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Episode 8: How to Choose The Right Channels to Tell Your Brand Story and Build Customer Relationships with Jenny Fernandez of Loacker

 

Episode details:

As technology evolves, so does marketing, and companies must adjust regardless of their size. But, despite the changes, one thing remains the same — marketing will always be customer-centric. 

Therefore, it is critical for marketers, both in large companies and startups, to look at marketing, not as a way to sell their products or services but rather to build trust and long-term relationships with customers (partners) and consumers. 

In this episode of The Vibe, Jenny Fernandez, the VP of Marketing at Loacker, joins our host Alex Campbell. The two discuss the difference between marketing teams in large companies and startups, why storytelling is vital in marketing, and the role of data in today's business world.

 

About the podcast:

The Vibe is a podcast for modern marketers looking to stay at the forefront of marketing and keep up with emerging technologies. In each episode host, Alex Campbell offers cutting-edge thought leadership on building omnichannel experiences consumers want and mobile-first brands that do it all. Through expert interviews, thought leadership discussions, and brand spotlights, listeners leave equipped with strategies, insights, and trending news to elevate their careers and navigate the changing marketing world.

 

Download & Listen to The Vibe Podcast here: https://thevibe.buzzsprout.com/

 

Episode Transcription:

 

[00:00:00] Alex Campbell: Welcome everyone to The Vibe podcast. I have a great guest today. A fantastic guest and one of the most accomplished guests I think that's ever been on here, who I had to read her LinkedIn page and flip through many different pages.

[00:00:58] Alex Campbell: Um, Jenny Fernandez. Uh, so, welcome, Jenny. 

[00:01:02] Jenny Fernandez: Hi Alex, thank you so much for having me here. 

[00:01:04] Alex Campbell: You're welcome. Yeah, I'm excited about today. And I guess, you know, normally I, I, I want guests to get kind of

[00:01:10] introduce themselves, so I'll let you go. You can just go start from the beginning. Uh. 

[00:01:16] Jenny Fernandez: Oh, Gosh. No, thank you. So, basically, I am a lifelong 

[00:01:20] marketer. I've been in marketing for over 20 years. 

[00:01:24] And 

[00:01:24] mostly, it goes to were package goods industry. I started my career in the Kraft Foods, Lendlease international, but since then, I have ventured to more entrepreneurial 

[00:01:34] companies, like the one I am today at Loacker, which is a family-owned Italian company. And I've also done services.

[00:01:42] I had the pleasure to be, to work 

[00:01:44] at Merlin Entertainment. And so, really kind of, you know, uh, put my toes in the water on the, on the services side of the 

[00:01:50] business.

[00:01:52] Alex Campbell: I think that's, mean like it's so, there's so much to this, right? I guess before we even get started on the marketing side, like in your, in your history, so you've done some startup, you've done some, I mean craft, which is not startup. Right? Um, you know, what do you like about either side of those? I mean, what were the pros and cons?

[00:02:12] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah, no great question. So,

[00:02:14] frankly, having, you know, a quote-unquote grownup, in a big company like Kraft

[00:02:19] Foods, it 

[00:02:20] was, I mean, it was great 

[00:02:21] because you truly got all the training that you ever needed. You 

[00:02:26] had basically the best of the best when it 

[00:02:28] came to, you know, folks who have been working in marketing for many years, 

[00:02:33] who have been at the height of what 

[00:02:35] the consumer packaged goods industry was 

[00:02:38] and being able to build brands 

[00:02:40] like Oreo, Trident, Trixie, So, these folks have been in the market for a long time and had being able to mentor me and many others along the way.

[00:02:50] At the same time, working for a big company, I had a much bigger kind of checkbook to write and marker, marketing budget. And it was great because I was able to partner with amazing agencies, you know, from FCV to Oral-B. 

[00:03:05] Alex Campbell: Yeah. 

[00:03:05] And work at the global level, I was able to, 

[00:03:08] basically 

[00:03:08] Jenny Fernandez: repatriate, go to China and work on Asia Pacific, managing the Oreo brand and the, basically the, the chocolate bakery business for... 

[00:03:17] Alex Campbell: Talk about that a little bit. I mean, how, like, like what, yeah, what were you, what'd you learn? I 

[00:03:22] mean, it's such a great opportunity. I mean, and when was it? That was in what, we, what years were that? 

[00:03:28] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah. So, I was there from 2012 to 2015. 

[00:03:32] Alex Campbell: Okay. 

[00:03:32] Jenny Fernandez: And uh, and it was 

[00:03:33] Alex Campbell: so 

[00:03:34] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah. 

[00:03:35] Alex Campbell: What were you surprised about? 

[00:03:37] Well, you can imagine, Asia and especially China, they're always growing like double-digit, you know, 20 plus percent 

[00:03:44] Alex Campbell: Yeah.

[00:03:45] like us in the US, we're much more well-developed and achieving a two-three percent growth for a brand like Oreo it's, you know, it's, it's amazing.

[00:03:55] But in, in China, Nisha, you know, growing double-digit was the norm. 

[00:04:00] Jenny Fernandez: So, it just really moved so much faster than, than we did here in the US. 

