PepsiCo: Think Fast to Keep Up with the Digital Consumer

PepsiCo's Shiv Singh shares his advice on successful advertising.

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PepsiCo Beverages’ global head of digital Shiv Singh has spent a good part of the last few years advising small businesses, start-ups and blue chip brand managers alike on how online and mobile innovations are impacting traditional marketing strategies. Along with penning the book Social Media Marketing For Dummies in 2012, the digital marketing guru has presented on the topic at high-profile venues from ad:tech in New Delhi to Austin’s SXSW, outlining what steps are needed to stay relevant and engaging in the increasingly social, fast-paced consumer environment.

To market effectively, Singh underlines the importance of real-time insights, saying, “It’s the only way to truly stay culturally relevant with consumers.” This is clearly a challenge given that marketing activities within large companies have traditionally required 9 to 12 months’ lead time before a campaign, or even a statement, goes public. This fundamental shift in process is a giant step, but if done right, jumping that hurdle can propel brands into the next level of social media savvy. Oreo’s Super Bowl Tweet in response to the power outage this year – which was retweeted 10,000 times within one hour, according to Chicago Business – was a great example of how quick turnaround can have a big payoff.

Another more recent example comes straight out of Singh’s backyard. As Digiday reported, Pepsi was one of the first major brands to jump in on the newsfeed-clogging Harlem Shake craze that appeared online in late January. With more than 44 million views on 12,000+ meme-related videos uploaded by mid-February (according to the Mercury News), the cola brand released two commercials – one featuring Pepsi, another Pepsi Max – reflecting the importance it places on pop culture and real-time relevance to engage consumers.

See Mr. Singh speak about how PepsiCo is making its brands relevant for future generations at our BRITE ’13 Conference (March 4-5, NYC).

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