NEW YORK: Mondelez International, the global snacks company, is attempting to "advance way ahead of the consumer" in a bid to derive the maximum benefits from its marketing efforts.

Speaking to Confectionery News, Ed Kaczmarek, the firm's director, innovation and emerging technology, argued it is insufficient solely to keep pace with changing habits.

"Because the consumer is evolving so quickly it means marketers have to advance," he said. "We have to advance way ahead of the consumer to engage them in new ways."

Mondelez is trying to achieve this partly by partnering with nine start-ups, all of which will participate in its "Mobile Futures" initiative and work in areas from social TV to digital in-store.

"Mobile phones are now over 60% penetration. They are so much a part of the being of consumers and represent the best tool to engage customers at point of purchase," said Kaczmarek.

These schemes will feature offerings like Trident, Chips Ahoy!, Halls and OREO, as well as a multi-brand programme. "Start-ups are leading the future of consumer engagement," said Kaczmarek.

Having committed to spending 10% of its marketing budget on mobile, Mondelez believes tapping a broad stable of innovative tools and services should help it secure first mover privileges.

"When it comes to mass-scale we will be experts. If it's already mass-scale we have no advantages," said Kaczmarek. "We're not looking to just do mobile advertising we're looking to engage consumers at new levels."

Among the start-ups allying with Mondelez are Waze, the creator of a navigationĀ app for car drivers, as well as Roximity, which provides mobile offers based on users' preferences and location.

The major partners in itsĀ Mobile Future network include Viacom and AT&T Adworks from the telecoms sector, the Boston Consulting Group, the consultancy, and Kum & Go, the retailer.

Industry bodies like the Mobile Marketing Association and Location-Based Marketing Association are also on board, alongside agency representatives in the form of Ruder Finn, Horizon Media and MediaVest.

Data sourced from Confectionery News; additional content by Warc staff