Navigating Successful End-to-End Customer Journeys for Global Commerce and Retail

Global eCommerce & Retail Forum: Panel 3

Jun 30, 2021 2:00 PM2:50 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

Every brand wants to ensure they’re putting their best efforts forward when it comes to the customer journey. They lay out their brand’s story and values, have an easy-to-use platform, advertise on all the right digital channels, yet aren’t hitting the goals they want. Why? Matthew Tarallo, Gerardo Gabilondo, Raghu Kakarala, and Katie Torman are here to tell you.

Matthew Tarallo is the Global VP of Amazon and Gerardo Gabilondo is the Direct to Consumer Director of North America at The Coca-Cola Company. They’re joined by Executive VP of Commerce at Bounteous, Raghu Kakarala, and Account Executive at Adobe, Katie Torman, to discuss everything you need to know about navigating customers through eCommerce and the direct-to-consumer marketplace.

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant talks with Matthew Tarallo and Gerardo Gabilondo, Global VP of Amazon and Direct to Consumer Director of North America at The Coca-Cola Company, respectively, Raghu Kakarala, Executive VP of Commerce at Bounteous, and Katie Torman, Account Executive at Adobe, about creating a successful end-to-end customer journey. They discuss telling your brand’s story, utilizing new digital trends, the intersection between eCommerce and direct-to-consumer methods, and much more.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:


  • How various companies approach eCommerce on Amazon and what they aim to accomplish with marketing strategy
  • Gerardo Gabilondo and Matthew Tarallo explain how Coca-Cola views the direct-to-consumer side of eCommerce and how it’s playing in the overall ecosystem
  • How to bring a brand’s mission to the context of the consumer experience
  • Katie Torman describes Adobe’s partnership with Coca-Cola in terms of customer engagement
  • The importance of an intimate consumer connection to your product
  • Navigating the consumer’s route to purchase through eCommerce
  • How can you ensure you’re successfully conveying your brand’s story through a customer’s journey?
  • Raghu Kakarala describes the effectiveness of nonlinear storytelling
  • How can you communicate digital trends and new technologies to executive teams?
  • Building trust in the eCommerce space
  • The first crucial step in any successful customer journey
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Event Partners


Bounteous helps leading companies create big-picture digital solutions by optimizing the flow of data, insights, and interactions across the digital brand experience. Their expertise includes Strategy, Experience Design, Technology, Analytics and Insight, and Marketing.

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Adobe Experience Cloud is the most comprehensive suite of customer experience management tools on the market. With solutions for data, content delivery, commerce, personalization, and more, this marketing stack is created with the world’s first platform designed specifically to create engaging customer experiences. Each product has built-in artificial intelligence and works seamlessly with other Adobe products. And they integrate with your existing technology and future innovations, so you can consistently deliver the right experience every time.

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Guest Speakers

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Matt Tarallo

Matt Tarallo

Global Vice President - Amazon at The Coca-Cola Company

Matthew Tarallo is the Global Vice President of Amazon at The Coca-Cola Company. He has been with Coca-Cola for over six years and has held previous executive roles including Director of eCommerce and Senior Manager of Channel Planning and Development. Before joining Coca-Cola, Matthew was the Manager of Trade Marketing at Newell Rubbermaid and the Manager of Customer Planning at Georgia-Pacific LLC.

Gerardo Gabilondo

Direct to Consumer Director, North America at The Coca-Cola Company

Gerardo Gabilondo is the Direct to Consumer Director of North America at the Coca-Cola Company. He was the Direct to Consumer Deputy Director before changing roles in February of this year. Gerardo has a vast career in the CPG industry with managing digital channels and commerce. He has held multiple roles within Coca-Cola, both in America and Mexico, since 2017.

Raghu Kakarala

EVP, Commerce at Bounteous

Raghu Kakarala is the Executive Vice President of Commerce at Bounteous, creating transformative digital experiences, and an Angel Investor for Converge - Automating Marketing Reporting. In his previous roles, he was the Managing Partner at FortyFour and an Angel Investor for SocialQ, PlacePunch, and SearchIgnite. He was the Chief Technology Officer at Engauge (US) and WE Engauge, and the Chief Operating Officer at Spunlogic.

Katie Torman

Account Executive for Coca Cola at Adobe

Katie Torman is the Magento Product Specialist and Enterprise Sales Executive at Adobe. She has over 17 years of experience in sales and management. Before joining Adobe, Katie was the Enterprise Sales Executive at Magento, Account Executive at Aptos Retail, and Account Executive at Epicor Software, among others. 

Event Moderator

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Matt Tarallo

Matt Tarallo

Global Vice President - Amazon at The Coca-Cola Company

Matthew Tarallo is the Global Vice President of Amazon at The Coca-Cola Company. He has been with Coca-Cola for over six years and has held previous executive roles including Director of eCommerce and Senior Manager of Channel Planning and Development. Before joining Coca-Cola, Matthew was the Manager of Trade Marketing at Newell Rubbermaid and the Manager of Customer Planning at Georgia-Pacific LLC.

Gerardo Gabilondo

Direct to Consumer Director, North America at The Coca-Cola Company

Gerardo Gabilondo is the Direct to Consumer Director of North America at the Coca-Cola Company. He was the Direct to Consumer Deputy Director before changing roles in February of this year. Gerardo has a vast career in the CPG industry with managing digital channels and commerce. He has held multiple roles within Coca-Cola, both in America and Mexico, since 2017.

