We got career advice from Keith Weed, the chief marketing officer at Unilever

Our writer Nicola Cope met Keith Weed, and this is what she learnt.

I was lucky enough to attend a talk by Keith Weed, the Chief Marketing and communications officer of the biggest consumer goods company in the world: Unilever. Controlling over 400 household brands worldwide, Keith must continuously adapt to the changing world of marketing. He shares with us his thoughts on the digital revolution and where the advertising industry is going next.

A charismatic Keith takes to the floor and enthusiastically explains that above all, Unilever are striving to reduce their environmental footprint and increase positive social impact. Indeed they have managed to achieve their goal of ZERO factory waste, which is not only good for the environment, but saving the business millions of pounds each year as a result.

1. Get to the future first

Aside from his pioneering efforts for sustainability, Keith is clearly passionate about getting Unilever “to the future first”. By this he means predicting the way the digital revolution is going next and adapting the way that Unilever does business so that they don’t get left behind (unlike such yesteryear brands as Kodak and Blockbuster…).

2. Emphasis on the individual

So what does the digital revolution bring? A notable change that Keith remarks on is the fresh focus on the individual compared to consumers as a whole. In years gone by, brands used a more ‘spray and pray’ approach to advertising, serving the same TV & poster Ads to the mass market. Nowadays, with the digital revolution comes the ability to build up a profile of the individual and create personalised Ad content.

3. Vlog

Speaking of personalisation, Keith also explains the new generation’s fascination with Vloggers- the likes of Zoella, Charlieissocoollike & Casper Lee. He talks of how their personality and viewed authenticity attracts millennials to the products they advertise; as opposed to the older generation and their preference for traditional advertising.

So it sounds like we are going to see more and more adverts tailored to us and an increase in Vlogger marketing. Watch this space and see if Keith’s predictions come true!

Words: Nicola Cope