Mondelez ramps up mobile strategy

Mondelez International is looking to create a number of standalone companies to develop mobile marketing products as part of a wider initiative aimed at driving point-of sale purchases via smartphones.

Mondelez says its Mobile Futures innovation drive will lead to the creation of new companies.

The ‘Mobile Futures’ project, which is entering its second phase this quarter following its launch in October, will pair the company’s power brands with one of nine tech startups.

Each team will develop mobile pilots over the next three months that cover areas such as in-store marketing, location-based advertising and social TV applications. The startups will not only produce digital services for brands such as Cadbury and Oreo, but could also play a role in the formation of new companies Mondelez hopes to create at the end of the scheme.

The snacks company says it would not fully own businesses, adding that they would operate as standalone entities to help solve broader business challenges in the FMCG sector that have not been addressed before.

A spokeswoman for Mondelez says: “Before the iPhone, consumers would shop aisles focused on the task at hand or stand in line and look up at product displays near the register. Now, the vast majority of consumers are absorbed with their phones, distracting them from in-store point-of-sale displays.”

Mondelez has made boosting impulse sales a top priority for 2013 with the company already partnering with retailers Tesco, Metro Group and Group Carrefour to overhaul how its brands are presented on the shop floor.

Edward Kaczmarek, director of innovation and emerging technology at Mondelez, adds: “By partnering with [the startups], we have an even larger opportunity to drive relevant engagement and impulse purchases, and we believe that this will ultimately change the marketplace.”

The project is part of a wider push from Mondelez to adopt a mobile-first approach to marketing that includes investing 10 per cent of its marketing budget on mobile campaigns. Earlier this month, the business secured a licence to mobile barcode technology that allows consumers to scan food packaging on their smartphones.

Accelerator programs, which offer funding and mentorship in exchange for equity, are becoming increasingly useful for brands as they look for more cost-effective ways to foster innovation. Both Nike and Unilever have launched their own programs over the last month.

If you have a great mobile, tablet or app case study that can demonstrate innovation and ROI, then make sure you enter the Marketing Week Engage Awards 2013. The deadline is 15 January and you can find more here.