Six things about... Jaime Suarez4 min read
Man on a mission, realist, tech aficionado: Get to know PMI's Chief Digital Officer
1. Jaime is on a mission.
“When you are communicating about new alternatives, you need to get personal. Creating a smoke-free future means taking our customers along on the journey. It is not something we can do in a vacuum.” Jaime is adamant that the company must engage more directly with consumers if it is to achieve its strategic objectives. “If you break our mission down into pieces, we are talking about scale, we are talking about speed and we are talking about impact.”
2. He believes in knowing PMI’s customers.
“Our first priority is to understand our audience. Specifically, what would motivate legal-age smokers to convert to our smoke-free products?” In a fast-changing world, effective communication between producers and consumers is critical. “Nowadays, they are more likely to message us than phone us. But they expect you to message them back in a matter of minutes.”
3. He sharply distinguishes between adult smokers and minors.
“Our products are for adult smokers only, and we take our responsibilities very seriously in that regard.” He points out that PMI has spent a lot of time and money developing solutions to ensure the company is talking to the right audience: legal-age smokers.
4. Jaime is a realist.
He’s aware that the company is at the start of what will inevitably be a long journey. “Promoting a non-combustible product will require a lot of explanation of the benefits. Consumers will want to try the product. And because it is an unfamiliar product, using electronic devices, there are a lot of questions. How does it work? How do I clean and maintain it?”
5. He is a tech aficionado.
“I have always been very passionate about technology in general. Throughout my career, I have handled multiple functions from finance to sales and marketing. But the common thread has been my determination to use technology, not as an end in itself, but to reach out to an audience.” When Jaime worked in sales, technology was at the heart of his engagement with retailers, giving them the tools to communicate effectively with consumers.
6. Jaime believes tomorrow’s technology is here today.
“New technologies can lead to vital efficiency savings. For example, we use image recognition technology to ‘visit’ the retailer to ensure that our products are properly merchandised. If we had a field rep doing this, each visit would require effort and costs. Thanks to the new technology, and the algorithms that support it, we can save money and re-invest it.” While new technologies may be costly at the development stage, they invariably lead to long-term savings in Jaime’s experience.