Can brands and startups make each other stronger? We are working with Mondelez International, the largest snack food company in the world, to give startups an ‘unfair advantage’ with a $40,000 grant (no equity) and access to the consumers of brands such as Cadburys Dairy Milk, Favourites and Marvellous Creations. If you have a mobile startup in Australia, you should check out the Mobile Futures program.
We kicked off the program with a panel discussion and keynote at Hub Sydney. Bonin Bough, Mondelez’s VP of Global Media and Consumer Engagements, joined us in Australia to share his unique perspective that corporates need to become hackers.
I believe that we’re actually facing this notion of hackonomy where actually, we’re entering into an economy where you can actually create greater value by breaking things and the argument that I have for our organization is, how do we bring people in to our organization that help us actually break us?
The big idea that comes out of the session is that the sheer speed of digital disruption requires a cultural shift inside big corporations. This must include a new intimacy with the consumer and a more iterative process that is ready to fail. Perhaps a way to achieve this is to bring startups and corporates together.
If you are a startup, hunting for an unfair advantage, or a corporate wanting to understand what a massive company is discovering, this is a great podcast to listen to. We have also included a full transcript.
The panel was moderated by Alex Hayes of Mumbrella, with the following speakers:
- Bonin Bough, Vice President of Global Media and Consumer Engagement at Mondelēz International;
- Phil Morle, CEO and co-founder of Pollenizer;
- Joseph Jaffe, co-founder and CEO of Evol8tion, LLC, and;
- Bosco Tan, co-founder and COO of Australian start-up, Pocketbook
Marked up full transcript – Bonin’s Keynote: Hackonomy
Bonin: Hi! Sorry, sorry that there was such a delay. We’re starting a little bit late but I guess I gave everybody more time to consume alcohol so that’s never really a bad thing. Hello, Sydney! How are you guys, good? Okay woo! We’ve got an amazing panel tonight, I’m really excited, it’s a topic that’s really close to my heart. So I’m excited and I feel very honored and blessed to have been asked to be on the panel alongside such esteemed panelists. I’m going to talk for about ten minutes.
First of all, maybe I should introduce myself. I don’t — is this thing working? Okay, we don’t have a clicker so we just downloaded a, there’s an app for that, that we downloaded. If you don’t have a clicker, and you’re in a bad situation, anyway, so my name is Bonin Bough, I am Vice President of Global Media and consumer Engagement for Mondelez International. For those of you who don’t know, Mondelez International was born out of a split of Kraft Foods, so we’re the world’s largest snacking company. We have some of the world’s most beloved brands: Cadbury, Oreos, a gum brand like Trident, we have Vegemite, the most important brand in the only – people are like, “Who do you work for when you get off the plane?” I’m like, “Vegemite.”
They’re like, oh here you go, clear the way! Go! Go! Go! I’m like, yes, Vegemite! Actually, truth be told, I do want to do a Vegemite fest. Anyway, it’s a whole story.We’ll talk about that later. So just to give you a little background on why this topic is so passionate to me, is that, so first of all, I was a developer, I sold a web company when I graduated college and then I went and became an information architect and I did that for a number of years. Then I left and I ended up going to an agency where I ran the media investment lab for IPG as well as the digital group for Weber Shandwick, Weber Shandwick is the largest public relations firm in the world.
At that moment, a company came in to me and they had two pieces of paper and the company’s name was Radian Six. They had two pieces of paper which would discuss, I’m sure many of you are familiar with Radian Six, right? So okay, so they discussed, those two pieces of paper said what they were going to do and they were going to build this social media monitoring platform and they had 19 clients, and they wanted to get to 20. They had 19 Canadian clients and they wanted one US company, and somehow they found me. So, they asked me if I’ll be a client and I said, you know what, I think I can actually do one better. I actually think that I, because of our network, I can actually help you get 60 more clients, so the agreement was that I would help them get 60 clients within a year.
What happened is in the first six months, we actually rolled Radian Six out across 22 countries, 19 languages, we got them 60 clients in the first six months. What I learned at that moment was that there’s a huge opportunity for start-ups to work with bigger partners that have a scale, to gain scale really quickly. So from then on, I spent a lot of time, so I did our Facebook deal, for example, I worked with CoTweet, who I’m sure are many of you know. Start-up after start-up, then I moved to Pepsi, and I launched a start-up incubator called PepsiCo 10.
I learned a lot, we rolled that out in the US, UK, Brazil, India, and Russia. Having this whole time, learning what it takes to actually build programs, most importantly, that are super beneficial for start-ups because if the start-ups win at the end of the day, then ultimately, the brands benefit in the long run. We’ll talk a little bit about kind of how I feel about that. Then I came over to Mondelez, and I wanted to fix some of the challenges that we had with, that I had seen in other kind of brands, partner with start-up incubators and we can talk about those more in depth on the panel.
We launched that and we decided to launch a platform called Mobile Futures. What Mobile Futures was, was really the first mobile accelerator inside big organizations that focused on partnering start-ups with brands, but doing it in a way, again, that was overly beneficial to start-ups. First making sure that there was guaranteed funding, I think a lot of times the programs don’t necessarily have a clear identification of what investment is the brand willing to make in running that pilot. the other thing was making sure it had a timeline that mattered to the start-up, which was the future in 90 days so that you’re not burning through start-ups’ times so that you actually have a defined period of launching a pilot.
Then most important was creating a way for the start-ups to actually build real relationships with the brand folks so that it was a real collaboration. So, what we did with Mobile Future’s program, and I’ll talk about the partners we worked with, is we had our brand marketers actually go and work for the start-up; work for the start-up, quit their day job and actually work for the start-up for a week and really begin to build real bonds and collaborative relationships that benefited both the brand and the start-up because then they could work together as a team to kind of bring a pilot to life. With always the same ethos, which is, yes, we want to deliver a pilot that helps to drive our brands but more importantly, we want to deliver a pilot that is in line and authentic with the start-up’s goal, and it helps them prove their monetization case.
So, at the end of this, the start-ups leave, also with a huge case study proving how, you know, we also had, I can tell you from experience that case study has helped get additional funding, has helped get additional clients. Actually, one of the start-ups that we worked with in the US class, we launched in the US and Brazil, was a company called Waze, which you guys saw, was later bought for a billion dollars by Google. Now I wish I can say I take all credit for that billion dollar. Anyway, but I can’t, but who we were definitely a part of helping them shape new monitezation models because of kind of the way we changed the program. So anyway, long story short, and I wasn’t going to start with his, but long story short, we’re here today to participate in the panel but also bring Mobile Futures to the Australian market.
Clearly, having owned Vegemite, we have a deep love for Australia but even more than that, we think that the Australia start-up scene is one of the growth and vibrant scenes and how do we participate in that scene, in a very impactful and authentic way. More importantly, I’m going to show you guys a presentation, maybe, not, technical difficulties. I’m just going to switch, there you go. Let’s see, no, okay, there we go. Okay, so I’m going to just give a presentation really quickly which is called Hackonomy. The reason why I’m going to show this to you is because I firmly believe that big organizations have a big challenge in the partnership with start-ups to pivot organizations so they actually have the cultural DNA that’s necessary to be a real partner with a start-up is necessary.
This is the presentation that I give out to big organizations around the world as well as our organizations called Hackonomy. First, I start off with the importance of mobile, you can go to the next slide.
So, the bottom line is even though mobile is the biggest thing that’s ever happened to human history, most corporate board rooms look exactly like this, right? There’s some guy at the front, usually a CMO who says, I think we need a mobile strategy, and then somebody finally looks up from their cellphone and says, I’m sorry, did you say something? Right? It’s not just the picture of board rooms, it’s actually a photo of humanity at large.