Raghu Kakarala

EVP, Commerce at Bounteous

Raghu Kakarala is the Executive Vice President of Commerce at Bounteous, creating transformative digital experiences, and an Angel Investor for Converge - Automating Marketing Reporting. In his previous roles, he was the Managing Partner at FortyFour and an Angel Investor for SocialQ, PlacePunch, and SearchIgnite. He was the Chief Technology Officer at Engauge (US) and WE Engauge, and the Chief Operating Officer at Spunlogic.

Katie Torman

Account Executive for Coca Cola at Adobe

Katie Torman is the Magento Product Specialist and Enterprise Sales Executive at Adobe. She has over 17 years of experience in sales and management. Before joining Adobe, Katie was the Enterprise Sales Executive at Magento, Account Executive at Aptos Retail, and Account Executive at Epicor Software, among others. 

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Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

Co-Founder & Managing Director Aaron Conant runs the group & connects with dozens of brand executives every week, always for free.

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Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant 0:18

Happy Wednesday, everybody. This is the third of four sessions today. Thanks, everybody for joining hope it's been enjoyable. So far, a quick reminder, if you want connections to anybody throughout the day, it's a great big networking knowledge sharing event, don't hesitate to make requests more than happy to make those connections across the board. My name is Aaron Conant, I'm the Co-founder and Managing Director here at BWG Connect. I talk with 30 to 40 brands a week around the digital space as a whole. Hey, Matthew, how you doing today? I just I so I talked with 30 to 40 brands a week just to stay on top of those Digital Trends. And when the same topics come up over and over again, that's how we get the the the kind of the ideas for the events and the titles for them and the topics as a whole. And so we do a variety of events, we're just getting back to in person starting next quarter, we do some full day sessions. But we also do close to 300 individual virtual webinars, you know, educational informational session. So any of those we've kicked off a website that kind of is going to start being a library for all those. So if you miss any content whatsoever, don't hesitate to go there, download it or request the download if it's too big for us to put on site. As we kind of kick this off, just a quick reminder, we are going to wrap up with you know, five to 10 minutes to go on the hour. But we want this to be as educational and informational as possible. So at any point in time, you have a question drop into the Questions section, we're going to feel those and get them answered real time. So this one of the way to kick it off. We've got some great friends that you know, in partners, it's a giant network. And it's just it's fun to play in the space. But if it is Adobe, Coca-Cola, and just all around digital experts all around great people fun to talk with and just had this idea of the topic of navigating successful end to end customer journeys for global commerce and retail. And notice I mean, we, we kind of left off the eCommerce and e-retailers, everything starts to blend together, which is really neat. But I'm going to kind of just jump around here. And you know, Katie, I'm going to kick it off with you. If you want to a brief intro on yourself and Adobe, that'd be awesome, doing kind of go around the horn here with Raghu and then and then the Coca-Cola team. So, Katie, you want to kick it off?

Katie Torman 2:31

Sure thing. Hi, everyone. I'm Katie Torman. I'm an Account Executive at Adobe. And I've been working strategically with Coca-Cola for the last three years, three or four years, I had the pleasure of actually starting at Magento and working at Magento for about eight or nine months before Adobe acquired us. So it's been quite a ride. And but it's been so incredible to get immersed into the Adobe ecosystem and the incredible Adobe partners and the incredible Adobe customers that we've really been able to engage with. So my responsibility specifically at Adobe is to support folks like Coca-Cola, on their strategic commerce initiatives, how they really elevate their Adobe, Adobe portfolio, their Adobe footprint, and truly how they drive revenue to their their eCommerce site and grow. So thank you, great opportunity to be here. And I'm excited for this session.

Aaron Conant 3:28

Awesome, lovely Katie. Raghu over to you.

Raghu Kakarala 3:32

Thank you for this and to BWG for hosting this along with Adobe. We've had the honor and value of being a global DTC eCommerce partner for Coca-Cola for the last six years, really saw the expansion first in North America, and then last time, Europe and APAC and really grown on top of the Adobe commerce platform to really enable a lot of great interactions with consumers. And along with the info channel as well and really pleased to be able to be on this panel, along with Matt and Gerry At Bounteous I help set the vision for our eCommerce offering and enable our consumers to get the most out of it for their consumers.

Aaron Conant 4:12

Awesome, Gerry take over to you and we'll go over to Matt.

Gerardo Gabilondo 4:16

Sure. First of all, thank you, the BWG group and volunteers for the invitation. It's It's an honor to be part of this panel and to be engaging with with this extended forum so I'm very happy and excited to be here share some of our experiences with with the everyone who's connected. So I oversee the director consumer business in Coca-Cola North America. This is a new team that has been assembled in the past months as part of our major emerging stronger initiative in the company, reflecting the bet that the Coca-Cola company is doing on the direct to consumer business a strategic bet right. So I'm very, very excited to be here. And before overseeing that, because we're in North America, and I worked in Mexico, actually, in the Coca-Cola company overseeing direct to consumer for a part of the country, and also have some background working in the butler space, working out femicides strategy, commercial capabilities, and digital transformation. So, a little bit more of my background for for the people to connect better. And thanks. Thanks once again.

Aaron Conant 5:31


Matthew Tarallo 5:35

Awesome. Thank you, Aaron. It's always a pleasure. Great to see you again. Thanks for the invite. So my name is Matthew Tarallo. I lead our global Amazon business. And as you kind of look at this agenda in the panel, you might think like, why is the Amazon person here, but I think it next to the DTC guy. So but I think it really shows the power that we're all ultimately focused on the consumer. And in my specific role, it's Amazon as a total, so retailing media. And I would say the retail piece is also inclusive of Whole Foods. So we want to be able to provide in my role is to provide the right consumer experience, to drive you know, the customer journey, and be able to provide that outlet for for both parties. And the power of this is to look at it holistically versus siloed. So that's why Gerry and I are on the call together than a lot of tremendous work with Raghu and his team. And, Aaron, it's always a pleasure to see you again. So thank you for the opportunity. And looking forward to the discussion.

