Episode 63

How to perform while you transform

Kate Schardt, Sr Director of Global Insights at PepsiCo reveals what made her and PepsiCo’s insights transformation journey so successful, how to manage change at scale and at pace, and why, if you are going to be a pirate instead of join the Navy, it’s good to have access to the Navy’s resources.

Ryan Barry: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this episode of Inside Insights. And season's greetings to you and your family and your friends and your loved ones and your fur babies. And anything else in your life that you love. Hi, Patricia. Hi, Kelsey. 

Patricia Montesdoeca: Hey everybody!

Ryan: Before we talk about today's episode, I want to fill you in on a conversation that we were having before we hit record because it's the end of the year. Uh, one of my colleagues, Ally Schaefer, shout out to Ally, posted on her Instagram Friday. I love the time of year when you have your year end to do list.

Ryan: She blurred out all the things. Thank you for the infosec compliance Ally. That was really nice of you. And then I did one and I, and it was, it's so cathartic to think of the absolute fewest things you absolutely need to get done before you can shut down and turn your brain off between, uh, you know, roughly the 22nd and January 3rd, depending on how your religion, beliefs, family, company, dynamics all lay out. Anyways, I checked one of them off my list today, which means I have five things left. And I hope that you make a year end list. Patricia, you're going to make one. 

Patricia: I'm going to make one. And one that I just checked off literally was my second hire that I just told you about.

Patricia: So that's one thing. Check. They start January 9th. Yes. And what's really interesting is what you said, ‘before I turn my brain off.’ So I was going to include some personal stuff on there, but the personal stuff is a different part of my brain.

Patricia: I don't want to turn off. I enjoy that part. I want to turn my work brain off. 

Ryan: Yeah, I think that's, I think that's, that's exactly right. Like I'm going to do family stuff. I'm going to switch into dad mode. I'll probably wear sweatpants for two and a half straight weeks. Um, but at least well, you get the nice weather.

Ryan: And folks, I don't know if you're going away this holiday. I'm going to be here in Massachusetts, but, uh, every, every winter I go skiing somewhere. So I'm chasing a different type of sunshine view. I want to go down mountains that are filled with snow as quickly as my body can take me down.

Ryan: But what I was going to say is dopamine is a great prerequisite for chilling out. So I wish you all the best finishing your year. Um, and, whether we catch you before you've finished that to-do list or on the other side of it, uh, today is the season finale of this season of Inside Insights, and it's a really important episode with Kate Shardt.

Ryan: Kate leads the transformation efforts at PepsiCo. She's been in that role for five years. And she is gonna say a lot in this episode and share a lot, and she's gonna understate the impact that she and her team have made. Because it's been significant and I've had the pleasure of being part of it, um, on good days and in bad, and also working with Kate through that time, and I've always been struck by their commitment to long term partnership, but also the outcome that they had in mind.

Ryan: So this is the story of how PepsiCo has transformed their insights organization over the course of the last five years. 

Patricia: Let's do it. 

[Music transition to interview]


Ryan Barry: Hi, Kate. How are you? 

Kate Schardt: Hey, good. How are you doing? Almost end of the year. 

Ryan: This is your third time on this podcast. Do you know that? Is it really? Well, one time you and Babita did it and didn't hit record. 

Kate: Oh, correct. I was going to say, I remember doing it twice. 

Ryan: Yeah. And so Babita, for those of you who remember season one, Babita was my founding co host uh, I'm really excited to talk to, talk to you today, Kate. This is going to be fun. In full disclosure, everybody, Kate and I have actually already been talking for 30 minutes. We just realized that. For the second scheduled podcast meeting in a row, we were about to run out of time.

Ryan: And so we could let you folks be at our conversation. Um, so I want to start our conversation with a reflection that I had last night. It's the first time I met you to today. Okay. And you might not remember this. Do you remember the first time we met? 

Kate: I do. I was here in Purchase where I am.

Ryan: No, no, no.

Ryan: It was way before that. Really? You were working in the Global Snacks group. Yeah. This is, this is going to illustrate the from to that we're going to talk about today. Okay. Kate was working on a, a snacks positioning project, and Global Snacks at the time, and Kate called me, like many Insights people that I meet, and you were an Insights manager at that time.

Ryan: And I meet a lot of insights managers this way. Uh, it's sad that it's still happening eight years later, but Kate called and said, I have to do a 12 country claims test and I need an answer tomorrow. And what the hell? And that's how we met. 

Kate: Yeah. 

Ryan: We went from how the hell am I going to answer a 12 country global claims test to an exponential ecosystem eight years later.

Ryan: Um, and, uh, well, congratulations. I mean, what a cool journey. Uh, you have a lot of bruises to show from it, which we'll discuss. But you know, I want to take everybody on a from to journey because I think what PepsiCo has been doing in the last several years under your leadership, a lot of people strive to do.

Ryan: And so hopefully we can educate you folks, whether you work in a large business like Pepsi or a midsize business, I think there's learnings for you in this conversation. And it's really important that you lean in given all that's about to happen with data. So let's start, let's start at the beginning.

Ryan: You created Ada. Yes. Tell us about the inspiration of Ada and what Ada is today. In practice. 

Kate: Yeah, so the idea was that we should come up with some kind of clever way to brand the overall. Transformation to get people to sort of galvanize behind. We're going to do something different and kind of catch people's attention and have something that's sort of sticky.

Kate: And also, I think, you know, something ownable, um, which has some practicalities around, you know, potentially, if you have more than one supplier, if you have one name internally, that kind of gives you some flexibility, right? So, um, Um, so we were trying to come up with names and around that time, I have, uh, twin girls that are 13, but back then they were much younger.

Kate: Yeah. I want to say like school age, definitely the age where we would read books together. And, um, I remember reading about Ada Lovelace who, um, It was one of those like, uh, learn about famous women in history, and I hadn't heard of her story before, but she's really now been credited with the thinking behind modern day, um, computing and learning algorithms.

Kate: And so it's like from the 18th or. 19th century, um, she was a mathematician. And so her thinking really is what kind of, um, inspired a lot of what we do today with technology. And so, uh, so we thought that was kind of cool to have the name of the platform be after our kind of patron saint, Ada Lovelace.

Kate: And, um, at that time too, it was kind of becoming trendy to champion sort of, sort of forgotten heroes in history. So that, you know, it was, it felt very fresh and cool at the time. 

