What’s the best way for a company today to maximise digital ROI? That’s the question Mondelēz, the leading food and beverage multinational, set for itself in 2017, when it announced a new goal of achieving +20% ROI on digital media. With more than 100,000 employees operating in over 160 countries, Mondelēz launched an investigation into how the company measured up against the competition and what changes would have the biggest impact. As the results came in, a clear direction emerged.
“The 20% ROI goal rests squarely on the shoulders of Marketing and Media,” says Alison Dermont, Marketing Capabilities Director at Mondelēz. “We're the growth engine of the business and we have to drive that change by being more efficient. Mondelēz has to become more of a digital company.”
That’s why Mondelēz has set its sights on becoming one of the top three CPG companies in digital marketing. With more than 1,000 marketeers across four world regions, that meant building a global training program to transform their digital capabilities from the ground up. Here’s how they did it.
“I’ve learned that keeping marketers up-to-date isn’t just about the technical skills we choose to emphasize – the way we run our training is really important, too.”
- Alison Dermont, Marketing Capabilities Director at Mondelēz
Diagnosis and decision
The 2017 benchmarking exercise revealed that the need for digital marketing training was both broad and deep. “Across all of our markets, all of our marketeers reported that we need to get better at digital,” says Alison. “In a world where everything is changing so quickly, we really need to get ahead – and stay ahead – of the game.”
As the company’s Marketing Capabilities Director, it’s Alison’s job to ensure Mondelēz marketers have the skills they need for that changing environment. “Having lived and worked in the UK, South Africa and Russia, I’ve touched just about every business unit we operate in,” says Alison. “I’ve learned that keeping marketers up-to-date isn’t just about the technical skills we choose to emphasize – the way we run our training is really important, too.”
In partnership with the Google Digital Academy, Mondelēz diagnosed their skills gaps and devised a bespoke plan to raise digital capability, a global training program with three elements:
- Train select marketers to lead the digital transformation through an intense 6-month digital marketing leadership programme
- Live-stream webinars to spread training worldwide
- Run 2-day Masterclasses on key topics to seal in progress with face-to-face training
“The three-tier approach was designed to provide training at scale,” says Raúl Marin, Global Account Lead at Google. “It reaches all marketers within the company regardless of their location, while keeping flexibility in order to deliver face-to-face training on key topics for key teams located in hubs. The top of the pyramid provides intensive and in-depth training for high potential, senior marketers, identified by company leadership. It’s a highly adaptable model.”
1. Training two types of champions
Developing champions is a powerful way to accelerate transformation, which is why Mondelēz upper management nominated more than 70 marketers to participate in intensive digital learning. “The marketers were selected either as a reward for high achievement, or due to a specific job role,” says Michelle Reardon, Global Marketing Capabilities at Mondelēz. “We ensured that we had good coverage across all regions and leading markets. Members of this group leverage the learning by applying it in their day-to-day roles and leading by example, sharing best practice through ‘doing’ with their close team colleagues.”
These champions were enrolled on Squared Online, a deep-dive digital marketing leadership course developed with Google and powered by e-learning experts AVADO. Now, by modifying that online learning model for a wider workforce, Mondelēz is training a second set of champions to spread knowledge and entrench change. “We’ve made the course we used for our first 70 champions shorter and less intensive, so that we can scale it up,” says Alison. “With our streamlined version, we’re set to train nearly half of our marketers in 2018.”
2. Live-streamed webinars for wide participation
Where the Squared Online element focuses on a sub-set of marketers, the programme’s webinars are available to everyone at Mondelēz, regardless of location or position. Each of the eight webinars in 2017 focused on a key topic identified as a growth area and every one- to two-hour live-streamed seminar was run twice, making the content available in all timezones.
Though attendance is optional, between one-third and half of all Mondelēz marketers worldwide enrolled on each webinar in 2017. According to the marketing capabilities team, the live-streaming format is part of the appeal. “When an event is live with a fixed time, even more people join than would watch a recording with no defined time slot,” says Alison. Now Mondelēz has doubled the frequency of webinars to once every two weeks, in fixed time slots, so attendees can plan around them.
3. Masterclasses make the most of face-to-face learning
“I've been in the learning area for a while and for the best engagement and sense of community, face-to-face training is ideal,” says Alison. To make the most of in-person teaching, the third tier of the Mondelēz global training program is a set of one- to two-day masterclasses in must-win markets. Because they take place in specific locales with distinct audiences, the masterclasses are adapted to the needs of regions, personalizing training and refining implementation.
"We lean heavily on Google and other agency partners to come into the markets and do face-to-face training,” says Alison. “Digital is evolving so quickly that we're all learning at the moment. It's very hard for us as marketeers to keep on top of it, so it’s a winning formula when external experts at the top of their game provide that content."
Though attendance is optional, between one-third and half of all Mondelēz marketers worldwide enrolled on each webinar in 2017.
- Alison Dermont, Marketing Capabilities Director at Mondelēz
Building on a base for improved ROI
The impact of Mondelez’s marketing transformation scheme has already spread beyond its original audience. Thanks to exceptional feedback from marketers on the webinar series, Alison and her team have received requests from sales, strategy, insight and analytics divisions asking to join in. Proof that, as Alison anticipated, the ways learning is deployed can have their own appeal.
“Last year we dipped our toe in the water,” says Alison. “It was about getting started, raising awareness and getting marketer knowledge up on key topics. This year it's about integrating that into strategy and campaigns. It’s about getting results.”
“A one size fits all approach rarely works in the world of capabilities,” adds Michelle. “We plan to continue with a more tailored and tiered approach like this in the future, not just in driving digital capabilities but marketing capabilities overall.”