Aaron Conant 6:28

Yeah, it's gonna be an awesome discussion, because I think the key thing here is, like you were saying is that, I think, for the longest time companies viewed Amazon as their eCommerce strategy. And then they viewed it specifically as just another customer, like a Walmart or a Target. And you guys have taken a different approach to that as a whole. And it's been really impressive to watch how, you know, I'm talking to, you know, a ton of brands, you know, nobody's mastered this, right. But you've continued down, you know, the path that I know, you know, you guys just worked so well together as a team. I'm excited for the conversation. How do you? Do you want to expand a little bit on how you approach Amazon, you know, differently, and how it fits into the ecosystem? And then we can jump over to Gerry, and then I want to bring in, you know, obviously are doing Katie as well, because they know they've been instrumental in this. Without you know, I can't get back to you if you want to have you know, elaborate on that a little bit. Because I think people are trying to set what, what should this strategy look like? And you guys are doing a great job at it.

Matthew Tarallo 7:31

Yeah. And I think it's a great question. It's also, there's also no right or wrong answer, in my opinion, right? Because each company is different. The journey, and the, in this strategy and objectives of each brand and each company are so drastically different, right? So we're, I've had Amazon, I think, ecom my whole career. And I've seen highs and lows and everybody price matching each other to nobody. So like, there's all these different ebbs and flows. And it's so brand specific. And I would say the tip that we do is like, what's the objective? Like, what do we want to accomplish? And the benefit if I take Amazon today in North America, and then you're seeing this even globally, in other markets, there's so many different verticals and platforms that they go in. So it's not just core, it's not just marketplace. Now you have different breadth of opportunities. But it always starts back at the brand and the consumer, right? What do you want to go dry for it? So the way that we're looking at it is leveraging them as an ecosystem and as a platform to to to the consumer, right? If you do search for Coke across Amazon, today, you'll see a very drastically different assortment of both innovation as well as direct across all their different pillars. So we want to be hyper focused on what's the right occasion. What's the right assortment? And how do you drive that right experience linking directly in retail, and media. And so we don't go into this path of, Hey, I just want to do retail. And I may or may not have a great coopera terms. And media is over here. And you're criss-crossing, right, like you're providing now a really awkward consumer experience. Right? The best example is, I'm targeting somebody with a display ad of coke trademark. And I'm also funnily not a sponsored brand at a Diet Coke, right? Like that's sometimes a clunky experience. So you want to be really tailored and tight. And maybe that experience of that program works. But we want to look at it holistically, right, and we want to be able to not be backed into a corner and be able to really drive the right activation. And as you look at some of the activations that we've done across across, you know, Amazon, and we've launched two brands or seem to be two brands. We have a tremendous amount of media engagement globally, we are looking at it as a platform to engage with our consumers, and be hyper creative on all sides as a totality aspect versus a very singular aspect. But I will say that's a very different journey than certain brands versus others. And that might not apply for everybody. So that's why I would say it's super important to go back to what's the role of the brand, what's the role of the company, what's the role of the consumer and then you start funneling That way and leveraging the power of the ecosystem and reach for your advantage.

Aaron Conant 10:05

Love it. And I'm here to share, like, the direct to consumer side. Like, why tackle that initiative? I think, you know, there's this you know, there's a big push for it out there. The the Why is a big thing. And it's not just because everybody else is doing it. So how do you guys view this direct to consumer side? And then there's a couple more, you know, questions that I want to tackle. But you know, you know, what, what's the key driver there in? In? How is it playing into the overall ecosystem that you guys are creating?

Gerardo Gabilondo 10:40

Yeah, sure. So I think direct to consumer can be potentially the best way for us to understand our consumers and keep them engaged with our brands and leverage these one on one transactional relationships. And, you know, DTC definitely is a value driver for the business as a channel in which we go directly to consumers, as the name says, and directly to the, to their households to their smartphones and have these one on one relationship with them. And on one side, obviously, it's part of the brother Rotolo approach and omni channel up modal approach, we have defined this as a digital team as part of the digital strategy, but also, it can help us, you know, mitigate or reduce our dependency to other third parties, which is always you know, very, very that that companies such as us are beginning to learn increasingly, more explore, right, and also, the direct to consumer capability definitely can enable more seamless paths to purchase. To Matt's point generating the convergence of seamless convergence between different touchpoints we have with the consumer. So merging the marketing and the commerce part of it merchant, or brand accounts, merging our different touchpoints and connection points with consumers with the commerce experience, and enabling the consumers the flexibility and simplicity to do so I think that's fundamental in our direct to consumer and omni channel strategy. So definitely, definitely, we see that as a very important value driver for consumers and for the business.

Aaron Conant 12:19

I think it's often you know, overlooked that the, you have a shopper, right, you have a buyer of your product, it's there, they're choosing where they want to buy, but it's the same person at the end of the day, right? Whether they're shopping on your direct consumer site, or they're shopping on Amazon, or Walmart, or Target or wherever, across the globe, it's the same person, they're just choosing where to buy that product from. So, you know, they're, you know, regular, they're like, challenges, opportunities that you see, you know, global brands retailers facing today and engaging the, you know, that customer and multiple different platforms. I would love to hear your thoughts there. And I want to kick that over to Katie as well.

