Tech Transformation Podcast: PepsiCo’s Kate Garner On Consumer Insights’ Evolution

There may be no bigger priority for both retailers and consumer goods companies today than access to consumer insights, and PepsiCo has stood up its own data analytics practice known as Pepviz to seize this opportunity. In this episode of Tech Transformation, we’re talking with Kate Garner, SVP of marketing, demand accelerator, at PepsiCo about some of their latest findings, how the company's use of technology has evolved, and how it's helping them develop more collaborative retail relationships. 

Listen to learn: 

  • How the use of technology at PepsiCo has evolved over the last 20 years
  • How Pepviz is helping retailers leverage consumer insights for market share and revenue growth
  • How they share these insights across the PepsiCo organization 
  • How PepsiCo overcomes some of the challenges associated with data democratization
  • What’s next for Pepviz and what Garner sees as the future of retail
  • The potential of generative AI within consumer goods and retail


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How PepsiCo’s use of technology has evolved: “From an insights perspective, we've gone from a world of deep longitudinal surveys, where you're getting a lot of stated purchase behavior, and moving more into a place where we're able to look at actual purchase behavior and link that then to get to that closed-loop measurement that's so critical, to be able to ensure we're delivering that return on investment. 

“And then taking it even a step further and getting down to individual store level. So when we think about the insights that we're able to attain, and transfer that then all the way down to an advantage that we have, which is having our sales associates in all the stores across the country, we’re able then to curate those insights in a very granular way to what's happening in their store.”

How they work with retailers: “We had a Midwestern retailer who was very interested in growing their carbonated soft drink business. And we were able to look across their footprint of stores, and first able to separate out where stores were excelling and where stores had opportunities. Then, within their footprint, we could look to seek and understand what are some of the differences? What are lookalike stores — and lookalike stores doesn’t necessarily mean that they're in close geographical proximity, but specifically, how do we look at the shoppers that are shopping that store? And then identify what's unique or differentiated about those stores, and how do we take the stores that are underperforming, build some of the insights and things that are happening within the stores with higher growth. 

“We were able to then go activate against those execution parameters. Exciting for the retailer, as exciting for us, we were able to deliver incremental growth for both of us, for the retailer to see a 16% lift in their carbonated soft drink business.”

How they leverage consumer insights across the company: “It's almost like a marketing campaign, and you need to break down the target audience into different personas. We have some within our organization who use this capability on a day-in and day-out basis, and so for those folks, we have training, we have webinars, we record them, we put them at their fingertips, and then we have experts, who would have an office-hour type capability to meet with some of our sales and category leaders to answer questions, all the way up to our senior executives, where we're looking to just curate and help inform them on the insights and the learnings.

"And so there, you'll see we have quarterly newsletters that we're putting into the inbox. If you go into, you also can get those and sign up to see some of those newsletters. So really articulating for the marketplace what are the industry leading insights that we're seeing.”

The potential of generative AI in consumer goods and retail: “One of the areas that I see potential in, having led insights organizations here within PepsiCo, really migrating away from stated behavior. And so when I think about the ability for sentiment tracking, rather than just tracking words, being able to get into tone and understanding, or in search, and helping us articulate more clearly. Those are areas that excite me to think about how we experience those things differently and more nuanced. …

"I think that how generative AI takes off within the CPG and retail space will be dependent upon how they find solutions that connect to those territories of where we are already investing as an industry. So to the extent that they can tap into those areas and show progress in those spaces, I think it will take off quickly. Otherwise, it may be areas of the future.”


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