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Interview

Interview: Strategic Growth Opportunities for Manufacturers, with Phillip Jackson, Co-founder, Future Commerce

The rise of the digital-first omnichannel world has opened up some new strategic growth opportunities for brands. Rob and I recently pinned down Phillip Jackson, founder of FutureCommerce.fm and co-host of the Future Commerce podcast, to extract his POV on where brands should lean-in to grow top-line revenues in 2021 and beyond.

TRANSCRIPT

Peter:

Welcome to unpacking the digital shelf, where we explore brand manufacturing in the digital age. I'm Peter Crosby, executive director of the digital shelf Institute here. The rise of the digital first omni-channel world has opened up some new strategic growth opportunities for brands, Rob and I recently pinned down Phillip Jackson, founder of future commerce.fm and co-host of the future commerce podcast to extract his point of view on where brands should lean in to grow top line revenues in 2020 and beyond. So Phillip you're building quite a resource at future commerce. Tell us what led you to create it and what you're looking to achieve.

Phillip:

Uh, well, uh, how much time do we have we, this is it. It really just comes out of a passion for discussing these things with other people in our industry and having a forum to be able to talk about like where this is all heading, what the eventuality of our current state of executing on commerce really looks like. Uh, I used to have these amazing conversations with folks who worked at, you know, businesses that were sensibly competitors in our space, and we would muse or pine over these, you know, these changes in our ecosystem and how very conversion rate optimization centric e-commerce was coming, becoming. And we're thinking about what is the eventuality of that? Is that, is that good for the customer? Is that is being overly persuasive, you know, bad for the business. Does it have other knock on effects that people hadn't really been considering?

Phillip:

And so I think a lot of people do a lot of planning for two quarters or three quarters from now, very few do planning for 15, 16 quarters from now. And that's kind of what we like to think about is where, where, you know, the world of commerce is heading. Uh, and how can we all engage in more conscious commerce, both on, on the business side and B2B and in the way that we engage with customers, because there are people right there, these are people on the other side of the transaction. So we, we like to think of ourselves as very human centric started with a podcast four years ago. And these days, you know, we, we publish content, uh, five days a week in a video written newsletter essay, and podcasts still have a pretty decent audience, you know, a very engaged audience and, uh, folks that I think are both operators in the space, uh, on, uh, you know, at brands that you would recognize, but also folks that are on the periphery, who are fans of consumer brands who think and sense that the world could be different if we have chose for it to be.

Phillip:

And those people getting engaged as really interesting. And I think so we're having a little bit of a reach outside of, uh, you know, the traditional trade press. Um, but the mission really is just to be more informed, right, and just be more informed, make better decisions, both as business operators and as consumers.

Peter:

I mean, certainly 2020 was, uh, a banner year for, for change for a, in some ways choices being taken away from, from brand manufacturers because of the sh the, the kinds of shelves got very limited, but at the same time, introducing a whole bunch of other varieties of choices for the ways in which they can make money or show up for the consumer. So, uh, you know, I just seeing your content and the conversations you have, it looks like you lean into that into those changes.

Phillip:

And, and we have a unfair advantage if I'm being really honest, right. Peter we'd, uh, I work full-time at an agency, um, and we are, uh, so I work at right point, uh, where I am the senior vice president of, uh, strategic, uh, commerce and, and our, you know, bringing a commerce solution to companies that see themselves as being experiential in nature. And some of the largest, most recognizable brands in the world, uh, who are trying to, you know, for some of them, it's their second or third attempt, or the second or third generation of implementing digital commerce in some way. And they're really thinking about this in an omni-channel fashion. Uh, it allows us, like, I see the RFI is 24 months before anything comes into being, and that's a little bit of an unfair advantage in my space because I'm not dependent on the news cycle, or who's shopping a press release or working with a PR firm for the thing that's your landing.

Phillip:

Um, and that helps me, you know, kind of listen to the ground a little bit and see what's coming what's on the horizon. Uh, there are others in our space that certainly are in media that are doing similar things, uh, but it helps us kind of divine, you know, where are the big CPG brands going? Uh, how is manufacturing changing in a B2B space and how are they becoming more digitized? Um, so these are things that we, you know, we think about a lot and it helps me to, you know, shape the conversation for, you know, what others in our space should be thinking about.

