Mondelez: ‘Brands must take responsibility for talent’

Cannes 2015: Brands have relied too heavily on their agencies to hire and train marketers in new formats of marketing, meaning the industry has lost people to more exciting opportunities at startups or ad tech firms, according to Mondelez’s chief media and ecommerce officer at Bonin Bough.


Speaking to Marketing Week at a TubeMogul event in Cannes yesterday (22 June), Bough said brands have “failed to take on the responsibility” for helping agencies find and retain talent and that has to change.

“Talent is a big issue in the marketing industry and we can’t just let it be the responsibility of our agencies. We as clients have to step up and say we’re going to make our business exciting to work on, we’re going to make it amazing to have the chance to build the most amazing brands in the world and we’re going to build the future leadership of brand marketing with the talent at our agencies and our organisation.

“For me that’s the saddest thing, we as a client group haven’t taken on enough responsibility for talent and that is challenge we have. For the first time we are realising this is something that affects all of us and we’d better step up to the plate to change the talent dynamic,” he said.

To address the issue Mondelez has set up a programme called ‘Fearless Talent’ which aims to highlight the performance and successes of its employees and invest in their training. Under the scheme marketers are able to do things such as go and work for a startup or tasked with launching a new product in 90 days.

“This is about investing in our staff as marketers, their capabilities and constant and continual training and experiences so that they move at the pace the real world operates in, not the CPG world. We are investing in making them more valuable than they were when they came and not being afraid to have talent be mobile and move,” said Bough.

Bough believes this is becoming more of an issue as brands look to invest in digital capabilities such as ecommerce, programmatic and data. He said brands must get better at competing for the “next generation of digital leadership” or risk missing out on huge growth opportunities.

“The growth potential is enormous – ecommerce, the digitization of supply chains, the transformation of insights, changes to product innovation. We need people that can bring a digital mindset and unleash that mindset at scale – we operate in more countries than the UN, the scale at which we move is so big. That’s what we have to start unleashing – how do we train that next generation so that they drive the growth of our business by digitising the way we think.”

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