Pepsi’s CMO Talks Mobile

Filming an episode of C-Suite TV’s Mind Your Own Business at the Mobile Marketing Association’s (MMA) SM2 Innovation Summit during Advertising Week, Jeffrey Hayzlett spoke with Frank Cooper, chief marketing offer at Pepsi, about how the brand is using mobile as a growth and engagement tool, and how marketers should be embracing the potential of mobile.

“Wherever you’re located, you can have a party. You can have water cooler. You can create media – and that to me, is the massive unlock of mobile,” said Cooper. “It’s the front door to the Internet of Things.”

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Frank Cooper, chief marketing officer, Pepsi

Pepsi initially got into the mobile space back in 2006, during the heyday of ring tones, and followed that up with several partnerships. The soft drink company was the first brand to partner with Foursquare for a check-in reward program, for one. “With all of those disparate campaigns, we saw levels of engagement, but it’s probably the last three years where it’s really come together,” Cooper said.

Some of his favorite mobile campaigns in Pepsi’s history include “Live for Now,” which involved sharing music with its Twitter followers, and an augmented reality game 7-Eleven customers could play by scanning barcodes in the store.

“Is mobile the new TV?” Hayzlett asked.

“On some level, it is,” Cooper replied, adding that there are 5.5 billion mobile subscribers worldwide. “[But] for me, it’s so much more than that. With mobile, you can communicate with someone at the shelf. You can deliver something at the point of transaction.”

He added that mobile is a medium that’s growing with time; in order for marketers to take full advantage of its potential, it takes people who have a strong understanding of its complexities. “You can’t have data science without really good data scientists,” he pointed out.

Pepsi’s marketing efforts have always been more about spikes of joy, rather than a steady state of happiness.

To bring that strategy to mobile, Cooper said the most important thing is to make sure he’s delivering the right information at the right moment.

“It’s not so much delivering to your iPhone or Samsung,” he said. “The space for interruption is really small. We have to deliver something that you, the mobile user, really wants.”

Fielding questions after the show, Cooper was asked if he was an app, which app would he be.

“I’d be Snapchat,” he replied with a grin. “I’d get to check in and out, and disappear. Or I could create a long-form story. And it’s fresh.” 

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