Tamara Pattison on Her Many Roles at BevMo! | Wine Enthusiast
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Tamara Pattison on Her Many Roles at BevMo!

As Senior Vice president, Chief Marketing and Information Officer for BevMo!,Tamara Pattison’s average 12-hour workday is “filled with a lot of planning… We are a relatively small company as it relates to the corporate office. A C-Suite jack-of-all-trades is a lot better description.”

BevMo! is the West Coast specialty beverage retailer that currently runs more than 160 stores in California, Arizona and Washington State. Customers can also buy online with products delivered or shipped right to their door.

You can hear the smile in her voice as she explains that she is responsible “not just for the upfront brand strategy and digital execution, but as chief digital officer, I’m also responsible for the whole backend that supports our corporate office as well as the retail execution.”

Pattison, a 46-year-old mother of two and former digital marketing executive at Albertsons Companies, sees the rapid pace of change in retail accelerating. That is especially true for retailers who operate as BevMo! does in Silicon Valley, where innovation rules.

“This is a wonderful playground,” Pattison said from her office at BevMo! headquarters just northeast of San Francisco. This month marks her second anniversary at the regional retailer where she gets “to run all of the marketing and information technology.”

There are many third-party players in the delivery-on-demand space where BevMo! competes. The company “plays in those spaces” that traditionally deliver to someone’s home or office, she said. But this is California, so they have harnessed technology that allows them to deliver a properly chilled order to a customer’s car as they pass the store en route to their next destination.

Pattison also spends a lot of time in the stores talking to the salespeople “to find out what they’re facing and what they’re finding.” She also frequently talks with customers.

BevMo! crowdsources its private-label offerings by inviting ClubBev! members in for tastings and to give their opinions. The club is free and allows customers to be the first to know about special releases and invites them to tastings. They leverage their club card database to ask customers “who love our private-label wine and invite them to come in on their own and taste some of the products.”

“We ask them ‘Would they buy it? Would they serve it? Would they pay the price?’” The rotating gatherings generally attract 75–100 people in the San Francisco and East Bay areas and attendees ‘love the idea.’ They really appreciate it, and they give us feedback on the store experience as well as the wines,’” she said.

BevMo! recently brought in the first flight of 15 wines selected by the customers “and the results wildly exceeded our expectations,” Pattison said.

It is the passion for the product of the people with whom she works and the ability to use cutting-edge technology that keeps Pattison’s interest. “Applying high-tech to retail is very dynamic and I’m pretty hooked.”

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