NEW YORK -- Mondelez International Inc., the global maker of snacks including chocolate, biscuits, gum and candy--formerly known as Kraft Foods Inc.--has launched a mobile marketing initiative during New York's Advertising Week. The new program, Mobile Futures, aims at igniting the company's consumer connections by working and collaborating with some of the brightest and most innovative minds in the mobile space--startup entrepreneurs.
Two key convenience retailers, which the company did not name, will be among the organizations becoming part of the Mobile Futures Network.
The program will pair Mondelez's power brands with select startups to not only accelerate and scale existing mobile innovations, but also incubate brand-new mobile ventures, each in just 90 days.
The initiative's mobile focus areas include mobile at retail, reaching consumers in store and on the go to add value, make life easier and drive purchases/loyalty; social TV, driving social engagement and connected experiences across multiple screens to drive awareness and consideration; and SoLoMo (social/location/mobile), the intersection of social, location-aware technology and mobile to connect brands with consumers and drive impulse purchases.
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"American consumers spend more than 23% of their daily media consumption on a mobile device. Yet most marketers dedicate less than 1% of their media spend to mobile. This is a huge gap, and it's driving us at Mondelez International to think differently about consumer engagement and path to purchase," said Bonin Bough, vice president of global media and consumer engagement at Mondelez. "We are planning to invest 10% of our global marketing budget in mobile activations and channels across the entire consumer journey. Our goal is to become one of the top mobile marketers in the world. And Mobile Futures demonstrates how committed we are to get there."
The first phase of the program is about understanding and embracing the startup entrepreneurial spirit. Selected startups will work one-on-one with Mondelez's brands such as Oreo, Trident, Ritz and iDGum to scale and activate pilots into market within 90 days. Brands will also spend one week working alongside their startups, immersing the company's marketers into startup culture.
Next, the company will bring the startup spirit inside the organization and spark "intrapreneurship." With the help of the program's startups and incubator PreHype, brands will create and incubate completely new mobile ventures. At the end of 90 days, Mondelez will pitch those new venture concepts to angel investors and venture capitalists with the hopes of securing seed funding.
"Mobile Futures is a first of its kind program because it begins and ends with startups. Startups are the innovative lifeblood for the digital world and we are committed to supporting them," said Bough. "At the same time, this program will further drive innovation within our own organization and create a culture of 'intrapreneurship.' Out of that new culture will emerge new, innovative ideas that will shape the future of mobile."
"Mobile Futures is so exciting for us because it offers a chance to unlock an emerging platform. Every brand is searching for the right way to use mobile to enhance consumer engagement. This initiative harnesses true experts to accelerate our growth in this space," said Cindy Chen, director of marketing for Oreo at Mondelez.
The Mobile Futures Network consists of innovative organizations whose knowledge and experience will be invaluable to the success of the program. Members include: Viacom; AT&T AdWorks; two key convenience retailers; incubator partners Prehype and Kicklabs; angel and venture capital investors: First Round Capital, New World Ventures, Commerce Ventures, OCA Ventures, Intel Capital, BlueRun Ventures and Transmedia Capital; the Mobile Marketing Association; the Boston Consulting Group; and agency partners: Ruder Finn, Horizon Media and MediaVest.
These organizations will play a key role in various stages of the program by bringing their expertise and perspective, the company said.
In a keynote address during Advertising Week's official mobile event, "SM2: Smarter Mobile Marketing" presented by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), Bough issued an open call to startups. Mondelez is encouraging startups to apply online at www.mobilefutures.com when the application process opens on Wednesday, October 10, at 9:00 a.m. EST. The application process will remain open until 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, November 9.
Mondelez is a world leader in chocolate, biscuits, gum, candy, coffee and powdered beverages. The company comprises the global snacking and food brands of the former Kraft Foods Inc. following the spinoff of its North American grocery operations in October 2012. Its portfolio includes several billion-dollar brands such as Cadbury and Milka chocolate, Jacobs coffee, LU, Nabisco and Oreo biscuits, Tang powdered beverages and Trident gums. Mondelez has annual revenue of approximately $36 billion and operations in more than 80 countries.