How purpose-driven growth and a strong culture can beat the market

McKinsey’s Dennis Spillecke talks growth with Mondelēz International’s chief marketing officer for Europe, Debora Koyama. Mondelēz is a multinational confectionary and food and beverage company, with revenues of £20 billion. The following is an edited version of their conversation.

How do you think about purpose-driven growth?

We have a new purpose at Mondelēz, which is to empower people to snack right. People really relate to that. Our employees are excited about it, and I think that’s critical, as we’re trying to really go after growth. Then there is a purpose that we can really unlock through our portfolio of brands. I believe in purpose delivering growth. I’ve seen it in my career, and we have so many hard data and facts showing that purpose drives growth. Why purpose? For me, humans need it. I think everybody needs purpose and meaning in their lives. I think employees thrive on it, society expects it from us in business, and finally, if nothing else, purpose delivers growth.

How are you developing the company’s growth culture?

We have a new set of leadership values, behaviors, and commitments that I’m very excited about. One is reigniting the values, commitments, and behaviors related to loving consumers and brands. The other one is thinking about growth every day. One of the commitments is having a growth mind-set. To me, this is a critical one. I think it is instrumental to success today to have the beginner’s mind-set, to be able and willing to learn every day, especially in this fast-paced digital world that’s changing every hour. That’s a very exciting and critical factor in shifting the culture as we go into the new phase.

What does it mean to grow in a digital age?

I think this is one of the most exciting times to be in marketing, or in brands, because we have so many ways to connect with consumers. We have never had so many ways to have a conversation with people. So that’s number one. Two, with data we are able also to have a much more personalized conversation with groups of people. We talk a lot about personalization at scale. The third one is the data we have to support and make marketing much more precise through the consumer decision journey.

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