Coca-Cola Leads Digital Transformation In Global Beverage Industry


Coca-Cola has a new chief in town, James Quincey after former CEO Muhtar Kent stepped down. Quincey has made it clear that his mission for the Coca-Cola brand is to adapt and meet the needs of a new threat: digital disruption.

Coca-Cola is famed for successfully leveraging the traditional marketing tool of packaging so that consumers can quickly identify its products in the store. The beverage giant is now facing a new challenge, how to channel their marketing and product expertise to adapt to the consumer trend of favoring digital.

When shoppers skip trips to the local mall and get their clothes at Amazon, they also forgo buying Coke at a vending machine or food court. So while the decline of retailers has mostly focused on bankrupt apparel chains and shuttered storefronts, a brand like Coca-Cola is suffering as well.” The Record reported.

Changing consumer preferences have forced Coca-Cola’s new CEO to think digital. Quincey has previously detailed the three trends that are driving his digital transformation of Coca-Cola.

  1. The youth market expects brands to step up and answer their demands.
  2. Marketing is now about generating conversation with a consumer. This is leading to 24/7 always on communication.
  3. Brand love is no longer enough. Brands both big and small are looking to “brand loyalty” to measure consumer engagement.

Moving Toward Digital – Answering Youth Demand 

Coca-Cola is innovating by using sustainable digital technology. By researching the digital tools and channels favored by their younger target market, Quincey and his team are now in the position to create a digital brand awareness that answers the demand of the youth.

There are several ways that they have achieved engagement with the youth market.

Firstly, by focusing on social media presence instead of investing in traditional marketing channels like TV commercials, Coca-Cola is now engaging with this pivotal target market more effectively. By investing its marketing budget on centralizing certain social media operations, Coca-Cola is talking to its consumer directly by lowering its costs.

“By removing multiple agencies running different accounts independent of one another, Coca-Cola is hoping to move its social media to a much lower cost base that is more effective.”  The Drum reported.

Coca-Cola is also leveraging Google’s digital ad platform. By targeting consumers by shopping behavior and location Coca-Cola is now able to personalize advertisements in mobile applications.

GoogleClick has opened the door for marketers to identify where their customers are and what they are shopping for.

Brand Identity – Encouraging Brand Loyalty

“In this time of instant communication, we need consumers who are avid supporters – raging fans,” Quincey said. “We need them to be knowledgeable advocates. That kind of personal connection and affection is the true measure of advantage for successful brands.”

Quincey has spoken about the need to generate brand loyalty, the next step up from brand love. 

Coca-Cola has a history of evolving its brands to answer changing consumer demand. An example of this is how the company has adapted its messaging and product line to appeal to the health-conscious customer. “Coke No Sugar” is the latest product that Coca-Cola has released that engages with this market. 

The production of lower calorie beverage products meets the needs of the “one brand” marketing strategy that is visualized through Coca-Cola’s campaigns. Coca-Cola is also using social media to promote this product which creates the desired digital presence that Quincey is hoping for.

These health-conscious campaigns demonstrated Coca-Cola’s consumer-centric business strategy.

With Quincey’s new digital outlook, it will be interesting to see how Coca-cola adapts once more.

“In this time of instant communication, we need consumers who are avid supporters – raging fans,” Quincey said. “We need them to be knowledgeable advocates. That kind of personal connection and affection is the true measure of advantage for successful brands.”

Many pundits predict that Coca-Cola will look to implement campaigns like that of #ThatsGold, Coke’s inclusive campaign for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. This campaign was designed to tap into Millennials by leveraging influencer marketing.  – which tapped a group of Millennial influencers from around the world to create and share “gold moments” and invite their social media fans to follow suit before and during the action in Rio.

By working with Millennial influencers from around the world, Coca-Cola encouraged the creation and sharing of “gold moments” during the action in Rio.

The 24/7 Marketing Strategy

As previously stated, Coca-Cola is looking to digital technology to enable it to engage with consumers on 24/7 basis.

With the popularity of ChatBots and Messenger Apps on the rise, the days of one-way communication between businesses and consumers are behind us.

Marketers are increasingly looking for ways to engage with consumers on a global, 24/7, mobile basis. With 7 billion mobile phones in the world, marketing, commerce, and Coca-Cola are migrating online.

Quincey has been quick to identify that changing consumer buying habits are just one part of the story of online commerce. As the new CEO, he is leading the digital transformation charge, by rethinking the art and science of brand-building in the digital age.

It will be interesting to see whether or not he succeeds.


Digital Marketing Transformation Assembly

It is no surprise that the world is constantly changing with new digital transformations that appear across the board in many industries. These developments adapt along with the consumer’s preferences that are constantly changing depending on what trends are relevant and popular.

Coca-Cola has noticed these changes and is now executing branding strategies in order to keep up with the fast-paced world of digital marketing transformation. The Digital Marketing Transformational Assembly is designed to offer you first-hand insight into the latest digital marketing techniques such as the strategic plans that Coca-Cola has implemented in order to stay competitive in its market. Staying up to date with digital trends keep companies relevant in the world that is changing to be digital, accessible and aware.

Artificial intelligence, omnichannel strategy, cognitive marketing, personalization and the data revolution are a few among the many concepts that will be covered during this event hosted at Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, UT, on October 19-20, 2017.

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