Mondelez International, formerly Kraft Foods, has moved on to phase two of its Mobile Futures pilot program. Following an open call for existing mobile startup talent in retail, social TV and location in October, the company has selected nine startups who are now collaborating with brands like Oreo, Trident, belVita and Stride on new mobile pilots that will launch by early April.
Mondelez selected each of the startups with the goal of driving impulse purchases and mobile-at-retail consumer experiences. "We have active, on the go, millennial consumers and we know we need to reach them in engaging ways," says Gary Osifchin, senior marketing director at belVita, the Mondelez brand which is now collaborating with inMarket, a shopping rewards app that's gained considerable interest from large consumer packaged goods.
As a new breakfast biscuit brand that launched in the US barely a year ago, Osifchin sees a unique opportunity for belVita "to get out in the forefront and try something different," he says. Osifchin and his team at belVita hope to gain new insights into what can be accomplished in a mobile shopping experience and build a product that could eventually influence other marketing activities throughout Mondelez International.
belVita and inMarket's teams are meeting this week to draft the early stages of their pilot program that they are committed to launch within 90 days, but the team leaders from each company already envision a much longer working relationship.
"I've never had the opportunity to do something as immersive as this in my career," says Osifchin.
"When we heard about the Mobile Futures program and some of the great programs going on at Mondelez, we were flabbergasted. Here's this multi-billion dollar entity that's acting more like as startup," says Todd Dipaola, president and co-founder of inMarket.
"A very big part of this program is the immersive process," he explains. As inMarket brings belVita into its startup culture it will also perform quality assurance and provide data to help the brand learn from inMarket's areas of expertise. "As much as you might think we understand how brand marketers work, I think we'll be learning more about the ideation process, and how you think as a brand and introduce something new," adds Dipaola.
"If you go into a store now anywhere in the US, you see people quickly coming in and getting the products they need," he comments. "If you sit back in a store and watch, how many people are on their phone, using their phone to enhance the shopping experience?"
The goal of consumer packaged goods like belVita is to find the right time to deliver a new, interactive experience or message to consumers during their shopping trips in stores.
"The world's changing and the channels in which consumers are hearing brand messages and their expectation of communicating with a brand has changed so much," says Osifchin.
Mondelez International received almost 150 submissions from startups hoping to collaborate with its brands on mobile-at-retail consumer experiences. The final nine startups were selected after the top applicants pitched their ideas in person. In addition to belVita and inMarket's partnership, Lisner and Roximity are working with Trident, Waze is partnering up with Stride, Shelby.tv matched up with Chips Ahoy, Halls is working with Dailybreak, Sour Patch Kids is collaborating with Klip, and Oreo is seeking fresh ideas from Banjo.
Once the pilot concepts are built out, teams will pitch their ideas to venture capitalists and angel investors that have joined Mondelez International's growing Mobile Futures Network.
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Matt Kapko has been writing about mobile since 2006, before it became cool. Based in Long Beach, CA, he has covered mobile entertainment, digital media, marketing, and advertising for several business media outlets. A former editor and reporter for RCR Wireless News, paidContent, and iMedia Connection, Matt is a regular freelance reporter for ClickZ. You can follow Matt on Twitter at @MattKapko or drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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