MarPro - The Marketing Procurement Podcast

Jose Molina | Constellation Brands

September 22, 2021 Rusty Pepper & Dana Small Episode 9
Jose Molina | Constellation Brands
MarPro - The Marketing Procurement Podcast
More Info
MarPro - The Marketing Procurement Podcast
Jose Molina | Constellation Brands
Sep 22, 2021 Episode 9
Rusty Pepper & Dana Small

Our guest this week on MarPro is Jose Molina the Marketing Procurement Manager for Constellation Brands, where he is responsible for supporting the marketing organization to drive value and growth across the beer and wine divisions. 

Key take-a-ways from the episode include...

  • Agency alignment for multi-brand companies
  • Engaging legal into the agency review process
  • Earning a seat at the table by delivering value
  • Pivoting to digital to support activations
  • Stop focusing on just cost savings and start focusing on delivering value


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Show Notes Transcript

Our guest this week on MarPro is Jose Molina the Marketing Procurement Manager for Constellation Brands, where he is responsible for supporting the marketing organization to drive value and growth across the beer and wine divisions. 

Key take-a-ways from the episode include...

  • Agency alignment for multi-brand companies
  • Engaging legal into the agency review process
  • Earning a seat at the table by delivering value
  • Pivoting to digital to support activations
  • Stop focusing on just cost savings and start focusing on delivering value


LIKE - COMMENT - SHARE - FOLLOW

Dana:

hello and welcome to at the marketing procurement podcast. I'm Dana

Rusty:

small and I'm rusty.

Dana:

I was like, and rusty pepper.

Rusty:

It's going, got another great guest lined up today, which is going to be fun. And by, yeah, besides that, we're just jamming through everything. Kind of getting into our groove here with Tamar pro and what all we're working on before we get our guests introduce just keeping it a theme for the day. I think most people will understand what, why I'm going to ask this question, but you like tequila,

Dana:

huge tequila person. I actually, when I was in my early thirties, this is. I remembered this. I used to make, or at least me and my ex fiance used to make what we called cocoa butters. And so it was a Corona with a drop, with a shot of tequila in it and just lime juice. Oh. Those things were so good. I don't know if there's like legit something on the market like that, but if you ever get a chance, Corona shot a good tequila, a little bit of lime.

Rusty:

It's good stuff.

Dana:

What was the drink called? We called it a cocoa. What?

Rusty:

I don't

Dana:

know why. I honestly, I have no idea why we just did. It was our thing. We used to drink it all the

Rusty:

time. I've got to call him support on this one. I've got, I'm going to get, I'm going to preemptively. Get our guests introduced Jose Molina from constellation brands. I've got to get your help here. Have you ever heard of a Coco?

Jose:

I am very familiar with that drink it actually, I think it became like a tick tock trend or something, but I've heard lots of different people were doing it. Yeah. It is something that cut up eventually. So either you made some promotion that you were unaware back in your early thirties or so. Thank you.

Dana:

It's just somebody else that I'm not married to now. So that's really weird, but it's a really good drink. So I'm all for it.

Rusty:

What's the official name of that drink

Dana:

though? Yeah, I can't be what I made it.

Jose:

I honestly, I can't recall. I've heard that I've heard it called many different things, so I don't really think it has an official name. I think it was just doing the thing. If you will,

Rusty:

the bad-ass Corona.

Dana:

Um, I'm just telling you we, okay. So I just looked it up. Hold on. Is it Corona? Sondra? Yeah, what it's called. I don't know.

Rusty:

What's your go-to drink, but I'm

Jose:

mainly a beer guy. So I like our Modelo or I'm also a big fan of tequila. So Catherine Nova with some puff soda and some, a freshly squeezed lime juice. What works for me all weekend. Delish.

Dana:

How about your essay? What's your

Rusty:

I've I'm trying to get into the tequila. So I've, if I'm going to go with a spirit is going to be a rye whiskey. I like that meat, occasionally a big chunky cue, but for the most part, just like meat, if not, then it's usually beers. I like typically I like beer or something just to cool off with, so that's my go-to. Did you find the name? I think

Dana:

it's called Corona sunrise, to be honest, I was like scrolling really quickly in here and I was like, oh, we'll get

Rusty:

some actual editors in here to really.

Dana:

Yeah, I think it is. I think it's a sunrise, but there's another actually I was scrolling through and they're like, it's a time-saver I'm like, that's actually a really good name for it. The time-saver because you can catch up with your people and you're late to the. Really quickly dumped that shot in your beer and you're happy. It's like the short and the long bus you got, you covered. You gotta be careful though comes up on you. You forget that you've been having that shot every, and you're like, oh, I've only had four beers. And you're like, oh yeah, gorgeous tequila. Super stoked to have Jose on the show. We actually right. Met at procure con marketing. And one of my favorite industries, obviously alcohol, but let's talk about you and your backgrounds and how you got into marketing procurement. Because once again, you have a very interesting background, not like anybody else we've ever seen. So why don't you give us a brief intro into yourself and your background and how you somehow stumbled into.

