Mondelēz International Inc. Global Chief Marketing Officer Martin Renaud applauds the use of data to inform marketing decisions but also wants his team to rely on intuition.
While he seeks data-driven answers from his team, Renaud also wants to know what they personally think about the products. He professes to be “quite obsessed” with brand foundations. And he does his own research, tasting the snacks the company sells, such as Oreo, Cadbury, Toblerone, Belvita and Ritz, as he travels across 13 business units to meet with the company’s roughly 1,500 marketers.
“Enjoying the products is at the center of winning for me,” Renaud says on the latest edition of Ad Age’s Marketer’s Brief podcast.
Renaud has given Mondelēz’s marketing process a bit of a makeover during the past year or so, emphasizing the growing importance of digital messages.
More than 40 percent of Mondelēz’s media spending is in digital media.
“We feel we are now at a good level,” says Renaud.
Now, he wants to ensure the company has the right creative work across different media, tailoring messages for TV, social and elsewhere to better connect with consumers as it competes against the likes of Hershey, Ferrero and Mars Wrigley.
Renaud is emphasizing the use of more “personalization at scale,” or delivering the right message for the right consumer at the right moment.
“We need, even more than ever, to understand our consumers,” says Renaud.
When Renaud joined in 2018 after years at Danone, filling the CMO post vacated by Dana Anderson in 2017, Mondelēz also named four regional CMOs. Mondelēz has since tweaked its structure, creating 13 business units globally with their own marketing teams. A central team provides guidance including category insights. In all, the company has about 1,500 marketers.
Renaud says that the team at Mondelēz before he joined did an outstanding job on brand building. In recent years, though, it may have been more focused on profitability than advancing its messages.
“We need to be clearer on the brands to be able to win because I think distinctiveness will be what will make you win,” Renaud said.
After hiring a mix of media agencies in 2018, in August Mondelēz named WPP Group and Publicis Groupe the two major winners in its creative review, with other agencies pitching in as well.
Mondelēz's revenue fell 0.8 percent in the second quarter but rose 4.6 percent when stripping out the impact of currency fluctuations, acquisitions and divestitures. The company is set to report third-quarter results on Oct. 29.
Hear more from Renaud in the podcast above.