[00:04:04] Alex Campbell: Yeah. Yeah. How like, so, so what, how did you cope with that? I mean, how do you get the double 

[00:04:09] digit? I mean, is it just because the markets are expanding that quickly or do you have to, do you have to do a lot more investing? 

[00:04:17] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah, both. Basically, I'm 

[00:04:19] seeing someone else, you know, when I was there

[00:04:20] I was overseeing the region for, for Oreo. I had

[00:04:25] kind of 13 countries, under me, that I was working with and big countries like China, which is actually the number two largest market in the, globally for the brand, for Oreo. To new markets like India, at the 

[00:04:38] Jenny Fernandez: time, which was just a four-year-old brand that you 

[00:04:42] know, was really in the early stages of 

[00:04:44] growth. So, basically the, the, the double-digit growth varied across the region. But it was just really kind of the Wild 

[00:04:53] West, in the sense that everybody 

[00:04:55] was moving fast, investment was, was available. And you had the opportunity to test and learn many different things. China was always ahead of the US in terms of digital, live selling and social media, SM, you know, text marketing in, we learned a lot from them, at the same time

[00:05:15] it gave us the opportunity to behave for the first time as a global company and a global brand for Oreo. So, I was working with all of the other region directors and, you know, borrowing with pride from all of the regions 

[00:05:27] and, and sharing with them what I thought if we 

[00:05:30] could,

[00:05:30] you know, we could bring to the table.

[00:05:33] Alex Campbell: Yeah. I mean, I guess I'm curious, you, you touched on the technology piece. I mean, especially with mobile, right? I mean, mobile, we've always had this idea that, you know, China is way ahead of everybody else in mobile. I mean, what were your, what were your lessons learned in China that, you know, that, that, I guess two-part question is, is that are different than the US but also that apply to the rest of the world?

[00:05:56] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah.

[00:05:56] It's, yeah, definitely. So, it was very interesting. So, I felt China could 

[00:06:01] learn a lot from them in terms of the go-to-market strategy. So, I would come and talk to my, my American and global counterparts to learn how they were, you know, taking the product to market, how they could partner with retailers and customers to make it bigger.

[00:06:17] Oreo was amazing here in the US, creating this in and out strategy, you might be familiar with the many different flavors, like, I don't know, a watermelon Oreo and red velvet. 

[00:06:30] Exactly. So, they need...

[00:06:35] They do. It's all 

[00:06:36] incremental. So, they, they did an amazing job. Again, almost like creating 

[00:06:40] events, you know. They were able 

[00:06:42] to create selling stories that generated customer engagement and consumer engagement. So, all of those new innovations were incremental. And then, on the other hand, for China, that was completely different and new. So, I would bring 

[00:06:56] in some of those best practices from the US. However, China was further ahead when it came to digital and 

[00:07:02] mobile, because they had bigger platforms like WeChat, Alibaba

[00:07:07] kind of launching their own platforms.

[00:07:09] And it was very 

[00:07:10] interesting because, globally, we had, like,

[00:07:13] this Facebook global partnership, Google global partnerships with China couldn't participate. 

[00:07:19] So, I have to drill it down to the, you know, the basics. So, what was it about their partnership that I could learn and borrow to bring it to China so that they can do it with their own platforms?

[00:07:30] And then, at the same time, how can we empower the local team so that they can do their best when it came to influencer marketing, live selling, testing, you know, how to go big with the WeChat and the Ali, Alibaba kind 

[00:07:43] Jenny Fernandez: of e-commerce and mobile, uh, you know, platforms. So, it was going to achieve that right balance.

[00:07:51] Alex Campbell: Yeah. So, what's, this is very, very relevant question, very important question. What was your favorite flavor of 

[00:07:56] Oreo, that was over there, that's not over here? They should be over here.

[00:08:00] Jenny Fernandez: Oh no. Yeah.

[00:08:01] Actually. 

[00:08:03] No. I know, that's a, that's a great question. I would 

[00:08:05] say two things. One, it was green tea Oreo, was one of the most popular flavors kind of that matcha,

[00:08:12] green tea matcha flavor. And Japan had the best chocolate Oreo because it had like that Dutch cocoa. 

[00:08:21] Alex Campbell: Really? Like the actual, like the cookie part or like the whole thing 

[00:08:24] was chocolate?

[00:08:25] Jenny Fernandez: Well, the cookie part, they did, even for the regional Oreo, we had a 

[00:08:29] global formula, but somehow Japan remained true to the, to the origins of Oreo 

[00:08:35] and

[00:08:35] they, they stuck with it

[00:08:35] Alex Campbell: Oh, so anybody who's listing and goes to Japan, make sure you have Oreos. I know. I don't think I would have bought Oreos in Japan, but now I will. Absolutely. Uh, oh, that's great. So, so I do want to kind of cover with you because I mean, you have this great history, especially within, within marketing, right? And having gone through different styles of marketing, different places with, with service, as you said, services versus products.

[00:09:05] So, when you look at the last, I'd say three to five years, I mean, how is marketing changing? 

[00:09:13] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah, no, great question. 

