When you’re a household brand as big as Coca-Cola, experimenting with your marketing and PR is not extremely difficult. The obnoxiously large budget is there to back up creativity and functionality alike. I for one remember vividly a marketing seminar held by a former Coke team member saying how many things they were trying at once. Everything from Coke mobile phones to new drinks and new locations.
A company that big only needs to play it smart, and that sometimes means experimenting with different channels and approaching and then just trying to repeat what’s working. Therefore it comes to no surprise that Coke is now announcing a new approach to marketing and customer engagement. They want to dig deeper into social media and back up their paid advertising efforts with matching owned and earned media projects.
This coming from the giant who has brought Super Bowl advertising to Facebook and the world of virtual gifts and who recognized that their customers’ love for the brand is actually more important than their sales.
A speech delivered by Joseph Tripodi, Coke’s chief marketing and commercial officer, at the Goldman Sachs Consumer Products Symposium reveals a so called ‘new philosophy’ of creating ads that reach people’s emotions and combine it with smart product placement.
“What’s important for us going forward is balancing the understanding between operational marketing and inspirational marketing,” said Tripodi.
“It doesn’t do any good if someone saw a great ad in primetime last night but goes into the store and it’s out of stock, or your price pack architecture is wrong.”
As I’ve learned over the years, not all brands, big or small, are smart enough to make sure that someone who’s seen their ad will also find the product in question at the nearby store. Or a larger shopping center. Sometime this millennium, if possible.
The new Coca-Cola strategy is to also determine those events or moments when people can be emotionally engaged and turning them into brand love and money generators. It might be a movie or the World Cup or the Olympics, but Coke plans to be there, both creatively and in all shops around the event.
As they have before with the Super Bowl, the digital world will play a major part in their overall strategy. It so happens that the in-place MyCokeRewards loyalty scheme has reached a whooping 14 million hit on the member count and they type in about a million product codes every day.
We now have a customer centered approach, focus on emotional engagement and rigorous product placement, plus innovative ideas such as the World of Coca Cola Museum in Atlanta (which has already received over three million visitors). Is it really surprising that besides being one of the most loved brands and an A-list business, Coca Cola has always been a leader in marketing and PR innovation and effectiveness?
Coca-Cola PR Agencies are Porter-Novelli, MSL Group, and many others.