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How Mondelez is Creating Value by Hacking their Corporation

Originally posted on Expion’s Blog

When we think about the word hacker, it often raises concerns about being violated. Cell phone hacks, credit card hacks, illegal invasions of privacy.

But at Expion’s Social Summit in Raleigh B. Bonin Bough, Vice President of global media and consumer engagement at Mondelēz International, suggested a second definition, hackers as experts of programmatically solving problems.

Many big organizations have been slow to adapt at the speed of digital. Bough highlighted companies like Dropbox, Square and Pinterest who have all achieved valuations in excess of $2B in a short period of time. Conversely, companies like Levi’s and Radioshack have comparatively plateaued in terms of growth in a similar time.

For Bough, this hits home personally. He referenced a study Bain conducted that stated by 2020 every single consumer package good sold in a grocery store will be connected to the internet. As a company that sells more than 8 billion products per month, it’s feasible that Mondelēz could become one of the world’s largest technology companies.

But to Bough, Mondelēz wasn’t prepared for this change. How could big organizations like his reinvent career opportunities and team structures to prepare for this new generation of created value?

The answer is in the new phase of marketing Bough calls Hackonomy, or creating value by breaking things where there is a lot of value to be unlocked by breaking process and breaking norms. Click to tweet this.

One of the most popular embodiments of this mentality is Facebook and “The Hacker Way.” 

Coming out of hacker ethics, The Hacker Way is “an approach to building that involves continuous improvement and iteration. Hackers believe that something can always be better, and that nothing is ever complete. They just have to go fix it — often in the face of people who say it’s impossible or are content with the status quo,” said Mark Zuckerberg in a letter included in Facebook’s S1 filing in 2012.

For the rest of us, it begs us to ask the question: “How do we reinvent ourselves daily, and how do we allocate resources to enable this hacker mentality?

Bonin gave some examples of how Mondelēz is hacking their marketing efforts internally.

Hacking Media

When you’re one of the world’s largest consumer package goods companies, you spend a lot of money on media, $198.7 million in 2012 in fact. 

Mondelēz found that they were reaching diminishing returns sooner than expected over the course of the past few years. After researching, they found that the only significant change that might account for this explanation is the growth of smartphones and tablets.

As uncovered in the #Expion14 Generation Z/Millennial Panel, Mondelēz’s next generation of consumers weren’t watching TV in the same places. They were moving to decentralized platforms like Vine, Twitter, and Facebook, or watching on tablets. This change isn’t a replacement for TV; it happens in addition watching live. When a commercial hits during a live broadcast, consumers see it as an invitation to pick up their laptops or phones.

So how do you take back the reach of millions in production of content and media spend and make it applicable for social audiences who are hopping from device to device? 

You atomize it.

Bonin and his team discovered that they could create twice the effectiveness of a television spot when they engaged in social at the same time. 

When you think about that, if you’re a CPG marketer spending 80% of your budget on TV, to make that work twice as hard for you is phenomenal.

So they took their activations and made them social. For a Wheat Thins “Sponsortunity” on The Colbert Report, they used Twitter’s video tools to clip and share pieces of the Colbert spot across various branded Twitter accounts.

After the integration, they found that they were able to create unduplicated reach resulting in almost 4x more people seeing the spot on Twitter than just buying the integration on TV alone. This didn’t even take into account the earned media that resulted from Colbert’s viral delivery as well.

They decided to take atomization one step further and built their own show with Fuse TV, creating a complete ecosystem for social marketing:

- Trident consumers tweeted about music and culture

- Trident and Fuse took tweets from consumers to form the basis for show topics on the Trident Fuse ‘Trending 10′

- People watched the show, saw their tweets on TV, and started new conversations in real time on Twitter

- Trident then cut up the TV show clips, shared 22 video clips across Twitter, and also created new Trident preroll ads for the clips from their own Trident TV show (because “nobody wants to watch the same preroll ad on 22 pieces of content” says Bough)

- Both new and old Trident consumers saw the ads, clips and tweets and started talking again, forming trends for a new show

- Rinse and repeat

The brand literally has a purpose at each stage of content creation and consumption, as you can see below.

