pepsico

How and why Western brands are experimenting with WeChat

With almost 400m active users and a growing global audience, Tencent’s WeChat app is the new king of Chinese social media.

Often touted as the Chinese alternative to WhatsApp, WeChat actually offers a far broader range of features and tools.

Alongside text, video and voice messaging, users in China can make mobile payments, browse ecommerce stores, play games, or book a taxi. It even offers access to an online investment fund.

All this, coupled with the fact that the messaging app offers a veil of privacy cherished by young Chinese, makes it easy to see why WeChat has become central to its users’ lives.

Which in turn made it inevitable that marketers would seek to get in on the act, with official brand accounts first being made available around September 2012.

Pepsico and Arby’s join trend for offering rewards for engagement

Pepsico and US sandwich chain Arby’s have become the latest examples of brands offering consumers rewards for engagement through digital channels.

It demonstrates that brands are catching on to the fact that consumers are increasingly expecting to receive ‘free stuff’ in the form of offers or discounts for brand engagement.

Arby’s has signed up to a virtual currency loyalty programme run by startup Plink which offers Facebook Credits in return for in-store purchases.

PepsiCo’s Bough attributes $1bn brand growth to digital

Last week PepsiCo announced that three of its brands – Brisk, Diet Mountain Dew and Starbucks ready-to-drink coffee – had each surpassed $1bn in sales per year. 

Now, the company’s global head of digital B. Bonin Bough says that utilising digital media has been vital to this growth.

Q&A: Joshua Karpf of PepsiCo

Joshua Karpf of PepsiCo

As senior manager of digital media communications, Joshua Karpf is part of a team that runs digital and social media programming for the $60bn food and beverage parent of such icons as Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Gatorade and Quaker Oats.

He will be delivering the keynote at the Econsultancy Peer Summit in New York on June 2. 

Karpf has worked on a number of innovative programs, including Gatorade Mission Control, a digital engagement center at the core of the business, and PepsiCo10, a digital incubator that connects emerging media companies and PepsiCo brands.

We talked with him about innovation, emerging technology, and the value of failure.

Organizing organizations around social media

How are brands and companies organizing around social media? In the case of some very large enterprises, with commitment and decisiveness. Last night in New York, the Social Media Advertising Consortium (SMAC) hosted an elite panel of marketers – all in the top social media role at a global organization – to discuss selling social media processes, strategies and tactics internally.

pauline oresSo how do you get large organizations on board with social media? Until very recently, Pauline Ores (left) led IBM’s social media practice with a particular view to internal training. Of engineers. You know, those guys who use the opposite side of the brain that their colleagues in  marketing do.