Ryan: All the research around implicit biases, gender, if you go back, like there's a diagnostic that Harvard puts out and it's like the Delta between math.

Ryan: Yeah, right. And so Ada Lovelace proved bullshit on that one a long time ago. Right, yes, yes. 

Kate: So her father was Lord Byron. Uh, her, her story is very fascinating. she's definitely like a person who straddles both those worlds.

Kate: And that also was an interesting inspiration for us, right? Because we kind of early on, uh, all agreed that creative and ad testing was what we wanted to focus on first. The first job to be done is like, how do we really up our game in terms of how we help marketers leverage the consumer to make better advertising?

Kate: And so that idea of the art and the science just, um, Felt like a really interesting way to think about how do we brand and get people, behind this, this movement. So, so that was really the idea behind it. And, um, it's so embedded now that people will talk about their ADA scores. I was just at an offsite with one of our big sectors here in New York, like a week or two ago.

Kate: And the, the number of times people talked about. And then it performed well in ADA. And it's just so funny how it's like completely stuck now 

Ryan: yeah, yeah, yeah. Because so we'll talk about today's current state. I remember, uh, at least. 30 times in the first year of us all working together to try to create ADA being told we were all crazy and it was going to fail miserably.

Ryan: Uh, and maybe we were a little crazy, but you have a fun metaphor about pirates. I'd love you to share it with everybody. 

Kate: Oh yeah. So I have to, I have to give the credit to Steve jobs, but he made the quote, it's more fun to be a pirate than join the Navy, which. My boss, Stephan added, but with the Navy's resources, because that's kind of what we do.

Kate: Right. And, um, my strange little part of our world and insights is really driving these strategic partnerships and really thinking about how do we work with different partners and work differently. So, like, when Stephan joined the organization. We had already been starting to sort of tinker and we've done that work with you.

Kate: And we're like tinkering around with this idea of like, there's got to be better methodologies and better ways to do this work and coming from, uh, I spent the bulk of my early career at BASES in the Nielsen organization. So really deep craft understanding innovation insights and forecasting. So, you know, I had a lot of experience around what were the pitfalls and research and um, so I had a lot of passion around how can make a better widget if you will. And then, you know, married to that was also the ways of working. So when I started at PepsiCo, um, I had been working on previous big global customers, like Unilever, P& G. And so I was always the one in the room presenting to the customer, right?

Kate: Whenever we'd show up, people would be like, whose day are you ruining today? Because we'd always come in and be like. Basie's does not recommend you launch this product. And, um, so like I kind of early on was like, well, I don't really want the BASES's people presenting to my team.

Kate: I'll just do it myself. You know? So like kind of early on… 

Ryan: When you first went corporate, that's what you were feeling. 

Kate: Yeah, exactly. Then like, and I could add a lot of value by being like the expert in the room. And so the idea of like, okay, we make better tools and we find a way of working that allows people to have more of a seat at the table.

Kate: Like, remove the middleman, right? When I was actually thinking about making the switch to come to Vapscobe, I, my only hesitation was, like, some of the people I'd work with, some of my customers It seemed like their jobs were mostly project management.

Kate: And like, that wasn't really that interesting to me. Right. But, um, but the idea of like, well, I can bring all that expertise to the table. because I had such a depth of expertise, I could really influence decision making in real time. Right. Versus the old way I used to work my old customers, I would have, uh, you know, done the formal presentation.

Kate: We would have had the follow ups you leave. You had no idea how the decisions were actually being made. Whereas now I could be right there and have that influence. And so those kind of germs of ideas had been already bubbling when Stephan came in. And when he saw his work, we were doing around concept tests like a new concept test.

Kate: He's like, this is great. Let's do it for everything. And let's find a new partner to do it with. So that's really what started us down the path of the relationship with you guys, which was, you know, we can't. Easily do this within existing industry practices, because there's just a lot of barriers to making change, like, you know, um, transparency and breaking apart consulting from data and results like all of these things, like really disrupted the way things were done for so long. Right. And so you can't, it's not easy to do that with the same partners. I guess it's the point. 

Ryan: Yeah, it is. And particularly across the network of PepsiCo. I mean, what. Some like 3000 marketers, 600 insights people. Is that roughly the right math? 

Kate: Yeah. I think it might be more now, but yeah. 

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah, so think of the change, right, from all the different countries, all the different categories, the complexities of that. So, I want to spend some time on the journey, um, and I want to ask you about Ada, but before I do, there's something you said that I would love for you to add a little color to.

Ryan: So, the fact that you learned from your experience at Nielsen, And then took to your Pepsi job, like I want to be the one who has the answer. I don't want to sit and let somebody else present. I find that fascinating because I think a lot of people struggle with that. Um, you know, when I got into, when I got into the game, I think a lot of Insights managers at the time were procurement managers.

Ryan: We're going back a while now, but. Yeah, yeah. Procuring a study to then have somebody else come and do. Today, a lot of folks are like, Oh, but if I use technology to do my job, well, then I'm not going to be strategic. And I think you'll explain some, some data that suggests otherwise. I had a guest on from Clorox last week.

Ryan: Who's like, was using software to do his job before it was cool. And he's super sick. So I guess, how do you reconcile, like by being more hands on you're able to be more strategic for folks who might be like, how the hell is that? That, that, that seems like it's a contradiction because I think some people actually feel that way.

Kate: Yeah. Um, I hadn't actually heard that kind of tension surface before. But what's interesting is that the business, our business moves really, really fast. And I'm convinced that having worked with lots of CPG companies in my past life, that the reason that PepsiCo culture is so fast is because our purchase cycles are so short.

Kate: So like any kind of business impacts are happening much faster clip than say, like, if you work on laundry detergent, which has a much longer purchase cycle than a bag of chips and soda. Right. So, um, so there's always this pressure to move fast. Like even if you're on time, you're late. It's kind of the way the culture feels here.

Kate: And so the unlock of being able to give people software that lets them get the insights faster. Like for many of our analysts was like a trade off totally willing to make, right. Because, um, because it was kind of a constant friction of like putting pressure on your suppliers, trying to get them to move more quickly.

Kate: And so by going to a software led solution, you're kind of eliminating that stress. Like, you know, we recently did that from two video. I think, um, we showed you, I showed you. Yeah. Go back and remember the old days. Like, okay. So we. Painted this scenario is a very real scenario. It's like Friday. It's 4 p. m.

