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Mondelez ups Facebook commitment following brand-building successes

Mondel?z, already a big advertiser on Facebook, is consolidating the spend into a global strategic partnership as a way to drive value, gain early access to new ad products and make way for collaborative technology solutions.

The news is the latest example of how Mondel?z continues to be a leader in mobile and digital marketing, which expected to account for 18 percent of the company?s global media budget this year, up from 13 percent last year. Mondel?z makes the commitment to Facebook following recent campaigns that helped build brand awareness for Nilla Wafers and Cadbury.

?Social media and mobile is now an integral part of the consumer journey, both before and after making a purchase, and Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world with more than 1.2 billion monthly active users,? said Michael Mitchell, senior director of corporate external communications at Mondel?z Int?l. ?Partnering with Facebook means that we can engage with their considerable audience at critical points of the consumer journey to accelerate our growth.

?In fact, we already spend a considerable amount with Facebook,? he said. ?By consolidating this expenditure into this global strategic partnership, we can leverage our scale to drive value.?

Twice the ROI
In January, Facebook reported that 53 percent of its revenue is coming from mobile advertising, with 945 million users accessing the site from a mobile device on a monthly basis.

Brands such as Mondel?z are taking notice of numbers such as these.

Globally, Mondel?z reports it is shifting more of its media spending to digital, especially social and mobile.

The decision to put a bigger focus on mobile and social reflects an attempt to deliver brand messaging to consumers where they are increasingly consuming media.

At the same time, Mondel?z is keen on digital because, according to the company, it has twice the ROI of traditional media and allows the company to influence consumers at the point of buying.

The focus on digital is even more pronounced in North America, where digital marketing represented 25 percent of the total Mondel?z media budgets in 2013. The goal is to bring this number up to more than 50 percent by 2016.

Preferential treatment
Mondel?z expects to realize a number of benefits by partnering more closely with Facebook. These include preferential rates based on the advertising commitment, the opportunity to jointly develop unique technology solutions and first looks at new advertising products, free research on campaigns in key markets and customized Facebook data to inform marketing ROI as well as key educational opportunities for its employees.

The partnership with Facebook follows some recent successful programs from Mondel?z on the social network.

In 2013, Mondel?z looked to Facebook to help it leverage what it believed was a strong base of passionate consumers for the Nilla Wafers brand, which has limited marketing support. The focus was on younger, upscale, busy moms and how simple moments of connection can build rich relationships.

Nilla Wafers was launched on six social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Vine and Foodily.

Mondel?z used Facebook?s targeted ad product to grow its fan base. Through testing with these fans, Mondel?z determined the best voice for Nilla on social, which is bold and sassy.

The company then targeted other consumers who were similar to Nilla?s fans and was able to grow the community at a rate of $0.35 per fan.

Mobile played a key role in the campaign, with 76 percent of impressions coming from mobile devices. In total, 11.3 million households were reached with 190 million impressions.

Results from the program include a nine percent increase in test market sales among those who saw Facebook ads versus a control group over the five-month campaign, a 13 percent increase in retail sales through Q3 2013 and a projected five-times return on ad spend.

Brand consideration
In Britain, Mondel?z increased its spend on Facebook by four to five times in support of the Cadbury Crème Egg ?Have a Fling? campaign.

The posts with the best feedback along with the most popular user-generated content were put before 18 to 25-year-old Facebook users en masse through paid media such as Promoted Posts.

Additionally, some activity was ramped up around key television events such as Britain?s Got Talent.

The strategy increased brand consideration on TV by around 20 percent during three months while 18 percent was attributed to Facebook. It also led to a 7 percent increase in single Creme Egg sales over the same period.

With the new partnership, consumers are likely to see more such efforts from Mondel?z going forward.

?Facebook?s success is mobile, and with the acquisition of Whatsapp, Mondel?z will have an opportunity to leverage Facebook even more,? said Erich Joachimsthaler, CEO and founder of Vivaldi Partners, New York. ?In-store are totally new ways of connecting with consumers through mobile, delivering ads in the context, when people show.

?They will leverage the enormous information that Facebook has to hyper-target offers to consumers,? he said. ?With Facebook, Mondel?z can work at scale, which Mondel?z needs and other social networks cannot deliver.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York