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Episode 14

Engaging Consumers Through Human-Centric Strategies

In this episode, Umi Patel, VP of Consumer Insights & Analytics at PepsiCo's North America Beverage Portfolio, discusses the importance of collecting household data that powers personalization, how they are developing human-centric stories from data, and the power of blending different types of data.

Guest speaker: Umi Patel

Umi Patel is the Vice President of Consumer Insights and Analytics for North America PepsiCo Beverage Portfolio. Umi has been with PepsiCo since 2007, moving up the ranks of positions from Customer Marketing Manager, to Senior Director of Marketing, to her current role. Before her time at PepsiCo, Umi was the Brand Manager at Labatt Brands. In her current position, Umi is responsible for leading consumer insights and experience for North America Beverages business which includes managing the Strategic Brand planning process, Consumer driven Category forecasting & tracking, and driving a culture of human-centricity across the business, not only with Marketing but also Sales, Finance, and HR. She’s currently leading a team of 50+ Insights, Analytics, and Consumer experience professionals across the US and overseas.

Episode summary

This episode features an interview with Umi Patel, Vice President of Consumer Insights and Analytics for North America PepsiCo Beverage Portfolio. Umi began her career as the Brand Manager for Labatt Brands, before joining PepsiCo in 2007. Here, she has held numerous positions including Customer Marketing Manager and Senior Director of Marketing. 

In this episode, Kailey sits down with Umi to discuss permissible enjoyment, macroeconomic trends, and storytelling through data.

Key takeaways

  • Pay attention to the macro economical conditions of the world and how they may impact your consumer. Some people may be rethinking their spending habits, so marketing to them in a way that offers them a solution during tough financial times is critical.

  • When planning processes, it’s important to implement collaboration and debate among your partners in marketing, insights, and business stakeholders. This creates a collective ownership of the strategies that are then put into place to act on that data.

  • Developing relationships with consumers hinges on simple storytelling. Gathering data, analyzing it, and then turning it into a conversation with your consumer is key.

Speaker quotes

“The real definition of good data is really about making sure that we are simplifying it and being able to tell a simple story that people can act on. [...] We want to develop plans that are hinged in this data or this story that will help us have a conversation with consumers that will help us develop a relationship with consumers.” – Umi Patel

Episode timestamps

‍*(01:49) - Umi’s career journey

*(05:22) - Industry trends in customer engagement in the beverage industry

*(11:09) - Challenges in the consumer engagement journey

*(13:14) - How Umi defines “good data”

*(20:21) - How PepsiCo is using good data to build consumer engagement

‍*(23:52) - An example of another company doing it right with consumer engagement (hint: it’s the entertainment industry)

*(30:43) - Umi’s favorite piece of data

*(33:12) - Changes in the next 6-12 months in marketing and retail

*(34:54) - Umi’s recommendations for upleveling consumer engagement 

Connect with Umi on LinkedIn

Connect with Kailey on LinkedIn