Mathieu said.

Many companies market to consumers based on facts and research rather than personal beliefs, he said. Yet to become trusted, brands should build more humanity into their efforts.

“We need to reinvent marketing for life, for today, and for the generations to come,” he said.

Mathieu mentioned the slogan, “Where the Truth Lies,” from the AMC series Mad Men, saying it's terrible that marketers and advertisers are viewed as liars.

The three pillars to drive change in marketing, he said, are putting people first, building brand love, and unlocking brand magic.Mathieu unveiled a 10-year plan to improve creativity in Unilever's marketing last fall.

Brands should focus on human needs, especially since the world population is expected to reach 9.5 billion by 2050, said Mathieu. Unilever supports various sustainability efforts, such as providing clean drinking water to communities around the world and creating sustainable farms, he said, adding that “marketing and sustainable living are two sides of the same coin.”

Mathieu added that brands need to offer “not just a product, but an idea” to increase “brand love” because developing emotional relationships with consumers is key to marketers.

He commented that brands should also “unlock the magic” to reinvent marketing by thinking about their promotions as more than manufacturing, advertising, product launches, and research, said Mathieu.

“Create something exceptional for the people who trust us,” he said, adding that Unilever's Dove brand does so because it helps women realize their personal potential of beauty.

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