NEW YORK: Brands could boost the impact of communications – and deepen their customer knowledge – by leveraging creative optimisation on digital, a leading executive from Mondelez International has argued.

Bonin Bough, Mondelez International's chief media/ecommerce officer, discussed this subject at Advertising Week 2015 in New York.

More specifically, he cited an effort from Nilla Wafers – a smaller brand in Mondelez's vast portfolio – which ran five campaign streams simultaneously on Facebook, and chose the best executions based on user response.

"We used to be able to sit in a room and believe that we could look at a piece of creative, and we were so amazing [that] we could decide, 'This is the one; take it to the top of the mountain, and share it with my disciplines, and they will follow and buy my chocolate'," he said.

"We don't have to do that anymore. Those days are gone." (For more, including campaign results, read Warc's exclusive report: Nilla Wafers take a quantifiable bite from Facebook.)

One core strength of the program conceived by Nilla, he further ventured, was that it enabled the brand to learn more about its target audience simply by determining which ads they liked and shared most frequently.

"We would allow the number of shares to dictate which programs were actually working. And then, we would begin to shape it," said Bough.

"When you step back and you look at the creative as a canvas of 40 to 50 posts, you begin to see the consumer in the posts, because the consumer actually shaped the creative."

Combining this creative flexibility with the precise targeting promised by platforms such as Facebook means that marketers can ultimately foster a virtuous circle of consumer understanding.

"You begin to realise that the connection with the consumer by optimising creative based on real data, real consumer feedback, is transformational," said Bough. "But yet we're still not there as an industry, which is frightening."

Data sourced from Warc