Kate: You need results and you, you know, you're behind track because every project's always delayed, right? Like, you're like, we got to get this ad done. We've got to be in the Super Bowl or whatever, you know, we've got to get it done. We've got to get it done. You know, in the old world, you'd be like trying to call your vendor and help me get this in a field.

Kate: Like we need results. And, you know, whereas now, um, you just go on the platform, drop the ad in, answer a few questions, hit go, and then you can watch the results come in over the weekend and nine times out of 10, you're gonna have results by the time you're in on Monday. So that's like an amazing change.

Kate: Right. And so, um, so for our, most of our users, like they really like find that unlock valuable because it allows them to kind of be the hero, like look how fast we can get back and get the learning that I do think there is a tension though, when the news is not good. So because 

Ryan: Yeah, let's talk about this.

Ryan: I love that you bring that up because it's real. 

Kate: Yeah. Yeah like you have to help work people through that because my training at BASES I spent a lot of time doing that right and so a lot… 

Ryan: ..of bad news yeah. 

Kate: Yeah but um but when you're used to kind of and I remember the first time I actually did an ad test when I was in global snacks.

Kate: I was remember I was like, I'm glad I'm not having to present this one because, you know, because it's like, there's something about advertising is more emotional and because it's more creative oriented, like, it just seems to create like more attention for people. And so to have to be the one to kind of guide the Okay, it's not as good as we thought.

Kate: And here's why. And what are we going to do about it like it takes time to train people to kind of learn how to get that level of resiliency of dealing with that kind of thing. So, um, so I think that's probably one of the bigger hesitations we saw when we were transitioning people. Um, and we learned.

Kate: pretty quickly through failure, right? Like we kind of, um, learned that we have, you have to have strong support system that sits behind. And so like, you know, I don't know, three years ago, we started investing in the teams that we have in India and Mexico to provide more support, um, for that kind of, sometimes you need a friend, like sometimes… 

Ryan: …you need somebody else to be… 

Kate: …the bad guy.

Kate: Yeah, exactly. And like what we also realize is that the expertise that you're bringing from the market. So eliminating the friction around, get this in the field and get top line results immediately in your hands is amazing. Um, however, you're the expert in your market and in your, your brand, right? 

Kate: So what we would lost going to that is. Having somebody who has sat and looked at, you know, we have 6, 000 plus ads right now, right on the system. Somebody who actually has the capacity to have looked at those ads and really understand that has that deep subject matter expertise. We realized that like we kind of lost something so investing in that, um, over the last couple of years has really brought us, I think the right.

Kate: Approach. I call it like hybrid working like so you don't you don't want to centralize everything because then if you're it's 4 p. m. and you're like, oh, I need to feel this, but I have to wait for somebody in Hyderabad to do it. That's not going to work. Right. Um, and like, a lot of times they self service fine.

Kate: Like, you don't need additional support. And I think that's going to increase as technology gets better and better. But conversely, um, you know, sometimes you need support. Sometimes you just want to say, am I interpreting this the right way? I mean, increasingly we have our consulting teams, they are working more on advanced analytics, so meta analysis.

Kate: So take, uh, the last 25 ads we've tested for Gatorade, deep dive, understand what's working, what isn't. How can I get smarter and, you know, use that as a core input into my brief. So before you even start development, this go around, you've got like a much stronger understanding of, you know, what's working and what isn't.

Kate: So I think that's where we're going to continue to see how we shift those kind of investments. I mean, maybe because PepsiCo is so fast moving that, like, The pulse of the business isn't, they, they're not really concerned about strategic being strategic and maybe that's, but it, yeah, it's a lot like we got to go, we got to go.

Ryan: Yeah, I've said this to you a bunch of times over the years, like I have in my job, I've had the pleasure to work with a lot of major companies and, you know, Pepsi is one of the biggest, obviously Pepsi is a major customer of ours, but like one of the things about Pepsi is it does move fast, but like actually progresses against an agenda. And I, and I give your entire, yourself, all the rest of your leaders across the globe, a lot of credit because it's easy to put plans on paper. It's hard to execute behavior change. Yeah. And what y'all have done, uh, against kind of conventional wisdom, it's incredible.

Ryan: And I think that's a testament to PepsiCo. PepsiCo moves fast, breaks things, iterates and innovates fast. It's. Yeah, well, I like it. 

Kate: Ramon, our CEO often talks about like, we need to perform while we transform, like you have to do both. And so this getting the right global local combination is really important because the business teams are very focused on perform, right?

Kate: Like, so they're very much like we need to get. The business where the business needs to be, whereas the global team, like we're much more here to try to drive the transformation. And so you have to find, find space in between those things. 

Kate: So I think I would also say like the thing that really surprised me when I first came in to the organization, having worked with other global clients was just how decentralized and fragmented the company was like, and the standards were completely inconsistent, particularly with ad testing, like every, even like the same brands were doing different samples, every test.

Kate: You can't make a meta analysis off of Swiss cheese data. You can't have a standard, uh, that you have across the globe in terms of what is, what is effective advertising, right? If you have kind of everyone choosing their own adventure in terms of who they want to talk to, right?

Kate: That's not, that doesn't fit with how brands grow science. Like, you have to have consistency and you need to talk to a relatively broad sample. Like And coming from more of like an innovation background, I just could not understand why we had allowed all this like narrow targeting in the sample. Um, and so that was probably like the biggest challenge we had in the early days was, um, when you talk to a narrow sample, your scores are naturally going to be higher just by virtue of the population is less diverse.

Kate: And so when you brought in the sample, the scores go down. So that created a lot of friction. Because in the system we had previous, like, let's be honest. It was easy to quote unquote beat, meaning like statistically, it was not that hard to get a green. So when we moved to the new approach, the new methodology, we built it very much in mind with saying we need to correct, we need to get to standardization, but we also need to correct for the analytics, not being strong enough.

Kate: Like we weren't, we weren't delivering about a good enough advertising basically. So that definitely created a lot of friction, like when we moved people to the new system, but. And so those first like three years were so hard because it was like, you know, there's no substitution for the hard work is my experience.

Kate: So you have to just work it, which is okay. This so and so in this division doesn't want to use this tool because they don't like the results. So you have to go and sit with them. You have to show them and explain to them. This is the method. This is why. Uh, typically it's like when they thought the ads were good, and now they're not in the new system.

