Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the monthly e-zine, CPGmatters.
In launching Mobile Futures, a program of intense cooperation between mobile technology startups and its specific brands, Mondelez International is looking for ideas and answers about how to harness smartphones more effectively than most of the industry has. The manufacturer's goals are to encourage and facilitate in-store marketing and impulse purchases as well as out-of-store applications.
In Mobile Futures, the recent Kraft spinoff and parent of Oreo, Trident, Chips Ahoy! and other snack brands hosted two days of pitch sessions. They then selected nine mobile technology startups that would partner with the company's brand teams for the entire first quarter to create and launch new mobile pilots. Their focus is on driving impulse purchases and mobile-at-retail consumer experiences, with additional pilots in social TV and social-location-mobile apps. The partnerships are intended to yield usable innovations at the end of the quarter and set the stage to address broader business challenges.
Ten percent of Mondelez's marketing spending this year is going toward ways to exploit mobile technology.
One example of how Mobile Futures might pay off is a partnership between its Stride gum brand and Waze, a community-based traffic and navigation app. One possibility: a Stride icon would appear on a smartphone when a driver passes a store where the gum is sold.
Ed Kaczmarek, director of innovation and emerging technology for Mondelez, believes mobile technologies will complement some existing in-store marketing methods and replace others. He said, "Working with mobile and creating everything digitally, you can do it very quickly."
Mondelez also hopes to advance frequent shopper initiatives through Mobile Futures. Mr. Kaczmarek pointed to the company's partnership with ShopKick, an app that rewards consumers with loyalty points and gift cards for their purchases at a variety of retailers. "That's an interesting approach because it rewards consumers across their entire lifestyle, versus being siloed with just groceries or just mass merchandise or just technology," he told CPGmatters.
Despite the rapidly rising attachment by consumers to their smartphones as shopping aides, Mr. Kaczmarek said CPG brands and retailers have been slow to take advantage so far. Both groups have focused on helping consumers create shopping lists at home that they can carry on their smartphones into stores and with making digital coupons available to shoppers once they're on location.
"We must evolve more because what you still see with mobile marketing is mainly just banner ads," he said. "We really need to leverage what technology enables us to do to more relevantly reach each consumer."
How much of a competitive advantage will Mondelez likely gain from its aggressive investments and partnerships with mobile startups?