So we have become the most distracted society in human history, but what’s interesting is that people will never admit that they’re distracted. They’re like, no, keep talking to me, keep talking to me while I type because I’m multi-tasking. I could multi-task while then lying to you and there was a study that was done by the American Psychiatric Association and what it did was they asked, they took two groups, they asked one to use the mobile phone and multi-task, they asked the second group to smoke marijuana, right? So, there was a ten point drop in those that used the mobile phone to multi-task, which was actually twice as much as those that smoked marijuana.
So the point is, you’re better off being a pothead than pretending that you could multi-task and no matter what organization I show this proven fact to, I still get the same question: yes Bonin, we get it, you’re better off being a pothead but is mobile at scale? Is these devices scale? So I said, okay, you can switch to the next slide, I said, well, let’s do a little bit of research. So, there are seven billion people on earth, five point one billion own a cellphone, but only four point two billion own a toothbrush!
Again, two meanings here. One, a billion people didn’t get the importance, the text message on the importance of hygiene, and the other point is that clearly, mobility is at scale. Then when I go for market to market, I get the next question: but smartphone, you can go to the next slide, but are smartphones growing fast enough? I said, okay, so let’s step back and look at it. So radio, 38 years are 50 million in the US, 13 for TV, four for computers, and only 2 just for the iPhone. Just the iPhone!
Which, you guys might disagree, as arguably, only the third most important operating system when we looked towards the future and they’ll probably go, Android and Microsoft. Any Microsoft guys in the room? No? Okay, when they are, they like that because they don’t know if that’s the truth either. Anyway, the point is, is that clearly, the pace of adoption, more Android devices being turned on than babies born every single day across the globe. So clearly, the pace of adoption is unprecedented in something we’ve never seen before. Go to the next slide.
I love this, right? Honk if you love Jesus, text while driving if you want to meet him. Right? Even our religious institutions understand the impact that mobility is having on society. How many people in here have ever felt that their phone was vibrating but when they reached in and checked their phone, it wasn’t. Raise your hand. Raise them high, it’s late, we’re going to need alcohol after this. Such as you! It’s actually a disease, it’s a real disease, and it’s called phantom vibration syndrome. Right? They talk about what people regularly experience tactile hallucination. Tactile hallucination which is similar to meth addicts, right?
There’s other studies that were done that show using your mobile device and social media is as addictive as cocaine. As addictive as cocaine which means that Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, are just gateway drugs and there’s people in dark alleys going, I just need 140 characters, just get me a status update, I’m dying for a status update. What we’re strung out on mobility, you go to the next slide, this is the man we have to blame. A nice, white haired gentleman, Mr. Cooper invented the mobile phone at Motorola, right. What’s interesting though is that what he thought was inventing was a device that allowed us to share voice wirelessly but in reality is every single one of you now, he invented a platform of mobility that will not just transform business, but society at large.
For as long as we will know it. As I stand inside, you can leave it, as I stand inside big organizations, so actually, let me step back, sorry. There was a study that was done by Bane, and what they said was that by 2020, every single consumer packaged goods that we produce, or that are produced, will be connected to the Internet somehow. So it makes me worried when I sit inside big organizations is that, that means that, we sell eight billion products a month. That means that we might become the world’s largest technology companies.
When I think about us, we don’t look like a world’s largest technology company, we don’t look like Cisco, we don’t think like Twitter, we don’t operate like Facebook, we, some people don’t even know what Facebook is inside of some of these organizations and so what I worry about is, how are we, as big organizations, my side, going to be able to compete in a market place where we’re actually dealing with an organizational world that is built of a different generation. So as an organization, how do we change ourselves so that we can actually participate in the future that is clearly ahead of us?
You know, more importantly than that, my other big concern is talent. There will be an attack over the next three to five years on talent the likes we’ve never seen. Two pillars are the reason of that. One is the institution organization that most of the MBAs that work in big organizations graduated from or worked for, are failing them.
We did a quick back of the napkin study of the top 100 business schools in the world, less than one percent of the course descriptions even use the word digital, mobile or emerging technology. Even just mention the word, less than one percent. So that means we’re graduating MBAs that are not prepared for this generation. Then you walk into big organizations then we talk about the importance of innovation but at the end of the day don’t incentivize.
There are no programs that sit inside of these organizations that help to build systematic innovation and change over time. Then when I look at the second side, I spent so much of my time and still look on valley, alley, lane, you name, silicon, something, right? I talk, I don’t know, is this still a cons-, Silicon Sydney, no? Well, Silicon Beach, of course it is. I was hoping one day somebody will be like, no, we got rid of Silicon, it’s just creative something.
Anyway, so but I talk to you guys and many of the folks that I talked to, first of all, they’ve worked inside of organizations just as large as hours. They’ve built PNLs just as large as ours, the different — sorry. 15 years ago, that was fine to have that challenge because the only way to make it in to big organization was to work in another big organization. 15 years later, or that, 15 years later, no, it’s okay, 15 years later, people have worked in big organizations like Amazon, where they run P&Ls just as big; Facebook where they built businesses even bigger than ours, faster than ours.
Now, I talked to them and they all say the same thing: We’re smart, we want to go sell chocolate, we’re done with just building digital businesses, we want to go sell chocolate, we want to go sell diapers, hence diapers.com, we want to go sell cars, and all of those guys are now beginning to migrate and think different about taking our businesses, right? Whether it’s AirBnB attacking hotel. All the stuff that you guys are creating. What I worry about is the folks that sit inside of my organization are not going to be prepared to compete. So what I focus on is, how do I build platforms and programs that create a unique opportunity for you guys to come and partner with us to help your businesses build scale and at the same time help us be prepared for the future.
So what I looked at, is I looked at and I said, so what’s the difference between start-ups and big organizations? You go to the next slide. Well one is that for some strange reason, in a very short period of time, start-ups have been able to create valuations that are so much greater than organizations that have lasted for a hundred years. For a hundred years, organizations have been around have the valuation of the companies that have only been around for seven years. So I start to ask myself, what is it? What is that magical thing that exists inside the businesses you guys are building that fail to exist inside of ours?
Next slide. So one, it’s not about the amount of time you’ve been around, Dropbox sold for 100 million dollars. Next slide. It’s not about the number of people you have, 13 people sold Instagram for a billion dollars, right, this a shot from the Facebook cam, clearly Facebook is Big Brother, just FYI. But that’s the entire, it’s not about industry, right? So, MakerBot is transforming the industrial revolution as we know it and they were able to sell for $403,000,000.
Next slide. It has not — hit it one more time — it also has nothing to do with geography. There are 300 places all called Silicon something, lane, beach, valley, alley, forest, you name it, around the world that are driving innovation in a way. So it’s not, it has nothing to do with geography. Next slide. It also has nothing to do with age. Hit it one more time. All these kids have one thing in common: like you, they are all founders. This one kid founded an app called Bustin Jieber. Yes, Bustin Jieber, he gets to talk at TED. He gave a TED talk.
I talk here, at Hub Australia, I’m just saying, that’s where my career is at right now, FYI. Next slide. It’s not about ages, all of you guys know, Peter Teal is paying kids not to go to college. When you think about, you think about Serge, Zuck, they all dropped out of school to create billion dollar organizations. Carp from Tumblr, sold a billion dollar company. He doesn’t even have a high school diploma. So there’s nothing to do with the education.
