Brave Commerce Podcast: Mastering Data in the Consumer Goods Industry

Jay Picconatto of General Mills on adapting to change, leveraging data, and fostering agility

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In this episode of Brave Commerce (recorded live at Adweek in New York), Jay Picconatto, vp of advanced marketing solutions at General Mills, joins hosts Rachel Tipograph and Sarah Hofstetter to discuss the evolving nature of the consumer goods industry, focusing on adapting to change, leveraging data and fostering agility.

Picconatto emphasizes the importance of engaging with industry events, conferences and experts to stay updated on emerging trends. He also highlights the need to modernize marketing approaches across General Mills brands, including strengthening brand foundations, mastering data-driven marketing and adapting content creation to the evolving marketing landscape.

Picconatto explains that General Mills, with its century-long history, encounters challenges stemming from the rise of direct-to-consumer and challenger brands. He shares their strategy for maintaining a defensible position, which involves utilizing supply chain excellence, boasting a diverse product portfolio and implementing data-driven platforms.

Addressing the challenge of understanding consumer interactions, both online and in-store, Picconatto emphasizes the significance of evaluating online visibility, linking online activity to in-store purchases, and encouraging retailers to offer valuable insights. He also highlights the importance of effective data utilization, advocating for a “cocktail recipe” approach. This approach amalgamates various data types, including first, second and third-party data, to enhance audience targeting compared to competitors.

The conversation pivots to sales enablement and the use of data to fortify partnerships with top retailers. Picconatto highlights the potential of clean room collaborations with retailers to enhance targeting and explores the concept of demonstrating General Mills’ value by offering insights based on purchase behavior data.

Key Takeaways:

  • Embrace continuous learning and exposure to industry experts to stay relevant in a rapidly changing marketing landscape.
  • Start with the end goal in mind when developing a data strategy.
  • Use data to strengthen relationships with retail partners by sharing insights and performance data that benefit both parties.