By Natalie Mortimer | N/A

October 8, 2014 | 3 min read

Drinks company Pernod Ricard has hinted that a trial for its Internet of Things (IoT) endeavour, Project Gutenberg, which aims to revolutionise the “bar at home” concept could be rolled out in the near future.

Speaking to The Drum, chief marketing officer Martin Riley, who recently announced he would be retiring from the company in January 2015, coyly remarked that Pernod Ricard would be making announcements about the trail “in due course”.

Launched in January this year Project Gutenberg, an initiative created by the drinks company’s Breakthrough Innovation Group (BIG), is focussed on home entertaining and using interconnect devices to create alerts for consumers; for example when its products, including Absolut Vodka and Jameson, need replacing.

“Project Guttenberg, which is the idea of home entertaining and using technology in order to be able to have a very efficient way to order, receive and then store our brands, is moving at a pace. It’s on schedule and we’ll be making some announcements in due course as to the trials.”

Additionally, Riley revealed that the company has been looking at how it can capitalise on the e-commerce explosion and has carried out “some trials and testing” in the area.

Commenting on the amount of data Pernod Ricard could be exposed to thanks to the IoT, Riley enthused that it could prove “enormous” for the company in terms of how it enhances brand experiences for consumers.

“Obviously we have to practical about what that [the IoT] could mean, but one can imagine if you were to run out of something just before you were entertaining people, and you were going to invite a dozen people round, you would be alerted to the fact that you should be buying another bottle and some mixers. You could have all that information to hand.”

Discussing the recent restructure at Pernod Ricard this August, which saw its commercial terms removed from its brand teams and redeployed to marketing, Riley said the though process behind the decision was to “go one step further” to develop its strategies and promotional activity by pooling ideas.

“We’ve always worked closely between the marketing teams and the sales teams, but we feel that we can go one step further,” he said.

“All the ideas and the strategies and promotional ideas can be developed and captured and discussed, and worked together with the marketing and sales colleagues to make sure they are really effective.”

As of January next year, Riley will look to move away from the drinks industry when he retires – and steps down president of the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) when his tenure expires in March – and look to do something “completely different and unrelated” to his previous career.


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