Kate: You have to kind of work it emotionally work them through. Here's why you're seeing weaker performance. These are the areas of opportunity. And then what we found is by the time you could get them then to test. Like the next round of ads, when they would get a good score, then it was like, they were over it.

Kate: So, but like, yeah, basically we had to do this process over and over and over again. Like, and my team got really good and really efficient at running it because it was like, okay, we know this play like, but it still took a lot of time and a lot of effort because you have, you have to go talk to those 600, you know, people in those 4,000 marketers at some point.

Kate: You have to, you just have to get a room with them and work. It has been my experience. 

Ryan: Yeah, and even like as much as you do, like mass comms on this sort of stuff, it is those moments of, of anxiety, of stress. So it's “is my baby ugly?” Those are the moments where change either lives or dies. And, and, you know, there's a lot of gold in what you've been saying.

Ryan: I mean, I think the first thing is, you know, in the case of PepsiCo in internalizing, uh, in, in disintermediating value between buying data. And getting help, uh, a brand, a lot of brands struggle with. And so therefore they stay with the legacy way because the legacy way is set up. As, as Stephan always says, set up to perpetuate enterprise silos, because that's the way the staffing model is.

Ryan: In your case, you have on demand talent that can be a friend. Um, and then I think the change management, I mean, I think one of the things that you and I both know, but others probably don't is when you're driving a transformation. It's easy to quit. Yeah. And there was a lot of times I think in our early journey where I remember thinking like, what the hell did I sign us up to?

Ryan: And you were thinking the same thing. Like, this isn't going to work. And, and I think commitment to like, Kate, Kate talks about strategic partnership. I want to let y'all know for all y'all listening, Kate doesn't talk about strategic partnership when she's looking for a price. K is strategic partnership and strategic partnership is like commitment to the long game, shared end goals, ability to pragmatically work through friction.

Ryan: And we've been through a lot. Uh, I mean, we're about to tell you some like cool data points and rosy outcomes, but like, yeah, that doesn't shit to get here. And you're welcome everybody else. Cause now we've like turnkey to a lot of this stuff, right? Like, wouldn't you agree? 

Kate: Yeah, for sure. And, uh, you know, I think Stephan kind of early days often would talk about the partnership is like a marriage and, you know, it's a long term commitment.

Kate: And I think that was really smart that he had that foresight coming in as an entrepreneur, you know, like that. Because you're inevitably going to hit problems you didn't anticipate and like, on the one hand, it's like really fun because you're like, wow, we're like going to do something really different and challenge convention.

Kate: And I kind of have a little bit of that pirate rebellion spirit of like, but can't we do this better? Can't we be smarter? Can't we be more creative than this, you know, but that, you know, so that's the fun part, but then you inevitably hit snags, things get delayed. In our culture, like I said, if you're on time, you're late.

Kate: If you go back on our original roadmap, I think we were insanely delusional. 

Ryan: Like we thought we'd have like a hundred tools by now. 

Kate: Yeah. And we were like, we're going to have like all these tools and we're going to do it in like two years. And like, that was insane.

Kate: And it, you know, ended up taking a lot longer in part, because we underestimated the amount of. Work the change management was going to require. And then, a lot of things where you when you're being disrupted, you can't always look around the corner and know something's going to go wrong or whatever.

Kate: And I think that breaking out the black box like I coming from an expert led kind of experience. I was , uh, shocked at how some of the things that I know are industry issues, like, would work. Yeah. Yeah. really freak people out, like you can have two data points that are not statistically significant It's like, yeah, how did you guys not know that?

Kate: But you know, I think because like, but if you don't work in an agency, you don't really know how the sausage is made. And so there's things like that where like we learn pretty quickly, oh, we need to redesign the visualization of this because it's kind of misleading. And, you know, it's something I would have done manually in my old days.

Kate: I would have done, looked at things in different ways and then figured out how to explain it to the customer. Um, whereas now we're just giving the data to the people directly. So we have, you have to like push to innovate even harder. So like, I remember when we had that problem, we went to the product team.

Kate: So your product team, our product team research expert,, on Zappi and said, look, this is the problem and we have to find a way to solve it. And what was so cool is they came back with like, and me being a total nerd because I'm from the, you know, from this world, I just thought it was so clever the way they kind of revamped the reporting so that it's intuitive and statistically sound.

Kate: And it was like, okay, so like, that's the kind of thing where it was really hard to deal with that because people are emotional when it comes to this kind of data and they lose trust pretty quickly. Yes. So you feel this sense of like the world is going to burn down around you. Yes. And. This like redesign that we had to do, I think we'd already, we were like a year into launching it. So it was like..

Ryan: That's right. It was already kind of rolled out. We had done market mix correlations. We had done a lot at that point. 

Kate: So yes, it was really scary when it's like, Oh, something's not working. Are we going to lose all of that hard work?

Kate: Like that was the thing I was so worried about because, um, it's just so much work to get it out. But but we got through that and it took a while so then when we went to transition everyone from the version one of the version two, then it was like, no, no, we can't go through this change management again.

Kate: And you're like, Guys, we have to be able to find ways to be a little bit more resilient here, you know, because we want to continuously improve. Like that was always one of the core parts of the mission, right? With Ada, it's like, we, one of the reasons why we were in this position, that analytics were weak, we were basically flip a coin, you're going to pass the test.

Kate: Is because there's such a institutionalized, not just at the, you know, supplier, but also within the organization of people don't like change in corporate environments. 

Kate: So, um, so we're still trying to figure that way forward. But I'm convinced that if we can get the design, right, we can figure out how to bake expertise in, in ways that make the reporting intuitive and clear, and then can overcome some of these things that You know, in my old world, I would have just handled it as a customer success person.

Ryan: Yeah. And I think it's really interesting. Like I can tell within five minutes of meeting someone in a corporate insights department, if they've worked at an agency. Uh huh. Yeah. And I always think like, how do you codify what you learn from dealing with customers all day and you know, data issues, reporting issue, crazy bosses, whatever.

Ryan: And I, I, I really think like there, there needs to be better enablement and training and obviously like Sarah and the rest of the folks on your team do a really good job. And one of the things PepsiCo does that a lot of insights departments don't do, we're sitting here talking about tools and technology.

Ryan: PepsiCo invests an immense amount of money, time, and thinking into people development. Yeah. People into a new world and expect them to figure it out. Yeah, yeah. So I think, you know, like, people, process, stuff's all, stuff's all linked. I think the other thing, like, the move from testing to learning, meta analysis is a big step.

