Consumer Engagement: Insights from Marriott, American Express & Mondelēz

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At the Brand Innovators Consumer Engagement livecast event, leaders from Marriott International, American Express and Mondelēz International talked about engaging consumers through new channels, new initiatives and strong storytelling.

Attracting eyeballs is one of the biggest challenges facing brands today as marketers compete for attention with everything from gaming and streaming to social media and news. Building engaging experiences that tap into the culture is the best way for brands to build connections and engage consumers.

At the Brand Innovators Consumer Engagement livecast event, leaders from Marriott International, American Express and Mondelēz International talked about engaging consumers through new channels, new initiatives and strong storytelling.

Marriott International has recently kicked off a new campaign to invite people back to travel. As part of this effort, the company used TikTok for the first time ever and partnered with Hulu and created QR codes on Disney+. The story aimed to unite people around their love for travel.

“It is all about the power of travel and the idea is that especially after this last year and a half or so, we know that there is a power that travel brings, and that it connects people,” said Christine Kettmer, Senior Director, Global Enterprise Insight & Strategy, Marriott International. “It is really in the spirit of growth, healing, and unity that travel is something that people won’t take as much for granted anymore. I can speak for myself and it is not necessarily a given, but it is a privilege. It is just something that was so important to me on multiple levels before and now, I have this newfound appreciation for it. The campaign really leans into this idea that you can expand your mind, your horizons; your corners of the world are not just for you, but they are for other people to discover too.”

Diversity is a key value for American Express. During the pandemic, the company dedicated $1 billion to promote equal opportunities for colleagues, customers and communities. A large part of this budget has been invested in Black-owned businesses.

“It’s not just about spending the money at American Express; it is also about providing educational opportunities for groups that face disparate challenges,” said David Knapp, Director, Customer Site & Paid Media, American Express. “For example, we have a 100 for 100 program based on an insight that female Black entrepreneurs are the fastest growing segment in the small business landscape. We wanted to support them with things like mentorship, access to funding and grants, and different efforts to support the community. We also are backing our colleagues. I am very excited about the fact that we have had incredible content in diversity, equity and inclusion training for colleagues and that we have been able to bolster our incremental efforts, which has really helped my team as well.” 


Founded in 2018, Mondelēz International’s SnackFutures has been working to define the future of snacking in terms of wellbeing and sustainability. This initiative is based on three pillars -invent, venture and amplify- and the company has been focused on testing and learning over the past several years.

“At SnackFutures, we were definitely beating the wellbeing drum early on in the pandemic, when the more indulgent things were spiking,” said Katrina Borisjuk, Marketing Director, SnackFutures Innovation, Mondelēz International. “Over time, we’ve seen a shift in consumers globally toward health and wellbeing. With all things, the pendulum may be swung all the way one way so it may swing back a little, but I do think that there has been a fundamental shift in consumers in their approach towards eating. For instance, for people who were always out at restaurants and then had to cook at home for a year, hopefully that got people used to cooking at home who weren’t doing so previously. I think that there have been material changes in behavior as humans, how we eat, how we approach food, and how we get that food, and I do think that some of these trends are here to stay.” 

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