[00:09:14] I, I, in the before times, maybe basically before the pandemic, I think marketing was

[00:09:20] moving, you know, towards the digital-first mindset, they, you know, marketers like myself were more open and willing to spend the majority of our marketing dollars on digital and social media marketing.

[00:09:35] And that was not the norm before because we didn't have the same KPIs or ROI as, you know, as we had in 

[00:09:41] traditional marketing, you know, vehicles.

[00:09:43] But frankly, I think we were more comfortable looking at just, you know, awareness and building, building the relationship with, with consumers and customers, especially because many companies like, like Loacker for me now, we are trying to be more 

[00:09:57] e-commerce focused and the, and having digital, 

[00:10:01] you know, kind of a digital-first mindset.

[00:10:03] After the pandemic, I feel like the 

[00:10:05] entire world and category, 

[00:10:08] especially in food truly shifted to do more e-commerce, to be more mobile-friendly because consumers were trying to balance again that, you know, going, going, 

[00:10:20] you know, to the, the supermarket or 

[00:10:21] Jenny Fernandez: just

[00:10:21] frankly, I think convenience for themselves and 

[00:10:24] their

[00:10:24] families. 

[00:10:25] One more thing that I would add is that I do feel that there are a lot more 

[00:10:30] Jenny Fernandez: innovation happening in marketing with either whether it's new platforms like Twitch or TikTok, there are, you know, marketers are trying to monetize. And, and also, frankly, you know, uh, with the, with, like, SMM and text marketing as well because we're trying to build those 

[00:10:46] databases and collect emails and collect, 

[00:10:49] uh, you know, phone numbers, which is not the norm for the food industry.. 

[00:10:54] Alex Campbell: Yeah, it's really interesting because I mean, you say that, 'cause I mean, for sure a big difference between now and kind of five years ago was just the amount of different, I wouldn't call like Instagram versus TikTok channels, they're kind of channels, but, but you know, it's more social, but, like, there's so many more of them.

[00:11:13] So, what do you do as a marketer to kind of like, like, honestly, I mean, especially think globally too, right? I mean, you mentioned, you know, Alibaba and, I mean, like in different regions, there's different segments of channels. Like, how, how does a marketer keep track of all that? 

[00:11:30] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah, no, that's a great 

[00:11:31] question. So, frankly, I rely a lot just both on my 

[00:11:35] agencies, but also frankly, on this data. So, I, I need to understand, you know, to make faster decisions, I need to understand, you know, it's, what is the return that I'm getting. It may not necessarily be ROI, but it could just be metrics that I, I am identifying, as I mentioned, is it an awareness driving vehicle to why I need it to actually incentivize sales?

[00:11:58] What is the objective for each of the vehicles? And then, frankly, making sure that you're optimizing as you go. I don't rely on that, you know, end of the year M&M that is going to give you kind of the information as we did back, you know, back 

[00:12:14] in the traditional marketing days, but you rely on 

[00:12:18] just kind of more an optimization kind of almost real times,

[00:12:22] you know, every two to three weeks, understanding what's working. I do a lot of tests 

[00:12:26] alerts so that I can test different messages, different creative, different platforms. And for the new, the new 

[00:12:34] platform, as you mentioned, whether it is, you know, TikTok or Twitch or, you know, understanding if my brand resonates 

[00:12:41] with a particular consumer, I would 

[00:12:43] just test it. Half a bucket of my, of my dollars 

[00:12:47] put towards those activities that are going to allow me 

[00:12:50] to experiment and learn.

[00:12:53] Alex Campbell: So, when you test, I mean, we talk about kind of data and analytics and metrics. I mean, what are you, what are you looking at? Like how do you, how do you, how do you manage all of these different metrics across all of these different channels? 

[00:13:06] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah.

[00:13:06] No, no. Great, great question. So, so frankly, as I mentioned, it's understanding what do I think is the role for that channel. Because I want to be focused on the long-term but also the short-term. We know we all have pressures to deliver on sales, whether it's because it's driven by a holiday or a consumer-driven event, or the fact that we, we want to make our year or frankly because ultimately the way 

[00:13:31] to ensure that I'm successful in the long-term is building relationships with 

[00:13:35] consumers. So, for that, I need to focus on storytelling. 

[00:13:39] I need to focus on inspiring consumers, so driving awareness and educating consumers about my brand. 

[00:13:45] We have a premium 

[00:13:46] Jenny Fernandez: brand that is more expensive than a 

[00:13:49] kind of regular snacks, especially because of our European and our origin nature. So, we try to make sure that 

[00:13:55] we focus on the values and the purpose of the business so that

[00:13:59] the consumer sees, you know, the role we're trying to play in their everyday lives. 

[00:14:04] Alex Campbell: Do you, do you feel like you, you know, now you can have more of a relationship with the consumer than in the past? Like, do you, do you feel like that relationship is, is, 'cause, 'cause now you can, I mean, talking about some of those social channels and things like SMS or like you can actually reach out

[00:14:22] to the actual consumer where, you know, 10 years, 20 years ago, you couldn't necessarily, like, do you, do you feel like having that relationship? I mean, it's almost like you, like the consumer, has to have a different level of trust with you, right? And, and I guess, how do you, how do you approach that that's kind of different than the old ways of marking?