Jose:

Exactly. I always say that we all have an interesting story. How we got it. Good marketing for German. So my background is I'm a mechanical engineer, so for me, I guess supply chain was always the go-to option. So I started doing essentially working on procurement, but more on the direct side. And. Yeah, a little bit of everything, kind of under construction side as well, freight transportation, forklifts, conveyor belts, even that into the MRO and all the packaging and all that fun and all that fun stuff. But then I had the opportunity with my previous or current organization. I thought it was joining. One of the, one of the folks that was managing the marketing category, uh, was forced to go on medical disability, being the new guy. Obviously I had the bandwidth and was trying to make a good impression with, with the new manager. So I raised my hand and said, oh yeah, sure. I'll do this marketing thing. How complicated could it be? I'm still questioning myself. Well, why didn't you do that? So, yeah, I mean that eventually became a full time job to the point that I had to delegate the rest of my responsibilities to focus mainly on marketing. Nope. Nope, no turning back had the opportunity to join conflict and brands four years ago, relocated from Texas over to the bay area. And that's a little bit of, well, what we've been doing and supporting the marketing team for both our beer and wine and spirits division. For those who don't know constellate John is not only about beers. We got spirits and we got some really good wines. Yeah, I

Dana:

noticed you got promoted early in the beginning of the year. I didn't even notice that.

Jose:

Yeah, but that is true. That is correct. Thank you so much. Or originally my focus was mainly on the one on the wine and spirits division, which is headquarters in San Francisco. And then the opportunity came to start looking into some of the beer business as well. So that's what we've been doing for the past couple of. That's great to have

Dana:

you in the bay area. If you ever have any extra leftover, just letting me know I can drive

Jose:

shameless plug. I'm just

Dana:

saying he's in the bay area. It's not that far. Even if I had to drive to San Jose, it's only two hours. I can put the kids in the back,

Jose:

give her all.

Rusty:

I imagine you're pretty popular on the weekends.

Jose:

Yeah, exactly. We're always trying to be a brand ambassador for some of our products. So yeah, we always get the invite to all the random events, but always happy to show up with a new product

Rusty:

that's parts of the business. That's actually, that's awesome to be able to add that as a part, be a brand ambassador and show it off. So you're the beer side of constellation, for instance, it's the largest beer importer in the U S is it.

Jose:

Yep. That is correct right now. I think Medalla SSL is the number one emperor. And I think, I believe we're still number three, I crossed up your car to guard self so that we're completing compete directly against the domestic, the big brands. But yeah, we have a pretty decent market share and obviously we have really cool products out there that our customers seem to.

Rusty:

So let's talk about some of the different products that you want to carry on that. So you've got, you've already mentioned a few of them, but what are some other ones that people may or may not optimum? So on

Jose:

the beer side, obviously our main ones are going to be the Krone app and the coroner brand family. So Corona like Corona, premier corn, up on the Ark, we got Modela Sociale Modelo Negra. Obviously we also have our new Selter, the corner hard, hard seltzer. And the Colonel Lee went out of shelter as well, and some interesting, uh, NPD and innovations in. ABA. So it's an alternative beverages, essentially. That could be beer based like the there's another one and some other cool products. We also have some craft brewers, so like four corners down in Texas and funky Buddha over in Florida. And not as if we have the tooling lagger, which is. Collaboration that we have with Luke Bryan. Just, those are just to name a few on, on the one and spirits side. It were the Robert Mondavi family of wines is probably one of our biggest brands, some fine wines, the person or wine company. And on the spirits side, we've got high west Casanova and are probably so some of our nicer crackers Nelson's green Brier is another one, but yeah, we have a, we have a few Italian wine, some with some New Zealand wines. So we have a little bit of everything mainly on the higher end, if you will. Trend that's going in the industry. That's this whole freedom of mutation. If you follow the news at a year ago, we got rid of essentially the bottom end of our portfolio to focus on the higher end products.

Rusty:

Cool. More premium, obviously with that focus. What part of marketing procurement within constellation brands are you focusing?

Jose:

My, my focus is mainly on the, on, on all the above the line activities. So that's essentially all media MarTech, creative agencies, PR agencies that some of the influencer work that we do. So essentially all the nice and cold TV spots that you see on TV that's or the interesting ads that they'll pop up in your Instagram. Our job, my job is eventually to support the, obviously the commercial negotiations with all those agency partners that we have across.

