It may be one of the world’s largest snack companies, with brands like Cadbury, Milka and Oreo. But, when it comes to digital marketing, Mondelēz faced two big challenges:

  • As a consumer packaged goods (CPG) company, retailers and not Mondelēz own the data about its customers.
  • The looming deprecation of digital identifiers like third-party cookies posed an additional problem.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Mondelēz’s global marketing data lead Michael Lampert explains how the giant tackled the problems with a strategy dubbed “empathy at scale”.

Getting to know you

“We don’t own any of the data, we have to create partnerships and capture it ourselves,” Lampert says.

So Lampert’s company began a quest to acquire consumer data – from the consumers themselves.

“What I’m trying to do is ensure that all of the campaigns we have globally for Mondelez across all of our brands – from Oreo to Sour Patch Kids to Triscuits to Ritz Crackers – have a component of data capture and data activation added,” Lampert adds

“We’re trying to make sure that data has an equal seat at the table, just like comms planning or creative or media, so that everything we do seeks to acquire data and then activate data so that we can deliver the brand experiences that we want based on what consumers are telling us.”

Custom commerce for data

Case in point – OreoID. Last year, Mondelēz launched a personalized-commerce initiative, allowing customers to customize the colour of their Oreo biscuit creme color, or even add a photo, text and custom sprinkles.

Even Lady Gaga got in on the act.

But, for Lampert, it was all about capturing data on Oreo’s other, less-famous fans.

“From my point of view, it is a way for us to capture data from people who are raising their hand and engaging with the brand,” he says.

“The value of that data that we’re capturing can then lead to a long-term ROI positive value exchange that just builds off the relationship that the consumer has said they wanted with the brand.

“And now, because of the technology infrastructure and the partnerships that we’ve spent the last three years building, we now have the ability to activate across the data that we acquire.”

Cookies after cookies

It is, if you like, a way of advertising cookies, the snacks, without relying on cookies, the rudimentary ad-targeting capability.

But Lampert says the deprecation of third-party cookies is not a threat to Mondelēz. It prepared itself for that day a long time ago.

“We’re out of the third-party data business,” he says. “We were preparing for what Google decided to do many years ago. So the shift from third-party data to first party data is something that Mondelez was preparing for over the past three years.”

All of which is the more impressive since data about Mondelēz’s customers was traditionally the preserve of retailers.

“Consumers are telling us so much, and with what they’re giving us comes great responsibility, and the value exchange that they expect from us is very different from what they expected in the past,” Lampert adds.

“Consumers expect their engagement to be delivered a value message that really makes a difference to them.”

You are watching “Break the Cycle,” a leadership series brought to you by IBM Watson Advertising and Beet.TV. For more videos, please visit this page.