Ryan: But one of the things I think we've, I think we've come a long way, and there's, obviously we can talk about the future for a little bit, but like, how many times are we going to really hold it to the trend line or the norm? And I think one of the things we've built with Ada is it's always improving. The databases are constantly refreshing their dynamic because the context of comparison matters, not last year it said this, and I'm like, well, this is a better answer this year.

Ryan: Would you rather have a better answer or would you rather be stuck? 

Kate: Exactly. And intuitively, it makes sense that what got you here won't get you there, right? Like what was effective, creative two years ago is, I think, you know, pre-pandemic like the world is rapidly evolving. So it would make sense that our understanding of what makes something effective is going to evolve as well.

Kate: Right. And, um, when we started this adventure, we had to very practically, you know, test ads. We had ROI metrics for us. So we're talking about finished film tend to be our better ads. And we were like, we're just gonna start with our own. We're gonna create our own databases. And it was like, very pragmatic.

Kate: It was like, really, we didn't have another option. So we created a brand new tool. But what's been so amazing about the norms part of this relationship is that we realized as we started to roll it out that having a non black box norm is super powerful because. We knew that part of the reason the previous approach was giving us lots of green, like false greens, was because there was like, you know, when your database gets really, really big, there's a lot of crap in it.

Kate: Like, there's a lot of bad advertising in the market.

Ryan: Yeah, there's a lot of shit. Absolutely. 

Kate: Yeah, so this like idea of we can curate. Our norms and like it's something long term. We're working on from a resourcing perspective. Make sure we've got folks on my team who are just thinking about that. Right. And we've done a fair bit of testing of, you know, of other ads that, you know, either are in categories that we compete in or even just for inspiration.

Kate: Like if we see ads like a Nike ad or a Dove ad that we want to better understand how consumers are responding to it. Like we're not limited to just looking at the world from our category view. And so that's been a really cool learning that we've gotten around norms. And so, yeah, so that's an area of continuous improvement for sure.

Ryan: It is. And also like a lot of, I was at a CMO conference, I don't know, five, six weeks ago, and I was running these workshops on like, how do you know if you're customer centric, actually. And you know, one thing that you know this, but I don't know that a lot of other brands are thinking about this is who owns the data?

Ryan: How do you connect the data? And I think particularly as we enter into a AI future, right? Yeah. Knowing your data, owning your data, having control of it. Yeah. Advantage. And a lot of businesses aren't thinking that way. 

Kate: Yeah. I, the thing that you, we know from early in understandings of, um, what are some of the watchouts with the generative AI is like, it can give you very confident wrong answers, right?

Ryan: Very good at being incredibly wrong. 

Kate: I see a lot of potential with things like the way we do meta analysis or even just the base reporting, like. That having a model that can really create a human like story is going to be incredibly valuable at speeding up our ability to do our work, but I don't think it eliminates the need for you to look at it, you know, and figure out is this right?

Kate: Because it's probably going to get some things wrong. And then there's probably some layer of nuance that. Is difficult to train the system, but it's just going to help make things go faster, make things easier. Right. And so that's kind of what I see is really low hanging potential fruit for us in this industry is like, you know, um, in my view is always you start with the problem and then back into the solution.

Kate: I think that watch out on Gen AI for me is that I have a number of suppliers now coming these different ideas and stuff and you're like, okay, but it's an interesting application to experiment with. In some cases, but it's not necessarily like you're not solving a problem. I actually need to solve right now, you know. 

Ryan: So yeah, that's always the thing in business.

Ryan: You need to prioritize problems and solve them. And if you don't have a problem, well, what's the point of solving it? I mean, my view is data. Data is important. L. L. M. S. will read and sound assertive, whatever they have, but We want to learn new things from consumers. We want to learn what we know. We want to scale the best thinking we've got across the organization.

Ryan: And you've done a lot, Ada, you have rich, clean, harmonized data. Yeah. As you said, the smartest person in your org codifying how to look at a meta analysis versus a super bowl spot. Well, then it's an enablement thing. Um, it's a scale thing particularly. And I think where the watch out for me is we saw this with digital advertising where the cost of production was low.

Ryan: And so thinking about how you could bring voice to consumer in wasn't, it was an afterthought end up with vanity metrics and clickstream data. And I think PepsiCo was one of the pioneers of doing meta analysis. It was Gatorade, right? Like actually learning what works. But think about as cost of production goes down, we don't want to run into the same trap where like, we're not going to think about what consumers know, we're not going to go ask them things and learn how they feel when they do things.

Ryan: So, so to me, that's what excites me, but it doesn't, it's not AI. AI is a form of tapping the potential of a state of mind. Like, that's what it really is for me. 

Kate: Yeah, so an example, I don't think it's, it's not Gen AI, which is regular AI, like we… 

Ryan: Regular old boring AI. 

Kate: Yeah, like we need to have a better way to tag our assets, that's something that I have a problem with and there's technology that can solve that.

Kate: Right? Um, so that's kind of an example of that. 

Ryan: Absolutely. Okay. So I have 2 more questions for you. Okay. So we talked about the journey. I want to end with where you are now and where you're going. But in the journey is a woman who was at BASES. on an insights team, thrust into the deep end of a transformation.

Ryan: I remember it. Now you're running the entire transformation and platform for one of the best marketing organizations, biggest companies on the planet with the most iconic work. How did you transform yourself as you had to innovate this and get through to where you are now? Where, let's face it, you manage a very important asset, P& L and capability for an organization that you drove the creation of as well through multiple technology partners and everything else.

Ryan: So how did you have to kind of work through that transition personally? I imagine it was fascinating. 

Kate: Yeah, well, I would say that when I started on the journey, I would almost describe myself as like a reluctant entrepreneur, like, so definitely I had some seeds of that sort of pirate energy. Um, but I felt very exposed at the beginning, like, because it was high visibility.

Kate: And the first time I met with Stephan, I'm pretty sure he said something like, this is a lot riding on you, better get it right, or something like that. You should ask him about it. 

Kate: He did it very purposely to like, underline the seriousness of like what we were about to go do, but it felt very like if I felt like a bit exposed in a way, and like, this is going to be really hard and a lot of people who are like, what are you doing?

Kate: We don't want this. You know, and what I found along the way, like. Is actually a lot of people are really kind and caring and like want to do their jobs well, they want to lean into this stuff. Right. And like, um, I've got this orientation with my team. I always say, like, we're from global. We're here to help.

