Mondelez global media boss says marketers need to ‘hack’ their businesses

Panel last night L:R Alex Hayes, Joseph Jaffe, Phil Morle, Bonin Bough, Bosco, Bosco Tan

Panel last night L:R Alex Hayes, Joseph Jaffe, Phil Morle, Bonin Bough, Bosco, Bosco Tan

The head of global media for Mondelez International Bonin Bough has urged marketers to learn to “hack our (corporate) cultures” in an attempt to drive innovation in their marketing. 

Bough, vice president of global media and consumer engagement at Mondelez International is in Sydney to promote the new Mobile Futures program the company has just launched, and told a room full of marketers and startups they need to embrace the notion of “hacking” and break traditional ways of thinking about marketing if they are to compete in 21st Century. 

 “There is this notion of hacker that (people) have taken as a cultural imperative that we as marketers can learn something from, ” said Bough. “Now most people think of hackers in this negative way. Oh my god Twitter has been hacked etc. But there is a second definition that is changing the business paradigm that our types of organisations can learn a lot from.

“That is how do you solve problems in a very programmatic way, so that when you hit a dead end you pivot. Hackers don’t look for perfection they look for the most viable product, they build their business on iteration and its about how do we change that mindset.”

Joining Bough on the panel chaired by Mumbrella editor Alex Hayes were Phil Morle from Polenizer, Joseph Jaffe from Evol8tion, Bosco Tan from Pocketbook.

Since Bough took over media duties in October 2012 the company has become renowned as one of the world’s most advanced marketers, with the Oreo Superbowl tweet (which Bough joked he had pulled the power out to achieve) and the print your own Oreo campaigns two examples of this.

Bough argued there is a growing global shortage of talent in the innovation and digital marketing space and that businesses needed to work on skilling their existing staffs for change.

“I don’t believe this is about hiring our way into the future,” he said.  “I believe this is about creating programs that allow you to systematically change culture and also show talent inside your organisation that not only you are invested in them but invested in their success because them changing and growing is what will change and grow your business.”

As the head of media for some of the world’s biggest FMCG brands including Cadbury, Vegemite and Oreos Bough admitted it was frustrating driving innovation at a fast enough pace in the company and describe how important it was for business to seize digital opportunities.

He cited the Facebook game Candy Crush as an example of a digital brand he wishes that Mondelez owned, joking: “When I sit across the table from Candy Crush the only thing I’m thinking is I hate you.

“But they have 780 million users, their average price per year, per user is higher than the average candy bar that I sell. I’m the number one candy company in the world and I don’t have the number one candy gaming platform in the world.

“That’s scary. We have to get there. The only way we will get there is if we take every one of these people in our organisations and change the mindsets.”

Nic Christensen 


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