Dana:

So I have to ask, because this is interesting because you have Corona as I think, as a brand, but then you have grown a light and all these kinds of different pivots. Do you guys manage that from an agency perspective, like as just Corona or are they all segmented? Do all the. Smaller brands have their own kind of creative or

Jose:

it's essentially a mix of both. Obviously when you have a master brand as big as Corona, there's obviously a lot of we, we hire agencies to do a lot of work as to how the master brand would live. And the entire ecosystem and how all of the sub-brands would actually sit or fall under it. But so in some instances, some of those brands may have may or may not have a separate agency, but at the end of the day, we want to make sure that whatever they're doing, actually it into what the master brand is doing. Obviously there's not a one size fits all solution. So a specific brand might have a different scenario or worked out a little bit differently, obviously. Been in procurement. We're always trying to work on consolidating or rationalizing our agency roster, but at the end of the day, it has to make sense for the business. So there has to be a legitimate reason other than us saying, oh yeah, this is going to find synergies and savings because we all know that's not the case.

Dana:

So that's really important. And that's a hundred percent why I asked her because at least with our brands, we sometimes have different. Going on, but with those you're like, all right, you still need to have this alignment right up through what you're calling like the master brand to me, we call it like the global brand. And you have to ensure that all the different brands kind of subsidiaries or even regions below it are aligned with it. Do you typically see that you've been able to go through RFPs and have all of the. The portions of Corona being able to be underneath one, or do you typically have separate teams that will, um, go through that process right separately? Or how does it work there? Because it's just it's so.

Jose:

Yeah, it is a little bit different because obviously in our industry, I mean, the first challenge that we normally face is that some of the agencies are probably all are obviously working with some of our competitors, direct competitors. In some instances, whether it's you're in the U S or at a global stage. And sometimes those are. Preclude them from actually picking up and working with us. So that kind of limits our options as to what's available or what's not. So part of what we have to do is maybe be continuously doing some research as to what's available. Who's doing what who's working with, whom and to which extent, and on the beer side, it's probably a little bit more straight forward, but on the wine side, for example, it's a little bit more convoluted because you have an ultra premium wine and you're looking for a specific agency and that agency maybe. Premium wine that may not be a direct competitor. So it's turned into the determined, is that a good fit or is that, would that be a potential conflict for us or for the agent? So you start the process somewhat limited because obviously not maybe available or they may be not for that particular project. So we have to understand that. And then at the end of the day, it's also what's best for. Right. So like I said, when it makes sense, we'll certainly try to consolidate and to try to work with a single agency across the board. We've had certain Saturdays where we do that, but in other instances, that's not always the case. So yeah, I was

Dana:

gonna say, cause it's really hard for me to get global aligned with things. So I can imagine a resourcing perspective having to align all these internal, like kind of sub-brands in a sense to the larger brand than trying to do an RFP. I feel like that gives me a migraine, just the.

Jose:

And the other situation that oftentimes pops up is we'll find a new agency for a specific brand and then obviously work spreads fast and within the organization. And then some of the brands want to work with them. We're more than happy to extend that the business with our agency partners, but at the same time, we have to be careful, right. We don't want to, we don't want to throw all of our business into a specific agency because then they'll probably go getting too they'll have some staffing constraint or SAS staffing issues. That's probably going to result in bad, deliver bad graded for our team. So we have to manage that conversation as well.

Dana:

So it's interesting because I would have assumed in the agency land space, people would be knocking down your door to get into the alcohol industry, but you're saying, Ryan, you would think, I know when I was at Amgen, people are knocking down our door, they just wanted a contract. They didn't just give us a contract. We'll figure out the business later. But what you're saying. It's very limited based on that. Is it because there's only certain brands that focus on your industry or certain age?

Jose:

No, there's obviously you can hire an, a, an agency that doesn't have the odd web experience, but you have to go in it, knowing that you're going to have to spend a little bit more time, bringing them up to speed as to what they can and can't do from. Uh, point of view, the last thing that you want to do is have them start starting, developing creative ideas only to realize that you really can't execute them because of the regulations that we have. And more often than not, I think any agency that has, that does pretty good CG work and would probably be a good fit for it. For us, we've worked with somebody, somebody needs to happen for my background. Cause they, they know exactly the Villa galley, the audit, and they know how to work. It's really just a matter of adapting to it. So yeah, I think it's somewhat of a always off and moving.

Dana:

Do you guys limit for us in pharma? We're like we want somebody, it has to be farm experience. It sounds like you guys might do that too. And that's some of what creates that kind of pigeon hole because legal can just make or break a agency and understanding for us.

Jose:

Yeah, exactly. Which tends to be a little bit more flexible at the end of the day, we'll have to defer to our legal team as to what, what can and can't be done. But nothing, I think across the industry though, there is certainly quite a lot of agencies out there. And I think the biggest thing is find a find, finding an agency that has the right fit for that specific brand and the points on where they are. Sometimes it could be a really small agency, sorry, a really small brand of a need, some high strategic work. So finding. The problem that we face there is, oh, they immediately think it's constellation. Oh, that's Corona. That's what Ella tick-box right. So not exactly. So it's kind of what we have to find a way to, to make them understand exactly the brand and the budgets that we're working with.

