Mondelez to announce ‘big stake in the ground in terms of media monetisation’

Mondelez International is poised to make a major breakthrough in terms of crafting content that not only sells its products but also makes money.

The snacks maker is to announce a partnership with Zefr, a media platform it hopes will pivot its marketing strategy closer toward Buzzfeed’s approach to publishing content that people share.

Zefr has developed tools for managing and optimising YouTube videos and Mondelez’s vice president of global media and consumer engagement Bonin Bough said they will shake its marketing to focus on quality rather than just reach.

Mondelez’s aim is to pull its marketers from meeting rooms where they sit with their agencies and decide what people want to actually concentrate on what they actually want.

Buzzfeed tests out hundreds of low cost short form content and kills off the ones that don’t work and continues to invest in the stronger topics. Eventually, they have an IP or content thread that actually has an audience that can potentially grow into something bigger.

“That’s the dream right now,” Bough told delegates at a SxSW panel. [The industry] hasn't figured out that the game has completely changed and instead we’re sitting back. Buzzfeed’s latest round of founding was $50m. We spent a lot more than that and we get a lot less than what Buzzfeed does for our total buget. It’s insane that we havent’ pivoted [toward that approach].”

Mondelez has been pursuing this marketing nirvana for some time but the Zefr deal represents a “big stake in the ground around media monetisation,” claimed Bough.

The business knows it can no longer buy the scale and reach it used to due to the splintering media spectrum and is racing to replicate the efforts of Red Bull and Buzzfeed - both of which have developed economic models that churn out targeted content.

Real publishers aren’t asking “whether our logo is big enough”, Bough added. "They ask whether a person will pay for content with their attention and by doing hold it to a higher standard that will more likely result in making money directly from the creative."

The company struck a deal with media business Relatively Media last year to kickstart this shift. While Mondelez claims to be able to generate strong return-on-investments from its digital efforts, the strategies employed to get that uplift are still rooted in a traditional approach to brand building.

“This is a pure economic situation,” added Bough. “Once we get to about 50 per cent reach we can’t [get that reach] because everything is so fragmented and we get duplication. Unduplicated reach is very difficult.

“The bigger point is that we all try and call ourselves. But we’re not publishers. Just because we have money and spend and put crap into the ecosystem doesn’t mean that we’re a publisher. Publishers actually get paid for their content. Either someone’s willing to advertise in front of them or behind them because it’s that good. That changes the quality equation.”

Mondelez’s tie-up with Zefr is the latest in a series of shake-ups to the way the company uses media that has seen it look outward for assistance. Last year, it announced global deals with Google and Tubemogul that give it access to tools designed to boost effectiveness through better targeting. All upcoming advancements revolve around the snack maker’s storytelling at scale strategy, which aims to deliver personalisation to the masses across its biggest brands.