Fast-moving consumer goods conglomerate Unilever recently revealed how it keeps up with advances in tech, by using AI to automate and assist in much of its marketing activities.

Unilever is one of the world’s largest advertisers, with 26 data centers located worldwide. It’s at these data centers that data scientists harness AI to synthesize marketing insights from various sources, ranging from social listening, CRM and good old traditional marketing research. By utilizing AI, Unilever seeks to eventually move from mass-reach channels to more targeted, personalized channels that are more cost-efficient.

While Unilever’s use of AI and machine learning isn’t new, it’s only now that the company has been able to apply these technologies to unstructured data. Such data is qualitative, and comes from a variety of sources like text, audio, social media and mobile device activity. In the past, gleaning consumer insights from these data sources proved tedious and difficult, but now Unilever has been able to partner with startup companies in offices around the world that can “mine” valuable insights from these types of data.

Unilever also uses AI for hastening the process of looking for the right influencers for their digital marketing efforts; they do this by using Popular Chips, an AI-powered influencer marketing platform that checks for influencers with fake followers, then pairs their brands with the “right” influencer based on set demographics like age, gender and country.

Apart from mining market insights and implementing digital marketing strategy, Unilever has also been using AI for recruitment. Pymetrics, an AI firm, created an online AI hub that assesses a candidate’s aptitude, logic, reasoning skills and risk threshold for the position applied. The second phase of the interview process consists of a video interview, and an AI evaluates the candidate’s body language and speech. According to Unilever, harnessing AI for recruitment has saved them 70,000 man-hours of interviewing and assessing the large pool of candidates.

Seeing that Unilever is set to give AI an increased role in its marketing activities, do human-driven agencies still have a place in their evolution? You can learn the answer to that question and get more details about this story here:


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