Raghu Kakarala 13:05

Sure, it's a good question. I mean, honestly, I think there's commonalities if you take it from a customer's point of view, there's commonalities and how they want to act, how they want to behave, what they feel comfortable with across demographics, across use cases, need cases, if you look at it from and those commonalities need to be there across multiple platforms, if you start from the brand side of things, what can we use, we need we uniquely do together? And how are you living up to your kind of your brand's mission as well? So almost exactly 100 years ago, um, or it will be next year, I think. Robert Woodruff at Coke said, Coke should always be within an arm's reach of desire. And then how does that translate into the modern context of being online? And where you are in can be part of your contextual experience. If you're in a marketplace, why should you have to leave that marketplace and go somewhere else to define Coke, if you want to directly interact with brands, if you want to be within a different context, and multiple platforms it should be available, it should be available in a way that lives up to the brand's standards as well as being convenient for the consumer. And I really think it's just a modern extension of a visionary statement that Coke had from the very beginning.

Aaron Conant 14:31

Katie, let me hear your thoughts there as well. You know, you're an interesting spot here, Adobe, but Magento. You know, you have a different way of handling if you're on the direct to consumer side of engaging that consumer, you know, everything from, you know, the digital shelf and the presence of you know, product and everything else. We'd love to hear your thoughts there as well.

Katie Torman 14:54

Yes, and I'll agree with Raghu, you know, there is it's been an evolution for For Coca- Cola, this in, it's really been, if you really kind of look at a maturity model, it's really been this like digital transformation or this digital maturity model that Coca-Cola has really, really embraced and continues to evolve. And so that whole concept around bringing, knowing who your customer is, across any one of those touch points, it has been that evolution where we are bringing together content and platforms, and now introducing commerce in such a critical time and in key strategic opportunities or regions or channels. So and, and Coca-Cola is not alone. We're seeing this across so many different verticals, and so many different industries, where, you know, it's all about the consumer consumer, it's all about that customer and all about knowing them no matter what channel region, or touchpoint. They are at and and how do they bring those together, whether it's technology, whether it's content, whether it's you know, analytics, and I identify that right and know their behaviors. It's, it's really just kind of identifying that that strategy, and and Raghu, I think you said it the best right is the Coca-Cola had, you know, they had a mission, or they shared their mission, they shared their vision, and they and they went down this down this path to really transform where they are today. So it's, it's really, the momentum is there, and and we're seeing it across, you know, many of our many of our customers.

Aaron Conant 16:37

Yeah, Matt, I can see that in your head a little bit, you know, additional thoughts.

Matthew Tarallo 16:40

Yeah, I think I think there's kind of two. So one is to build up from Katie, I mean, it's a transformation. And I'll say, full stop, and we're not perfect, we still got a long ways to go. But we're getting a lot better, right. And we're, we're building an inward to central hub, where Gerry and I can be on the same team and working collectively and collaboratively versus says, you know, in the past, you might, we might be deemed enemies and competitors across each other, right? Like, that's the worst case scenario. So So, you know, this is the beginning stages of our transformation. We're not there yet. But our ambition is to be there, and you're seeing that momentum. The other piece I wanted to add, as I heard, Raghu and Katie talk is, you know, if you kind of take a step back, it's such a great time to be a consumer, because you have so many choices out there. And as anybody looks across their pantry or their fridge, you'll see that you you have today, many different relationships with different brands, manufacturers and products, the question ultimately becomes, does that consumer or should that consumer also have multiple relationships with commerce sites? And I don't know the answer to that. But the critical piece of that is, let's assume Yes. How do we make sure that each site and each platform delivers that right consumer experience connected, so they can make the choice that they want to make, but it has to be buttoned up, and it has to be connected, and you have to provide that value back to them. And that's the thing I think everybody's struggling with, but having them jointly connected on all sides gets you a lot closer in the right direction versus the wrong direction, and allows you to navigate and iterate with the transformation as we go.

Aaron Conant 18:19

Yeah, you're able to kick that or do I saw you not in it's kind of like, there's this agreement, and I love the cuz you're, you're right there, there's been for the longest time, hey, I am, you know, I'm Amazon. I'm direct to consumer, you know, I'm the Walmart team. And there's the the butting of heads and the, you know, carving out of territory, which is proven to not be beneficial to brands as a whole. But, you know, Gerry, kick it over to you, I saw you nodding your head while you're talking.

Gerardo Gabilondo 18:49

Yeah, I want to build also on what Matt was saying. I think consumers want or, you know, they want simplicity and flexibility. And, and choice, right. So to Matt's point, this is something we we must enable, um, in terms of the consumer journey to toward products, there's a route with consumer. Um, but I think what one challenge were working towards, is to, to bring the differentiation element in the purely to space to really convey our consumers what it is that we're bringing different from maybe other touch points that they can access our brands through, right. So I think it would call to the traditional strategy definition in terms of what strategy and differentiation would be a strategy on our end, right. So I think, a challenge and also an opportunity we have is to really position ourselves in the purity to space as you know, this only coke can do element, how can we bring it towards consumers and meet them where they're at As well, right, but the I mean, maybe I would highlight that, that challenge the differentiation element that we're working against. And also the segmentation challenge as well, in terms of understanding that the you can have the same consumer, throughout our different digital touchpoints are, you know, in the omni channel, open the modal landscape, but consumers are different. And we need to understand their different segments, needs, intentions, and address those are leveraging that technology. So that would be the opportunity as well. How can we leverage all of this great technology we've been standing up with, with great partners, such as Bounteous and Adobe, and allow us to have these highly personalized relationships with consumers.