Peter:

So I have to pick up on that. Are there actually still brands doing things in 24 month horizons? Like, are there 24 months,

Phillip:

Your 24 month plans mean nothing and right now, um, so in many ways, right, so planning is, it has been kind of thrown out the window because COVID was such an accelerant in a lot of our businesses to accelerate trends, uh, or accelerate like consumer adoption of digital commerce, uh, plans sort of, you know, our plans either worked or they didn't. And usually, uh, as we were saying, they didn't work for a lot of folks. I'm not the first person to say this. Scott Galloway has been talking about this a lot, especially in education and the sort of the digitization or the YouTube suffocation of education. Um, but, uh, if COVID is an accelerant, that means that our plans, you know, the horizon in which we can plan is no longer 24 months. It was like two to four months in 2020. So I think a lot of businesses are trying to think about if we could do those big, hairy strategic initiatives.

Phillip:

I'm thinking of brands that I work with that are big, you know, chocolate and water CPG companies, uh, who were able to get to market into a direct to consumer fashion in a, in a five month horizon, as opposed to, you know, a 15 month horizon, um, which is, which probably would have been the case in any normal year. They, they step back and to start to think to themselves, what else can we do? Can we be, can we move faster, right? Or is, is 2020 going to be an outlier. And I think just looking at who is spinning up more internal resources to resources, to digital commerce effort within those bigger brands, when I'm looking at what's happening. I think that a lot of that accelerated pace of change is here to stay in the enterprise.

Rob:

It feels like it needs to, right. I mean, one of the conversations I have with an Amazon private label person a few years ago, really stuck with me. And they said, you know, how long it takes Unilever to create a new brand three years in how long it takes Amazon to launch a new private label brand less than three months. And the planning horizon in the digital age for manufacturers, can't be on some level 24 months. It has to be more agile than that. It has to be two to three months. And so it's really interesting that the perspective that you led off with where you're saying, you know, folks need to be thinking about 15 quarters, 20 quarters, but they all, but they also need to be, uh, operating at a two to three quarter planning horizon. Like they it's like both things have to be true at the same time. You've got to be not really over-planning, but then also having, having an eye to the future. So how do you, how do you square the, that, that difference?

Phillip:

That's a great question. And I think that there are big macro trends that we can sort of bank on. Right. So if we believe that the world is, is becoming much more direct to consumer, uh, in nature in every, in every medium, by the way, right. Look at what just happened with wonder woman. Uh, look what happened with Hamilton on direct to consumer streaming. Um, every second, like discovery plus just launched, uh, I have 12, like, I don't know, 12 different subscriptions to streaming apps. You know, my kids have, you know, four of them that are pretty much dedicated just to them, like the direct to consumer nature of, of the world, of, of consumer brands, uh, from entertainment to, uh, you know, to hard goods and soft goods, uh, look at what's happening in grocery. Um, I think that the trend, the macro trend of direct to consumer is, is here.

Phillip:

And we can bank on that. So what are you going to do if the world is more direct to consumer in the next 24 months, how can you be successful over the next few planning cycles and, and, uh, and putting both OPEX and CapEx toward that as an initiative in inside of the business where it used to be enterprise would say, Oh, direct to consumer is emergent. Here's what we're going to do. We're going to go to a CX strategy firm and help them engage them and ask them to how we're going to do that. Uh, and they're going to lay out a plan. They're going to create a playbook. That's probably modeled off of, you know, something else that, you know, we've all seen before, and we're going to execute against that. And, and that's fine. That was fine at one point in time.

Phillip:

And there have been some really interesting successes in the world at, in the past, but direct to consumer the real direct to consumer, uh, change didn't come because, uh, someone hired, uh, you know, Accenture and, and said, give me, give me the playbook. Uh, it's happened because they've internally decided, uh, both on the venture capital side and in, uh, other private market, um, direct to consumer brands. The way that they have differentiated themselves is by making that an internal capability it's core to their ethics. It's what makes and drives them is that they it's baked into every facet of the business's reason for being in their go to market. And so, uh, to be successful in digital commerce, especially if you're a big CPG that's coming direct to consumer, you're going to have to have native capabilities, uh, on the strategy side and on the execution side.