Rusty:

Well, you also have two leading brands in the same segment. You have Madell and Corona, right? I imagine you're not using the same agencies and partners on each of those brands and just have probably completely different agency relationship.

Jose:

Yeah, that's correct. And I think the same operates on the wine side as well, because I think the last thing that you want to do is having an agency that grades creative that's like straightforward and insert brand here. And I think so we, one of the things that are former CMO focus that a lot was giving each brand their own identity so that they leave that on its own. If you will.

Rusty:

That's the key part of when you're building a brand is having that complete unique experience in the way that they're going to market, how they're trying to reach customers. And so that eliminates a couple of different areas there, but you both are in. Highly regulated industries, lots of compliance. What are the challenges that you guys have to face and the alcohol beverage industry that puts a challenge for the world of marketing?

Jose:

I think it's all just, there's just being able to get the agency to execute something. That's actually putting something that's realistic and that we can actually execute. I, the biggest thing and the algorithm industries. You're trying to avoid portraying consumption, right? So there may be a party theme that you, if you look closely at the ads, there's that party thing going on, but you never really going to see folks actually drinking from the bottle or enticing people to actually drink. It's more about, here's how you will fit. It's not all your drink, the beer, or if you drink wine, you're going to feel better, but it's about the experience. Exactly. So that, that adapt that life out to it, to, to your interest in, and that's really, what's going to stick with you. So for others, I think that. Making sure that the agency has come up with those ideas in the right way, making sure that obviously that they're right staff and all that, and that they're properly tracking against their hours because we certainly don't want them to be burning hours and just throwing ideas at the wall. And we certainly know nothing's going to hit,

Dana:

even from the other perspective though, too. I don't know if you've seen this a lot in pharma because it has to go through legal and get that buy off. It may be super clear. But if it's not exactly the same, we can go revision after revision and end up burning a lot of hours that way. Like typically we budget for things like maybe three revisions through legal cycles, but once it goes past that, then the agency gets the bill extra hours because it's additional time and that they're spending on additional revisions. Have you ever seen, I've seen just in the couple of cases where the burn rate just gone insane because they could not get legal on board. Are you seeing that too?

Jose:

Yeah. W we do see that as well from time to time. And I think our approach has always been trying to get in front of it as soon as we start ads as it's happening so that we avoid going eight or 10 rounds into it. When we know we're probably not going to get in there. So it's trying to facilitate the conversation between both sides as to. W why exactly that, those ideas, all right. Something simple, like even suggesting hashtags, right? There are certain things that they can and can't use. So we do put some of the owners on the agency that, Hey, before you bring it to us, you got to do your own due diligence and preliminary search if you will. And so that is something that we could potentially use. So that way, at least we're trying to mitigate some of those incremental expenses that can come up. Those will probably more often than not will certainly happen. That's just the nature. Uh, but again, for us, our job is making sure. Those numbers that don't go ridiculously insane are really high

Dana:

scope Creek can get pretty crazy out there. If we have legal and compliance. I don't know if you have of those things that they have to go through and through like submissions, but it, it can be brutal. I mean, you can't really always play that prompt those extra.

Jose:

No exactly. You certainly can't plan for that. But again, a height. I think you can get graded as you're drafting your scope of work, making sure that there is the, there are certain provisions there that require the agency to communicate and to be upfront as to what's happening, obviously the different quarter of the business, where your meetings with the different agencies and understanding where we are in. But at least put some controls in place so that the, in some way you're, you managed to get the, the stop, the meter from keeping on running, and then you're going to have to have that incremental bill at the end of the year, especially they'll flag it up the 11 months and you're like,

Dana:

all right, are they included? I think we have included them, like in our review process or with our legal team, like we try to engage legal as early as possible. So to your point, if there was throwing out these things that we're never going to get past or to market legally. Step in and say that ahead of time early on in the meetings. Do you guys do that or do you just get through it as a marketing team and then, you know,

Jose:

no, w we do collaborate really closely with our legal team. So whenever something new is coming into them and enter them into the mix, the legal certainly has a seat in that table just as we try to so that we can all be aware of what's going on. And then whether it's eye flak from the commercial terms or a platform of legal side of things, then we can make sure it gets addressed. And.

