Posted onNovember 23, 2016
AN INTERVIEW WITH:
Bonin Boug Vice President of Global Media and Consumer Engagement, Mondelez International
April 04, 2013
Marketers have always wanted to operate in real time. Today, social media has provided the opportunity to do so more than ever before, says Bonin Bough, vice president of global media and consumer engagement at snack food producer Mondelez International. For example, in what became a much discussed bit of on-the-fly marketing, when the electricity went out in the stadium during the National Football League’s Super Bowl championship game in February 2013, Mondelez’s Oreo team saw an opportunity, tweeting, “Power Out? No Problem,” which led to an image that said, “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark.”
Bough spoke to us about the prep work needed to make real-time marketing successes like Oreo’s “Dunk in the Dark” tweet possible.
Question: How important is it to develop creative for marketing and/or advertising quickly? Is it more important now than before? If so, why?
Bonin Bough: We all operate in real time, but in reality, if you think back, we used to have the “set it and forget it” mentality around marketing. Why would we ever want to do that? We continue to make
sure that we look at an entire ecosystem—TV, print, digital and outdoor—and make that relevant in real time. Social channels just happen to be the next evolution in the way that we address the ecosystem.
It’s not necessarily about developing creative in real time. It’s about having a creative approach that allows you to operate in real time. Whether it’s actually creating an image, like we did for Oreo’s “Dunk in the Dark,” or being able to participate in conversations in real time.
Question: What’s the biggest challenge when it comes to real-time marketing?
“When we’re participating in social conversations at the same time as we’re advertising on television, we see two to three times the impact of our TV spot.”
Bough: One of the barriers is that we haven’t expanded our concept of what creative itself actually means. That’s where many people get hung up. How do I make sure that the agency is creating real-time creative? How do you, as a brand, understand how to participate in real time? Sometimes that’s going to be visually, with video and still. Sometimes it’s with text.
Question: How well does real-time marketing deliver directly to sales?
Bough: It’s a question that we have spent a large amount of our time focused on, and getting to the point where we can drive attribution of our efforts in the social channel. It’s really about how you measure ROI holistically.
When we’re participating in social conversations at the same time as we’re advertising on television, we see two to three times the impact of our TV spot. Imagine if I could take 90% of your spend and make it work twice as hard? That’s the ecosystem in play.
Question: Some have said that the current model of developing creative is broken because it takes too long and is too rigid. Do you agree?
Bough: Three years ago, when I was at PepsiCo, Gatorade Mission Control was our first big play in how we delivered creative in real time. The goal was that it’s not just necessarily about the creative agency, but it’s about having all of the appropriate stakeholders in a room together to build the process, skill set and muscle that’s necessary to deliver in real time. When you get that team working together, you can blow through any kind of perceived red tape.
If you look at what happened with Oreo, it was about having that war room set up. But even more than that, it was about all of the work that we had done before. It’s not the will to win, it’s the will to prepare.
Question: What work was done to prepare with Oreo?
Bough: Last year, with the Oreo “Daily Twist” campaign, we had been delivering a digital piece of real-time creative into the Facebook ecosystem, based on what was trending that specific day, for 100 days. We had already built out the process, and we already knew how to operate. We knew how to connect. Our various agencies knew how to work together on delivering that, and we knew how to amplify it.
“It’s not the will to win, it’s the will to prepare.”
We had a huge process that we had developed over time and that was in place. It’s about folks being willing to put in the time to put the right people on the ground that are going to deliver. You have to be listening and understanding what is an actual insight that’s actionable. It requires insights. It requires paid. It requires earned. It requires your creative or brand, and it requires the digital side of the house.
Question: How much do you try to do in real time, vs. your traditional process of developing creative?
Bough: We don’t necessarily try to target a specific goal for how much is real time vs. traditional. But surely [it has to do with] constantly listening and hammering [away at] those learnings—both what you’re doing in real time and what you might be doing in more traditional creative.
The real key is how you use social insights on a continuous basis. How does it become a part of what you do as a business, both in delivering your marketing and thinking about your product?
Question: How are these insights monitored?
Bough: One of the platforms that we’ve put into place is called the mPulse Engagement Lab. It looks at delivering insights across multiple channels, including TV and social. To start, it pulls out those insights on a continuous basis that can then be shared across the organization, with the brand and creative teams.
We’re constantly operating from a point of what consumers are talking about around our brand right now, as well as what interesting conversations are happening that our brand might be able to participate in. These can then inform the next TV spot, print ad or tweet. It’s about building a process of continuous listening and driving those insights into your overall process.
Question: How do you budget for real-time creative? Is it out of your social media budget? Is it experimental marketing dollars?
“We’re constantly operating from a point of what consumers are talking about around our brand right now, as well as what interesting conversations are happening that our brand might be able to participate in.”
Bough: We identify consumer engagement as an important line item, and it’s not necessarily what budget it gets taken from. It’s now a line item in the budget, which we need to allocate for. It’s not sourced from one budget or another.
Question: What processes do you use to speed up your creative development? Do you use templates or predeveloped material? How much can you develop truly on the fly, vs. material that is predeveloped?
Bough: Everybody is looking for the silver bullet, right? But there is no silver bullet. It is about the will to prepare. I wish I could tell you that having templates would make the world easy, but it’s not about that. It’s really about A., having the commitment from senior leadership; and B.,
knowing that we are going to see results. Real return on our investment is a result of these efforts. Then C., really being able to put the time in so that you can get it right.
It’s about how do you set yourself up, prepare to build those capabilities and actually have real investment, commitment and belief that they’re going to deliver results. Setting templates is almost exactly like the set it and forget it model.
Question: Could this model work for offline creative development as well? In other words, do you think that the real-time mentality can apply to TV, print, radio, etc.?
“Setting templates is almost exactly like the set it and forget it model.”
Bough: I have a dream that we will start creating some type of realtime TV content soon. It’s going to be exciting to get to the point where [marketing for] brands can operate in real time and have the same level of intense, relevant relationships that other formats such as news have.
There is no difference between programming for one screen and the other. At the end of the day, I think we have to stop looking at the second screen or the third screen. These are all screens, and [consumers’] time is almost split equally amongst all of them.
Those brand and agency marketers that begin to figure out how to actually pivot and transition things in a real-time world across multiple screens have the potential to win.