Unilever chief marketing and communications officer Keith Weed discussed how, in a connected digital world, marketers’ ability to identify and drive growth opportunities has never been greater.

Weed, who was recently voted the most influential CMO in the world by Forbes, talked about how, by delivering growth that is competitive, consistent, profitable and responsible, Unilever is building a model for success in a world of changing consumer expectations and digital marketing trends.

With consumers rapidly changing the way they react, brands and advertisers are having to adapt. With that in mind, Weed urged the audience to stop taking about “digital marketing” and instead consider marketing “in a connected world”.

“Never before have we needed magic to break through the clutter,” he commented. “Winners don’t do things differently, they do different things.”

Through using eComms to reach consumers instead of a big TV budget, Unilever is creating a very different type of competition by plotting consumer journeys in the ever-chaotic connected world.

With a third of Americans listing mobile as their primary source of entertainment, Weed talked about the three Vs: viewability, verification and value. “Today is about real time, in language and in cultural connection,” he said of the 600 million people using ad blockers.

With search moving away from targeting searchers towards enabling finders, the switch of thinking around function has increased traffic by 30% for Unilever, with only an 11% increase in investment.

Of engaging in voice tech, Weed said it was “critical” as long as it serves people at the right time in the right way. “People are more interested in engaging with brands that align with their values, and reject those that do not,” he commented. For example, 40% of females do not identify with how they are portrayed in advertising, with only 3% portrayed in leadership positions, 2% being smart and 1% being funny. “We need to un-stereotype advertising,” he added.

In conclusion, Weed considered the four Cs of how to drive growth – connect, content, commerce and community. “We need brands and technology that don’t get in the way so that users can have a seamless experience at speed.”