Phillip:

So it's, and we're seeing this play out too. Uh, nobody delivers single threaded anymore. If you're doing strategy, nobody's owning that entirety of the experience. Everyone's sort of delivering, uh, both the e-commerce infrastructure and the fulfillment infrastructure. Everybody's holding a lot of different hands and shaking a lot of different hands to make that happen. I don't know if that answered your question, Rob, but I think the macro trends you can plan for it's the, the small, uh, tactical pieces that, you know, certainly come in and out of Vogue and short, uh, in short-term, you know, right now we're talking a lot about influencers and the return of affiliate, um, as a way to, uh, and, and retention business. But I think those things kind of come and go and wax and wane.

Rob:

You could imagine just taking another angle on this. You could imagine, we believe that the world is moving faster. COVID obviously made things in your face faster, but generally speaking digital makes, makes the planning time, the planning horizon shorter, um, you see large CPGs like Procter and gamble, really stopping cell assigning upfronts, because if you really commit a bunch of media dollars upfront, then you lose agility to how you deploy them over the course of the year. But agility goes up and down, a large CPG or large manufacturers operations. It goes from the supply chain. It goes to how to, to margin expectations. It goes to how to deploy advertising that goes against competitive threats. You know, there's a thousand different ways that things are agile. And I wonder if there's a meta angle here where our company's 15 quarter plan has got to be, how do we execute, uh, ambitious projects in two month increments? You did that, like the age of, you know, you said you're in and you see the RFI is 24 months before they go live. I mean, um, I work in cloud software and a 24 month implementation for cloud software is totally like totally Alberta, right, for sure to get that stuff live. So I, there's a, there's a piece of me which thinks the 15 quarter plan should be, how do you operate in two month increments?

Phillip:

We're actually seeing that, right. So the, uh, where it used to be that, uh, uh, I don't want to get myself in trouble here. I'm gonna make sure that I'm everyone knows I'm wearing my future commerce hat here. When I'm thinking about, uh, the types of businesses that have had interesting, uh, you know, press release and, um, you know, have actually launched products in the last few years. So let's look at two different examples. One would be Pepsi-Co, um, Pepsi launched a, uh, a direct to consumer marketplace, uh, called, uh, snacks.com, um, and a pantry shop, I believe. And, um, and their execution of pantry shop and snacks.com, uh, were very much focused on, first of all, neither of them use what I would consider to be like modern e-commerce software. Uh, it's not built on a stack that is recognizable. Um, and because of that, it looks like it has some challenges with maintaining growth.

Phillip:

Now, snacks has come along way. The pantry shop has not really evolved very much, uh, but those both launched in the summer and they were the result of a, you know, I would say, I'm just guessing here. Uh, this is what you would see of a typical, you know, e-commerce agency that launches something with a CPG that takes about a year and some change to come into fruition and being, and then it stagnates. It's great, press release, not much, uh, in the way of, um, iteration and improvement, right? Uh, uh, overtime, on the other hand, you have a business like Kraft Heinz whose entire press release was centered around the fact that they launched stores in Australia and in the UK, during COVID in as little as six weeks. And when you think about their ability to stand that up on something like Shopify, learn from it, have internalized team that can, uh, iterate and improve, uh, their learning more and more every day.

Phillip:

Uh, those stores look nothing like they did when they first launched. Uh, the merchandising is improving. Uh, the kitting and bundling is being evolved over time. Price points are kind of shifting around as they learn more about, you know, what's profitable. What's not what consumers want and what they don't. Um, and, and when you look at how that could mature, especially in a country, like, uh, especially in, in UK where they're going back into a third set of lockdowns as we record this now, um, the, the fact is that we need more options of, uh, of these types of marketplaces, which are selling direct to consumer than not. And if it takes you a year to be able to deliver that, uh, someone else's, someone else is more than willing to deliver it. And you know who that is, it's, it's more men in the middle, Rob it's it's you 10 years ago in 2010.