Rusty:

So, how do you work with your counterparts in marketing? Let's talk about that relationship, but then on a day-to-day basis, how are you engaging with marketing? How are you aligning and setting the goals and the plans. I think

Jose:

our biggest focus is, is obviously we need to understand what the goals are for the year and across the entire organization. So we make a really hard person to get a seat at the table and understand from a leadership position, what, what's the expectation what's going on with a different brand, but what are they're going to be there as their key priorities or key initiatives that we need to know? We need to know so that we can make sure that we were properly prepared against that. The last thing that we want to do is focusing on our thing, a bunch of packaging suppliers. So we need to contract a bunch of them when we probably don't have any packaging work, it's going to be a huge, heavy, digital initiative that they're going to be having next year. So then it's a missed opportunity, right? So we try to align, we try to understand what the goal is. And again, important as I guess the priorities are for, for the business so that we can try to make sure that we aligned to those expectations and then focus our efforts into those initiatives so that we can add the most.

Rusty:

Obviously the alignment's key, but where do you think. The opportunities are for marketing to do a better job of engaging with procurement or vice versa. Should it be procurement engaging more with mark?

Jose:

I think we as Martin and procurement professionals, we have to stay on top of all of our stakeholders. Obviously, though we know that for them, it's all about speed and how quickly they can do things and how quickly they can react. So more often than. They'll revert to their usual ways of working if you're not around. So it's constantly being on top of them, reminding them what's going on, remind them that you can actually be the support. And obviously the proof is in the pudding, right? When you start delivering results of your organization, we'll make sure to loop you in, into those conversations that the. So you would get your thoughts as Hey, but what we're thinking about during our RFP, what w what are you thinking? And then you get to fight for my feedback, but it's constantly being proactive as setting up regular calls with different teams, understanding what's going on, what challenges are facing, and you stay top of mind at the same thing. You have to be able to be ready to react to a potential change in the business, whether it's a new project comes in a new innovation product or, or a new initiative, or. Leadership changes or something. And so you have to be able to react to those things quickly as well. So I would probably say those are the two biggest things. Speaking

Rusty:

of reacting quickly, obviously we're coming out of the whole pandemic and COVID and everything, and how that really shift a lot of different businesses where in the past activations, where. On premise off premise, but liquid ellipse. How are you getting people to taste and engage with the product? Couldn't do that. All that got shut down, starting to come back a little bit more now, but everything moved over to digital yet everybody was a mixologist or showing all their favorite foods. I think Dana may have had there her, whatever her fancy little drink was. She'd probably, I bet if we go to YouTube, we could probably find a video of her doing that, but. And where it is everywhere. Everybody who is doing Friday happy hours, et cetera, but y'all had to move really quickly over to digital. Not that y'all, weren't doing that before, but it all went digital for a period of time. Let's talk about that. Cause be it falls underneath your responsibility as well. How'd that go? How's that going? And where's it going?

Jose:

Obviously it was a little bit of chaos when it all happened because no one really knew I had some folks that yeah. So there's a block away, blah, blah, blah, wait two weeks or so. And here we are 18 months or whatever, whatever it is, but no, I think initially for us, the biggest challenge was immediately understand. Exactly. All right, what do we need to do now? And as far as what, what agreements we currently have in place and how we can quickly pivot. And then start looking, working with our existing or UT to, to understand what are the alternative options. What are those? Some ecology happy hours. We ended up doing concerts of different experiential activations, where the wheel will bring the tailgate to you, experiences and all those different things to keep our clients engaged across the board. We have the benefit that for us, the whole e-commerce and DTC was. Big w we had big plans for it prior to COVID. So essentially when Colbert hit it was right now. It's time to actually go. We already have the plan. So now it's time to step on the gas. So we start doing a lot of our efforts there on all those different e-commerce initiatives, to be able to make sure that we can get product and in front of our, our customers. Yes. We may not be able to get them to actually take that on their night out, but through creative campaigns, actually getting them to try different products. Things would get delivered to your house and within an hour. So it's like a similar, had a similar, very solid right from a media perspective. But obviously a lot of, a lot of what we do is live sports. So when my sports shifted, then we actually had to regroup with irrigated a record and kind of start looking at different plants because I mean, there was really no sporting events to go to. So when you have a lot of the sponsorships and activations, there you'd have to look at different plans. It's an interesting situation that happened. And for us, I think it's really, it was making sure that our agencies were. We're w we're finding a new way to pivot from what was originally plan, obviously, trying to mitigate the cost as much as we can from a procurement point of view, but understanding that we faced a lot with a lot of challenges that a lot of our peers in the industry certainly face.

Rusty:

When you look back through that and the best practices and lessons learned that come through, what are the ones that you're excited are going to stay? I think at

Jose:

the end of the day, I think that folks are excited to be able to go back to a lot of live events. So I still have a lot of, some of the initiatives that were rolled out through COVID, but I think the biggest thing is just the whole e-commerce thing. The fact that you're able to get I'll call it delivered to your door and have different experiences delivered that way. I think probably it's probably. A trend. It's going to stay a little bit longer with us. I think that's what. Exactly people don't certainly don't want to go to the grocery store anymore because they don't want to say the crowds. So it was, we were able to get it, get that the alcohol product that you need and delivered without actually seeing anyone. Else's. I think it's a big, it's a big one

Rusty:

D to C guy, huge. And then translate. There is some big deals that came out of that. That is at the innovation is. And being able to fast track and push things through quicker regulations are also changing rapidly in your industry. I've imagine that puts challenges on your role as well. Bringing, investing on top of it, to make sure that you are saying.

