PepsiCo’s Abhishek Jadon discusses how first-party data enables the company to adapt to new privacy regulations, changes in technology, and emerging trends.
At PepsiCo, we aim to engage with consumers on a human level. We want to meet their snacking and beverage preferences today and as their needs evolve over time.
Like most consumer packaged goods companies, we’ve historically relied on mass distribution, promotions, and broad communications to connect with consumers. This translated into getting our products into big-box stores, and leaning on tentpole events and broadcasts to reach people at scale.
Though these tried-and-true strategies still add value, we recognise that the world is in an ongoing state of transformation. Today’s consumers are more judicious about their food and beverage choices, and even their snacking habits have shifted.
Not only are consumer behaviours transitioning, but the media landscape is also rapidly changing. In response, we’re changing our approach to marketing and using our first-party data to guide our evolution. This enables us to adapt to new privacy regulations, changes in technology, and emerging trends that impact how businesses leverage consumer data for marketing to drive impact.
Prioritising customer relationships
Data is critical in helping us understand consumers, but we believe that it’s also critically important to respect our relationship with our consumers and honor their privacy preferences. This guiding principle motivated us to transform our organisation a few years ago.
We built a team of product owners, data scientists, and insights leads to focus on our data capabilities. We invested in cloud and machine learning technology to develop integrated data products. We also prioritised first-party data as one of our core global marketing principles.
Data is critical in helping us understand consumers, but it’s also important to respect our relationship with our consumers and honor their privacy preferences.
First-party data helps us build stronger relationships with our customers and gives us the intelligence we need to make smarter business decisions, like which new products to launch, in a privacy-first way.
Driving customer loyalty with the right value exchange
Our aim is to develop an ongoing dialogue with customers and use marketing touchpoints across the globe to start these conversations. That’s why we prompt customers to join our loyalty rewards programs with clear calls to action on our product packaging or through promotions on dedicated consumer-engagement platforms like our websites and apps.
We have three distinct loyalty programs for the U.S. and Canada, Turkey, and Mexico, with plans to expand to other markets. Each program accounts for unique market dynamics and consumer preferences so we can deliver the best value proposition and follow the necessary regulations for each market.
It’s imperative to ensure our loyalty members understand the clear value they’re receiving in return for consenting to share their data with us.
Insights from these loyalty programs help us understand our members, personalise their experiences, and optimise our offers based on their preferences. This enables us to deliver the right value exchange for each of our loyalty members, which in turn drives retention. For example, we know that people in Turkey are more mobile savvy and respond more to instant offers, whereas consumers in the U.S. may be more interested in discovering new recipes.
It’s imperative to build trust and transparency to nurture our customer relationships and ensure that our loyalty members understand the clear value they’re receiving in return for consenting to share their data with us. Ultimately, this approach helps us honor our consumers’ choices while protecting their privacy.
Using integrated first-party data to drive business results
People receive so many messages a day that breaking through the noise requires us to be relevant and meet consumers where they are at that moment. This is where our custom first-party data offering comes in. This solution integrates different consumer data sources and gives us more holistic insights so we can better navigate the consumer journey and deliver the right message, to the right person, in the right place.
This intelligence ensures that our consumers see the products they love most, on the channels they frequent most often. Have a bold love for Doritos? You’ll see our newest flavor. We’ve embedded this model into our media planning and buying processes, and as part of an integrated marketing strategy alongside mass-market brand campaigns, to ensure we are reaching existing audiences and finding new customers.
Our customer-centric, data-led approach has increased media efficiency and, for some campaigns, resulted in 3X the improvement in ROI.
Going beyond marketing to make business decisions
Using first-party data for use cases outside of marketing has also added value for PepsiCo. It’s allowed us to launch new products, ensuring repeat purchase and longevity due to the depth and breadth of the rich consumer insights. First-party data creates a consumer feedback loop through direct relationships that could be leveraged for new flavor testing, focus groups, and sampling.
The strength of first-party data and PepsiCo’s digital expertise will help us meet business objectives so we accelerate our growth by building long-lasting consumer relationships.