Mondelez International has put seven new mobile pilots into the market within 90 days through its new Mobile Futures program, the company reports. It also expects to launch two additional pilots within the next month.
In the first program phase, Mobile Futures paired nine start-up tech companies with Mondelez brand teams to accelerate and scale existing mobile innovations.
Mondelez held an open call for tech start-ups late last year, followed by a selection process. Those chosen received a funded pilot with a Mondelez brand to help them scale their businesses.
Launching a pilot within 90 days was the objective for all teams -- and achieving that is something that given its size, Mondelez would never have imagined possible prior to this program, noted Bonin Bough, VP of global media and consumer engagement for the company.
Mondelez joins other companies and brands that have created partnership programs with tech start-ups or are otherwise looking to drive mobile innovation, including PepsiCo (Bough’s previous employer), Unilever, Nike, BMW, AT&T and Lexus.
The Mondelez pilots, which use mobile-at-retail, social TV and/or SoLoMo (social/location/mobile) technology to enhance consumer experiences and drive impulse purchases, include:
* Stride gum and Waze, a crowd-sourced traffic/navigation app, launched a pilot in February that brings mobile
users unexpected coupons for Stride gum at nearby retailers. According to the brand’s senior associate brand manager, Kathryn Sheaffer, early results have been extremely positive,
indicating that the mobile integration leads to increased store traffic. Two additional initiatives are already underway, and the partners will continue to expand tools and services to
Stride’s user base throughout 2013.
* Chips Ahoy! and Shelby.tv, a social video start-up, launched a brand page on the platform http://chipsahoy.tv. The brand leveraged Shelby.tv's video curation engine, and video content from Tongal, a social content development start-up, to offer college students March Madness footage in a custom, interactive Chips Ahoy! environment (“The Sweetest Bracket” program).
* Nabisco's Wheat Thins, Ritz, Chips Ahoy! and Oreo partnered with Endorse, an iOS and Android app that brings consumers a daily flow of offers that deliver cash back on their favorite products. The brands leveraged the platform and its users’ loyalty to incentivize purchase during the NCAA March Madness tournament.
* Halls and mobile app Dailybreak created a custom gaming challenge that helped introduce consumers to the brand’s suite of products and their cooling benefits. Halls will continue to update the challenge throughout 2013, including an in-store component that will drive users to complete mobile challenges at shelf.
* Trident gum is leveraging Roximity's place-based proximity notification technology and database to drive impulse purchases. When consumers enter a radius around certain stores, they will receive a notification with a Trident offer via SMS or mobile app (or in their Ford SYNC AppLink-equipped vehicles). They can redeem the offers on their mobile device with a personalized barcode for Trident products.
* Trident is also working with Lisnr to give consumers exclusive music content via TV and social media. Lisnr identifies inaudible sound frequencies and compares them to a custom content management system for delivery, creating a passive second-screen experience. Trident's social media followers will receive push notifications with music content by downloading Lisnr and viewing Trident brand's online music content.
* Sour Patch Kids and Kiip, a mobile network that enables brands to reward in-app achievements, is bringing rewards to consumers in brand-unique places and moments. The brand will also test some leading-edge integrations with iOS tools as part of Kiip's innovation plan.
* Oreo is working with Banjo, a SoLoMo app that curates social feeds based on location to create streams of real-time, social content. Tapping into events most relevant to their consumers, as well as events that Oreo sponsors, the brand will use the Banjo platform to provide unique, real-time content to enhance the event experience.
* BelVita Breakfast Biscuits partnered with inMarket, a startup in developing mobile apps used in-store and at-shelf, to understand the impact of mobile technology on shopping conversion. The brand is using inMarket’s CheckPoints mobile app to incentivize shoppers to find and interact with the product, then determine if that drives sales.
Phase two of Mobile Futures calls for the brand teams and start-up partners to generate ideas addressing broader business challenges. Mondelez will pick the best ideas for incubation by the teams, with the hope of securing seed funding from angel investors and venture capitalists after 90 days.
“With this second phase, we're going beyond launching pilots to create entirely new mobile ventures,” said Bough. "This is where our brand teams get to truly act like start-ups and help deliver on our mobile-first strategy.”
Mobile Futures Network members include convenience store retailers Quick Chek and Kum & Go; Viacom and AT&T AdWorks; incubator partners Prehype, Kicklabs, Sandbox Industries and TechStars Chicago; angel and venture capital investors First Round Capital, New World Ventures, Commerce Ventures, OCA Ventures, Intel Capital, BlueRun Ventures and Transmedia Capital; the Mobile Marketing Association and Location-Based Marketing Association; Boston Consulting Group; and agency partners Ruder Finn, Evol8tion and MediaVest.