Jose:

Hey exactly because yeah, obviously our DTC and our e-commerce are a little bit different because obviously we work in a tent under a three-tier model. So we sell to distributors and the distributors have to put it in and probably people we can't sell directly to the consumer. So there is, there are certain, there are certain things that we can and can't do, but yeah, there's obviously a lot of, a lot of new technologies and new funder that came up, but we can't really work with all of them for the, for those same reasons. So I have been helping our teams to navigate through all those things, as this has been crucial. I

Dana:

would think there'd be some really cool digital partnerships that you guys could do now thinking about you're right. I can't tell you. Last time we went to a grocery store and I get my app. I might get my alcohol delivered from Costco or wherever. I would think there'd be some really cool maybe partnerships, even though you can't sell directly to the consumer, maybe partnerships with, I don't know, Instacart or something like that. Are you seeing any type of new kind of products or partnerships coming through?

Jose:

Yeah, we actually have a, quite a few partnerships with w with some of those e-commerce providers that, that, that you mentioned that I think it is a reality that we all have to face. So, yeah. And we've seen some really added value as a result of that. Obviously we know that not only on the algorithm industry, but I think it was a big push for everyone to go digital in some shape or form. So it's only a matter of how quickly we can adapt to those ongoing trends and make the most. You

Dana:

guys have shifted right to digital because of COVID. And I've seen at least in pharma, we're trying to shift away from that type of media, into digital. Are you guys seeing the similar shift or you think you still are going to be in traditional as well as digital media?

Jose:

I think we'll probably still have a considerable presence in the traditional. Mainly on the TV. Obviously we don't do a lot of, a lot of bread like you do in your industry or the obvious reasons. But I think yes, there is a shift going to, to, to more of a digital channels as well. But I, I don't see us going away from TV anytime soon.

Rusty:

Yeah. That's such a core part of your industry. You've got to be there. And because of that, that based, most of the big sponsorship deals around professional sports and concerts.

Jose:

Yeah, exactly. So, yeah, we'll find, we'll try to stay on top of that and then I'll be happy added th the, the ongoing activation at that specific event or that specific concert or venue or what have you. So yeah, I think I'll, they'll say

Dana:

I have a specific question about that, because this is interesting from a sponsorship standpoint of view, sometimes we pay ahead of time or whatever it is for. Uh, we do different types of events, obviously the sporting events and things you do, but I'm trying to think, like we had a lot of things that maybe we had paid for ahead of time that then we had to figure out, can we plop back some of this money, like from a procurement stand point of view where you left scrambling or is your. Plan so far has advanced where you guys were

Jose:

w w w we did say some of those similar challenges. So it was really just having those open conversations with all of our partners to understand what could be done given what was really happening. So I think we are our lifestyle and experiential team has done a really good job on the marketing side, picking up the right partners, if you will, and the right folks to work with. Cause obviously. They can then add an extension of our organization of itself. So, yeah, we've been lucky that we were able to get to a really good spot relatively quickly.

Rusty:

It's been really interesting, but I want to switch it up a bit. I want to talk about reflection. Hey, cause you've been in marketing procurement for a while now, and there's been a lot of lessons learned and things that you've been able to achieve throughout your career in marketing procurement. So. What advice would you give your younger self?

Jose:

I would probably tell my younger self. You see the state on the industrial side. That would have been not enough.

Rusty:

I can't imagine that would be fun compared to what you get to do now.

Dana:

So yeah, the alcohol brands see the different creative. I every year, like one day, I want to take your job because I feel like there could be position to sit in all those pitches and not have to, you can help them.

Jose:

Exactly. No, I don't know exactly. There's only nothing fun and exciting about dealing with forklift contracts and all that. No, but, but I think the biggest thing would be focused on getting as much transparency from the agency partners. I, at the end of the day, I think sometimes people forget that it is a partnership and an assumption of reform. So people, you can't look at it from a. Wants to zero from a dollar perspective and try to just get a lower blended rate or a lower cost altogether because that's going to have a certain impact and it would be out for that, the agency, for sense. So I think if folks focus on actually being a little bit more transparent with them as to what can and can't be done and then putting them on. So that they can improve. I think that that will certainly be beneficial. I know that we're probably not the best high and not the best customer, not the best partner, but if that's the case, then let's have an open conversation. What are we doing wrong? Or what could we be doing better that would make your job a little bit easier. And OS being in procurement, we need to be able to facilitate those conversations between the marketing team and the ad, the agency. So don't focus all on saving 10% year over year, because that's probably not going to get you very far in the marketing space. It may be on when buying MRO items, but try to find a way to add, to, to have the agencies add value and be a little bit more efficient altogether.

