Ed Kaczmarek, director of innovation and emerging technology at Mondelez, told ConfectioneryNews.com: “Because the consumer is evolving so quickly it means marketers have to advance.”
New rules of engagement
Mondelez brands have been in the market a long time, so the company needs to move beyond ‘classical marketing’, he said.
“We have to advance way ahead of the consumer to engage them in new ways,” he said.
One way for Mondelez to learn quickly is to partner with start-up technology companies – the basis of its Mobile Futures project, a 90-day venture to develop mobile pilot apps.
Knowledge building with start-ups
“Startups are leading the future of consumer engagement,” said Kaczmarek.
He said that Mondelez’s decision not to partner with established firms had little to do with reduced costs.
He said that being with a company from the start as opposed to joining one late-on would help Mondelez build its technological knowledge to stay ahead of its competitors.
“When it comes to mass-scale we will be experts. If it’s already mass-scale we have no advantages,” he said.
Mondelez has selected nine start-up companies from over hundred pitches to work with selected brands for 90-days to develop mobile pilots in its Mobile Futures project.
“We’re not looking to just do mobile advertising we’re looking to engage consumers at new levels,” he said.
According to Kaczmarek, the mobile platform may help to inspire impulse purchasing.
For example, Waze, a crowdsourcing mobile app that provides live traffic updates, has partnered with Stride gum and may look to employ behavioral marketing tactics that invoke an impulse to purchase gum at nearby gas stations. Nearby sale points could show up on the app, said Kaczmarek.
Car apps, games and mobile TV
Rockimity, a mobile app that offers alerts based on users preferences, is tied to the Trident gum brand. Kaczmarek said the application powered dashboard technology in Ford motor company’s cars, which presented an opportunity to reach a wide audience.
The Mobile Futures project also has convenience store retailers such as Quick Chek and Kum & Go as partners.
Kaczmarek said that having C-stores on board was mutually beneficial and enabled Mondelez to scale test pilots quickly.
Mondelez has pinpointed the mobile, which includes Ipads, as a marketing priority in 2013 and plans to spend 10% of its marketing budget on mobile platforms this year.
“Mobile phones are now over 60% penetration. They are so much a part of the being of consumers and represent the best tool to engage customers at point of purchase, “said Kaczmarek.
He added that any technology ‘out-of-home’ was very important to Mondelez as it could inspire purchasing decisions.