Phillip:

Uh, the promise of e-commerce was we're cutting out the middleman, right. But in 2020, it's middlemen all the way down. And we have door dash and we have grub hub, and we have like, there's in between you and the, and the actual, uh, the progenitor of the product is a delivery service and a career, and the last smile piece. And, uh, uh, so I, I think that in order for, I think they are doing that, I guess that's what I'm saying, the best in class, the ones who are gonna be successful are closing that gap. And they're able to launch things more quickly, learn from it quickly and adapt.

Rob:

Yeah, the it's it's interesting. The, the Pepsi examples, I don't know exactly how stax.com has done, but that is a major challenge that a brand like Pepsi has in launching a snacks.com is that a competitor and competitor, like mandolins is not going to want to list their products on snacks.com. So the, the there's a difference between a brand trying to launch a marketplace. That's, that's trying to capture category and like a door dash or a, uh, a drizzly like drizzly can list all the alcohols because they're not competing with people on their marketplace. Whereas snacks.com is never gonna be able to launch all the snacks. But another example that I like to cite that I really like is, um, the, uh, uh, flower company, um, King Arthur that used to be called King Arthur flour, and is now called they rebranded. And they're called King Arthur baking company.

Rob:

And they don't just sell their flowers direct to consumer. They also sell anything that you need to bake. So if you're a Baker, they become plans. Is that right? Yeah, exactly. Right. And, and, uh, and so that, that to me is, is a really innovative approach of, of capturing direct consumer demand. But we're seeing, we're seeing like a menagerie of ideas that are out there for innovative companies that are moving fast. The interesting thing is how relatively as a percentage basis, how few of the large companies are doing things like this yet. Um, so, so question for you, what do you think is holding back every single one of the fortune 2000 manufacturers from having a good, uh, agile fast moving direct to consumer strategy of some kind in, in, in execution today?

Phillip:

Oh, uh, but before, before I answer that, let me, let me come back to one point that you made that is another macro trend, uh, that I think is super important. And in the next two years, more brands or marketplaces than not, uh, I think that there is an opportunity to be, uh, to Cosell, uh, and cooperate and having greater share of wallet with a particular customer. If you are a particular type of business, you have more of an opportunity, uh, to identify, uh, the other types of products and share in the success of introducing and becoming a discovery mechanism for other brands in your ecosystem, who your customer would probably buy anyway. So why not share in the upside of that? I see more, uh, more marketplaces, um, that are not like what we, what we might've considered to be marketplace like an Amazon is, is, you know, a marketplace with a capital M what I'm talking about is a marketplace with a lowercase M uh, most more of the King Arthur, uh, variety, where there's an opportunity to sell the various accoutrement that isn't necessarily recognize this category expansion, uh, or becomes core competency for the business to be able to deliver, but is absolutely imperative for the customer to be able to have to, to get best use out of your product.

Phillip:

Um, w we saw this many years ago in apparel, I think we're going to see a lot more in, in every category in the future. Um, but to come back to your question, like what's holding back the, you know, the, the fortune 2000 or, uh, I think is what you said. Um, I think honestly, what's holding everybody back is a, there's a way to do things, right. And, uh, there's and that's, and, and, and that is it's process. And I think in some cases process, you can, you can process out tactics. It's very difficult to process out vision, and it's very, it's very difficult to process out strategy. You can create, you can create tactical game plans and playbooks that are effective processes that ensure some sort of tactical execution. It's very hard to be strategically. Uh, it's very, very difficult to do that in a way that communicates a cohesive vision across a range of offerings and products in a company that's where you need help.

Phillip:

Um, if I could toot our own horn, uh, that's what we at right point, uh, were just awarded from Forester as being capable of doing and the CX strategy wave. Um, and being able to think about all the ways that customers are engaging your products in, in every channel and how, how you can meet their expectations in those channels that are native to the channel, but also speak to them specifically as a customer. I think brands have a really difficult time, especially large ones, um, are so fractionalized and, uh, and siloed. It becomes really difficult to break down the walls between those silos that you can cooperate because everybody's competing for channel Rob, like everybody has a number to make. And, uh, even in smaller direct to consumer businesses, you see this play out and in a smaller scale, it's that, um, one, one growth in one area, uh, could come at the expense of another. And that's where, you know, cooperation could really the multiplier. It's just more difficult to do it. Uh, also have you ever met people? People are genuinely are, are tough to get to work cohesively. Uh, and, and when you, I don't know if that answers your question, that's my point.