Rusty:

You bring up a good point. And I think that was really good advice. But within marketing procurement, let's look at it this way. What can marketing procurement do to improve? Supplier relationships. And should it be all a marketing procurement versus marketing? What role do they happen? How do you see that?

Jose:

I think our job has to be different to, to bring both sides together, bring the marketing organization from one end and the agency on the other end and so that they can see each other face to face. I think. You've seen it all. The whole pitch processes has fought and it you'll see folks putting together RFPs that are, have 50 questions that they need to answer in a spreadsheet before they get, they can consolidate and all that. I think we need to get rid of all that and actually just focus on, on, on the work that needs to get done and being, being as transparent to both to the agency as to what the challenges that your, that the brand is facing or that the marketing team. At the same time, we also have to be realistic and do the same with our stakeholders, help them understand where they are. What's reasonable and what's feasible and what's not right. I think sometimes the marketing teams will want, we want to keep the one it now and they don't want to deal with anything else. Right. Well, you need to make them understand and find the middle ground. So I think that's really the key role that we play and this whole.

Rusty:

I agree with you that the, uh, the entire review process is flawed. I think we there's a lot of prerequisite questions that are like legacy questions that were written years ago that had, for whatever reason, they're almost like in stone where it's okay, we've got to have this in order to go to this next phase, versus why are we not looking at the whole process with wide eyes, fresh sheets and saying, let's start with what makes sense. Because sometimes. The evaluation when you could miss a really fantastic supplier because they fall just outside of the window, that was established 20 years ago, with a question of how far are you from city center? Y and if they fall outside

Jose:

of that,

Dana:

I think it's templates. I don't know about you Jose, but I know a lot of our stuff is template driven and especially coming from people in their excited to, or from the direct side to indirect, there's a lot of templates. Some people like me, I'm like, yeah, I don't need half of those and I'll take it out. But then when I go and compare my RFPs to everybody, else's, I'm like, I have four questions. Like why? It just does not seem to measure up to

Rusty:

every more good questions if they're good questions and they tell you everything you need, that's all.

Dana:

And it makes you, but then you go and second, guess yourself, you're like, are these the right questions? What have I missed that other people have to ask 50 questions to get to? That's not to me. I don't need 50 questions. I don't need to know to verify or get you in as an agency. There are certain things I need to know. What's your differentiator and how do you guys approach business? But when you do, when you start to stack yourself up against your peers, I don't know. Maybe you don't feel this way, Jose you for the other side. I know, lacking in questions. I feel like there's just not enough meat to it because I do whittle it down to so much because I think there is a lot of fluff in templates and stuff.

Jose:

Yeah, I think we've been trying to walk away from all those templates that rusty, as you pointed out, that they were probably put together like 20, 30 years ago and probably are no longer applicable. I think for us, the biggest thing is understanding from the business. What's the challenge, what's the challenge or what's the problem that you're actually trying to get the agency to solve and then get an understanding for what utopia in an ideal state, what would your ideal agency do for you and how would that look like? And then, and I think for us, it's, you're really evaluating. The people. Right. So do you see yourselves working with the, with this folks for the next step for the next year or so or not? Do they have an understanding of your brand? Do you want to understand your consumers? Those are the intangibles that I don't think you can really answer on a, on, on, on a questionnaire. I think it's more of giving, giving them the opportunity to pitch to you that, you know what, I, I do see myself working with them and going through. At the end of the day, it's going to be a tug of war. That's ongoing to get to the final creative. So I think everyone needs to be on the same page and they need, you need to feel that, I guess that's that warm and fuzzy feel from someone else. Right. So I think that's yeah, exactly. No,

Dana:

cause it, did you go through the RFP process during Kobe? Because what I've noticed is you're like spot on with the same thing. Marketers want to be in the room with them. And that's very important to, I want to work with you. Are you going to vibe well with our team? Are you going to fit in with everything we had to actually go through that RFP process. And I just felt like it was very lacking because we couldn't have that in-person interaction. We had to do it all virtual. How do you feel about.

Jose:

It does it obviously not given the agencies aren't wrong and just not having any opportunity to meet people face to face. That's certainly impacts. But at the same time, I guess the added benefit is that you can have more people in the room. So sometimes those conference rooms can get a little bit too crowded. So you're only being able to bring two or three people. So from both ends from the, from the client side or from the agency side. So at least you're able to see a little bit more how people are. With them w within their team and what that's gonna look like. So it was certainly challenging because again, not having that physical presence, it is different, but I think we've been able to adapt it in some shape or form. I do think there's that thing.

