PepsiCo’s Bradley Jakeman tells marketers they need a healthy dose of paranoia to succeed

PepsiCo’s global beverage group president Bradley Jakeman thinks that all marketers should have a healthy dose of paranoia since brands are being disrupted at a pace that the industry has never seen before.

“Now even the disruptors are being disrupted,” he told thousands of marketers at the ANA Masters of Marketing conference in Orlando, citing the example of car service Gett. The company just launched a campaign in New York City that calls out Uber’s surge pricing model and offers $10 rides anywhere in Manhattan below 110th street.

According to the company, Gett app installs have gone up 146 per cent and rides have been up 242 per cent in NYC since the campaign launched.

“They’re positioning Uber as the establishment,” he said, illustrating his point that even companies that were considered revolutionary just a few years ago will now face fierce competition if they’re not constantly thinking of new ways to innovate. “The pace at which this is happening should make us more nervous.”

Jakeman acknowledged the fact that disruption is starting to lose its meaning since it’s used in marketing circles so often, but said that conversations now should move away from the fact that it is happening and instead should be around how quickly it is happening.

“If we are not every day thinking about how we can disrupt ourselves, I can guarantee you someone is thinking about how they can disrupt you,” Jakeman said.

On the agency side, Jakeman criticized models that he says are built around creating four pieces of content per year for a big brand like Pepsi, each taking about four months to create and each costing roughly $2m.

“We have to produce 400, sometimes 4,000, pieces of content today with about four days to do it, and we have about $20,000 for each piece of content,” he said. “Are we as an industry structured to be able to deliver this?” he asked.

While he called Coke an “admirable and formidable” competitor, Jakeman said he is more worried about “the entrepreneur in New Orleans" making cold brew coffee.

“She doesn’t need tens of millions of dollars in marketing money because she’s got a large social media following,” he said.

To help PepsiCo better advertise its brands in this new environment, Jakeman said he doesn’t hire marketers from packaged goods companies since they often are in the same mindset that the company is trying to move away from and he doesn’t hire people that have come from big marketing budgets because he thinks they are lazy and have not been forced to think innovatively.

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