[00:14:43] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah, no.

[00:14:44] Really great question. And frankly, I think, Alex, is because before not only, you know, we had less channels, it was kind of one-way communication with TV, print, et cetera, and frankly, there was less competition. Nowadays, any, you know, any direct-to-consumer business just needs to have a kitchen and start baking cookies and selling them direct to consumer.

[00:15:08] You don't need a hundred million dollar investment on the bakery. So, frankly, that's why it's even more important to build those relationships with consumers. And I feel that we do that 

[00:15:18] Jenny Fernandez: by, well, first of all, understanding who they are, you know, what role can we play in their life,

[00:15:24] we want to be more than just a 

[00:15:26] snack or a cookie, you, 

[00:15:28] know. We

[00:15:28] want to be something that inspires them. That is a reward. 

[00:15:32] So, I try to always have that storytelling and all of the vehicles that I 

[00:15:36] have, whether it is a picture on Instagram that provides a sense of 

[00:15:41] inspiration and recipe or frankly, 

[00:15:44] even

[00:15:45] if it's something more short-term, like a sales promotion or 

[00:15:48] sweepstakes where 

[00:15:49] I try to give them 

[00:15:50] value.

[00:15:52] Alex Campbell: Yeah. Yeah. And, and I guess, have you, I mean, what, has it been fun? I mean, it sounds kind of fun from a marketing perspective. I mean, it always used to be, "Oh, I've put up this TV commercial." And like, "It's out there." I agree. But now all of a sudden there's interaction, like, like people interact with you, and they can actually tell you things like that, I mean, that that's a, that's a 

[00:16:12] different. Yeah, it's a different way of thinking about it. 

[00:16:15] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah.

[00:16:16] The game, the game has changed. Before, the game was to get an award, you know, go to the Cannes festival and do something amazing, which was always fun. But I think now it's even more challenging because you're trying to build a real 

[00:16:31] relationship with a real person. Um, and you're 

[00:16:34] trying to understand what is important to them. Like, last, last year?

[00:16:39] Yes. One of the PR 

[00:16:41] Jenny Fernandez: stories that I produced with my agency will set about emotional wellness. 

[00:16:45] Because now we have more and more insights that 

[00:16:48] basically link that 

[00:16:50] reset moment when somebody slows down and has a snack, has coffee or a 

[00:16:55] beverage, and they want to reset, and it is a stressful 

[00:16:58] time with a pandemic. So, my brand can play a role that it 

[00:17:02] didn't 

[00:17:03] play before, for consumers. So, understanding what is 

[00:17:05] important to them and how I can add to that. 

[00:17:08] Alex Campbell: Oh, so how do you like, but, so how did you, how'd you come up with that? Like, how'd you see that that was happening? 

[00:17:14] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah, no, great question. I mean, frankly, what I advise all 

[00:17:17] marketers is always to, you know, to attend events, to, you know, 

[00:17:21] do podcasts, to, really, basically build relationships with other marketers, 

[00:17:26] understand, you know, 

[00:17:28] what, what is the trends, what is important. I was just reading that QR codes are making a comeback, and I'm like, "Yes, I'm seeing them everywhere, and they're in my plan too."

[00:17:36] Alex Campbell: Yeah. 

[00:17:37] Jenny Fernandez: So, it's just really being, being externally focused so that you understand basically, you know, what are the trends, how is the market changing, how is the consumer changing so that you are always, again, learning and absorbing and trying to adapt along the way because we cannot just think that we have the solution.

[00:17:57] It's not a cookie-cutter approach to everything. We have to be more open, almost like the, the Google, you know, 80-20, where 20% of your time you experiment and do innovation 

[00:18:08] and, and spend your budget in a different way versus just focus on driving today. Always, you know, thinking about kind of the future, as well. 

[00:18:17] Alex Campbell: Yeah. So, so when you do, when you mentioned test 

[00:18:19] and learn, you know, many times, I mean, again, that speed of test and learning, I mean, what, so, I mean, take me through that. Right. I mean, is it something where something, like, you see, just say TikTok, right? And it's like, "All right, let's experiment with how we can use that." And I guess where's the, where do you draw the line? I mean, there's so many Clubhouse. I don't know if that's still around,

[00:18:39] you know, I haven't heard much of it lately, but that's around. So, do you spend time there? Do you, where do you, I guess, how do you pick "here's what we want to experiment with." And then, "here's where we don't."

[00:18:50] Right? 

[00:18:51] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah, no, totally. I think where you're going is "How do I minimize the risk?" Um, so yeah, so, you're totally right.

[00:18:58] So, frankly, what I try to do is look at, you know, how long have the platforms be now there, what is the direction they're going. I mean, TikTok has been around for a while, but it's still growing and reached, I think a billion consumers, active, active users last year.

[00:19:15] It's, you know, it was growing rapidly. It's still not being monetized, though. So, I think that's, that's the opportunity. And I feel like, I'm ready to jump in now because even though the monetization is not all solved, I want to experiment, and I want to see what I can learn along the way, but it is the platform that is more or less proven because consumers have embraced it.

