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M&M'S® being produced at a Mars Confectionery Factory in Topeka, Kansas

How the Mars ‘Digital Engine’ Drives Our Transformation

By Sandeep Dadlani, Chief Digital Officer at Mars 

Sandeep Dadlani, Chief Digital Officer at Mars, Incorporated

Our approach for working through the COVID-19 pandemic and the new normal has been, and will continue to be, putting the safety and wellbeing of Mars Associates first, doing our part to prevent the spread of the virus and caring for our communities. We’re also focused on home delivery so people and their pets receive the products they rely on and keeping 2,500 veterinary hospitals open to look after the health of millions of pets.  

While we’ve been forced to adapt quickly in different ways, our digital transformation at Mars remains rooted in accelerating and shaping the world we want tomorrow by empowering Associates to create value 100 times faster today.  

From creating Pet Health Pal, a useful chatbot that answers pet owners’ FAQs to easing the experience to send gifts to frontline workers, we’re reimagining how to meet consumer needs. Our Digital Engine powers and unlocks three new areas of capability:  

  1. User Centricity: Design thinking for strategic initiatives to make sure we challenge each other by keeping our end-user at the heart of decision-making. 
  2. Data & Analytics: An infrastructure and ecosystem needed to extract critical insights.  
  3. Automation: Machines that can complete repetitive tasks that monopolize Associate brainpower, allowing them to focus on delivering our innovation ambitions. 

We’ve made great strides in our journey to make digital technology work for us. However, we know there’s still more to be done, because consumer behavior continues to evolve. And while no one can predict long-term trends with certainty, we emphasize the principles of design thinking and listen carefully to consumer trends — since we believe the consumer is our boss.  

Check out a few examples how we leveraged our Digital Engine to meet fast-changing customer needs: 

  • Mars Veterinary Health businesses, including Banfield® Pet Hospitals, Blue Pearl® and VCA®, accelerated our use of telemedicine. 
  • Our PEDIGREE® brand kicked off the new “Dogs on Zoom” campaign hosting virtual dog adoption events — helping pets find forever homes while ensuring the safety of prospective pet parents.  
  • Our M&Ms® and SNICKERS® brands launched multiple online gifting campaigns to make it easier to give snacks to essential, frontline workers. When you visit and send a SNICKER® Box Gift to frontline workers, Mars will match the gift.  
  • Our MALTESERS® brand updated a popular campaign by capitalizing on current trends and new consumer behaviors, delivering amazing digital results.  
  • Mars Petcare created  Pet Health Pal, a new educational chatbot powered by the Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp chatbot to answer pet parents’ pressing questions. 

Read “Mars will be 100 Times Faster Through Its Digital Engine” in Forbes and listen to a podcast produced by Metis Strategy to learn more insights about our digital journey from Chief Digital Officer Sandeep Dadlani.

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