Aaron Conant 20:53

We talk about highly personalized, a lot of that comes around to content is a whole, you know, the the customer journey, right, begins at some point in time with the touch point, a lot of times that is content in then, as we look at, you know, managing that globally, right. There's direct to consumer. There's, you know, different marketplaces and platforms. But, you know, how do you? How do you look at that on a global basis, the content, the unification of content, and make sure that you're, you're telling the right story on that customer journey as a whole?

Gerardo Gabilondo 21:30

So, so I think, you know, in terms of our password writing and communicating towards consumers, we have made enormous progress in this past months of becoming a network organization. So I think the perks and benefits of being a globally networked organization is how can we begin replicating our best practices across the globe in terms of how we approach consumers, and how we communicate and engage with them. And we have stood up global structures that help us to identify which are these global best practices, and replicate them and deploy them, depending on our market archetypes. So I would say both on the marketing and commerce space, you know, we have this global auto team, this global b2c team, this global marketing teams or regional marketing teams that help us understand how can we leverage the scale really leverage the scale as a global company? And, you know, generate this convergence and seamless experience for consumers? Right. So I think I think that is one of the key milestones of our recent journey to becoming a consumer centric organization, and part of our business transformation. I don't know, Matt, if you want to chime in for for some other remarks, but I see I see that that, you know, network effect, where we're trying to, to develop and building the company as a as a true capability for the system.

Matthew Tarallo 23:04

Yeah, no, and I think you're, I think you're spot on with it. And, and I think you want to be able to have consistency, but also localization as well. And knowing that, you know, the people there, get it like that they're your best asset, right? And how do you really enable teams to go drive that, and, and having that uniformity, because, you know, if you look at me, take Japan, for example, like innovation in Japan is through the roof, it's like best in class, and their consumption and their trial and engagement is so different than what we're doing here in the US. So if I take that and replicated over here, it might not work, it might work. Some of the brands do some of the brands that don't, so you want to be able to have the right top funnel piece. And then you want to enable the markets that really drive on what they're successful in and drive that localization at a local field. But having consistency across the birth across the board, as a learning perspective.

Aaron Conant 23:58

Yeah, Raghu I saw you nodding your head a little bit as well, I'd love to hear your thoughts. I mean, you know, across the board and enabling brands in this fashion.

Raghu Kakarala 24:06

Yeah, um, honestly, look, there's infinite complexity if you want there to be. But one of the things is, if you use the right tools and platforms, um, you know, and there's a number of different pieces of the Adobe Suite that come together to create that. But if you have a common approach, technically support innovation globally, you then lower the barrier to that innovation for that last little bit to be personalized, in the case of Japan in a very different way than you would in Lavenham or in the US. But below the surface, you have some commonality so you can gather data gathering insights, gather learnings across different markets could be personalized individually. And honestly, I think one of the biggest trends in content and assumption is the idea of what I call nonlinear storytelling. Meaning you can begin in the marketplace, you can begin in an ad, you can begin offline, you can begin with a transaction, that could be your very first thing like a, you may also like and you click and next thing, you know, you have some other coke products in your cart, you have it, you consume it, and you like it. And then you come back and learn more about the brand. So storytelling is highly nonlinear now. And if you embrace that, and know that these different content fragments can sit and be individually enjoyable, but a whole story forms over time, because you've experienced these different content fragments in different channels. And then you get a holistic portion of the brand over time. Embrace that that's a wonderful thing. It's a bit of a journey. It's a Choose Your Own Adventure book from when you were when when we were all kids. And we love that. And we can enable that by having these different content fragments available in different areas. And consumption can happen anywhere along that story. And then advocacy and all the other great things, and eventually brand love forms. So eCommerce isn't the end of brand, love what you get at the end, if any part of that journey and all the different content fragments. And by having multiple marketplaces, multiple own websites, multiple earned areas that your brand is exposed, and that a purchase can happen as part of that journey is great, because eventually the full story of your brand comes to life. But embrace the non linearity of it, embrace the experiment, but have a common platform behind the scenes. So you can gather insights, gather learnings, compare analytics, and your different regions and markets can talk to each other, and learn from each other. And if you do that, right, and I think we are getting better that every day at Coca Cola, along with a lot of help from Adobe, that's great, and co innovation, which is what we champion ourselves of being very good at and bounteous. His idea of embracing all of that, and then using those learnings to then innovate even more.

Aaron Conant 27:08

Yeah, I mean, I think the reason this team works out so well is it's open collaboration, and nobody sits back and says, I know it all. And it's the ongoing learning. But I think it's really I want to jump over to Katie, because what's easier to I think, longshot is Amazon or these marketplaces internationally, what's what's a little bit more difficult is having a direct to consumer site, you know, that's regional that you have, you know, branched out, and now maybe there's 15 or 16 different ones, all logo. And now, if you have this head is I've got to say to, you know, kind of defining the these are the rules of the game. Now you can go, you know, make your own playbooks. Everyone just, you know, go underneath the rules of the game. Yeah, Katie, how do you see people like, doing that best in class? Because that gets really difficult when teams look like that handle that? Yeah. So I wish every customer is complicated question of the day.