[00:19:38] And now you're starting to see some brands trying to figure out how to use it. Um. 

[00:19:43] Alex Campbell: And so, and so, what do you do? I mean, is it, are you, is it, you think of it as either awareness channel or a purchase channel? I mean, are you, is that how you approach things?

[00:19:53] Jenny Fernandez: Yes. Exactly. So, I feel like TikTok right now, 

[00:19:55] for example, is still in the awareness stage, you know, it's just really a great platform for brands to try to create that first initial, initial connection with consumers to try to be friendly and fun and even, frankly, incentivize consumers to generate their own content.

[00:20:13] And that could be the way how you, you know, fuel your own TikTok channel if you create one, as a brand. Other brands are a little bit more, or platforms are a little bit more ahead of the game. Of course, you know, Facebook and Instagram, because you can, you can create a purchase location. You can connect it to your direct-to-consumer store or even to Amazon with Facebook.

[00:20:36] So, you can make the purchase, as well. 

[00:20:37] Alex Campbell: And have you seen, I mean, yeah, I mean, have you seen a direct result of like, I mean Facebook where you can actually make purchases? I mean, has that, 'cause this is really interesting from a marketing perspective. I mean, yeah, when I was in school, it was like, "Hey, there's marketing." And then, eventually, someone's going to buy something.

[00:20:54] Right? But now, all of a sudden, you can, you can track that. Like, you can see that you did a campaign and someone went and bought something. That's, that's fantastic. 

[00:21:05] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah, no, completely. I think it's, you have information, you have the ability to track, which is great. You, you have to achieve the right balance because, at the end of the day, marketing is not just about selling, marketing is about building that relationship. And that will take a little bit more time.

[00:21:22] And this is why, sometimes, if we focus just on selling, the selling part of marketing, it becomes, you know, it's more about sales promotion or of a shopper marketing. It becomes short, short-term-focused, and you can damage your brand because consumers might only see you, you know, I, may see it as a pricing tactic.

[00:21:41] Like, you might even train consumers to wait until you're on sale or you have a coupon to buy, and that's not ideal.

[00:21:49] Alex Campbell: So, it brings up a good point. You know, we, we talked about how marketing has changed, how has it not? I mean, how has, I mean, it's still marketing, I mean, you kind of went into a little bit, but, like, what's, what hasn't changed over the last kind of 10 years?

[00:22:03] that's a great question. I mean, I think that marketing is still at it's core

[00:22:07] Jenny Fernandez: consumer-first. So, it's consumer-centric. It's about insights. So, understanding the consumer, where they are, and frankly, always keeping track because the consumer is moving so fast because the world's changing so fast that the brand may be left behind. 

[00:22:23] Alex Campbell: It used to not change this fast.

[00:22:27] The last three years, right? 

[00:22:28] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah. Yeah. So, so, so the world's changing so fast that like, "Okay, we stand back." A few years ago, gluten-free was still a trend, or it was more for people who had celiac disease or some problems. It was, you know, it was as a way to address an illness. Now, it's the lifestyle choice. So, brands like Oreo just launched gluten-free Oreo.

[00:22:51] So, the question is "How, how in tune are we with the consumer so that we can again meet them where they are?"

[00:22:59] Alex Campbell: Yeah. That's so and so, so getting into that a little bit. And I think from the, it's, it's, I guess it's, it relates to data, you know, I mean, so, so data obviously is a huge topic right now, and it's really, you know, I guess it's first starting about learning about the consumer, right? It's, it's," what can I learn?"

[00:23:17] You get data from that. So, I guess, in your opinion, you know, where is, is the, is the state of data today, right, within marketing? 

[00:23:28] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah, no, that's great. I think the state of data, I, the way I 

[00:23:32] see it is, it's still in that kind of transition, that bridge between the old marketing and the new and the new way of doing business. And what I mean is, you know, you have amazing companies like Nielsen, M&M that have great databases that we still work with and rely on so that we can understand, you know, not only where we are with our brand, but how does it relate to the entire ecosystem, how we see it evolving and changing. I think that's great, and we need to continue to learn and work with them on this. At the same time, we have to also,

[00:24:08] you know, find a way to support or for these companies who support smaller businesses that may need to move faster, that may need some more kind of rapids, uh, gosh, more, more rapid information or, or new ways to look at data that don't require in eight to nine months, you know, research project.

[00:24:29] So, the same way as... 

[00:24:31] Alex Campbell: I mean,

[00:24:32] Jenny Fernandez: Sorry, go ahead.

[00:24:33] Alex Campbell: No, go ahead, keep going.

[00:24:34] Jenny Fernandez: Oh, no, I wasn't...

[00:24:34] Alex Campbell: I was just going to say, like, from a big company standpoint to a smaller company, I mean, 'cause you've been in both of those worlds. I guess, what's your, what's your experience with that? I mean, like, you said, huge data project, right? You're not going to do that in the startup world.

[00:24:50] But I guess, are there advantages to either way? 