Peter:

No, I mean, I just hop in, I think you just nailed it with that last statement, which is that at the end of the day, the biggest question we get from a, you know, from brands that are trying to figure things out, it always starts with people and with the organization and the challenges. And, you know, when you talked earlier about, um, you know, people needing to go native with these capabilities, but what each organization needs to struggle with is what does native mean? Does that actually mean I have an internal team, you know, and, and of all the pieces, their supply chain, as you talked about, there's, you know, there's all the fulfillment, there's actual digital marketing to consumers, which a lot of brands don't have, you know, so as you see how brands are approaching it again, are there macro trends of what you see happening in terms of the different approaches? Or is there one that, that you would advise more than another?

Phillip:

I think everybody, it's an excellent question. Peter, most, any one person that you talk to in a large consumer packaged goods company is going to say that there needs to be modernization and change. I don't know anybody that I've ever met that would say, you know, on their own that, uh, either changes impossible, uh, or it's not wanted, I think most everybody believes that they can, that they could get there the way that you get there. Uh, also itself has some of this digital roots. We, uh, some brands believe you can acquire change, right? So we've seen a number of that. There's, there's probably more M and a to come in that space. Uh, some believe that you can put a veneer over it and call that change. We've seen a lot of rebrands of, uh, you know, very, very popular, uh, especially in the healthcare space.

Phillip:

There's been, you know, sort of a millennial vacation of, uh, of, of, uh, consumer brands, especially in health and wellness, um, because they believed that well, and yeah, and it's everywhere. Uh, it's everywhere now. Um, I, I believe that, you know, there's some that believe they can build it internally and they, you know, they're probably more, uh, they probably believed that they could do that better than, uh, than they actually have the capability or the willingness to, to resource it internally to, to build it up. But, you know, if they, I think the truth lies somewhere in the center, um, change can come if you are invested in all of the above, uh, it takes sort of extraordinary and visionary leadership, but I think that you can, what I have seen, especially in the ones that have, uh, made the most impressive strides, uh, is it's a little bit of build it.

Phillip:

It's a little bit of bias. Um, and it's a little bit of a rebrand it if I had to think of one, uh, which, you know, full disclosure is a, is a client of ours and a past client, it's something digital and right point it's Clorox, Clorox has done a tremendous job of, uh, uh, you know, providing, um, you know, acquiring brands, uh, and especially in the wellness category, acquiring them and, and learning from them and, you know, folding that back in, and then also under the, the leadership of Jackson Jeyanayagam, who, uh, was formerly the, uh, I believe the chief marketing officer at boxed who has his roots in and direct to consumer and former, uh, Chipotle exec as well, um, really understands, uh, what modern brand is. And they're, they're starting to take the learnings that they had from acquisitions of brands, like [inaudible] next, which was like a family of brands in the wellness space.

Phillip:

And they've now launched objective, uh, and they've retooled objective, uh, for the gen X, uh, and the millennial customer, um, in the wellness space. So I think there are, there are folks out there who are doing all of the above, and they're applying, uh, they're applying a very corporate, very enterprise centric concepts, like instituting centers of excellence to make these things core to the company's culture, uh, to do that. But nonetheless, they're, they're doing it and I believe they're being successful. Um, and we could all, if, if they can do it, I think any other brand could, uh, I, I think it really just takes the right kind of leadership.

