Q&A: Bonin Bough, head of social media, PepsiCo

We talk to PepsiCo's digital and social media director about the company's initiative to champion innovation and how to stay one step ahead of competitors using technology.

social media

Mission Control is an engine for real-time marketing. You start off with a platform that allows us to have real-time insights and real time participation with our marketers.

When you actually stand there and see these screens light up you realise you're looking at what the future of marketing will look like. You're standing immersed inside of your consumer. That's just an experience that's unprecedented.

We're constantly adapting. It's all about asking "How are we learning? How are we changing?" it's a continual feedback loop.

As location become more important, as connections to my friends all these APIs that start telling the stories of people's lives begin to emerge more and more this is a datacentre that is going to show everything that we've ever wanted to understand about customers and how they're interacting with the product.

Conceptually it will become overwhelming very quickly. That's why it's imperative for organisations of our size to be super far out in front. I've seen monitor reports where 80 per cent of the conversation is garbage it's not getting close to our consumer and it doesn't have the same level of importance as the other 20 per cent.

So, how do we learn to be better listeners? How do we learn to identify the insight that I need to respond to now? What's an insight that I should put on my product roadmap for two years? That skill set doesn't even exist right now. We are crafting the future of that skill set. And then we're crafting the other side, which is PepsiCo 10. How do you take these innovations that are happening? We're talking companies less than two years [old]. Some of these guys have never written a PowerPoint before! We say we're going to do pilot in six months and they say "I don't know if I'm going to be around in six months!" We have to learn how to integrate that into our organisation.

We're redefining what it means to be a marketer in a lot of respects.

What have you learned from your use of social media thus far?

We're constantly adapting. It's all about asking "How are we learning? How are we changing?" It's a continual feedback loop. Mission Control is probably the most visible as you can actually see

It's really about building an adaptive strategy that can continuously move based on feedback.

What's great about digital is you can sell and close in the same space.

Slingshot, for example, means you can scan a barcode and you can enter your Tesco user ID and have a product added to your basket. We then have this ecommerce platform and you can get a ton of metrics.

We saw a lot of technologies like that, which are super exciting to rethinking the business model. We're creating a real-time business.

You walk into certain stores in the US and they no longer have price tags on products, it's on the shelf. In the future, every single package is going to be connected to the internet. We're building probably the tech company of the future, which has to operate in this world and that's not a technology business.

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