Katie Torman 28:05

No, no. And as I was talking, it really made me feel like, and and I hope not, I mean, I hope all of my other customers on there, but I really, I appreciate what Coca-Cola has done and the journey that you have taken the transformation that you're on, because he's right, you know, there has been such a huge amount of effort and investment and reorganization to get where, where they are to establish a playbook and establish a the, whether it's a center center of excellence, or whatever you want to call it, right in terms of some standards or unification around that approach. And, you know, and in specifically with, you know, with, with commerce, for example, a global scaling globally to enable that state, whether it's the same experience or a slightly different experience in different regions, is is a challenging undertaking. And, and so, so the whole, that whole idea that Raghu was talking about around unifying that approach or unifying that a stance, and then standardizing I guess, on a platform not to get to produkty and solutioning. But it really is that idea around bringing the right technology together, standardizing on an approach, and then scaling, you know, globally scaling to those different regions, making those changes at the regional level. But keeping a standard is keeping a unified code base, if you will, or rules in place, at the global level, so that when you're making those regional changes, it's easier to manage, it's easy, it's it's a more cost effective approach and you can get to market in those regions, or in that market, you know, or or opening up a new channel faster. And so so that's that's what we're seeing. And that's what Were you know, you know, I, this is what I preach all the time, I feel like it's just really trying to establish that unification, that standardization and creating those, those technology endpoints that will enable them, our customers to us, you know, initiate business logic, whether it's commerce or content or personalization, or a targeted, you know, targeting moment or personalization is bringing that technology together and knowing when to fire it throughout that journey. And again, directors point, I keep kind of tagging on to, to what Raghu is saying, but, you know, it's really that not it's not a linear story anymore, and to be able to identify the right moments to communicate with that consumer, that customer is so critical to the, to the overall success.

Aaron Conant 30:58

Yeah, there's so much it's, it's different now as well, right? I mean, it's not just communication via Facebook ad, right? Or a Google ad, it is the email, it's SMS, right? It is, you know, the marketing, there's so many different technologies and direct mail now is being tied into which is really interesting, right, is being tied into quite a bit to the back end. Yeah, no, it's

Katie Torman 31:24

and even the channels, right. I mean, you're also not looking at you're not even even from even from Channel perspective, you know, you have your you know, you have your products on Amazon, you have your products on your own product sites, you have your your products on the other merchant, you know, other marketplaces, and to ensure that you have that unified, you know, product catalog that, that, you know, the the unified customer experience, where you actually know what your customer is doing at all times, not only on your own eCommerce site, it's also on your, on that marketplace. So, so those are such critical pieces to, to enabling and to transform in the way Coke has been doing.

Aaron Conant 32:04

So how, you know, Matt and Gerry I'll kick this over to you, how do you communicate that upward? Because if I look at what's happened in the past five years, we had all those different, you know, tool sets, but then the Pim the damn, you know, the, you know, the, the content syndication, the pricing, the threepio, the listing tool, the content syndication, 10 years ago, none of this existed and yet. You know, we're trying to build and, and teach, you know, an executive team, what's going on? How do you do any of that, if you have to get over to you first, like, some media on Amazon, like, all of this didn't exist really 10 years ago?

Matthew Tarallo 32:51

It's interesting. I mean, because it's not just the executives, it's it's everybody top to bottom, right. And, you know, at some point, you can only put new coats of paint on the same car, and there's functional differences, right, there's capabilities that you need. I think the the adult kind of question is, like, do you buy rent or build? Right, and I think every big manufacturer wants to go build. And, you know, there's a lot of resources out there and, like, how do you how do you get that? I think you're right, like the, the front level front line requirement to go? Do vendor central Seller Central, pick pack a box is very different than certain manufacturers that Blitz in there today. So how do you train? How do you educate? I think the good news is, there's a plethora of solutions out there really great ones. Um, but you know, that's always backing into the system. So that's, that's the challenge that, you know, it's always going to be top of mind, I think it starts with saying, you want to make sure you have the right leadership, tolerance and support, and then get the right training below it. So you're fully successful digitally native brand. Yeah, that's already done. Big CPG brands that I'll go on a limb here, big CPG brands that have, you know, capacity and scale built on either a SaaS system or, you know, 100,000 units a minute, like any change that throws everything out of whack. And, you know, coming from experience broadly, because I've been doing this for a few years, just putting a bandaid on at some point, you're just gonna bleed out. You want to make sure that like it's sustainable. But that's the challenge. I think the good news is today, as I mentioned before, there's a ton of solutions that are ton of providers out there that can help. It's just, you know, how does the organization look at it to say, yeah, let's rent or buy versus build. But it's so different, even on the line, but that's, in my opinion, the organizations that are really going to win in that space. That's the blocking and tackling. Like that's the base level getting that right, it's everything else sets you up for success. And getting wrong, pulls you down. No matter how good your activation is how good your products are. With your promotions are, that's that's what's been so critical. And I would say really thankful, at least on my side work with Raghu and his team, on on providing that, that service and helping with that, but that in my mind pass or fail, and it's a lot harder than you think just from a tool side. From my side, but I love Gerry's perspective and content on there as well.

Gerardo Gabilondo 35:23

Sure, I think Matt, I echo your, your perspective, in terms of, you know, all this plethora of different partnerships we can develop an understanding that sometimes it's it's not for us to build if it's already out there, you know, you can just buy or borrow and, you know, increases speed to market and leverage what's what's already in, in the in the space right. But I would say also that you know, key partnerships such as ours with bounties with Adobe, in which we can truly build global platforms and capabilities allow us to to be faster scaling, Stickney scaling or b2c models globally. On one end, and the other one, I think, in terms of way of work. And this has been also part of our journey to become a consumer obsessive company, is how we also educate more selves internally, and be more digitally literate. Right. So I think it's something that we're doing across the organization, not only on the digital teams, but it's also something that is increasingly part of the day to day of our every area in the organization, and actually in the system, considering that. As most of you may know, our bottling partners are our key stakeholders to be successful in India to see and the omni channel strategy. So I think that evolution in terms of digital literacy, all of us tend to be on the same page in terms of understanding all of these new capabilities, technologies and solutions we can leverage has been a key element two to address consumer needs in the in the eCommerce space.