Kate: Like, and I know that that's not what people immediately think when they get on a call with you. They are like, Oh, God, where we go. But I think when you orient people around. We're here to solve problems. We're here to help. We're here to support. And you get the value prop, right? Like you are giving them something meaningful that helps them feel like a hero and doing their job better.

Kate: Then it actually goes better than you think. And when, in like, when you develop strong partnerships with your leadership in the business. It's like, when you have, and it's the same with the partnership with you guys, right, when you have a problem, you have to bring the problem together and have trust that you can solve it together, right?

Ryan: And assume intent that both parties are actually not trying to switch each other over and actually constructively trying to do that. 

Kate: Exactly. Exactly. So I definitely became a lot more agile working in this environment and, to the degree of like, I was, you know, I was pretty good at like project management as a core part of my job, um, prior to being met and, but you go from like, I have a pretty well prescribed.

Kate: You know, rollouts, due dates, all this stuff to like, Oh, God, I don't, I mean, every day you come in, it's new problems. And like, increasingly, as you become more senior, I think that's just generally what it is to be a senior leader, all the problems come to your door. 

Ryan: Um, so, I always say to people, when you're in senior management, oftentimes you're choosing between bad and worse because Right.

Ryan: It doesn't come to your desk any longer. 

Kate: Yeah, but I definitely feel like it like was sort of this like trial by fire thing where you become very resilient after you go through that experience. And I think it makes you a stronger leader like it transforms you because you become just more emotionally intelligent and capable of like dealing with things.

Kate: I say that and still like it's still hard. Like, Anytime we're doing anything where it's like, okay, I'm going to have to go meet with 15 stakeholders and you're going to deal with every type of personality. Some people are in great moods. Other people are like, You know, they feel like they're feeling grumpy.

Kate: So you kind of have to play, like, deal with all of that. And so I kind of create space in my team where I almost call it like, it's almost like therapy work therapy, you know, where I like to try to write, like, drive my team is highly collaborative and highly supportive of one another because we work with a lot of people.

Kate: And you're, you're dealing with emotions and craziness. Yeah. Anytime there's a crisis in the world, we were impacted because we have teams everywhere. Right. So, um, so I try to build, I've tried to build this team into a safe place in a way that I've got teammates now who are basically doing the job I was doing five years ago.

Kate: Right? And so I have a lot of empathy for what they're going through. And so I, I'm trying to learn from that and apply that so that they can, you know, thrive and flourish and transform themselves right into the entrepreneurial type of mindset, and it's very rewarding to see to develop people and see them go through these kinds of changes themselves.

Ryan: So it is, and, uh, in the least patronizing way possible. I've really enjoyed watching your, uh, elevation. I, uh, PepsiCo does a really good job of engaging strategic partners into review processes and. I remember sitting down in August doing your like form and I was like wow this is like really fun to like write this like I remember like oh yeah I really enjoyed doing it and seven years ago it was here's the deep end and now like you know this this this command of this program I mean it's just been uh really cool to watch and I can't wait to see The next horizon for Pepsi and yeah, us together.

Ryan: Um, so ADA today, it works. Uh, tell us a little bit about what ADA is today. And then I want you to end with, where do you see the world going next? 

Kate: Yeah. Yeah. So I would say that ADA is highly associated with ad testing. So active conversations we're having, like, to what extent do we grow the brand and its associations, or do you kind of keep it limited?

Kate: We also have a knowledge management functionality that's called Ask Ada. So, um, so there's some questions around, like, just what do we want to do with the branding? But, um, but within the kind of core capability, we have. Done a great job of building a tool that's good at evaluating how effective the creative is, right?

Kate: And, um, on the kind of basic, um, components of what drives advertising, um, efficiency, right? And, um, we see a big opportunity as a kind of next horizon to say, okay, it's not enough just to become effective. And like, if I look at the performance on all of our ads, we've significantly improved the creative effectiveness over the years.

Kate: Right. I would say now it's starting to just kind of take stable, like, so then the question becomes what's next, how do we continue to grow their game? Right. And so we have a new capability that we've been kind of working on. That's called a creative ladder, which is, um, a way, a framework to think through.

Kate: What is my creative ambition? And how well is this advertising meeting that? So this is think if you really want to create iconic brands and culture, which is one of our work streams, then you have to up your game. It's not enough to just be effective, meaning you're not going to waste money. You're going to get strong ROI, which is great.

Kate: It means you're driving short term sales. We're reaching people, but there's the whole component around brand building that I think is now becoming a big passion point for me in an area where I think we have a lot of opportunity to build. Stronger, more lasting impacts with our brands. We tend to go from campaign to campaign.

Kate: We have a lot of turnover and change in the marketing team. And when people come in that are new, they want to put their stamp on the brand, you know, so we don't leverage things like distinctive assets as effectively as we could. So that's going to be kind of the key focal point for me going into next year is that how can we bring it to the next level.

Kate: Some degree of measurement to use things that are somewhat subjective, right?

Kate: But already if you do, if you, if you talk to, you know, enough people, you'll see a convergence, like where would you rate this on the creative ladder, as long as it's not your ad. 

Ryan: Yeah. You can't write your own homework.

Kate: Well, but maybe over time we'll build that skill. But, um, so, so that's an area. Yeah. Get a creative ladder and then the brand building, I think. Um, I think we are not doing a good enough job of tightening the what is the brand job to be done into the creative and the loop between those things. I think there's an opportunity to up that game to, um, particularly around distinction.

Kate: Our brands tend to be very large, have strong salience. People know Lays. They associate it, you know, with, um, the occasions, but it doesn't necessarily have very clear. What does it stand for? Like, if you look at other brands that are similar size, Are much more, uh, have much more clear memory structures.

Kate: And again, it's partly because we change our direction often. 

Ryan: Yeah, it's so funny. Cause like, you know, you, you study integrated marcom when you're like a sophomore in college. And then we all, then marketers get bored and we change. And it's like, actually like, look at some of the P&G, look at McDonald's, look at the way some of these brands over time have just boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.

Ryan: Uh, it's really refreshing. 

Kate: And then I would say from a kind of more from an inside, uh, inside the world of insights. Big focus for us next year is simplification and integration to, you know, just continuing to make things easier and simpler for people that tension and perform versus transform like, you know, we've got to, we've got to make it easier for them.

Kate: So that's kind of the big mantra. I think going into next year. 

