Q&A With the Newest Member of the BIIG Team

Marina Velez was recently hired as Senior Project Manager, Data and Insights. In that capacity, she oversees the creation of The Beverage Information & Insight Group’s handbooks. I sat down with her to learn more about her research background and her responsibilities in her current position.


JN: How did your career progress before you came to BIIG last month?

MV: I have over 15 years of experience in market research. At Millward Brown, I worked on copy testing, brand equity tracking, international research, syndicated studies and custom research projects in the retail, CPG and financial industries. My clients included Hennessy, Pepsi and Chase.

At Ipsos and PQ Media I handled the same type of work, which included research for media clients like NBC and Turner. One project I’m particularly proud of was working with a Wall Street firm on their annual study, tracking content and ad spending across platforms and media segments.


JN: What are your responsibilities as a member of the BIIG research team?

MV: On a daily basis, I’m tracking the industry and keeping on top of trends, as well as seeing how the various segments of the market evolve. I’ve also been collecting sales, spending and consumption data at the brand level and trying to forge relationships within the beer, wine and spirit categories.

My long-term projects include the Handbooks (Handbook Advance, Beer, Wine, Liuor, Marketers & Brands, Factbook and Cheers On-Premise), handling custom research projects and providing data and analysis as new business comes up. My goal is to have a strong presence in the industry and be in a position to offer advice to brand managers and researchers so they can do a better job building their businesses and serving customers.


JN: What’s surprised you most about the beverage alcohol industry?

MV: I didn’t realize how many individual brands there are – and so many new ones every year! I’ve been focused on trying to figure out if current news is driving future trends, especially looking at industry consolidation, executive shakeups and mergers among distributors.

I’m also very interested in how consumer tastes are shifting. Consumers seem less brand loyal in beverage alcohol than in other industries, whereas I initially thought the opposite would be true. The shift among consumers toward premium and super-premium brands has also surprised me, given the fragile state of the economy.



Marina Velez is Senior Project Manager, Data and Insights at the Beverage Information & Insights Group. She can be reached at mvelez@epgmediallc.com or 203-855-8499 x2212.

For more information about the BIIG Handbooks, visit www.bevinfostore.com.

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