Matthew Tarallo 37:10

Yeah, and I think I think just to build off of that, not to cut you off, Aaron is like, it starts with like, how do you just how do you build trust? So the eCommerce is a very controversial space, you get a lot of folks saying, hey, you're stealing from my customer, but like, it can be very controversial in certain industries and categories, rightfully so. So you want to build that trust, I would say, you know, the thing that I did when I was in my prior role is I built the slide that says, Okay, here's, here's the nomenclature. Off shelf display equals this lobby display equals this, like, so you start normalizing it, where it's not this, you know, big bad beast. It's you're normalizing it, and then you build trust on what are the objectives, right, if you just want to use this as an outlet to go sell a bunch of product at low price and highly disruptive MSRP? Yeah, you can do that all day long, right. Good luck. But like, what's the role of it? And how do you build that trust to get that partnership, but I would say it is 5050 stewardship and alignment at the top as well as the bottom right, yes, I need to make sure my leaders are aligned, so they don't fire me for the decisions I make. But I also need to make sure the folks that are running it are also aligned on so that we're being what you don't want to do is open up, you know, the floodgates, and then you just can't You can't close it. So you want to make sure it's there. And, you know, like, I think we're very fortunate today, regardless what industry you're at, there's a ton of providers out there, maybe more than there need to be, but there's a ton of providers out there really great ones. And you know, being comfortable that says, Look, I know what I know, and there's a hell of a lot that I don't, but there's people that do and building that trust and stewarding that across the organization is so critical.

Aaron Conant 38:50

100% Yeah, everything is changing so quickly, right now that the finding, finding a partner to help you, you know, across the board is is pretty much essential at this point in time. Because even if you you know, you can dive in and do a two week short course, you know, two weeks later, all of its gone. Right, everything has been changed. And so yeah, it's just it's interesting, man or something you were saying earlier was, you know, for the more mature companies that we have, like, you know, some of the larger like multi billion dollar companies saying hey, I want to be allbirds right? I want to work like that. I want to work like Casper purple. You can't write your your, your your on SAP, you've got 4500 user exits, you're 100 year old company, you've got you know, 15,000 employees, it doesn't work that way. You didn't build it from scratch. But so Raghu, what do you say like to those come guy, you gotta run across them as well. What's that like? starting point what is like step one, because there's probably people on the line today that are a step one, there's people that are step 50. But step one, what does that initial assessment look like?

Raghu Kakarala 39:58

Honestly, step one I think is start making customers happy, because you need to start, right? I mean, how do you get in shape, you go to the gym, you start, you start from someplace. And once you start, you start getting feedback and you start to be flexing this arm. The Don't be afraid to begin a small tactic while you're putting together your problem strategy, because time is a bit of your enemy here. Jeff Bezos always says it's still day one for commerce. Maybe after 20 years, we could say It's day two or day three, but you need to participate, you need to start getting that feedback, start getting that data, start getting that flexing of internal muscles, again, where you know how to be the company you were in and showcase your product and allow that customer love in that normal thing that happens offline to begin the process. Online, do it at lower volume tippers, right, so you don't get this overwhelming amount of things and disappoint people. But the best way to start is to start and in depth several years ago now for Coke. And I'm together with Adobe, and with some great partners at Coca Cola, Coca Cola, we're well past that. And we've really got a number of initiatives across the different geographies and different areas. But then you have learnings, then you invest in finding commonalities in your architecture in your systems, if you don't want chaos. So and then when you get past that, you can do structured experiment on top of your base success. And literally, you sit down and we're at a process now together with our partners at Coca-Cola, that we can sit down and ideate about all the different things we want to add to our baseline of success. And you start putting those things together. And it's like a little wonder wall where you've gotten all the different post it notes. And these are all the things that we can do. And no one thing takes too much effort, if you've built a base that enable things to work faster, and enable experiments to go live sooner. And now you're not thinking everything's in 18 month initiative with SAP, it's a one month or three months or a six month initiatives. And then you can start actually doing them and getting that data and you have all the possibilities in front of you. And then you're acting and not reacting, then you're getting in front of some consumer ideas. And being a little early, sometimes, you're not worried about that. That's a wonderful place to be right now. And Coca-Cola is in that in different geographies, and we continue to try to work together to stay ahead of that. But you want to get your brand into that position, where you can really start saying we will do this and it won't be that much incremental effort. Because we've done the basics. We've done the experiments, we stay in touch with who we are the company and what come what consumers want from us. And that's where you want to get to as a brand, you're never going to be a leader for more than a hot minute, because everybody's trying to be one. But you want to try to be one and occasionally be one. And that's the goal. And that's where we are. And if you keep plus me, person you're home, you'll occasionally be that leader in different spots. And it'll be a wonderful way to react and as a organization, then you see smiles on people's faces in that room. And not even.