Ryan: Simplify everything, everybody. Human civilization, we all drift towards complexity and our industry couldn't be more guilty of that. And so, uh, it's a hard thing. I always say this, like, oh my God, we chose to build a software platform in a complex intellectual industry.

Ryan: We could have, we could have chosen a harder, or we couldn't have chosen a harder problem to solve. Uh, yeah. But, you need to simplify the complex for people to scale capabilities. Right. It's really important. 

Kate: Um, yeah, yeah. And it's actually hard to do well, right? Like it goes back to the conversation we were having about the reporting.

Kate: Right. And like, um, you know, it's. You really have to be innovative. I think if you're going to say, okay, how do I get to the decision faster? It's like, it's basically removing friction, right? That's always like what you're basically doing when you're innovating, right?

Kate: It's like, um, so this is taking too many steps. We need to make it easier. 

Ryan: Yeah, that's getting back to first principles. What am I, what is the problem? What are the steps I need to get there and everything else can be excess, right? So, yeah. Well, so everybody listening, uh, Kate's just giving you a masterclass on insights transformation.

Ryan: I will say this here publicly. I might get in trouble. Kate, Stephan, Steve Phillips, and I are writing a book. It's going to drop in June. If you listen to this and email me. Um, I will finally get attribution for who listens to this podcast, but I will send you a signed copy. 

Ryan: Um, and maybe some other episode we could talk about how weird it is to do a book project with four people. Cause it's been, uh, but we look forward to sharing. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Uh, well, Kate, for your time and partnership and everything you're doing for the consumer and our industry. We really appreciate it.

Kate: Yeah, thanks so much for having me. 

Ryan: Cheers.

[Music transition to takeaways]


Ryan Barry: So that was a great episode with Kate. Um, and we dropped a little heat at the end. We are, uh, in the process of writing a book. I can't wait to share it with you. We've been working on it all year. And it'll be out next summer. So, can't wait to share that. A lot more of today's episode buried in that, and a lot of the how to's, how to get there. But for today, Patricia has done her thing and summarized today's episode.Patricia, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Patricia Montesdoeca: There were a couple of really interesting things about this episode for me. I worked a lot with Kate while I was with Zappi. Right. So I know how larger than life Kate is, and this episode taught me that she is so friggin humble. She's the word that you just said understated cannot begin to cover what she did in this episode. She literally made it seem like, oh, yeah, we did this thing. Right? But she did. She and the team did this. Capital, bold, underlined, italics, different font.

Patricia: It was just like blow your mind. And to hear her just kind of go, do, do, do, do speaks to a lot of things to me. Right. And it, it kind of highlighted something else. I realized I'm doing transformation in my new job. And I said to Kelsey that listening to the podcast, listening to the interview, um, I thought, oh, that's where you learned that. And oh, that's oh, now I remember where I got that. You know, when you just pick things up and you apply them. So let me tell you what jumped out at me was the to and from. 

Patricia: This is Pepsi and Kate's 8 years and counting from to work in progress. Because this is not just a to and from journey, because to and from journey implies that the to is not where you wanted to be, and the from is where you are now. Okay, doot doot doot, done. No! 

Ryan: Forget about the journey. 

Patricia: It's not only that, it's that they had to do the hardest part of figuring out in the from what they wanted to save.

Patricia: The journey, what it was all about and the to, how they wanted to expand it, because this to is a never ending. This is like, part of that lovely children's book, the never ending story. So they started with, you know, this is going to be done in 2 years and we're going to have 100 new methodologies and it's going to be proven and this is going to be like that.

Patricia: And then they had the intelligence along the way to realize. Oh, shit. This is bigger than we thought, right? And they have the humility and the perseverance to say, let's keep at it. Let's keep at it. Let's just keep adjusting. But they all started with, and this is really very important. They started with one job to be done.

Patricia: And that's what I suggest to everybody on whatever their Monday morning is: Start with one job to be done. Their first job to be done was up our insights game in terms of how we help marketers. Leverage the consumer to make better advertisements. It must have taken them forever to write that sentence because it's so clean, but You know, that sentence belies the fact that their real core challenge was transition the insight stream, transition the internal customer, transition senior management, transition all the agencies, transition the company, make everybody go to a new way of thinking and working, and make them enjoy it.

Patricia: Those in my notes, it's big and bold and red, just as you know how big that is in mind and their business challenge was all about driving strategic partnerships to help them get there. So that to and from is not so, so easy to improve. It's not small under small visit lowercase. It's big case, right?

Patricia: Because they had to think about how they do the work today and how they wanted to do the work tomorrow with different partners in a different way. 

Patricia: Now, I think that. No, I know that one of the most important phrases in this whole entire interview was one that I think it was Steve Jobs that said, it's more fun to be a pirate than join the Navy.

Ryan: I love that quote. Yeah. 

Patricia: I love that. What does this say to me? It tells me the actual flavor. Pepsi knew that they were doing something huge that was going to take Navy resources and Navy discipline and Navy effort, right? But they wanted to keep the pirate part of it. So they wouldn't take themselves or the whole entire journey too seriously.

Patricia: Because if they did, they were going to die in the effort. Right? But there's just a few, I want to really highlight so that you guys can see what I think is important. When Kate was at Nielsen and in BASES, she talked about, they would arrive and they would say to her, "whose day are you ruining today?’

Patricia: And so she knew that she would walk in and somebody was fearing her arrival. Right? And she didn't want that. She didn't want that for her or for anybody. And so what she was trying to do and they've done it is instead of having BASES or any agency come in and say, who's there you're going to ruin today.

Patricia: It's all about insights adding value as subject matter experts, leveraging the tools and working in a way that allows them and invites them into the table, right? So in the past, that's one, you know, from and to that's very important to me. Um, another very important thing is that insights didn't have that much skin in the results and the end results because suppliers were the ones who came in, presented the good and the bad.

Patricia: And sometimes insights was like, I'm so glad I'm not presenting that. That's really bad news. That's not my problem. Right. Um, or it's like, oh, it's really bad news. How are we going to look at this in a better light so they don't get pissed and they don't get angry and they don't get this and they don't mistrust.

Patricia: So that's how it used to be. But now it's all about insights not only has their skin in the game, they have all the skin and the whole game has been there from the beginning to the middle there at all parts of the game. They give the data to the people directly with the analysis. No black boxes and together they figure out what to do to improve if it's bad news or how to leverage it if it's good news and they've removed the middleman, right?