Peter:

Clorox is a great example. I agree. Yeah. So Philip, uh, to close, uh, um, I want you to, um, to share a secret, so pretend no one else was listening and, uh, and you know, you are having cocktails with, uh, a brand manufacturer leader. Who's like, I desperately need to, uh, improve my results somewhere that I haven't thought of yet. Um, where, where would you, where would you tell this person to,

Phillip:

Okay, uh, nobody's listening, you promised me theater, nobody's listening. Um, and this is, um, you know, here's, here's a couple of dirty secrets of e-commerce and I wish this weren't the case, but it's true. Uh, there are two tactical things that you can do to drive top line, um, make your website faster. I know that that sounds silly, and it sounds like obvious advice, but you'd be surprised, um, and send more email. So on two sides of that, one is valuing your customer's time. Let's abstract that a little bit. Okay. Valuing your customer's time. Number one, and number two, giving them something of value that will be purposeful and meaningful for their life and putting that in front of them, unabashedly over and over and over again, the cost, the, the folks who are not your customers will opt themselves out. And the ones who are your customers will hang on for dear life.

Phillip:

And there'll be with you every step of the way, what you learn out of those two things is the important takeaway. It's not just about making your site faster and sending more email. And I think that can be really a cynical take of like a tactical, uh, approach to trying to better your, your, your gross, you know, your, your gross sales in a particular channel, especially in digital commerce. Um, but you learn something out of that. Uh, the thing that you learn in making a website faster is either having the internal capability to implement, uh, a really complicated, uh, uh, technical and engineering capabilities quickly and repeatedly, because optimization is hard. Um, it requires forming hypothesis first, right? You have to form a hypothesis. I believe that this will make things faster and then testing that hypothesis, the application of the, of the scientific method.

Phillip:

Um, so I think that that's really beneficial and useful for especially digital commerce focused businesses. The other thing is being able to deliver content on a daily basis that is useful, and having that, that it's a super power, it's a super power to be able to, to deliver something that's really interesting and differential. And you certainly can become morally bankrupt over time and, and do this to a fault. But if you can learn how to tell the story of why a product is meaningful or, or would be meaningful to your customer, and you can do that five days a week and to keep opening it, you have something really special. And I think that, uh, most brands, uh, excuse their way out of doing those two things, because it's, they're hard. Um, and they require a lot of, it's a flywheel. It takes a lot of energy to get those, those two types of, uh, initiatives up and running, uh, in a continual basis and have it internal to the organization.

Phillip:

Um, but once you do the amount of energy that it takes to keep it going is minimal. Um, and that's why I think it's, if, if you promised me this was just between, you know, two to two people, no one else was listening, but that's what I would tell you. And it's less about the thing you're doing and more about the, the abstracted sort of it's, you're working a muscle group and you're developing an under underdeveloped muscle and you're gaining a capability along the way that I think serves every other area of the business really well.

Peter:

You're here. Well, since I've found out that you are up for spilling secrets, if I were, if you were again, talking to me at the bar, uh, spilling secrets, um, one, what would you be drinking? Um, and then secondly, uh, where would you point me in the world and in other markets where you feel like there's a really interesting opportunity or innovation to go after?

Phillip:

Uh, yeah, so, uh, tea, Earl gray, hot, uh, that's the, the star reference for you, captain Picard? Um, the let's see there is something that's happening, uh, that is not secret, but I think is really notable is that there's a, there's a growth, uh, digital first growth that's happening in emerging markets that is really important. And I think very, uh, it's, it's, under-covered, especially in retail trade and retail press, um, and it's leading to, uh, it, it will lead the future of, uh, international and digital commerce growth and adoption in both B2C and B2B for some of the largest brands in the world. Um, so when you think of, you know, we all think of P and G or Unilever, um, uh, uh, Pepsi Coca-Cola, we, we, you know, AB and Bev, what, what they all have in common, every one of them. And, and we could go into consumer health too, and talk about it.

Phillip:

They're all building marketplaces in emerging markets. Um, they are, uh, disintermediating, a traditional distributor and regional distributor infrastructure, and they're going and learning how to deploy, uh, B2B digital commerce initiatives and get adoption in like in, in, with huge success in South Africa and in, uh, South America and central America. And, uh, and in some cases, especially in consumer healthy, you look at, uh, uh, you know, large consumer health brands, some of which we've worked with, uh, really probably shouldn't talk about Europe is a, a massive, uh, opportunity here too. Um, what's really interesting about them doing that in emerging markets and not necessarily in the West, uh, uh, or, or, or is, is that there's one, there's less sort of regulation. And I think that's one really important part of it. Uh, I think they can go, uh, director more direct to the consumer, uh, or beat a small C or B to small B, uh, where, where the business is not necessarily a, you know, a large corporation or a chain or, or a drugstore chain.