Next. It’s interesting because even rock stars, the people who we hold up as, like, the idols of society even believe that coders are now today’s rock stars and they’re right. Next slide. When you look — hit it again — you see, Biz on billboard, jobs on Rolling Stone, Samber on Cosmo, Bonin on campaign, come on. That’s quality guys, Jesus, you got to work with me. Next slide. Next slide.
So what is it? Next slide. I’m trying to go quick. So I think that there’s actually this notion of hacker, that, you guys have taken as a cultural imperative to the organizations you built that we can actually learn something from. But the challenge is, is that most people in our organizations actually think of hacker in this very negative factor. They go: my go, Twitter’s been hacked. J.Lo’s been hacked. Beyonce’s been hacked. Oh my god. This negative thing these kids are taking down the institutions and illegally gaining access. It’s actually the second definition that you guys have made a business imperative which is changing the culture of the businesses you build which I think, our type of organizations could learn from and that’s — how do you solve problems in a very programatic way? When you hit a dead end, you pivot. When you don’t — you don’t look for perfection, you look for most viable product, you build your business on iteration. How do we begin to change our mindset? Next slide.
So, one, we look at the beacon maybe of the digital generations, questionable, depends on how you feel. Anyway, I have my own thoughts, but they have made this their imperative, the hacker way. You can go to the next slide.
I believe that we’re actually facing this notion of hackonomy where actually, we’re entering into an economy where you can actually create greater value by breaking things and the argument that I have for our organization is, how do we bring people in to our organization that help us actually break us? Break things and you guys, I believe, are the impetus to help us do that but we have to create a platform that’s so beneficial to you, that you guys see us as an opportunity to help you guys grow and at the same time, break us.
Next slide. Some of the best things in the world like the Like button created by a hack, next slide.
Open airplane, you know, uberizing air, it’s crazy. They’re trying to uberize the airplane industry, thing I don’t understand is I’m never going to be walking down the street like, oh shit, I need an airplane right now. Let me just, oh here it is! How close is it to landing? I’m almost there, I don’t get it. Anyway, maybe, maybe not.
Next slide. People are actually hacking their bodies, Stelarc. So Stelarc had an ear implanted his arm to explore human augmentation and in that ear, he had a Bluetooth microphone that when his phone rings, he can answer his phone by talking into his ear. Hello? Hello, can you hear me now? Hello? Hear me now? Ear, that’s good stuff, you guys are crazy. Anyway, so then he had Bluetooth speakers implanted in his mouth so when somebody who is starting to talk, he moves his mouth and it’s like somebody else’s voice is coming out of his mouth but he’s exploring hacking human body.
Here’s the guy Hugh Herr, I don’t know if you guys know him, Hugh Herr’s story is really simple. When he was 16 years old, he was a world-class mountain climber, he got stuck in a blizzard, him and his best friend. His best friend died, he lost both his legs. A week after, he came back from the hospital with his prosthetics, his brother took him to go climb. Because his brother knew that climbing was the only thing that made him feel good. As he was climbing with his prosthetics, he chipped his toe, but then he realized he could climb better with a chipped toe.
Then he went home and he began to hack these prosthetics, he shaved off his heel, he realized that he could climb better with augmented, hacked legs than he could with his own human legs. At that moment, he was a D student. He decided that he was going to devote his life to turning disability into ability. Now has a PhD and running an MIT lab, he considers himself the first bionic. He’s created a pair of bionic limbs that he believe will be $3,000 in the next two years and they operate just like human legs.
When he pushes down, they push back. He’s got an app that controls the tension of the legs. Yes, there is also an app for that. What’s interesting is that, I spoke at an economist event, he spoke after and somebody asked him they said, do you ever see a time when people might cut off their own human arm or their own body part to take on a bionic part and he said, well imagine, if you were 72, and your arthritic arm didn’t look or didn’t operate like your 18 year old arm did, what decision would you make? It was hush over the crowd, because people realized, we might be entering into a place where we might hack our own body to become more computer than we are actually human. He said, I love my bionic limbs, because unlike you, I can update my OS. I could change my hardware.
Anyway, people are even hacking love, right and so Amy Webb as you guys know, reverse engineered her social network to find a woman, I mean, the man of her dreams to fall in love. Boom. Next.
So, with that, usually there’s a slide here that says hacking culture. So what we believe in at Mondelez International is very simple. We have to hack our own culture. We have to break ourselves to be better. So one of those programs that allow us to do that is Mobile Futures. We believe that with partnership from start-ups like you, that we can help to bring a different future for you guys, as well as for us. So, with that, I’m going to end, usually I end on two slides.
Alan Kay said the best way to predict the future, he invented it and I actually think the best way to predict the future is to hack it.
So we hope to go on a journey with you guys as we launch Mobile Futures Australia. Now, time for the most important panel, and so now I have to introduce everybody, right? Alex from Mumbrella, let’s give everybody a warm round of applause when they come up, right? I don’t know who — Phil from Pollenizer, right. Bosco from Pocketbook, right. Right? Yes you made it easy, you gave me a shirt. I don’t know this guy. Joe Jaffey from Evolution who is our partner. I think they want us to switch sides. Sorry, I know that was — I’m just grabbing my wine. I need to hydrate.
Alex: I’m not going to get in the way of that one. So, hi guys, thanks very much for coming along tonight. I’ll try to keep the energy up like that. I’m not sure I’ve had enough Red Bulls today, but that’s an impressive act to follow. So I’m going to give a very quick intro to the panel. Obviously, we have Bonin. Obviously he gave a bit of an explanation about himself. Two things he didn’t mention are some of his accolades, just so you know that he’s on the level. He was included in Fortune’s 2011 40 under 40. Fast companies, 2011, hundred most creative people in business. Just last year, he was inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Achievement; not fame, achievement.
Bonin: So close, so close. They’re like, oh!
Alex: That actually…
Bonin: So soon!
Alex: I’ll give you that for a lot more important. Now, we’ll go to Joe who’s here on my left, Joseph Jaffe is one of the most sought after consultants because in thought lead is in innovation marketing and new media and social media. He’s co-founder and CEO of Evolution, LLC and is the author of four books on the future of marketing efficacy. Starting in 2005 with Life after the 30 Second Spot and most recently with Zero, zero paid media as a new marketing model. Now to his left is Phil Morle, he’s CEO and co-founder of Pollenizer. I’m sure most of you in the room are familiar with him. He started over 25 companies and worked with a few hundred and played a big role in new company creation for the likes of Spreets, Dealised, Pygg, 99 Dresses and Posse. Before Pollenizer, he was CTO for Kazaa for five years and led the development of a technology strategy that reached 5 million users online at any one time. We can certainly do with a bit of that in Mumbrella. Then last but certainly no means least is Bosco Tan, he’s the co-founder and CEO of Pocketbook and Australian start-up that’s changing the way Australians interact with their banks. He’s been instrumental in building the Pocketbook consumer brand in the noisy banking and finance sector. Bosco’s recently been named in Shoestring’s top 50 male entrepreneurs under 40. Pocketbook has been awarded the start-up smart new start-up of the year in 2014. Before Pocketbook, Bosco, he’s a corporate strategy experience which culminates in co-founding a corporate funded start-up with Pollenizer. So I’ll just explain to you the format for the evening. We’re going to go for about 30-40 minutes or so and there will be about ten minutes at the end for questions from yourselves so if you think anything props up, jot it down, write it on your phone, however it is you like to do it, remember it at the end, and we will throw it out to you. So let’s start with probably, you know, a burning question for a lot of people here which is what can start-ups learn from brands and what can brands learn from start-ups? Joseph, would you like to fill this one?