[00:24:54] Jenny Fernandez: I think, I think what we need to, well, the advantage is basically, that the, the data and the benchmark, they kind of own that, and they've had it for a long time. However, I see smaller players, smaller, you know, um, kind of startups that are working in those same areas whether it's tracking data or providing access to, you know, different platforms or influencers, et cetera that, you know. They have great business models, algorithms access, but what they sometimes are lacking is to give the marketers, like myself, is the confidence that I will be able to use that as you know, with as much confidence as the big guys like Nielsen or M&M. So, it's how do you provide those, those benchmarks, you know. I don't know if there is a way because I feel that there's always benefits when companies share information, I don't know if, if, you know, maybe, maybe those benchmarks could be a source of income where everybody can access it. And then, that could really open up the ability to, you know, for companies to work with, with, with new agencies and to really, to build more confidence around that, around data.

[00:26:04] Alex Campbell: And then, I guess on the, on the, on the flip side from data, right, I mean, where do you see we, we go into privacy, we go into, um, you know, obviously there's a lot going on right now around who, you know, who, "Do I own my data or does someone else?" Right? "I don't know it was there. There's a blockchain in there somewhere?"

[00:26:20] I mean, where do you see that evolving? I mean, 'cause it's a big deal, right? 

[00:26:24] Jenny Fernandez: It is, it is a huge deal. Frankly, I think that we're going to see more and more, the ownership of data has to shift to the consumer. 

[00:26:32] Alex Campbell: Yeah. 

[00:26:32] Jenny Fernandez: And the reason for that is that, you know, we had kind of blindly being given away our data to the companies because we wanted access to those platforms or we didn't know any better, who reads the fine line of those contracts?

[00:26:46] But now with more privacy, kind of, uh, focus on privacy with companies like Apple provides, you know, kind of removing that, that opt-in, you have the ability to, you have to obtain versus some... 

[00:26:58] Alex Campbell: Yeah. 

[00:26:58] Jenny Fernandez: It's empowering the consumer to all their data a little bit more. And, and frankly, I think it's challenging the big companies and the social media companies to rethink their model.

[00:27:08] They had it easy for a little while, and they maybe haven't been, been innovative as much as it can. So, they need to think about "How can I incentivize consumers to actually be part of my ecosystem in a way that they feel empowered and that they feel I am of service to them versus I am using them? Because otherwise, we're going to start, we're going to start losing consumers."

[00:27:30] I think that's why Facebook lost like, you know, 20% of their stock market in a while back, because they were not growing anymore. So, I think that's part of what needs to evolve.

[00:27:39] Alex Campbell: Yeah. It's so funny, you mentioned the terms and conditions and I, and I'll tell a story of this thing. It was two weeks ago. I went in and my, my 12-year-old daughter, I see on her iPad, she's reading the terms and conditions from, I think it was either, it was like Apple or something like that.

[00:27:55] And I was like," What what are you doing?" And she's like, "Well, asked me to agree, but I haven't read it yet." So, she's actually reading it and I don't want to be the parent that's 

[00:28:05] Jenny Fernandez: I love it. 

[00:28:06] Alex Campbell: "You don't, you don't, you just hit agree." Right? But like, she was on, like, page 15 of page 90, you know, and I, and I applaud her for doing that, but I thought that was so funny.

[00:28:18] And I was, I was totally at a crossroads of like, "What, what lesson do I teach here?" 

[00:28:23] Jenny Fernandez: That's fantastic. 

[00:28:26] Alex Campbell: Yeah.

[00:28:26] Jenny Fernandez: The new generations are challenging. 

[00:28:29] They're challenging the system. And frankly, we're learning a lot from them. And that's why, you know, now, even for like go back to TikTok, It was, it was, it was, you know, a platform for younger consumers, for teens, but now you have, you know, older millennials and gen X getting in there and, you know, playing with, with the platform and becoming part of it.

[00:28:49] So, I do feel that the younger generations are going to help us shift faster, to be more mobile-first, to be more privacy-focused, to be more environmentally-focused. And, and frankly, 

[00:29:03] so funny, it kind of a full circle, Alex, that is something that was keen into why China was ahead of the US in the digital world because even back in 2012, the grandmothers, like nobody used cash. Nobody had the RNB in their hands, everybody using their phones to pay, even like for, you know, tea or, you know, dumplings on the corner, you know, markets. And it was amazing how contactless payments, you know, WeChat pay, Alipay were the norm. And that was, again, driven by the younger generations. 

[00:29:40] Alex Campbell: Was it, was it, is it, was, it was driven by young, but like we have a younger generation, you know? I mean, why, why didn't it, I mean, you still see it today, right? Alipay is everything, right? Now you pay for everything whereas, I mean, you have Google pay and Apple pay that are, that are, that are making a really, you know, a lot of progress, but they're not where something like Ali pay is. Like, why do you think that was? 

[00:30:00] Jenny Fernandez: I think that they, their platforms are more, their universe of what they offer is more comprehensive. You can be in kind of in the WeChat ecosystem, and you can, you know, order from a restaurant, you can pay your friend, you can make a reservation, you know, you can pretty much, you can do contactless payments, you can shop from a store. You can do, you can do text messages. It's basically Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter combined. So, I think it's having all of 

[00:30:30] Alex Campbell: The point, like, do you think that's good? Like, do you think it's good to have and when we talk about like, you have this big, I mean, everybody's going after, you know, big tech, and I was like, "That's the biggest tech there is, taking a bunch of big tech and putting it together." You know? I mean, what, w, what are your thoughts about that? Because they own the data, all of it? 