Illustration by @nickcicero (not a real artist)

Hacking the Super Bowl

By now, pretty much everyone in marketing knows about “The Oreo Tweet,” a turning point in social marketing when Oreo’s team reacted to the blackout at the 2013 Super Bowl.

A small team sat inside a war room and pushed out the tweet that was created in the right place, at the right time, with the right message, resulting in Twitter madness, and advertising history.  

What’s interesting about “The Oreo Tweet” is not that it sparked the beginning of a new movement, but it was actually the culmination of a long running “hack” internally at Mondelēz to put the pieces in place to be able to make such a moment happen. 

Leading up to the Super Bowl, Oreo had been running their Daily Twist campaign, creating content for 100 days, not just for the US Market, but also were localizing content in six other countries.

That’s 600 pieces of content in 100 days that had to run through strategy, multiple agencies, creative, and legal approval every single day.

Through that process they developed the “muscle memory,” as Bough described it, to replicate and optimize that workflow. Additionally, they gained the ability to draft, publish and approve global content, while tracking and highlighting top performing content with Expion to build a successful process all the way through the creative lifecycle across multiple brands. 

For their team, the goal was not just making fun content in real time that resonated with pop culture. It was about hacking the workflow and culture around publishing social content inside the organization for the future.

Mondelēz has embodied the hacker mentality as they approach marketing communications, pushing their employees within these roles to go outside of traditional boundaries and processes to experiment with new ideas and to inspire others to unlock this value buried within.

You can watch the full presentation below, and we can all take a page from Bough’s mantra when he says – “The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Hack it.”

*Disclosure, Mondelēz Internatonal is a client of Expion


Federal Student Aid Makes Fun of Poor People on Twitter

So FAFSA used a meme from the movie Bridesmaids in a tweet basically saying if you’re poor make sure you fill out our FAFSA form!

I’m just going to leave this here…come on FAFSA! Talk about a lack of empathy for your customer.

Here’s the thing, not everyone who completes a FAFSA is poor. But even if they were…federal student aid is supposed to help get you to college and have a better life, not make light of economic hardships.

Looks like FAFSA may want to look into putting their social marketing on deferment for a few months until they figure out their situation. fafsa poor tweet

This may be one of those times where they thought they were trying to be “cool” and talk to the hip young kids through Memes…but I doubt it.

When we find out the backstory from journalists who (hopefully) tear FAFSA apart in their articles, I’d imagine we find comparisons to the recent NYPD social media backlash a few weeks ago.

This is now two government organizations in just a few months who have experienced serious social fails because of poor planning and judgement.

When will brands (especially extremely volatile ones) learn that some things are better left off of Twitter.

This is just plain stupid.

By the way, in unrelated news the star of this meme is actress Kristen Wiig, who made $12 million in 2012 and can probably afford the loans on at least one degree.

The Top 25 Industry Media Content Sources Digital Marketers Share

I wrote a post over on Social Fresh about “The Top 50 People Most Retweeted by Digital Marketers” based on data I received from a report done by Leadtail and PunchTab.

It has been shared quite a bit today, as one would expect when you publish a list full of influencers. My mentions are through the roof.

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 6.05.02 PM

Putting the people aside, one of the more interesting stats they pulled from their data (all 57,009 shared links from 122,027 tweets) was that digital marketers are relatively split on where they share content from, 43% mainstream media and 42% industry media.

Since we love lists, and I’m not going to write two list posts on Social Fresh in one week…I decided to publish one of the other lists over here.

These are the Top 25 Industry Media Content Sources that digital marketers share links most from.

1. Mashable
2. Ad Age
3. TechCrunch
4. Business Insider
5. Adweek
6. VentureBeat
7. The Next Web
8. The Verge
9. MediaPost
10. Re/code
11. Business2Community
12. The Business Journals
13. Digiday
14. Hubspot Blog
15. Buffer Blog
16. Marketing Land
17. Social Media Today
18. Social Media Examiner
19. Gigaom
20. Search Engine Land
21. Econsultancy
22. ClickZ
23. MarketingProfs
24. Convince & Convert
25. (Tie) Moz, eMarketer

By contrast, New York Times, Forbes, Huffington Post, Fast Company, Inc., The Wall Street Journal, WIRED and Time are a few of the top shared “mainstream” content sources.