Patricia: They stopped being project management and they're now part of the decision making and she was honest enough to say sometimes it's good and sometimes it's bad. But it always has to be there, right? Yeah. So that's another really important from and to that's going to keep the team going. Why is it going to continue going?

Patricia: Because the world is not the world and business of course is not static. So if business isn't static, insights can't be static. Another thing that I thought was really important, this is the third one that I'm going to give you right, is the fact that they thought that it was going to be two years and done.

Patricia: We're going to do this in the future. They realized that. They thought they were gonna have 100 and I'll buy it and they realized that her words, not mine: the original roadmaps were insanely delusional. I love that. When you can say that your own plans 

Ryan: And they were, by the way, we, we were right. And it was if we were pirates that had never been in an ocean before when we created that partnership.

Patricia: But if you hadn't had those insanely delusional objectives, you wouldn't have never jumped. If you had said this is going to take a decade and all the work in life and you're going to be so disappointed and you're going to have really rough days when you want to run around screaming, you're never going to get there.

Patricia: You have to think about the pot of gold or the chest of gold or the pirates, whatever the pirates say. I'm obviously not a pirate, right? But, um, but they're like, oh, yeah, let's fix this. And they just kept. So they were just adjusting so they could see, you know, they still have the same end goal, but it was it was harder than they thought to execute change, and she realized that, you know, performing while they transformed was essential, both in global and mobile, and that's a beautiful to phrase, the from and the two, the two phrase perform while you transform. That's worth its weight in gold. That in my notes is also bold and red and an uppercase because we're always going to underestimate the time it takes to do things. But if you perform while you transform and you're aware of that, then that's, that's, that's, that's gold.

Patricia: Those are the three things that, I mean, there are many, many from and to that are still in progress, but those are the three that really made me think, yeah, that's why they're so damn successful and they're going to continue being successful. 

Patricia: Now you asked her something that I thought was beautiful. You remember that she's a person, not just an inside person, but you said, this is Kate who used to work, right.

Patricia: And in, um, in Basie's we used to come in, you know, how is she doing? How's the human being? Right. The before and after. And she was, I think she was surprised by the question, unless you didn't tell her you surprised her. 

Ryan: It wasn't part of the script necessarily. 

Patricia: So you surprised her.

Patricia: And she's like. I really liked how she described herself as a reluctant entrepreneur with some seeds of pirate energy. I thought that's a really nice way to, to put, put, to describe herself. And she felt very exposed. She was very vulnerable in the interview with you. 

Patricia: And she went from managing one project and one stakeholder at a time to the world, right? Came in progress. I really like the fact that she said that she realized many people were really kind and caring and wanted to change. So she developed straight and strong partnerships with those people, right? And, you know, worked constructively and showed the value of the change to be. And now who is she? She says to herself, I became more agile. I became more resilient.

Patricia: Thicker skin is what that means. And she manages many projects, every day, many different stakeholders insights team stakeholders. And she said that one of the things that has helped her be a better leader is her empathy, her emotional intelligence has improved, and she remembers what it was like and so she's helping people take Ada to what it has to be tomorrow, which is the next horizon.

Patricia: So she is fully aware that not only is Ada in construction and Pepsi is in construction and insights in construction. She's in construction and that's what makes her so strong and that's why she's able to underestimate the power of what she and the company have done and kind of talk about it as if it was something simple.

Patricia: But when you have that size budget and that much power and that many brands and that many people rely on you, there's nothing simple about it. It's just very, very impressive. 

Ryan: Yeah, it's, it's super complex. I mean, just the global network effect of a business that has 350 plus thousand people. Um, and it's so important to the world economy, so important to consumers' lives, and also the, yeah, like the fact that they can still transform at pace, uh, it's, it's really impressive.

Ryan: And I think what's cool is like, you know, there's probably four or five companies that do marketing and insights at the scale of PepsiCo. And everybody else might be thinking, yeah, but we're not that big. And I would say the smaller, the scrappy you are. The easier it is to innovate, um, now resources help.

Ryan: So if you're stuck somewhere in the middle and there's no capital, there's no desire to be customer centric and it's political. I think you should just sharpen your resume up. But most companies aren't like that, right? 

Patricia: You don't have the budget. I do have the desire, right? And I only have 1,300 people, but I'm doing it.

Ryan: But you can make it. That's what I'm saying. You can, you can make it work. Kate is a growth minded, hardworking woman, who is always trying to improve and that's why she's been able to go on the from to you just articulated, which not many people could do, right? I mean, it's a really impressive journey she's been on.

Ryan: Um, and I give Stephan a lot of credit, credit for seeing her skills and talent. Sponsoring her and, and also, you know, getting out of her way. Yeah, supporting her but also getting out of her way and letting her do her thing. Season 7 was super fun, everybody. We had a lot of fun shooting it.

Ryan: Interestingly, we're going to go work on Season 8 as soon as we stop the recording. Uh, but for now, thank you for listening. We really appreciate it. I can't believe we've been doing this for 8 seasons, soon to be 8. It's been a ton of fun. It's always a cool break in the day, break in the week to get to speak to amazing people and bring their stories to y'all, to y'all's AirPods, Airbeats, whatever the hell you got your ears in right now.

Ryan: I'm an AirPod guy myself. Um, but happy holidays to you and your family. We will be back. Kelsey, when will we, when will we be back? 

Kelsey Sullivan: Sometime in February of 2024. 

Ryan: Wow, so we're not gonna commit to a time, but we're usually pretty good at promoting things like, so it'll be a teaser coming to you soon.

Ryan: But it's a great time to catch up on all of our episodes. Uh, particularly the election year next year. You can even go back in time and listen to Diane Hessen talk about American consumers. There's a lot of great episodes if you haven't caught up. Happy holidays to you and your family, everybody.

Patricia: Wait, wait, wait. Happy birthday one day early to Ryan and Kelsey. 

Ryan: Yes, thank you, Patricia. Happy birthday, Kelsey. Happy birthday, me. Um, our birthday is December 12th. So I don't know, when is this episode releasing? 

Kelsey: The 20th, so it will have passed, but we're recording the day before our birthdays.

Ryan: Yeah, so our birthdays will have come and gone. Um, you know, if you say happy birthday later, that's cool. Uh, you can also say happy holidays, you know? Um, but have a great break and we will be back to quote Kelsey, sometime in 2024.