Joe: Well we were debating earlier as to which, you know, could brands teach start-ups more or could start-ups teach brands more? We had different opinion on the panel. Initially, you would think in the top down world that we live in, that big brands are going to teach start-ups everything about, you know, being successful in business.
What we found is that he reverse is happening. That start-ups are actually teaching brands how to be more entrepreneurial. How to pivot, how to fail, how to embrace failure, and how to become more agile. It’s incredible, I mean, I was at a panel the other day, a VC panel, and the VC said that the number one question that they ask their entrepreneurs almost as a proxy or as a milestone in order to get more funding or to continue their part is how many experiments did you do this week? How many different things did you do to understand consumer behavior? I actually wrote a piece in Media Post that said, start-ups care more about consumers and consumer insights than brands do. Which is a very provocative statement. Because ultimately, you know, the thing is if you really care about your consumer, you’ve got to continue to experiment and test. So I think in a way, I mean, obviously, the reconciliation of that is that for a win-win partnership, both sides are going to teach each other the most.
Phil: Do they not care about the consumer or do they think about it differently? Because I think one of the really interesting things that start-ups can learn from big corporate is that, is the sort of the way of looking at a consumer from a data perspective, perhaps more arm’s length, but actually to pull inside some of that which you can actually build a business around, that’s truly commercial. You know maybe start-ups are more empathetic. Maybe start-ups are all about really actually understanding the person, actually meeting them and building something for them very very quickly. Like learning from them fast and changing, very very fast. I think it’s that speed that sort of seems to be, you know, one of the key things that start-ups can bring to a big company.
Bosco: I’ve got kind of used gone both ways as well. I pretty much take a lot of what Joseph has said. We’ve recently got an opportunity and it’s just on the cusp of that to go into a large retail bank here locally to teach their customer service staff about how to approach, you know, the conversations around personal findings with their customers. Which is ridiculous, because we’re a start-up, we’ve like less than a hundred thousand users and they are large massive banks making billions of dollars, right? I personally get like 50-100 e-mails daily with our customers running through the perspectives as to how they think about budgeting, and how they think about their money, and one of their focuses on a daily basis. I think brands don’t necessarily have one person in charge of all of that and in charge of that learning process, I internalize on a daily basis. So I think that’s the part where I can accelerate quicker, not necessarily within the product but just the insights and the instincts I learn on a daily basis. I can teach that back into a brand. But I think, you know, as I was thinking about this event, I kind of went to the Mondelez page and looked at all different brands. I looked at, you know, Dairy Milk, chocolate, and I looked at Kraft, peanut butter and I looked at Vegemite, and I’m like, these are on people’s shelves every day. Like, they’re in their fridges, it’s a daily activity. How can we do that? How can we be the peanut butter of peoples’ lives? How can we be the Vegemite of peoples’ lives? How can we reach as many Australians as that? How can we mean as much as Vegemite is to the Australian public? How can we be that daily? So if you think about the mobile world, having that first place or the most, you know, convenient space in your fridge space is exactly like being on the first page of someone’s iPhone. So how can we do that? How can we learn that from a brand? I’d like to know more about that, so that’s the big question for me.
Alex: So, Bonin, what can peanut butter learn from a start-up?
Bonin: Spread it really thin, right? Different thicknesses that people like their Vegemite, I’m learning, I’m learning. I’m trying. That’s what I was told. I don’t know the song yet, but I’m still trying to learn the song as well. No, I think, so couple questions, one: I actually think that that interesting on lock around scale is something really unique which, again, I would argue that we sell close to 8 billion products a month, there’s a billion people on Facebook. If I took your start-up and put it on every single packet, every single good that we sold, just conceptually, we can stand eight Facebooks up a month, conceptually, right. Bosco: No, no can we do that?
Bonin: Yeah, very nice. Of course, you know, that’s my big push though. That’s what I push all the time. Like it’s in communications, on POS, you know, when we do a negotiation with a film like Transformers, they don’t care about our money. All they care about is how do we get that display foot print, how do we get that in? So I think that that unique partnership, which is what I would offer up to start-ups, is that’s huge, dude. Like, how do you push for those kind of things? So I think there’s the scale piece, I just want to point that because I think that’s really unique and interesting. For us, we have to think about valuing our assets different as well. I think one of the challenges is that you guys operate in bits and we operate in atoms. It’s kind of weird to say that, but we don’t get the type of real time data feedback on a continual basis that you guys are getting from a digital platform. Now, banks are slightly different but, you know, we sit on shelves. So we have physical product, and even when we do get that, so on Oreo, we have 34 million Facebook fans. We have a chance to get that. We don’t have a skill set in understanding how to do that in real time. So I think the first thing that we can learn is really how do you build the muscle memory necessary to be able to do consumer insights in real time? Actually believe in data. So I think that that’s our biggest challenge is digital data, we don’t really know it, realistically. So I think that that’s one that we can learn a lot from, and the speed and agility at which you do that and then respond to it. Then where I think that start-ups can learn from us is how do you find the deepest insight of why a person cares about your product. Then how do you communicate that in the simplest way possible and then make sure that that communication is spread far and wide. Whether it’s other people sharing it, or whatever the fact is, but I think we spend so much time meticulously understanding what is that real consumer insight that core unlock and that’s kind of, but at the same time, I think that we don’t know how to evolve that over time. Based on real data feedback. I don’t know why I’m talking just to him. Phil: I heard Bonin say yes, by the way. Just saying.
Bonin: I’m all over it. So we did a partnership with We Chat. Nobody would think about We Chat as a start-up, right? First of all, Whatsapp, you’re like Whatsapp is an infant in comparison to We Chat, right? We Chat does everything. I think it creates kids, it’s like, oh We Chat, I just sent a We Chat child to you. So, one of the challenges that We Chat has which we’re working with them on is actually helping them scale outside of China. They have 800 million people, that’s twice the size of Twitter. Our scale could actually help them actually win in Brazil. Can help them win in Colombia, can help them win in the US and so I’m a firm believer of packaging, partnership, deeper integration of direct communication.
Alex: I guess the question for you Bonin is why collaborate? Why don’t you just go and cherry pick the very best people, the very best ideas and replicate them yourself?
Bonin: That’s a good question. Who wants a job? No. Because I think, so first of all, we have two things: one, I don’t believe, so one I don’t believe it’s about hiring your way to the futures. I think there’s going to be a re-skilling of talent that’s going to, like I kind of talked about. I don’t believe that at the end of the day this is about hiring your way towards the future. I believe that it’s about creating programs that systematically allow you to change culture and also at the same time allow you to show talent that sits inside of your organization. Not only are you invested in them, you’re invested in their success and that they changing and growing, is what’s going to help change and grow and change your business dramatically. There’s not, I love every single one of you, but there’s not enough of you for us to hire to change our business on mass, like we really have to do. So, the difference is what I see so out of the US program, we send people away for a week to go work for the start-up, right? They actually work for the start-up, they leave their day job, go work for the start-up. Every single one of those nine brand teams that came back from the US and Brazil said the exact same thing to me, they said, Bonin, should we go work for a start-up? I said, no, the last thing you should do is do that because if nine, 18 of our top marketers quite, I will lose my job and I like my job, so let’s focus guys. I said, but more important, think about the immersion, that culture transference and what you take away from that. Imagine being able to bring that to an organization that has beloved brands, that has scale. In fact, we talk about our folks as entrepreneurs and so internal entrepreneurs. So what I would rather see happen is that we continue to change and every single one of them are forever changed. They’re more willing to work with start-ups. They’re more likely to push programs that have mobility. In fact, the most important thing is they have a network of people that they can pick up the phone and call so when they feel like they don’t know the answer to a question and the agency and everybody’s in the room and they don’t want to look stupid, they can actually pick up the phone and call folks like Brian Wong, CEO of Kiip, who is actually changing the known bordancy of ways. We’re changing the future of mobile integration. So what I would rather see happen, to be honest with you, is for us to re-skill or to continue to create these programs that drives systematic innovation and then create lane for us to partner with start-ups. I don’t want to take start-ups out of their element. In terms of what they’re doing. What I’d rather do is help them create a platform that helps us support that so we’d grow mutually. At the end of the day, there might be something that vertically integrates. In which case, we might end up buying the start-up, and you know, I’ve talked, Joseph and I talked a lot about that but for right now, we think it’s about transforming our talent in terms of our culture and at the same time creating a platform for us to authentically work together with start-ups. Phil: I think the answer to that is that corporates can’t see it happening quick enough. I don’t think any of us can really see it happening quickly enough. So if you actually ask many Telco’s right now what their priorities are, they’d say, we’re trying to find an over the top sort of messaging platform. They’re desperately trying to find something like Whatsapp cause that just happened real quick and they looked up and went, wait, we haven’t got one. We need one. Let’s buy one. Oh my god, they’re billions of dollars, we can’t afford one.
