What You Can Learn from PepsiCo’s New Consumer Data Strategy

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Traditional methods of figuring out consumer attitudes seem to be failing a younger generation of marketers. With millennials taking center stage in the business world and Generation Z slowly trickling into the workplace, PepsiCo’s consumer insights team—the marketing arm of the company that focuses specifically on figuring out how consumers feel about the brand—knew they needed to switch things up.

According to Digiday, a media publication, PepsiCo, the parent company of Pepsi, Frito-Lay and Tropicana, amasses an abundance of data through focus groups, grocery store cash registers, e-commerce portals, ad surveys, etc. but making sense of it all internally has been a challenge. So, they recently overhauled their data collecting system to make it a more fun and engaging process for their employees.

In any business, happy employees create positive results and PepsiCo definitely knows that. Race directors can learn two main lessons from PepsiCo’s’s new consumer insights strategy:

Liven up data distribution.  

For years, the only way PepsiCo’s customer insights team sent data to the marketing and product teams was through PowerPoint presentations and spreadsheets. Recently, Digiday reported, PepsiCo’s North American Beverages insights team hired design agency StickyDocs to create an app that would let the insights team share their data to the marketing, strategy and product teams. The app makes the copious amounts of data the insights team gather more digestible for other teams within the company.

“The only way organizations have ever distributed insight is through email and a PowerPoint deck,” Marcus Jimenez, founder and CEO at StickyDocs told Digiday. “The practice of data visualization and insights socialization for the workforce is a new concept for many brands, and change at the organizational level doesn’t happen quickly.”
What you can do: As a race director, you might not have the same resources and manpower as Pepsi, but you should still think about devising a compelling way for your team members to work with participant and registration data. Your team members should see themselves as “storytellers” and it’s important for everyone to be interactive and creative with how they present data and information. Encourage your staff to incorporate infographics, photos and other visual aids to liven up otherwise dry, boring data reports. Check out this list of free tools to create simple infographics for visual data inspiration.


Ask your team for fresh ideas.

PepsiCo also asks their employees to participate in games and quizzes about data and products, to further engage them and to also extract new concepts that come from them directly.

“Employees don’t get into trouble if they don’t know answers; it’s just a way to keep them engaged with the data,” Stefania Gvillo, vice president of consumer strategy and insights at PepsiCo’s North American Beverages group, told Digiday.
What you can do: Your team is mostly likely made up of digital natives who might be tossing around a few ideas of their own. Ask your team of employees and volunteers to jot down ideas before you meet with them and review those ideas as a group. Open up the floor and allow them to flourish. Hold brainstorming sessions and ask them how gathering participant data would be more enriching for them. Create a sense of ownership within your team, so they are really invested in their ideas. When it comes to problem solving, your team is going to be your biggest asset, so make sure everyone feels free to be open about new ideas.

The bottom line is your team should be fully engaged and interested in the work they’re doing for you to achieve the best results. So, reach out to your staff or volunteers and see what ideas they might have on gathering (and using) better data.