A Conversation with Amy Spiridakis

April 23, 2019

By Mike Kaufman

ANA

Working for a scaled brand is nothing new for Amy Spiridakis, VP of marketing and insights at PepsiCo Beverages North America. The 2019 ANA Brand Activation Conference speaker has spent the last fourteen years with one of the largest food and beverage companies on earth. What is new, for the seasoned marketer, is the rise of smaller players, fueled by the digital age, who are forcing big brands to rethink and reinvent how they approach the consumer relationship.

Ahead of her presentation at #ANAActivate, the ANA caught up with Amy to get her thoughts on the new realities PepsiCo faces as a result of smaller challenger brands popping up, how a soft drink company negotiates a more health-conscious public, and predictions for the future of marketing. You can find that conversation, edited for length and clarity, below.

 

Q. Your presentation at the 2019 ANA Brand Activation Conference will focus in part on scaled brands being challenged by smaller players. What can big-brand marketers learn from how these smaller brands operate and apply to their own efforts?

Big brand marketers should go back to the basics and spend more time listening and engaging with their consumers. Over the past two years at PepsiCo, we've increasingly invested in developing empathy for the people who consume — or we want to consume — our products. This helps ensure that big brands truly understand what the target seeks and how to build meaningful relationships. In addition, we've been focused on localizing and personalizing our communications to deliver against this.

 

Q. As health consciousness becomes a greater focal point of consumer culture, what can brands like Pepsi do to negotiate the new realities of consumer perception while remaining true to the values that have made the brand so successful so far? How does your marketing team approach that challenge?

No question health and wellness remain a key consideration in every food and beverage occasion. We've been focused on continuing to learn about consumers evolving wants and needs. For brands like Pepsi, we are focused on unapologetically celebrating the occasions where carbonated soft drinks, and cola in particular, has the right to win — such occasions include social gatherings with friends and families, recreational outings, and afternoon breaks.

 

Q. Over the next five years, which emerging marketing tactic or technology do you believe will be the most valuable to the industry?

I believe personalization of communications — enabled through the application of first party and big data — is what is going to be most valuable in the next five years. With the continued fragmentation of media, consumers are being increasingly selective of with what brands they engage. Brands that develop "one-to-one" relationships with consumers are more likely to win their hearts, minds, and wallets.

 

You can hear more about how PepsiCo negotiates 21st century brand marketing from Amy Spiridakis at the 2019 ANA Brand Activation Conference, being held May 15–17, in Orlando Fla. Registration is open for this event now.


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