So, it’s already too late, it’s already gone too fast. That’s why, I think, you know, our feeling is that corporates need to be industrializing the act of making you businesses as part of their core value proposition every day. Because you might well be making the next Whatsapp, you know, without seeing it coming. Also, you’re just learning about how to make your core proposition better while you’re doing it.
Bonin: So in the US, on Mobile Futures, we launched phase two, only in the US. We actually took our start-up partners with us away for a week and our brand folks and we challenged them to come up with their own start-ups. Two of those were incubating over 90 days, building MVPs and now we’re launching them. They’ve already launched. One is called Toll Dot Buy and the first manifestation as Prankster, I won’t go into it and the next one is Beta Box, uberization of sampling. I think that that experience has actually, I’m blown away that we’ve actually created start-ups that are really viable. In fact, one of them is probably going to get sold. I’m blown away that we’re able to do that. I think to your point, we have probably not exercised that muscle enough so that we actually can identify things that we can buy quickly but one thing I will say about Mobile Futures which is interesting, is it’s a feeder. So right now, if we get a hundred submissions to this class, we’ll be able to sit back and look and see a hundred different, very few organizations our size have a systematic approach to even look at the market place of start-ups. To get a sense of what’s trending.
Joe: See, I completely agree. Obviously with that point of view but I’ve got also a slightly different take on it, or different addition. So when I started Ev8lution, the way that we would kind of pitch the idea was, what if Kodak had acquired Instagram? Everybody just got it, and that was less than 140 characters and everybody suddenly realized, might they have survived, and by the way, what if they had acquired Instagram, not for a billion dollars, but for a hundred million, or ten million, or one million, or what if they’d started it themselves which is your point? But then take Uber for example alright? Two guys could never get a cab or a car when they needed one so they started Uber and the rest is history, billions and billions of dollars later. So much so that people would say, we were talking about it earlier that people are just going to say “Hey just Uber that”, you know it’s becoming like a noun or verb, even like Google. But the fact is, two human beings with a pain point, and I say this when I’m talking to start-ups, I’m talking to brands, we all have pain points, just open your eyes and open your ears. Every day, we have frustrations from customer service. That’s why we work well together and it’s like why are we not thinking about the power of what we can create? You know, I often say in building this bridge between Madison Avenue and Mountain View, it’s quite simple. Start-ups have the ideas but no money, brands have got the money but no idea – I mean no ideas. Present company excluded right? But I mean it seems like why collaborate? I mean, why not?
Phil: Interesting, so just to be a pessimist for a second. Ten years into the future, while people are looking at the death of Mondolez and saying, “What if Mondelez have made this product?”
Bonin: Or Candy Crush. I’m dead serious.
Phil: What if Cadbury have invented you know what that is? What’s that?
Bonin: Dude, when I sit across the table from Candy Crush, the only thing I’m thinking is I hate you. There are 780 million users. Their average price per user per year is greater than the candy bar average price that I sell. I’m the number one candy company in the world! I don’t have the number one candy gaming platform and it’s like we’re losing it so that scares me dude, all day long. So we have to get there. But on the flipside, I think it’s about, again, the only way that we get there as a global organization is that organizations are made up of people. We have to take every single one of these people and change their mindsets to get them. The fact that we have folks here from our organization sitting and talking to start-ups, So you talk Instagram? I did the first Instagram campaign when I was a t Pepsi. We did it on Brisk and they have like four people by then, actually, we had on the can. But the reason why is because my team at that time was out there feeding and looking and we were in the mix of what was happening, what was bubbling up. A small team alone can’t do that, a whole organization has to be thinking that way. That’s the only way that you avoid the death that you talk about. The fact that a couple of people are like, “Why don’t we own Candy Crush”? Like the CEO should be like, “Why don’t we own Candy Crush”? But that’s culture change.
Phil: It feels like your core advantage is your distribution might rise. You could put a bar of dairy milk…
Bonin: On the moon. Anybody want a moon bar?
Joe: Nobody will buy that talk. What if you didn’t have that advantage? What if there was a way via technology that another chocolate maker could make something really delicious like Willy Wonka and distribute it to a massive marketplace? You know these sorts of things right? Well, that’s right.
Bonin: When I was on the beverage side I said dude I think Soda Stream was at play.
Bonin: Look at Soda Shrimp now, Soda Shrimp is like “#Thank you. #winning” you know? But I agree, again I think the challenge is you become… I think there’s two things. What separates organizations of the past generation is that the past generation of organizations both executives and organizations themselves are worried about this – protecting. I built a kingdom, I’ve got to protect, you’re not going to take my job or you’re not going to take my market share, I’ve got to protect. Whereas organizations built on this generation have the impetus of technology behind them. Technologies are moving so fast that they don’t have time to do this. They have to kill themselves, they constantly have to look around the corner, kill themselves and make the new thing. So we have to get ourselves into that mindset which is destroy ourselves and it’s interesting. I’ve seen big organizations go through cost cutting right? Let’s just use that and what you do in cost cutting in big organizations; you try to find little bits of money here and there to aggregate into a big thing. In a conversation with one of the heads of R & D in one of the organizations I work for, they say “Cost cutting is the worst because it drives incrementality.” But if you came to me and told me I’m actually going to chop, forget cutting, I’m going to chop massive amounts of your R & D budget out, it will force me to actually think totally different about how to deliver that R & D. So in some respects, some of the most innovation we have is on our smaller brands. Somehow we have to figure out how to starve ourselves of resources and make ourselves hungry again so we can come on the other side but I believe it’s about individuals and culture change. At least that’s where my heads at right now.
Bosco: And I think certainly that’s my experience from working in the media company kind of scenario here in Australia at least. There’s a whole lot of cost cutting going on, there’s actually not a lot of impetus to actually go invest elsewhere like to be creative about the investment. Without the culture change piece, it’s very much like “Okay, we’re struck with cost cutting, let’s just deal with it and print these papers or get creative with printing these papers.” So I think that whole start-up culture now becoming a lot mainstream at least here in Australia in the major capitals here starts to help that conversation. You see these larger corporates increasingly investing in these venture funds or having start-up programs or working with a company like Pollenizer and I think that’s the start of it and we’re going to see more and more of that culture sort of coming out.
