Insights from Seb Bardin at Coca-Cola

Leveraging DTC Capabilities for Integrative Marketing Strategies

Tune in to: Time for A Reset

In the newest episode of the Time for a Reset podcast, Seb Bardin, the In-Store Experience Marketing Lead at Coca-Cola, shares his insights on the  direct-to-consumer (DTC) space, the importance of first-party data, the traditional world of shopper marketing, and the integration of the physical and digital shopping experience. With the digital marketing field constantly evolving, this blog post will focus on the impact of the rise of DTC and how this can be leveraged for integrative marketing strategies, as well as the importance of learning and development for the same approach.

The Rise of DTC and the Opportunities it Presents

Over recent years there has been a shift towards direct-to-consumer (DTC) in the marketing landscape. Beginning in the COVID-19 pandemic when there was discussion around the newer and slicker DTC brands stealing share from the bigger manufacturers, DTC is now in the majority, with bigger manufacturers catching up. Facilitated by low entry costs and platforms like Shopify, the DTC model allows companies to connect directly with consumers, offer unique experiences, and collect valuable data. Businesses can reward their superfans with additional incentives, and benefit by gaining first-party data, as well as encouraging repeat purchases. Despite digital complexities, strategic investment in DTC can empower businesses to leverage consumer data, explore new markets, and effectively grow their brand.

“I think capturing first-party data to enrich your audience, to enrich your database is a good way to look at it as well. And as I said, the barriers to entry are so low now.”

Shifting from Specialisation to Integration in Marketing

Being an expert in one area means you are likely only going to be looking into that area in your research and development. It is important, however, to look at horizontally connecting your specialisms into other areas of a space. This can relate to the individual: Seb discusses having shaped his career by bringing new elements from outside of his specialisms into his developmental journey to get to his end-goal – a Chief Leadership Officer. The same approach can be taken in marketing, and businesses are increasingly shifting from hyper-specialisation to integration across different departments, particularly in digital marketing. This ultimately requires those horizontal connections across business sectors. Leveraging first-party consumer data, as made possible by the shift to DTC, can facilitate this integration by enriching audience understanding and refining targeting strategies.

However, it is imperative to recognise that simply having the data is not enough to gain these benefits. At the beginning of the process, ask yourself what the objectives are. What is the value exchange that you want to collect? You need to know what data will give you the insights you need. Further, it is important to consider that not every team will have the same appreciation for the same data: for example, the marketing use cases will not be understood by the IT teams. Therefore it is crucial that the insights are translated across teams through effective communication strategies, potentially collecting several types of data along the way. This can be a frustrating process, involving lots of different parties internally, but it will provide long-term benefits for the marketing approach.

“It’s more finding the right balance, but also using the first-party data in the right way, not necessarily linked to just purchase, but also more consideration to purchase, and at the end, using technology again to look at everything in a holistic way through a multi-year mix attribution model, et cetera.”

More About Seb Bardin

Seb has over 16 years of digital marketing leadership experience at global brands like Shell, Sony, Unilever, and Coca-Cola. He is an expert in developing and executing digital, e-commerce, and media strategies. Seb prides himself on his ability to help businesses grow and to drive value for consumers using an integrated end-to-end marketing approach and digital transformation throughout the funnel. 

About the Time for a Reset Podcast

Tune in to the Time for a Reset podcast,  where host Paul Frampton, Global Practices Lead at CvE, sits down with Seb Bardin, the In-Store Experience Marketing Lead at Coca-Cola. They discuss the direct-to-consumer (DTC) space, the importance of first-party data, the traditional world of shopper marketing, and the integration of the physical and digital shopping experience. Seb highlights the importance of continuous learning and having a growth mindset to stay future-relevant.

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