Coca-Cola & Content-Based Marketing Strategy

Shirish Bohare
Oct 17, 2018 · 4 min read
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Lessons to learn from The Coca-Cola Company, its Content 2020 Strategy and Content Excellence

A lot of people have asked me why I am in love with Coke, its marketing and content strategy. Any marketer just needs to go through it once and you will know they have definitely upped their marketing game with the help of content.

Coca-Cola decided on “Creating Brand Value through Content Excellence”. An impressive brand goal but the most difficult part is to define how to do it, that’s where most of the marketers get stuck. Well, we all can learn a lesson or two from Coke.

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I am sure we all have observed the change in the way the consumers are accessing and sharing information these days, but how many of us have actually acknowledged it and examined the effectiveness and relevance of the traditional media. Coca-Cola surely did.

Thus, came up with a solution which surely is evolving, insightful and effective — making content an integral part of their marketing strategy in order to drive conversations. It is highly important for brands, especially with the use of digital media to provide an engaging platform to provoke and facilitate conversations. There have been questions about moderating or controlling these conversations. But the less you do, the more you get. All you need is the right communication strategy and the right target audience.

The strategy is not just to engage the audience and facilitate the conversations, but also to create the right connection to inspire purchase and enhance the brand value.

Coca-Cola decided to develop a framework to guide content production through 2020. It will require them to keep a tab on the latest content trends and involve creative leaders to be a part of this strategy creation.

Then comes the creation of liquid and linked ideas. What exactly is the concept of liquid and linked ideas? Let me try to explain it. Liquid ideas are basically the ideas which are engaging and contagious in nature leading them to take on a life of their own. At the same time, the brand assures that these ideas assist the company’s business objectives, brand goals, and consumer interests. This phenomenon is termed as liquid and linked. Hence, a complete win-win situation for both the brand and the consumers.

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Conversation Model: Start with brand stories creating liquid and linked ideas provoking conversations. Then, constantly act and react to these conversations.

A perfect example of “Liquid and Linked Idea” is ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. It developed on Coca-Cola’s brand story — Create Happiness. Coca-Cola launched ‘Share a Coke’ campaign in Australia with personalized cans/bottles with 150 most popular names. Coke became the ‘most talked about’ brand and ‘Share a Coke’ Facebook page became the most talked about page in Australia. Coca-Cola added 50 more names to this list and even installed Kiosks for consumers to customize their Cokes. This clearly exhibits content ideology matching consumer behavior.

The next is to develop compelling content that drives brand conversations and values. Coca-Cola follows the strategy to divide the content into high, medium and low risk. This helps the brand to allocate resources, time and money accordingly. Coca-Cola banks on 70/20/10 rule for low/medium/high-risk content.

Another important part is to measure the impact. A brand must always identify meaningful metrics for each content initiative. There are no one-size-fits-all model here. It requires proper analysis to identify and measure the content’s impact.

The biggest take away from Coke is to “Engage with Consumers on their Terms”. Community management and listening play are crucial here to gauge consumer interests and sentiments.

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Coca-Cola aims to double its system revenues by 2020, surpassing 3 Bn servings daily. With their content-based marketing strategy, I see it happening easily and much before 2020.

A big shout out to The Coca-Cola Company and its marketing team. You are just amazing, Keep Going!


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