Bonin: I think it’s mutually beneficial. I think folks like Pollenizer and Evolution and Hub Australia are setting up something so that it’s really this mutual benefit between both. Both are actually benefiting.
Phil: Yes, I think the culture is so important. Who’s a start-up founder here? And how many times has your business changed? Lots yeah. So it’s kind of the desperation and the greed and the passion and the joy of the human being and the culture that sort of makes that happen. It’s such an important thing and you can be as talented and skilled and connected to a network as you like but actually unless you’re desperate and obsessed, you’re not going to get it over the line. One of the big things we learned in Pollenizer is we were more like a start-up agency, we had a team of people who were employed by Pollenizer and we deployed them onto start-ups that we founded and we made some really great companies and many of those companies failed and they failed at the point where arguably if they were entrepreneur driven, they would not have failed and the reason they would not have failed is the people involved would have changed something, that would have gone cheaper for a while, they would have made a very difficult decision at three o clock in the morning and put that reputation and that new idea the next day. So all these things change everything and make those first three inevitable failures of the new business idea and get through to the next stage and so the problem I think if you make a new product in a corporate, you’ve got a budget of two million dollars and you do the business case that took you nine months and then you have to deliver on that I think it’s quite difficult.
Joe: You’re talking about lean start, how you operate on a shoe string or even a zero paid media budget because you don’t have the paid media. But what Bonn and I were chatting about today and flying over here is there are lean start-ups but what about a lean brand? What does that mean to be a lean brand? And I say with respect and deference to I’m sure you guys have heard of the famous Oreo tweet and off to the power failure in the super bowl I mean, brands went crazy. Every brand wanted to figure out their Oreo tweet, their moment. And I said, “Guys, trust me, there will never be another power failure at a super bowl again”. Heads will roll; I mean literally heads will roll if that ever happens again. Joe: I was at the super bowl and pulled the plug.
Bonin: I’m just saying that it could happen and that’s why you will never be allowed to the super bowl.
Joe: I was like about real-time marketing, my point of view was on real-time marketing and I said basically real-time marketing is bullshit, I said just move quicker for brands. Just move from twelve months to eleven months and that’s a victory as well. And if you get to real-time God bless you are operating in milliseconds but just move quicker because your life depends on it.
Bosco: I just want to connect a point about lean start-up, there’s one thing to follow methodology about lean start-up, there’s another thing which is desperation like we were strapped possible for twelve months out of our own salary working from my co-founders living room and that’s what we did and we were doing things like lets sell a piece of furniture on gum tree because we can put possible branding there and maybe get some clicks, let’s try that right? So it’s just complete these ideas that you are almost forced to develop and try to see it out and you’re almost forced to knock on the door of your neighbor and go, “Hey, I’ve just created this thing, that’s what I’ve been doing next door staying home for the last year. Why don’t you try it and give us some feedback”? That sort of desperation moment you never have if you’re like a six digit corporate salary.
Bonin: So I agree. I think that our scale masks. So look, the problem is that incremental changes at our scale actually have big numbers on the other side but they don’t have disruptive transformation numbers on the other side. But having said that, nobody ever got fired for incrementality, people get fired from missing on disruptions so people get numbers. But what I try to do is I try to remind folks that the people who are coming to take your job, let’s just be really clear, are the folks who think like you. So eventually you’re going to go you know what? I built businesses, I want to go transform chocolate and say what you asked?
Bonin: If you sit inside this organization are not thinking like you, and even more than that is we have to break our perception of what it means working in the organization. I’ll give you an example; we have a brand called Nilla right in the US. Nilla is a banana cookie. Now let’s consider an entrepreneurial brand. It basically means you’ve got no money, good luck, be entrepreneur and so the prisoner was running it, Kellogg graduate, we decided to focus on just using Facebook to see if we could drive this brand. When she found out that we were just going to use face book she was like, “What?! I’m from Kellogg, I signed up to do the epic two-minute spot, are you kidding me”, you know? Long story short, she’s got an amazing job now after this I’ll tell you. So we started off at Facebook and we had very limited money, we had nineteen thousand fans, we need to grow this fan base. We were very focused on buying ads across the people who actually specifically could be buyers. I’ll cut the story short, we did a bunch of real-time, we created five different campaigns, see which one was working well and created a content based on that. The one that was doing the best was called Momisms and it had things like good moms turn to beaters great moms turn them off, if you want breakfast in bed, sleep in the kitchen, it was like neon like, yellow background, red thing in Nilla and a face. We learned, we adjusted the creative real-time based on real consumer feedback which is face book feedback. By the way, many brands don’t do that, many brands have actually looked to see what actual people are actually doing, they sit there and they’re like “Hmm, this creative is going to work, I am holier than thou, take this to the top of the mountain and share it with our disciples”.
Bosco: But isn’t it around protectionism around the brand like I’ve talked to so many companies that are like, we’re not going to do that because the brand value is so important we want to protect it.
Bonin: No because they’re stupid. It’s because it’s a myth. If you have a platform like face book so anyway we grew that to three hundred and thirty thousand users. So we had a real platform, real buyers that give us real feedback by actually clicking their mouse, taking real action and show us what creative they liked and what they didn’t like. It’s because most people still don’t realize that there’s real people at the other end of this that are doing real actions that you can really learn from.
Bonin: So perfect is the enemy of the good. One of our biggest challenges, we should just release like an interactive chocolate like if you don’t like it 2.0 it will be better. Long story short is that we moved that brand and its going to sound like a lot of money but we moved that brand with six hundred thousand dollars of investment just using face book, we moved a hundred and forty million dollar brand and when you think about the economics its relatively small spend. We moved that brand ten percent just using Facebook and that’s because we use principles of having very limited budget in comparison on what we usually have on brands that size and all the principles that actually work in the digital world. Stuff that you guys look at on a daily basis.
Phil: Here’s something I think brands can teach start-ups so how on earth did you decide to make a banana cookie? What’s the market that makes you sell banana cookies? That’s what we need to try it like? There must be something?
Bonin: That’s what I was trying to get at which is we do a lot of rigorous insight in consumer work to understand what consumers really want and what they’re willing to buy and then also price for elasticity work and all that kind of stuff. That’s where the strength of these organizations are at. So what we did in terms of identifying people to buy on face book, I sat with our CIS team and said show me all the data you have, here’s all the leverage that you can pull on face book, show me all the data you have, figure out how to marry those and we were buying people down to the individual who we knew on a 80 percent chance more likely to buy and what we haven’t done is digitize that skill set yet but I think you guys can learn a lot. That’s interesting I was with a big start-up, I don’t want to mention them, you guys would know them and they just split their app anyway and I just felt that there was not enough consumer insight work that was done because as I looked at it they were just like there were holes in the approach that they didn’t really understand that core consumer need.
Alex: Time is marching on a little bit, we’re going to come to you about five minutes, fifty questions so just hold tight keep that in mind and I think we want people to leave here with a little bit of practical advice you know? There’s not a lot of brands in Australia that’s doing something like one of these in terms of actually going out and actively seeking start-ups and actually seeking these kind of ideas so if you’re a start-up founder here, if you’re a marketer, how do you go about finding someone whose going to innovate your business or whose going to give you the reachable scale to drive your start-up to the next level? So maybe you want to start with that?
