Entrepreneurs and global brands may seem like polar opposites, but as we at Mondelez are coming to discover, they can actually both benefit from working collaboratively.
Across the world, we sell more than eight billion products a month. So it’s safe to say we know a thing or two about scale but with that, comes other challenges, the biggest of which is how to adapt quickly as new trends and technologies emerge and consumer habits change.
One of the biggest changes we are seeing at the moment is the shift to mobile.
Mobile use is exploding, with recent reports from Telsyte confirming that more than 80 per cent of Australians now own a smartphone. That’s more than 16 million people who regularly engage with their phone on a daily or even hourly basis.
Of rigid big businesses and agile start-ups
And while we want to adapt to this mobile shift and communicate with consumers in new ways, good mobile marketing (especially for big companies like ours) is the exception and not the rule, despite there now being more mobile phones in the world than people.
Start-ups on the other hand come from a very different perspective.
They might be trying to figure out what they want to be, or who they are trying to reach.
They are still determining what the business will evolve to become and for this reason, can be inherently more flexible and more adaptive to change.
We want to understand this culture that is helping start-ups thrive in the digital age.
When big businesses join hands with start-ups
These two different perspectives are what inspired Mobile Futures; our mobile marketing initiative that pairs five Mondelez brands with five different start-ups.
What I really like about this program is that it’s self-effacing. We have been able to take an honest look at ourselves and admit that we are not the best in this area.
Instead, we are looking to learn from others and build a more entrepreneurial culture.
The aim is to help change thinking at all levels of the business and encourage that passion that gets people excited to create something amazing – just like in a start-up.
And while it’s a short-term project, Mobile Futures will definitely have a long-term impact.
How can big businesses benefit from thinking like a start-up?
For our brand managers, working with start-ups encourages more creative thinking and helps them be more agile in their approach.
Seeing the managers bring that entrepreneurial attitude to their work encourages other team members to find more creative solutions to some of their day to day challenges.
How do start-ups benefit from working with big businesses?
Meanwhile, for start-ups, seeing how we work helps them understand the underlying structures that support a growing business and offers them key lessons they can apply to future business opportunities as they unfold.
It also helps them understand how they would work with clients in the future and find that balance to deliver what clients want without compromising on their core vision.
Ultimately, the reason Mobile Futures is working so well is because both our brands and each of the start-ups are so committed to working collaboratively and learning together.
While we may have different perspectives and priorities, we are all really excited to keep learning from each other and challenging each other to think a little differently.
Below is a video of the Mobile Futures Immersion Week showing how the brands and start-up partners are working together and learning from each other.
Anthony Ho is the Head of Marketing Services for Mondelez. He recently spoke about their Mobile Futures initiative at the recent SydStart conference, where he was joined by Richard Weisinger, Brand Manager for Marvellous Creations, as well as start-up partners, Myron Festijo from MyShout and Katherine Maree from Issue. The panel was hosted by Phil Morle, CEO and co-founder of start-up incubator, Pollenizer.