- PepsiCo is working on developing an in-house team that will focus on combining data with media planning, according to a report in The Drum, citing postings on the packaged good giant's job site. Pepsi has been actively seeking new hires with expertise in data, ad tech, CRM and digital.
- What's reportedly being referred to internally as "the media and consumer data team" will be charged with shaping the company's digital and ad tech strategies with a focus on merging data, media insights and activation.
- Mike Scafidi, Pepsi's director of marketing technology and data strategy, will lead the new team. According to his LinkedIn page, Scafidi has been leading the company's data and technology since 2018. After 13 years at Razorfish, he joined Pepsi in 2012.
The new in-house PepsiCo team is focused on CRM, digital, data management, shopper marketing and ad tech, all areas where data plays a key role. As such, the move can be seen as an attempt by PepsiCo to strengthen its first-party database, which has been a focus of the company of late as it ramps up its e-commerce sales. First-party data has always been gold from a marketer's point of view but has become more important than ever as regulators crack down on data privacy issues, resulting in some questioning of the value of third-party data.
Merging in-house data with media planning could also provide PepsiCo with greater transparency into digital media, potentially helping to streamline and optimize its efforts, at a time when outside media agencies and ad tech vendors are facing pressure to offer a clearer picture of where and how brands' digital investments are being spent. Other major CPG marketers like P&G and Unilever are similarly exploring ways to exert greater control over digital media.
More marketers are starting to follow suit. Electrolux recently announced plans to bring its digital media buying in-house, a move intended to help it exert greater control over consumer data across channels, including social, display and search.
Pepsi's move supports a recent trend identified by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). In a report called, "The Continued Rise of the In-House Agency," ANA revealed that 90% of marketers working with in-house agencies have increased their workload in the past year. For 65% of respondents, those workloads have increased "a lot." The ANA report also found that 78% of marketers said they are working with some type of in-house agency, up from 58% in 2013 and 42% in 2008.