PHOENIX, AZ: Kraft, the food group, is using data to provide "context" for its content - and thus attempting to overcome consumers' shrinking attention span by supplying truly valuable and engaging information.

Bob Rupczynski, the company's vp/media and consumer engagement, discussed this subject at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) 2015 Annual Leadership Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.

He stated that the firm "did a lot of things right" in 2014, such as strengthening its infrastructure, tapping deep insights and data, putting differentiated communications into the market and testing sequential messages.

"But from a portfolio perspective," Rupczynski admitted, "we really had a missed opportunity." (For more, including how it is using data to support addressability, partnerships and valuable content, read Warc's exclusive report: Kraft's four points of addressable contact.)

"At the end of the day, the content has to be put into context. With that, context is powered by data - the data about consumers, about where they are, about what they're doing, about where they're spending their time."

Data, under this model, effectively represents a "code" that gives cues regarding the evolving habits, or "culture", of shoppers.

"We can start to understand consumers for how they're feeding their family, how they're connecting around meal time, how they're entertaining their friends," said Rupczynski.

The need to rethink existing strategies results both from changing culinary trends and the developing ways that consumers are using media.

"In the last couple of years, we've watched the human-being attention span drop from 12 seconds to eight seconds," said Rupczynski.

"For marketers, the scarcity of their attention span is a dilemma. We have to do something differently. We have new toolsets. We have new data. We have new everything. And yet we've been approaching it the same way over the years.

"No one ever said, '30 seconds is our way out of here.' But it's not about a transition of 30-second spots to 15-second spots. It's about, fundamentally, actually doing things differently."

And as evidence that it intends to continue doing things differently, Kraft recently announced that Deanie Elsner, its chief marketing officer, will be leaving the organisation as part of an executive shake-up.

Marketing "remains critically important to the company and will move closer to the business operations, in order to sharpen focus and more effectively ignite brand rejuvenation," the firm said in a statement.

Data sourced from Warc