Phil: I mean I think start-ups need to look seriously at corporate and it’s hard to raise money in Australia, I don’t know if anyone here has tried to raise venture capital or angel money but its bloody hard and it gets harder and harder every single year but start at corporate we’re starting to look at start-ups and really wanting to have some of their problems solved by start-ups. So you find them more receptive here than perhaps you would have found a year ago or two years ago. When you look at the access to market, you look at the access to data which is where my question came from in this amazing insights that you can get from a proper conversation with a corporate about what you might build and why you might build it and then looking at them for mutual growth opportunities, I think you’ll find a receptive ear. We’ve personally been working with everyone from Coca-Cola to Telstra and it’s amazing what you’ll find behind the business like Coca-Cola so when you look at one list for example when you look at this program, don’t just think about chocolates, think about that access to customers and how they’re getting that chocolate to customers and what they know about those customers and what happens on the shelves and how they get a message to that. I thought Coke was just fizzy drinks but suddenly I saw trucks and warehouses and delivery guys and call centers and payment mechanisms and all these things. Then I’ve got a gazillion problems to be solved so I think it’s really powerful for start-ups to look at corporates because there are streets paved with gold and solutions to be found. Alex: If you were across several markets as well let’s say what happens to Australia compare in that space?
Joe: Well from a global standpoint. We’ve run mobile features four Mondelez in US, in Brazil and now in Australia and it’s not that one market is different. In fact these markets have the same things in common. Ideas and funding. And at the end of the day and collaborations so you are asking about a advice and I would say there’s a great quote from wall street that actually use that old cell phone, the movie wall-street which is “the bulls and the bears make money and the pigs get slaughtered” and so advice to start-up founders is to just be honest and be realistic in terms of what your goal is and what your expectation is. If you want to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, God bless, you probably won’t.
Bonin: That’s very original.
Joe: That’s what we’d say.
Bosco: You’re right, I agree.
Joe: You will be Mark Zuckerberg, basically the statement we’d make to start-ups is you won’t be the next Mark Zuckerberg but it is managing expectation but you would be perfect for Cook. We will help you find your brand soul mate. And on the flipside, what I would say the brands and certainly brands in the room is when you partner with early stage start-ups, don’t fear lack of scale and lack of reach because you covet it, you need it, you love those super bowl commercials, embrace lack of reach embrace lack of scale. It’s a blue ocean out there and with your, I call them the brand bullies, with your muscle, with your endless coffers and resources I would argue it’s absolutely finite, you can make these start-ups famous. All you got to do is put them on your package. So that’s a little bit of advice I would give to either side.
Alex: Bosco, how many doors have you had slammed on your face and how did you keep going?
Bonin: I’ve had a lot of continuing concessions and I think my email history says that. I think for a start-up, the core thing is solve the problem that’s important to the consumer, build a great product around that problem and I think that’s the starting point to leverage any conversation you want to have with anyone. For me today, my interest is actually around the creativity of ideas like who do we partner? What’s the creative idea that we can link to this brand and how can we then work with them to get more customers converted to tell our story. And I don’t necessarily think it’s about big companies and large companies and large brands. Its other start-ups like I’ve got probably three or so continuing partnerships with start-ups. Local start-ups that have been more successful earlier than us and have more customers and we use them as a blueprint to look this is the logic of how we should partner to understand that, to get better at that you kind of start entertaining the longer term and the I guess the longer runway needed to actually do one of these corporate things but they’re continuing conversations for a reason.
Bonin: I would say I think start-ups have to be really effective to what their goals are and you can’t let the vision of big corporate deviate you from having to launch another one of these and it failed because we didn’t have the fine timeline. So you had start-ups that had a dream of partnering with the person and even nine months out, they were still spinning their wheels and it wasn’t so. And then the other piece I would say is you have to be relentless of finding people who actually care about bringing new ideas into the organization and champion it too much you make the mistake of I want to talk to the CMO, I want to talk to the head of digital, you know what their email inbox looks like? I’m serious, go to the events and find the guys that are up and coming, find the guys that are right here, find the phones that runs our Philly business, who’s a rock star. Find the folks that can see the vision, find those guys at events, and talk to those guys. Even one of the social network, one of the biggest social networks, they are always like we want to talk to your CMO but I actually wrote the check so hello I don’t understand what and by the way but the point is you’ve got to find those people in the organization that are going to have a share belief and I think most of those folks are found at events, conferences, and they’re trying to make it as well. I remember when I was doing that, find those guys that are going to be real partners and authentically believe in the same mission. You have a donkey deviated by the shiny object of brands alone by the way. Joe: I just wanted to add one more point as were talking it made me think on it and I think it ties everything together about from the global standpoint. In Finland with the failing and the troubles associated with Nokia, the government stepped in but more importantly from a cultural standpoint, in order to avoid this incredible brain drain and this departure of talent from within Finland, the government started incentivizing the developers to stay so when you look at Rovio, makers of angry birds and you look at Supercell, makers of clash of clans, these are app developers talking about the power of mobile that are worth billions of dollars today and it just shows you I think the message two people living in the US and running a program that is now truly global it doesn’t matter where you live, it doesn’t matter how big or small you are I think your keynote showed that. Ultimately at the end of the day, great ideas rise to the top. And from a distribution standpoint, yes, the big brands can help but as Victor Hugo once said, “There’s nothing as powerful as an idea of this time has come”. And so I think maybe that’s just a bit of a parting message from a global standpoint, bring it all together.
Bonin: Yeah, quotes right? I’m taking note.
Joe: The past is far riskier than creating the future.
Alex: Okay, we’re going to throw it open to you guys now so there’s got to be some questions after that discussion so stick your hand up, don’t be shy. Bonin: When does the bar open up?
Alex: There’s journalists here I can see. Come on somebody’s got to have a question. There’s one from the back, can you say who you are and where you’re from?
James: I’m James [inaudible][1:01:58] so when a brand you invest on a start-up, when do you know it was successful and when do you know it was not? At what point do you [inaudible][1:02:10]
Bonin: Just for clarity, I’ve taken the stance on what mobile features so, just for clarity on mobile features an open call for start-ups that are in-store or consumer path to purchase place and so anything that sits in path or purchase or deliveries in store, we really want to focus on that purchase funnel. So those are the start-ups that were looking for at least that’s it on a mobile device. We are guaranteeing forty thousand dollars to run the pilot that is not investment money, were not looking for equity that is working dollars towards the pilot. And then our promise is to launch that pilot within 90 days after the 1 week emersion and into share the results and successes and the fact that we partner with that start-up, far and wide we have a pitch day, were 15, we’ll come in and choose five brands and marvelous creations, Cadbury dairy milk, Philadelphia cream cheese belvita and Cadbury favorite. Sorry so I just want clarity. The reason why I am attacking that investment message is because we’re not looking to invest and own equity. So at the end of the day, were judging success is what did we set to build, what did we set out to accomplish with that pilot and when we reach the term of the pilot that we all agreed to, what would that success look like and to be perfectly honest you see nothing but success. Some have been greater engagement opportunities for us and at which case we scale those weights. For example were not scaling in Brazil and the UK because the pilot showed ten percent growth and convenience for gum, so the short answer is that one it’s not pure investment in that respect and then two it all depends on what we defined as the finish line. Sometimes those pilots also throw off other thinking which could determine success. Phil: That’s right, they’re investing so actually the worst reasons to invest is to make a massive company and then look at it three months later and go “What, it’s not massive”, right? That’s what happens too much with corporate Australia when you speak to the big Telco making a hundred million dollars a year, were not interested in, it doesn’t move the bar. It’s not worth spending any resources on it. There’s so much more you can learn. You can learn insights about market change, you’ve got to canary and a coalmine type model, and you’re developing talent. If you are developing brand new ideas, you have to give it time. I find so much of our work is about setting the expectations around them and if you get to see the big Telco looking at something like its potentially a hundred million dollar acquisition and it’s not doing what they want it to do, that’s the lens they are used to looking at start-ups through so we need to sort of reset that way of looking things and it’s all about why they’re investing and what they want to get out of it.