[00:30:50] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah, no, no, that's, that's a great point. 

[00:30:52] And so, I guess the way I see it is ultimately, "Is it serving the consumer?" 

[00:30:59] Alex Campbell: Yeah, that's a good point. 

[00:31:00] Jenny Fernandez: what they offer, if what they offer is serving and you seen is, has the consumers first then frankly consumers will be more really into to provide that data, that information because what they offer is creating, is helping them live a better life.

[00:31:16] You know, if it gets to the point where they are abusing the data, then, you know, then there's reason for breaking them apart or, frankly, for being more clear in what you obtained. But I think it's just having that balance.

[00:31:30] Alex Campbell: Yeah. And I mean, it's interesting that, I mean, I, I'm curious for your perspective, like where, where is it going to go? Like where, you know, there's been a lot of change over the last kind of, you know, three to five years in data. What is it look like in 10 years? I mean, do you think that I will be able to own my own data and monetize that, and then how do you do that? 

[00:31:49] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah. But that's it, you know what, I think we should, because I, it makes me think of, you know, like we have net for motor scores, for the services industry. We do not have that for products, but if, you know, if the services industry is, have this information, let's say, wouldn't it be great if I were to create my own score for myself, that, you know, I could use even when interviewing for a job or applying for school where it's almost like a verification of who I am versus say a company or, you know, having to go to all my social media to see if I have 

[00:32:28] Alex Campbell: Yeah. 

[00:32:29] Jenny Fernandez: somebody who behaves properly online. So, I, I don't know, I feel like there's, there's creative ways for empowering the consumer to own their data. And for companies to figure a way to even create a business out of that. Shouldn't there be any, you know, an NPS score for products as well. So that I say I can trust that product.

[00:32:51] Alex Campbell: Yeah. And I think about it, though. And like immediately I think of, like, credit reports, right. I mean, And then, like, "That's me, that's my data." Like, a lot, like, that's basically giving me a score for my financial health. Right? Which I should own, yet I don't, and three companies own it. And then, I constantly get Emails from them trying to sell me things, right? Of like, like sell me credit cards and then like, "That doesn't seem right." 

[00:33:19] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah. Great, great example because yeah, in a way that is a, that is an NPS for the financial wellbeing of ourselves. 

[00:33:29] Alex Campbell: And it's like, and it's like, "All right, you're going to score me and then sell me stuff based on that score." Something's going up, you know? And so, I guess that's the question of, and credit scores means so much when you're making any sort of large purchase. And it, and it affects your life. Right? So, so the question is, is like, does, is that how it goes or does it bring some, do I get some power back?

[00:33:54] And I don't even really know what that means. Getting the power back, right? 

[00:33:59] Jenny Fernandez: No, I think it's, no, I think to be honest, as you mentioned is, first of all, the consumer should have the ability and to understand the value of their, of their data, of our data. And we should be, and even if it's a company that ends up monetizing it we should be getting value from that monetization. So, I think it's having that, really, that shared value that, that, you know, they're providing.

[00:34:24] Because we are the ones that are helping build that value for another company. And right now, you know, the way, the way I think it's almost like when you go back to this idea of false advertising, you know, some of these companies are not truly identifying themselves and letting you know what the value of your data means.

[00:34:41] So, I think it's just having that balance, and that's something that should be regulated a little bit more.

[00:34:48] Alex Campbell: And I'm curious how, because I'm, I'm now, I'm now in this rat hole of my credit score. Right. And so, like there's three agencies, and they do it and I can't, I can't opt-out of that Right? I mean, maybe I can, but I don't know if that would help me. And so, and yet they, I'm not naming the one that does it all the time, but like, they're definitely making money off my bid because they're offering credit cards, and I get, I get emails at least once a week saying like, "You should buy this product and this product."

[00:35:16] But so, like, I don't even know how to begin getting that data back or getting data the control, right?

[00:35:22] And, and, and getting the value that they're getting. I want that data, or I want that value. 

[00:35:28] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah, I don't know. I think, I think, you know, I think it needs to be, this is one industry that I just 

[00:35:33] think needs, is ready for reinvention because, well, like you said, they're getting value from us. We're also getting value from them even though it's not as direct because other companies are, you know, kind of they're vetting us through them. 

[00:35:46] And then, whether we get a loan or a mortgage as a result of that. So, in a way we are, somehow, some of us are getting value when we do use it, but I think it's just a way that it's a little bit more transparent, and you're connecting the dots, and you know more clearly, you know, how this is, this value is being made and what is it split.

[00:36:07] Alex Campbell: Yeah, no, and it's really interesting because it kind of ties back to what we're talking about before with relationship, right? Is the trust, am I getting value from it, and do I trust it. I don't know. I mean, I don't know if I trust the credit card side, like "Yes, sure." But like, "What value am I getting there?"