You can download Leadtail and PunchTab’s report here

Linkedin Encouraging Users to Share Photos

linkedin photo email

Nick on the Social Pros Podcast – The Truth about Google+

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 11.39.18 AM

It’s time for another edition of the Social Pros Podcast. Each week, Jay Baer, Jeffrey Rohrs and I explore the world of social marketing by talking to some of the top industry leaders about how they’re getting real work done in social.

This week: The Truth about Google + for Business

This week’s podcast features Martin Shervington. As one of the world’s foremost Google+ authorities, we discuss Google+ as a social destination, Google+ as a social layer, and the future potential for Google+’s impact on other Google products, including search engine optimization and Google authorship.

While brands like Ford, Toyota, and Cadbury all have had success creating content and communities on Google+, others have seen limited success, sparking an industry-wide debate given the untimely news that Vic Gundotra is leaving the company.

Listen to the podcast here: Social Pros 115

Subscribe on iTunes here: Social Pros Podcast

If 2013 was the year of social content, 2014 is the year of social context.

Over the past 12 months, brands and publishers have evolved their social marketing strategies from engaging with consumers on social networks to socializing their own websites, mobile apps and even advertisements.

While most brands now view social media as more of an opportunity than a threat, the rapid evolution of consumer behavior has resulted in new avenues for brands of all types to tell their stories.

If 2013 was the year of social content, 2014 is the year of social context. Consumers no longer just want to be heard and entertained, they want to be part of a larger story. Social marketing campaigns can no longer live in a silo — in order to succeed, brands need to create a narrative around campaigns that blend paid and earned media, driving consumers back to their owned properties to learn more.

Why is tweeting for the best-dressed celebrity on the red carpet at the Oscars so enticing? You’re not just talking to yourself, you’re engaging with a larger audience through broadcast tweets or a behind-the-scenes social hub. The individual now becomes just as much a part of the story as the celebrity themselves.

This year we will see more collaboration between traditional “communication” departments and creative/social than ever before. While many brands struggled in 2013 to manage and create these types of integrated campaigns, new technologies are emerging that blend real-time conversation, social curation and social advertising in a way that leverages user generated content to scale content creation.

For brands this means making better sense of socially activated experiences, surfacing the most interesting content (not just creating it themselves) and building useful and entertaining “products” out of their campaigns. I like to call this the “Old Time Radio” model of advertising — creating valuable and entertaining experiences — presented by your favorite brand.

In 2014 content is currency, with consumers increasingly acting as contributor to their own entertainment. Whether your content is about a Grammy-winning album, a branded social hub curating the best stories from the BBQ, or an interactive news piece, this audience contribution will become the cornerstone of growing and maintaining relationships with users.

Youtube is down

Youtube is down

No it’s not just you, Youtube is down for everyone. Fortunately the monkeys are on it and you’ll be back watching battle rap videos in no time.

The Home Depot apologizes after offensive monkey tweet

The Home Depot is apologizing to their Twitter followers today after this untimely tweet and photo made headlines for its insensitivity.

The tweet in question shows a picture of a man in a monkey mask sitting between two black men and asked followers “which drummer isn’t like the others?”

home depot monkey tweet

If you notice other similar posts, The Home Depot often has their bucket drummers dressed up in different costumes, as the bucket is the centerpiece of their marketing efforts around the College Football season.

While profusely apologizing to their followers who tweeted, they also posted this apology noting both the agency and employee were fired.

In 2008, Lebron James made headlines when his cover in Vogue Magazine came under fire for positioning him in a “King Kong-esque” scene with Gisele.

Instagram’s New Ads give Michael Kors a lift

After last month’s demonstration of what Instagram ads would look with Levi’s, Michael Kors became the first brand to actually post an Instagram ad this week, featuring a luxury watch amidst a table of macarons.

Nitrogram, an analytics platform for Instagram, took a closer look at this first sponsored post and analyzed the key metrics behind their first  including engagement and estimated reach.

I cover some of their findings in this post on Social Fresh.

michaelkors-ad-likes michaelkors-ad-followers-gained

Twitter Testing New Homepage Design?

Opened up one of my test accounts today and noticed a significantly different design to the home feed.




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