Matthew Tarallo 43:19

Yeah, I think jump it off of that just two pieces. I think Raghu you're 100% right, like you got to start somewhere. Right. So number one, just go. And the biggest challenge that you'll have to deal with that in most cases, speaking from an industry side is you know, more times than not, you're gonna have overzealous ambitions, we want to have 40 share and your team is now going to be a compass of for people that's only required 10% of their time. And your budgets point 2% incremental accrual. So yeah, that's probably like, unless you're selling iPods probably not going to work. So, like you want to be realistic, right? And you want to make sure that it's realistic, but also the notion of, Hey, this is nothing but a giant cost killer. And it's a, it's unprofitable, I will tell you that every company in business is different. But the top track of that being horribly unprofitable is not always accurate. So I'll just say that from a, again, macro perspective. The other piece is, you know, and I've always said this on our sessions, and in my posts, you'll see like, what's the future like you got to build the foundation because chances are, you're never going to be ahead of the curve. But you want to get the foundation right so that you can be better easily flip something on. So build out your capabilities, build out your foundation for the next thing, right? It's okay to lose maybe Oh II day one when you have a roadmap for something different down the road, but look at it as a progression and a process I need to get here and I need to do these things to get there. Now this might suck and this might be negative, but now it sets the foundation to be highly creative. And then you can start building out that framework versus going you know the adults a hardwired enhance them day one, like build out the framework start And have have eyes down the road on where you want to go. And how this enables it unlocks it for you. So when you get that foundation right across all sides, AR, you know, AR and LMS everything. When that innovation comes in now you can be ahead of it, versus trying to just recreate the wheel. So I would say, agree with Raghu 100%. second piece is focus on building up the capabilities for your future, knowing that you might not actually hit those or realize those for you know, 1218 months. being really realistic with it is also key.

Aaron Conant 45:35

Yeah, I love it. And we're almost at time here I do want to do kind of a round robin of key takeaways. But you know, the other thing that you know, stuck out to me as well or when you're talking is you said start with the customer. Where it's so true. And it's so essential when there's so many options in there's so many other people talking in, you know, it's not like they just have yet you can only talk to them on shelf at store or via a commercial. They're your customers being spoken to by 19 other brands at any point in time, in in nonstop. You know, they're, they just their phone is always in their hand or in their pocket. And so, I mean, I really love that point as well. I want to kind of go like round robin here as we we kind of get to the end. And we're just gonna go like, Katie, if you want to kick off like key takeaways, and then we can go to Raghu, and then Gerry and then Matthew.

Katie Torman 46:28

I'm stuck on the fact that I see the peloton behind Raghu. So I'll quote unquote, one of the instructors, Hannah Corbin, who said, you know, your body's not Amazon Prime is not going to show up in two days. So you know, to echo what Raghu saying, you know, that like starting right, your brand is your brand is that this is this evolution, and you have to continue to, you know, innovate and iterate and evolve to where they want to where you want to go. And I think you know, I think Coca-Cola and Bounteous has done an incredible job. And with Adobe, incredible job of getting where you are today. And we can only continue to strengthen you know what, what we're doing. But I think to Matthew's point, it's really all about, you know, iterating, and evolving and innovating on on the foundation that has been set.

Aaron Conant 47:23

Love it Raghu I'll kick it over to you.

Raghu Kakarala 47:26

Opportunity to be a wonderful thing that gets you up in the morning and wanting to think and wanting to innovate and wanting to do. When you get eCommerce going right, you wake up in the morning, see how you did the day before and sales, smile at all the opportunities ahead of you and, and not just and not be worried about the challenges, the challenges, because that's why we're in it. And that's why you're always constantly learning. If you have the right partners, and you get to innovate, together. That's where you want to be and stay on the stand your toes and start acting. As the leader you are the brand, and what you want to do and what the consumers want from you You already know from the offline world, let's find all the different innovative ways we can bring it together. And honestly, it's been a great ride last six years with one cohort from Adobe from positive engagement with Coca-Cola, and globally. But each day you wake up saying what can we do again today to put more smiles on people's faces. And they're a wonderful place in your thinking from positive attitude and you'll have great results.

Aaron Conant 48:39

Awesome. Love it, Gerry, key takeaways.

Gerardo Gabilondo 48:44

I would say, um, you know, for for ideas or reflections, the first one differentiation is strategy in the b2c space, that would be my first takeaway. My second one is how can we continue ensuring a seamless experience for consumers across our different omni channel touchpoints. And that is where as to Matt's point, we can we can be you know, generating very interesting synergies across the different touchpoints we have across the channel landscape. The third one would be leveraged to scale and leverage partnerships. And part of that also you know, as a fourth one is build trust and report with key stakeholders in order for you to be successful in the in the DTC space and engage consumers in the eCommerce space. So those would be my my four key takeaways from today.

Matthew Tarallo 49:44

The only thing I would add after I think what Gerry said was was spot on was make sure you are stewarding and thinking about customer first and how that translates to your operating structure. Kind of my pieces. You don't want to be forced to makes up our decisions based on a very legacy old structure. You have your KPIs you have to hit but how do you make sure that you're looking at it holistically and not being forced into one piece and really trying to steward that through your organizational structure and team members?

Aaron Conant 50:19

Awesome. Love it. Well, we're gonna we're gonna wrap this this session up, obviously, Katie. Raghu. Gerry, Matthew, thanks so much for your time today. Thanks for sharing insights, being such great friends, partners, supporters of the network as a whole you guys are all great friends. You know, anybody wants a follow up connection or conversation with anybody here more than happy to do it. 100% worth your time. And we're going to take a brief break in about five minutes, and we're to come back with the three o'clock session here. And it's improving direct to consumer eCommerce experiences from product discovery through checkout. Again, Raghu, Katie, Matthew, Gerry. Thanks, everybody. Alrighty. Take care now. Already. Thanks. Oh. Take care. Thank you so much. Bye. Absolutely. All right.

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