Name recognition is good for any brand. But active customer engagement via social media is infinitely better.
No matter how well your company is doing on social media, it’s probably dwarfed by how popular Oreo cookies are online: the Oreo Facebook page had over 35.9 million likes at last count.
Oreo is part of Mondelez International, a company created from the split of Kraft Foods in early October of 2012. It’s a $35 billion global snack-food company with brands that include Oreo cookies, Cadbury chocolates, Trident gum, Ritz crackers and LU biscuits.
B. Bonin Bough, who goes by Bonin Bough, is vice president of global media and consumer engagement for Mondelez International. His role, he says, is to “think about how we transform the way we engage consumers from a communications standpoint.”
In a conversation with David Kiron, executive editor for MIT Sloan Management Review's Big Idea Initiative, Bough explains how social media can help increase the reach of TV ads, how the company is using geo-location marketing to target customers on their morning commutes and how the company’s Mobile Futures program helped to bring innovation into the company.
Could you describe what kinds of business problems your organization is trying to address with social tools and social media?
There are two real business challenges right now, and they are consumer retention — how do you continue to communicate with the consumer over time, how do you keep them retained and engaged in your brand — and consumer attention. So, attention and retention.
What kinds of activities are you doing with social to help address those issues?
Let me give a little background on my role. My boss who hired me at the time said, “We as an organization fundamentally believe that all media is digital, and we want a digital person to help chart the future of media.” What I think people don’t understand is the fundamental shift that that provides.
If you look inside of most organizations, there’s a digital guy and a traditional guy, and never the twain shall meet. They constantly fight over budget. The digital guy maybe sits with a maximum of 20% of the budget, the traditional sits with 80%, and building platforms that work together trying to solve the challenges of one or the other don’t actually happen.