Joe: Both him and I would agree that the process is so important because of this cultural transformation and the learning that come out of it so the means almost trump the end in terms of how many clicks and how many coupons and how many downloads but never lose sight of the fact that the start-up is not a toy, a shiny object to play with. So for the start-up, it’s got to be helping them to get to the next level and so where the two come together, is that the brand becomes the white knight for the start-up. The case study, the press, the PR, the external merchandising can help someone like Bosco who goes in to the VC and the VC says who are you working with? How many clients do you have? Do you have a case study? And how we can show for example Mondelez and say these are real brands and these are real results.
Bonin: I can’t tell you how many start-ups they asked the VC to call me and I actually vouch for the start-up and talk to the VC.
Joe: And I think there’s a responsibility for a start-up as a founder to be true to what you’re about and what the problem is you’re solving. We said no to a whole lot of corporate bunny and a whole lot of corporate type of partnership because it just wasn’t what were about and we had to basically deviate to cater for what they want us to be about and on that grounds, it’s just not worth it.
Alex: Okay, another question here?
Speaker 4: Yes, Claire Riley from [inaudible][1:06:30] I’m interested, there’s been a lot of chat about tech-based start-ups you know, I think it’s starting to become known and the way [inaudible][1:06:40] members and the principes of the business knowledge or technology, you all had experience with start-ups on being involved or seen developed. Do you think that there are ways of thinking that transcend across these various start-ups and do you think that people need to be tech and business focused or is it just great ideas not necessarily in business knowledge, they’ve got bright ideas in all of them.
Joe: I personally think you need to be a hustler. If you’re a businessman and you are able to sell garbage bags door to door and get money for it as a kid, that’s the spirit. If you’ve got that you know? Like the FUBU guy story had ten shirts made it look like a million dollar company because they got it on all these rappers and all these rap videos, getting in the middle of a GAP commercial that had LL cool J wear the FUBU hat without paying a dollar and GAP spent thirty million dollars for that ad campaign, that’s the spirit. You don’t have to have anything else.
Bonin: You guys all know Garry Vee, right, Garry Vaynerchuck. Yeah I talk to him all the time, we talked about that it’s just, you’ve got to hustle and you have to will it so. It’s crazy I think it’s really about to be perfectly honest with you, I think the one misconception on the brand side that it’s all easy and I showed a program where the door got slammed to my face so many times and I was like this is going to be huge. It got slammed on my face so many times I finally went out to one of our partners at Twitter and said hey, let’s partner together and bring this to life. I couldn’t even get through the organization and we brought it to life just because I believed that this was going to be “the thing” and I was going to get this thing done no matter who said no.
Joe: I’ll give you a different answer. When worked in the agency, when I worked with a visionary creative director, if you got to the madman days, it was quite revolutionary when an art director teamed up with a copywriter and they became a partnership of creative team. And he created a third piece of that puzzle called a wizard. And a wizard was a technologist. This is back during the bubble and the bubble bursting. And the way he looked at it was the wizard was 80 percent technology, 20 percent creativity and then you had your art director and your copywriter that was 80 percent creativity, 20 percent technology and he felt that if these three can work together, anything was possible so I guess my answer to you is marketing has to understand technology, technology has to understand marketing. When these two combine, great things are possible. Unfortunately the wizard idea never caught on but I never stopped believing that the evolution of the agency model from a creative standpoint would do so much better with this introduction of the wizard. Again, you look at IBM’s prediction that marketing would spend more money on technology than IS and IT which is a crazy prediction but ultimately you see those fusions of marketing and tech.
Phil: In Australia now it’s amazing, CMO’s are now controlling the IT budget right? But I just think it’s really funny that from a start-up perspective because the whole distinction between the two seems actually bizarre and actually marketing is technology and technology is marketing and in the start-up world there’s no distinction and in the end, the best start-ups have got engineers that had to hustle and had to sell things and you know they’ve got marketers that actually suggested a really interesting script they might write to actually get more face book conversions at the same time so the two worlds are united.
Alex: Okay, I think we’re going to wrap it up there because I can see a few people getting back to the bar but I’ll leave you with a…
Speaker 4: May I have one?
Alex: Okay it’s going to be quick and it’s going to be very quick answers from the entire panel.
Bonin: I won’t answer that.
Speaker 4: [inaudible][1:10:37] the thing that I find absolutely astonishing [inaudible][1:10:45]
Joe: Your boss knows you’re doing this, doesn’t he?
Bonin: That’s a good question.
Alex: This is all off the record.
Bonin: I think part of it… My boss Dana when she hired me, she said we believe all media is digital, we want a digital guide to help track the future of media and I was like, “She’s on drugs, I’ve never heard something like that”. Till that day I never bought a piece of television in my life and then I walked into US up fronts which is our largest market when we were combined and I ran all of that investment and we are the thirty-third largest media buyer in the world so I owe her a lot. To be perfectly honest with you, the thing that has always driven me was the lifeblood of the network of start-ups and digital folks and I tell people all the time that you have to go to where the people are changing the world and building companies and even more important than that I think is Joe and I talked about this at breakfast this morning is external validation drives internal transformation and I think very few people leverage that so you don’t think they love to see Mondelez on the front cover? They love that and as a result of that, what we’ve done if you look at the last two and a half year march it daily twist on Oreo can, its Tweet around the world, its 3d printer Oreo, it’s all the things that have been highlighting us like we are the poster child of how to transform marketing now and as a result of us using communications externally and internally really well, we’ve forced ourselves to have a reputation that the organization actually has to live up to. So it’s like were out there saying this is what we are and if you do enough and you keep the organization of guard, the thing that you have to be careful of is you can’t let it metastasize, it cannot stop. If it stops then everything shuts down. So if you look, face book deals, twitter deals, every place we can tell the innovation story of what we’re driving because it also changes the mindset of people who work there because all they see is this positive about how you guys are changing the face of marketing. So I think it’s that combination and then quite frankly its support from senior leadership. So CEO down are very much like lets go run through walls. That’s all I have.
Speaker 4: [inaudible][1:14:47]
Bonin: We are two years old. We are the world’s largest start-up and we’ve only been around for two years and I think that one of the reasons why I came over was because we were going to be building this whole thing from a totally new perspective and the ability to be able to shape what that organization will look like was exciting and again senior leadership. You can talk to whether it’s Bianca, Julie and Pete who’s on my team here, Anthony who’s actually running mobile features that runs media for Australia who’s a rock star you guys should all meet. Any of those folks, I’m missing people someplace, Sarah is here somewhere, Sarah who runs partnerships, I feel very blessed in an organization where there’s a lot of support for this and the only reason why we are able to do this is because of senior leadership.
Alex: Okay guys, we are going to actually wrap it up there. There are no more questions, if you have any more call these people afterwards. Two quick things. One, a lot of talk about hustle at the end there. If you are looking to get in the face of some of the most influential people in the industry, we’ve got Mumbrella 360 which is just a month away – which includes for the first time in that working afternoon; hundreds of the top marketers in the country are going to be in one room. I think you need to be there if you want to get in their faces. The last thing why were actually here tonight is mobile features. If you want to find out more about the scheme, see some examples of what’s actually going on in Brazil and the US where it first launched and find out about funding, that kind of thing then go to mobilefeatures.com.au. It couldn’t be easier. Thank you very much for coming tonight and join me thanking the panel. Thank you guys.