On this episode of The Zero Hour Podcast, we talked with Gabriela McCoy, Director of Portfolio Strategic Insights and Analytics at Bacardi, the world's largest privately-held spirits company. We recorded this episode before the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down. However, Gabriela, a powerhouse innovator, shared some timeless insights.

 

  

Exploring the Human Side of Big Data & Marketing

“Brands get sucked into what I call the consumer matrix; it's this idea of, ‘let's quantify people, let's categorize them, let's try to create these algorithms to predict their behaviors.’ But what I've seen is that you really want to have a true human understanding. People are messier, they're a little bit imperfect.”

In this episode, we discussed the importance of always keeping in mind the human side of big data and high-performance analytics. Only by remembering that these fields are related to real human beings, Gabriela explained, can brands drive emotional connections. We also discussed some other great topics: how failure drives innovation, and how to cultivate this innovation in large enterprises.

“At Bacardi, I get to obsess about understanding people, and exploring how our brands can connect with them and in meaningful ways. It's basically like opening up their brains and trying to jump into their heads and understand them a little bit better!”

The Human Side of Marketing

With over 15 years of global consumer insights and market intelligence experience under her belt, Gabriela has a great deal of experience when it comes to leveraging big data for brand success and growth.

“At Bacardi, I get to obsess about understanding people, and exploring how our brands can connect with them and in meaningful ways,” she said. She works on drawing human insights from large data sets to understand who people are, how they behave, and how brand loyalty is fostered. “It's basically like opening up their brains and trying to jump into their heads and understand them a little bit better!”

“I like to refer to them as people or as humans. The word consumer really takes us to more of this add-to-cart mindset mentality, where everything is transactional.”

Gabriela is an advocate of exploring the human aspects of marketing, and places great importance on fostering a meaningful, emotional connection between brands and consumers. During the podcast, she tells a story of how she bans the word “consumer” with her teams.

“I like to refer to them as people or as humans. The word consumer really takes us to more of this add-to-cart mindset and mentality and transactions, where everything is transactional. If we want to be a brand that people love, it's all about connection, about connecting with humans.”

The Human Side of Data

When it comes to developing strategies for big Bacardi events such as the Superbowl, Gabriela goes straight to customer data insights for direction. “Data for me comes from everywhere. Data and insights are everywhere. We have two different types of data that we usually look at: The first is qualitative, and the second is quantitative.”

It’s the qualitative data that is key to maintaining a human side to all their marketing. Gabriela and her team study customer behavior and characteristics and perform one-to-one interviews to better understand their customers and evaluate their motivations.

As for quantitative data, Gabriela said it gets a little bit geeky. “It's about digging into the hardcore numbers. If we're launching a new spirit, it’s the viscosity, alcohol burn level, or the right level of sweetness.”

“What's most important from an insights perspective is to understand people and understand their journey and understand how our brand can help.”

“What's most important for us from an insights perspective,” Gabriela explained, “is to understand people and understand their journey and understand how our brand can help.”

“It's not about interfering with ads or interfering with messages, but about enhancing certain moments, providing value when they're trying to connect digitally.”

She emphasized that for brands to connect to customers digitally, they must first put themselves in the customers’ shoes and never forget the human side of what they’re doing. “It's not about interfering with ads or interfering with messages, but about enhancing certain moments, providing value when they're trying to connect digitally.”

How can B2C companies help buyers to have a better experience with their brand?

“From a human perspective, from a people perspective,” says Gabriela, “it's really about understanding their journey, their path to purchase and how we can enhance that experience, whether it's digital or whether it's an experience or a sign that they see on the street or a TV commercial.” 

You can listen to the podcast episode here, which is also available on Stitcher, Apple, and Spotify. The Zero Hour Podcast is the intersection of information security and business innovation. Learn from industry experts in cybersecurity, marketing, and business management. We talk about the challenges and opportunities that come with new technology.

At SafeGuard Cyber we empower enterprise businesses to embrace new technologies and innovate without fear. Get a single solution to detect, prevent, and defend against threats in all your social media and digital channels. SafeGuard Cyber's digital risk protection platform can help you defend your business from cyberspace attacks. Contact us for a demo to hear more about how we can discover, protect, and mitigate these threats.

 

Get the full transcript here

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