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Brand Strategy WFA Global Marketer of the Year Ecommerce

Mondelez CMO: soon, 70% of our digital advertising will be personalized


By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

January 17, 2023 | 8 min read

We catch up with the snack giant’s global chief marketing officer, Martin Renaud, who has been nominated for The Drum and the World Federation of Advertisers’ (WFA) Global Marketer of the Year award.


Martin Renaud, executive vice-president and global chief marketing officer, Mondelez

Mondelez’s top marketer, Martin Renaud, has set an ambitious goal of the company becoming a global ”digital snacking leader,” overseeing substantial investments to accelerate growth in digital commerce.

Personalization of its advertising is key to unlocking this growth, with Mondelez seeing a significant uptick in ROI from campaigns it already runs with a level of personalization. As it increases its investment in digital media (70% by 2025, from 58% today), it wants to see as much as 70% of the creative assets for digital campaigns personalized by 2025.

Here, we quiz Renaud to find out more about that plan. (The interview has been edited for length and clarity.)

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Last year, Mondelez said it would aim to generate 20% via digital commerce by 2030 through digital commerce. How is this changing your advertising mix?

Personalizing the consumer journey is central to our commitment to lead the future of snacking. Over the next 10 years, we’re investing $1bn to significantly expand our footprint in digital media and digital commerce, both of which will facilitate higher degrees of personalization at every consumer touchpoint.

On the media side, over 30% of our assets today are personalized. Over the next few years, we’re planning to double that to more than 60%, leveraging a combination of big data, artificial intelligence and deep consumer empathy, executed at scale. Personalized media delivers a 20% higher ROI, driven by strong effectiveness. That is why we will continue to invest in it.

Can you give us an example of a strategy for one of your brands that has been particularly successful?

Our Diwali 2021 for Cadbury was a Cannes Lions Gold winner that showed empathy for small businesses in the proximity of our consumers the way big players would. With the second wave of Covid, small retailers continued to struggle with limited resources and digital know-how.

Through state-of-the-art machine learning and AI, Cadbury took India’s biggest brand ambassador, Sharuk Khan, and made him everyone’s brand ambassador. By adapting his face and voice, Cadbury, consumers and retailers were all able to create ads that represented their local stores. Over 130,000 versions of the ad were generated and geotargeted to urge consumers to shop local. This resulted in 30% revenue growth.

What are the biggest challenges facing FMCG marketing leaders today?

The world is getting incredibly complex. Marketers need to manage the short term while at the same time keeping an eye on the long term and keeping ambitions at the right level. We need to integrate profit but at the same time manage sustainability, diversity and inclusion, data and creativity. From a world that was much simpler, marketers now need to evolve and do all of those things.

Increasing diversity, both in front of and behind the camera, is another challenge for the industry. Telling authentic stories that portray progressive and multi-dimensional personalities that break bias is a top priority. Our Oreo, Cadbury and Lacta brands have produced iconic creative work that challenges stereotypes, tells powerful stories of underrepresented communities and inspires the broader industry to do better. In addition to telling important stories to illustrate our diversity, equity and inclusion commitments, we actively seek stronger opportunities for underrepresented communities to deliver creative from behind the camera.

We are championing inclusive marketing and it is a shared ambition with our external partners. We’ve partnered globally with two organizations that help us fight stereotypes and champion diversity on both sides of the camera.

We have partnered with The Unstereotype Alliance since 2019 and it partners with our agencies and other CPG companies. We have been increasing our positive female representation from 56% in 2020 to 65% today, which is above benchmark.

We also partner with Free the Work, a global talent discovery service for underrepresented creators and the people who hire them. It helps us achieve national and local representation where we can legally track and obtain data.

In the face of a challenging economic outlook for 2023, how are Mondelez’s marketing priorities changing?

We will continue to prioritize growing our investments in digital. 58% of Mondelez International’s working media is invested in digital channels and we plan to increase that to more than 70% by 2025. We will also continue to invest in personalization. 38% of our creative assets are personalized and we are on track to achieve over 70% creative asset personalization by 2025. We’ve already seen a 9% increase in our digital working media ROI when compared with 2019.

When it comes to inflation, we’re confident that we are taking the right actions that will deliver value for our consumers while supporting our financial performance and momentum. Our team is very effective in executing revenue growth management and we will continue to use the many levers within our control to manage through the current inflationary environment effectively. Consumers continue to see the value in our products, which is reflected in our strong volume growth, and we’re continuing to put investment behind our brands to continue growing customer and consumer loyalty.

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How are you endeavoring to work more effectively with agency partners in 2023?

Last year, we completed a detailed media review to re-engineer our agency model across creative and production to deliver meaningful impact to the business. We announced key media agency partners to help build on our foundation and further accelerate our growth.

We achieve outstanding results from our partners because of the open and direct conversations we have with them and that we very actively manage the business. For example, when onboarding a key media agency in Europe, our teams hosted a three-day summit completely programmed and managed by our global and local Europe marketing teams to ensure that they truly understand and appreciate the unique dynamics of the business, our strategies to create growth and clear KPIs for how we would measure success.

You can vote for Martin Renaud to be named Global Marketer of the Year. Voting closes January 31.

Brand Strategy WFA Global Marketer of the Year Ecommerce

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