Rusty:

So when you think about the differences between say a direct buyer and somebody that's focusing on agency relationships like you are, what would be the biggest difference or how many different steps does it take for you to be able to establish, Hey, this is the right partner for us because you're not doing that through a spreadsheeting and getting answers. There's a lot of creative. There's a lot of different conversations. What is that journey?

Jose:

I think it's certainly more complicated than I would say that than it is on the direct side. And this is by no means I'm making the direct side. I don't want to get the contact that I bought by my peers on the other side. But again, since you're talking about people's time and people's creativity and a lot of intangibles, I think it's. You're trying to find a way to measure that. And it's not always going to be as straightforward, but does that mean that this person's idea is worth $250 an hour or a $450 an hour? I think you really can't get it that way. I think for us, it's understanding, understanding just historical benchmarks, industry benchmarks. So, so that you can use as a reference with the whole blended rates scenario is it's something that you should use as. That's a metric, but it shouldn't drive the entire conversation because it sites, I think, again, what you're trying to evaluate is how the people are actually going to interact with, with your stakeholders. So, yeah, but I guess it's not as straight forward, you have to really get creative, but I think the more conversations and the more feedback that you get from the different states. I crossed the attic. I tried to all the different levels. I think you'll have a break, would feel up to how successful or that relationship

Dana:

and on the direct side, scorecards can truly determine who's been winning. And from my perspective, I can use a scorecard, but it's just the starting of a conversation where I think about marketing people. It's never going to determine who's winning that first, that RFP, I think people get confused when they do come from the dark side. They're like, what do you mean the points add up. This is the winner and it's not really, we gotta talk. We gotta feel the buyer. We gotta understand who's who liked to and the creative. And it's a starting point. I think it's a great start. Yeah. But by no means is a determinant. And that's a huge difference between the direct side or other categories, even something like it where they can say, okay, this is the winner

Rusty:

by when you're talking about subjective, something. So subject like that, cause your emotion, you know, the creative creativity and how people put weight and value to each of those different components. What happens when you have a split room, right? You have this group. What w what is that deciding factor?

Dana:

I haven't seen many split rooms, but decades people say, but normally we get in the picture. We're like, holy as that agency just blew everybody out of the water. And the few times where it's been like we're between the two, sometimes we'll look at the sourcing stuff. Oh, do we have a larger relationship or does somebody else. Utilize. And how about you, Jose? What have you seen?

Rusty:

Yeah,

Jose:

I think for the most part that first off, I agree with you a hundred percent when you do scorecards and all that, I think it's really just another tool that you use to at least have something to refer to so that when you're doing the debrief, it's not just going around the room and people are just sharing their thoughts, but yeah, but it's not really, oh, th th there's one, this agency ranked the highest and that's what that would happen. I mean, there's been a few instances where we've had somewhat of a split rumors for the decision. And I think in those cases, what we tried to do is all right, is there something else that we need to get a little bit more clarity from the agency, whether it's a small, a small assignment or, or about a few up questions to better understand how they would react to certain scenarios that would help us clarify and make a decision? And

Dana:

see if they're going to be a good partner. So I think you're in the dating stage of getting to know them agency. And so if you request, Hey, here's some feedback, what can you do with it? A lot of times that's a good determinant for us at least say, are they listening? Are they going to listen? Or are they just going to give us back what we, what they originally gave us? And they just, this is their idea and tough, whatever I find that type of test of partners is really key. I think in those types of areas too, but I completely mirror everything you said. I think this. Rusty. What else do we need? Jose? You've been such a good guy. We have such great conversation. Maybe it's because it's alcohol focused. I will say I was looking at it. I didn't know all your brands. So I was like, let me look ahead of time. I want to check these out right. There are some really cool named, like wines velvet, devil, the snitch. I was like, oh, These are really cool. Yeah. I'm like, even though like entire marketing campaign was the way they have a label it's broken and it's like a mugshot, but it's Al it was so cool. So cool. I don't know what agency did that, but I, whoever came up with those names, the branding, the labeling, the packaging, amazing stuff that you guys have. Some really neat stuff out there that I just, I had no idea

Rusty:

about it tastes and juice to there. The stuff inside it's not bad either. I went.

Jose:

Yeah, exactly. Well, I think we are certainly lucky that we have really good liquid and obviously kudos to our marketing team because they've been able to create some we're finding we've been helping them obviously negotiate, but I think it's their idea. So they take all their credits and we get up, we take all the blinds, but they've been able to deliver some great ideas altogether. Yeah,

Dana:

that's awesome. No, yeah. Thanks a lot. And it's really, we appreciate you coming on the show and especially with the alcohol industry background is so cool and so much fun. We really appreciate it. Appreciate your time and effort in coming. And hopefully we'll continue to talk. I know when you talked after procure con and you can keep the conversation going and then maybe one day I can come work for you. That's fine.