Pernod Ricard on how digital is becoming ‘everybody’s job’

Pernod Ricard is adopting a new approach to ‘accelerate the business’ which will see it introduce a ‘long pipeline of digital initiatives’, a channel which it believes should be ‘everybody’s job’ and doesn’t require a specific strategy.

At its Capital Markets Day in Paris this week, Pernod Ricard said it was introducing “a new way of bringing coherence and speed to everything we do and every battleground” by “accelerating digital”.

Speaking at the event, group digital acceleration director Antonia Mccahon said the company is looking to “link superconnectivity” to the consumption moments around which its marketing strategy is based, through a focus on “everywhere commerce” and programmatic media buying.

She added that Pernod Ricard wants to become more visible at key points where consumers are looking to shop by optimising content for searches linked to its categories and “owning the path to purchase” through “data-smart action”, or using real-time insight to determine consumer behaviours.

“It’s an enormous opportunity,” she said, adding that roughly 25% of the company’s media spend is now dedicated to digital initiatives.

However, she added: “We made the decision not to have a digital strategy. It’s fast becoming everybody’s job, and we want to reinforce that.”

Pernod Ricard is developing partnerships with the likes of Facebook and Google to see how it can become more effective when advertising on these platforms, involving its employees in training programmes such as its Creative Academy Boot Camp with Google.

“We’re looking at new media models to reach consumers in more effective ways,” Mccahon added.

The company-owned World’s Best Bars website its now embedded on Google Maps and will be part of the content behind Google Glass according to Mccahon, while absolutdrinks.com’s “video cocktail mixing machine” offers an online index of videos showing various muddles and shakes, allowing it to generate a video showing how to make a wide number of drinks.

Meanwhile, it has developed “connected bottles” for its Mumm champagne brand, which contain a chip that signal when the cork is opened and connect with the sound system and screens in a club to put the consumer “in the spotlight”.

Mccahon added that the company sees opportunities in advancing its presence on Instagram, and through at-home opportunities such as an “Uber-like service to provide bartenders to people’s homes”.

Speaking to Marketing Week at the event, global business development director Conor McQuaid told Marketing Week: “The spectrum is so broad. What we’re really trying to do is mine the landscape of what’s happening.”

He added that the company has a team who are working with start-ups on challenges such as envisaging the “bar of the future”.

“There are opportunities everywhere, and there’s a long pipeline of initiatives we’re championing,” McQuaid said. “The challenge is sifting through these priorities.”

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