[00:36:22] And maybe there is some value. And, and it, it goes back to relationships. Right? And so, so, from a, and I'm curious from your mind of, you know, we've, we've heard a lot about you owning the relationship with your customer versus the retailer owning the relationship with them because you, it's the same customer other than, you know, e-commerce. But, you know, how do you, how do you see that playing out? 

[00:36:44] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah. I think it's a balance because, also to marketers, we have, I think, two big audiences. One is my consumer, who is the end-user of my product but also is, who is my costumer, my partner, my retailer that also sells my product. And we share that end-user as, as a, as an audience member as well. So, I think, you know, I need to care for one, my, my customers are doing, I want to, you know, to make sure that I'm doing my best to support them in closing that, that consumer experience that is going to help generate the sale. So, I think it's that partnership that we have to kind of work together, hand-in-hand, to make sure that, no, it is about finding the con, the product. So, providing that accessibility, providing the right price, but also providing the right kind of a user experience. And this is why many times I partner with my customers, and I do specific programming that helps me bring consumers to the store. Whether it's geo-targeting and folks around the store where I have distribution working with influencers that basically support one customer or do we PR or other vehicles, like online video or social media that are helping me broadly, nationally build the brand and, and everyone benefits. 

[00:38:02] Alex Campbell: So, do you, I mean, are you, are you thinking through the, "All right, if I'm going to go through this retailer, I care about what my customer's going to experience in that retailer versus, versus other?" Right?

[00:38:15] Well, I think it has to, you have to look at it, I guess one by one because, you know, whether it is an online retailer or a brick-and-mortar retailer, they, they all have different calendars that make them special. They also go by the consumer calendar, 

[00:38:31] Jenny Fernandez: which, you know, everybody kind of benefits from whether it is, uh, you know, holiday period or 

[00:38:37] Easter or whatever it is. You know, there's certain 

[00:38:40] consumer-driven events that we all participate in.

[00:38:43] There also other events that are particular to the retailer. So, I think is how do we partner together so that we are creating an atmosphere and location that drives that sale.

[00:38:54] Alex Campbell: Yeah. I mean, I'm curious some of the reasons there are some retailers out there who are kind of creating their own media networks, and I think I, I'm trying to think of, like, them, how does that play into who owns the relationship? 'Cause, you know, if you're going to use them now for me, I mean, it goes back to the splintering of all of this media, right? Now, all of a sudden, you have retailers who have their own media networks, like that just adds a whole another level of complexity.

[00:39:19] I mean, what are your thoughts on that? 

[00:39:22] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah, no, fantastic question. I think we are. It goes back to, I think we are in this transition period where we're trying to, everybody's trying to figure out what is the new normal given that, you know, digital is becoming every, everyone wants to be digital-first. You know, mobile media is, it's out of facing, from a consumer point of view, even desktop, yet when you look at this marketing span, we're not spending enough in mobile. So, I think it's just, you know, we're in this transition period, we're trying to figure out what is the right spend focus. And also, from a media perspective, as you mentioned, I think retailers are, again, in that transition where they're trying to figure out the brick and mortar and the e-commerce and what does that balance look like for them. And many are, you know, experimenting with third-party agencies and becoming more and more media-focused. I think they're 

[00:40:18] trying to find their own balance. It makes it challenging for us because you have, as you mentioned, to split your dollars even more, and at the same time, you have to always remind them and, and partner with them, we, where they're focusing on is on the last mile. They're focusing on driving that sale. Yet, I also need to focus on building that equity and building that relationship because the last mile will not be enough to unless they know the brand and they actually are coming to, to the, to the retailer to buy.

[00:40:49] So, I think it's having that balance that, at the end of the day, it's about building brand equity 

[00:40:54] and we need to do that at the national level because this needs to be about the consumer first, not about the retailer.

[00:41:01] Alex Campbell: Yeah, that's interesting. 'Cause it gives the, I mean, yeah, you're right there, there are customers of both of you, 

[00:41:06] right? You both care. But it's interesting to see that. I mean, I, I saw the, in Amazon's last earnings. I mean, their advertising revenue has grown into the billions. Right? And, and do that before.

[00:41:21] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah. 

[00:41:22] Alex Campbell: You know, they didn't get advertising revenue.

[00:41:25] Now that, now it's a sizeable chunk of their business. 

[00:41:27] Jenny Fernandez: Yeah. 

[00:41:28] I mean, and they're expanding with streaming. They ended up buying MGM recently. I mean, they're become, truly becoming their own media.

[00:41:35] Alex Campbell: Yeah, no, it's crazy. Yeah. Oh, well, cool. We are we're up with time. I can't believe 

[00:41:40] that, that went so quick. But, yeah, I just want to say thank you so much again. I think that was really enlightening. I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm still thinking about my credit score and how I can own that.

[00:41:52] Jenny Fernandez: Let me know when you figure that out, that could 

[00:41:54] be our... 

[00:41:55] Alex Campbell: I know, right? Yeah. All right. Well, awesome. Well, thank you so much for coming. 

[00:42:01] Jenny Fernandez: Thank you, Alex. It's a pleasure. Thanks, everyone.