Q&A: Ed Kaczmarek, director of innovation and consumer experiences, Kraft Foods

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Ed Kaczmarek
Ed Kaczmarek

Ed Kaczmarek, director of innovation and consumer experiences at Kraft Foods, explains mobile engagement's impact.

Q: Mobile seems to be a solution to consumer packaged goods companies' challenge in measuring ROI. How has that impacted the role of mobile in Kraft Foods' marketing mix?

A: Mobile still is a very small percentage of the marketing mix. I think ROI for a while is always going 
to be the conundrum that we get into. There's no question that we may not be able to measure direct ROI to a sale, but we certainly can measure increased engagement with the consumer. There's also no question that as marketers, certainly we need to depend on numbers, but we can't forget about 
our gut instinct. 

My gut instinct as a marketer is if I can get a consumer to engage with my content and my platform in this multitude of high-value tasks, it is going to deepen my connection with that consumer. When he or she is considering purchasing a product within a category that I offer one, I think his propensity to consider a Kraft product increases because of that engagement.

Q: Because there are so many mobile apps to partner with, including Shopkick, Foursquare and Scvngr, how hard is it to determine which will deliver 
the most value?

A: It's probably the biggest challenge because we constantly have innovative companies contacting us. I do try to somehow evaluate [the apps]. The one reason why Shopkick bubbled up to the top is that it focuses on shopping, and check-ins are a part of that, but it's not just focused on check-ins. It's focused on check-ins, shopping and both at-home and in-store experiences. 

For mobile marketing to work most effectively as a whole, we need to develop relevant and engaging experiences for the consumer. It can't always be just a banner ad, because if all we do is put banner ads on mobile, we will ultimately create irrelevant noise.

Q: Would you say mobile display ads should function as secondary support for more interactive mobile marketing initiatives, such as an app or mobile-optimized site?

A: I would definitely say invest in making your mobile more engaging and interactive. That does not mean the answer has to be an app. There is a lot you can do with mobile Web and even pushing into HTML5. As marketers, we try to make things perfect, but with mobile I think you have to balance that and get it out there and try it. 

Q: How will Kraft's mobile 
marketing evolve moving forward? What are the next capabilities to test?

A: There is no question that near-field communications is going to play a future role in the whole mobile ecosystem. Something that's also interesting to us is mobile gaming and augmented reality.


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