Phillip:

Uh, but it's a, you know, if you're a beverage brand it's going direct to the bar, uh, going direct to the restaurant and allowing them to self-service and rather than having salespeople on, on routes rather than having people, you know, in person that are, uh, you know, having to, you know, manage that inefficiency of, of, uh, of the actual distribution, uh, allowing the self-service to happen for a more digitally native populace. And, uh, the populace wants this. This is what people want is they want to be able to place their order. They want to be able to discover new items. They want to understand what their credit terms are. They want to see their contract price, uh, they want, and they want to be able to place that order get in and get out. Uh, we have that on some scale in, in the West for large corporations who have built out purchasing portals and, uh, and self-service B2B, we have it in manufacturing.

Phillip:

Uh, what we are, what I am seeing is this happening on the, on the CPG side and in emerging markets. And I think that's a tremendous area for growth, especially if you happen to be, you know, uh, related to the, the tools of the trade for e-commerce, um, what I would call the operating system. And e-commerce, you know, in the gold rush, it's really good to be in a pickax and shovel business. And I think that if you are in a, if you, if you are in services or if you're, uh, on the agency side, um, and you're thinking about where, uh, an area of specialization could be, or if you're an operator at one of these, uh, companies, uh, if you want to look for where the highest amount of growth and looking to the teams and where you could position yourself within it to be, to learn the most and have the most raps, uh, regional deployments of these, uh, B2B and distributor, uh, uh, digital commerce efforts in emerging markets, I think is the place to look. So keep your eye on that.

Peter:

That is really cool. Um, because those learnings, in addition to creating more revenue, more direct, I kind of feel like almost D to B, you know, it's, uh, I think that that's really fascinating and that, uh, those brands are going to want to bring those learnings back to the bigger markets. Uh, it's, it's inevitable that, that, um, those digital capabilities, but as you said, what a, what a great testing ground for those kinds of relationships, that's really fascinating.

Phillip:

And the, and the thing you learn along the way is, uh, you're, you're, the stakes are quite low because there's virtually zero competition. When you're, when you're implementing this, you perfect the technology over time, right? So they're hardening technology, they're getting better at deploying technology, uh, they're mobile and digitally native, right? So they're mobile first and digitally native, and that's how they're working all of their customer adoption as well. So their ideal customer profile in, in their buyer is a digitally native mobile first customer. Uh, and so that's who they're going after once they've learned that in an emerging market, I think, uh, bringing that to, uh, you know, to larger markets I think is, uh, will be much easier. Um, you know, why, why risk adhere? Uh, also, you know, we're seeing some things happen, especially in beverage where, uh, you know, there's, there's rule and regulation, especially around, uh, alcoholic beverages, uh, that I think are, are things that might stand to change. And, you know, the next four to eight years, depending on how, uh, state governments and federal governments, uh, decide on, on certain things. So having those pieces in place to be able to roll out more of the drizzly type businesses that are again, you know, first-party, and not necessarily coming from a third party, I think would be really interesting as well. I think this is what they're, they're waiting for. Uh, if I had to venture to guess,

Peter:

Or living into your name, a future commerce, uh, and thank you so much for letting me drag all your secrets or some of them, at least out of Phillip has been a real pleasure to have you on. Thank you so much.

Phillip:

Yeah. Thanks for giving me the opportunity. Thank you, Rob. Thanks, Peter. And, uh, Hey, if you, if you are looking for this kind of information on a weekly basis, you can go get it at future commerce.fm/subscribe. It is a must. Listen. Thanks. Thank you so much.

Peter:

Thanks to Philip for being so free with the secrets. Don't tell him I shared them with you. Now, if you've got some value from them, don't be shy. Share it with your friends. Did non-competitive companies or leave a review wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for being part of our team.