Marketing Communication MixTable of Contents
Opportunities identification and Analysis
Marketing Communication of Coca-Cola
Summary: The Communication Strategy
Marketing Communication Mix
Media Issues and Budget
The soft drink industry has emerged as leading beverage industry. In 2009-2011, major companies experienced sales rebound in the midst of economic recovery in the Western developed markets. Whilst the players are busy shaping up their infrastructure in the major emerging markets, they are also exploring opportunities to enhance scales of operation and enter and expand into niche class in order to attain profitable growth.
Coca-Cola, with more than 3500 products, is a leading company in the beverage industry. The inception of the company can be traced back 125 years ago. As of now, the company has business in more than 200 countries with around 139,600 employees.
Opportunities identification and Analysis
SWOT Analysis can reveal a good amount of information about the company, its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
- Coca-Cola is a well known brand across the globe.
- The company is blesses with talented human resource.
- It has a good relationship with its partners. For an instance, in Europe, it has strong relationship with Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.
- The company has shown sluggish performance in North America.
- The brand is somewhat affected by negative publicity about soft drink products.
- Coca-Cola has been the partner in many sport events.
- As a global leading brand it also has opportunities to move into partnership with production houses and other events.
- The company has got opportunity to avoid intense competition through acquiring other players operating in this industry.
- The company can explore growing bottled water market.
- Intense Competition in the industry.
- The company has dependence on the bottling partners.
- Sluggish growth of carbonated beverages.
Marketing Communication of Coca-Cola
According to Gary Armstrong and Philip Kotler, the marketing mix of an organisation consists of particular blend of advertising, personal selling, direct marketing, sales promotions and public relations. A company can take tactical measures to communicate customer values and develop customer relationships. The same is pretty much applicable for Coca-Cola. Its marketing communication is a blend of various advertising and sales channels.
Advertising: This is one of significant element of marketing communication mix. Coca-Cola has always used this channel to promote ideas and its product range.
Coke Zero has come up with its latest TV ad “taste the possibilities”. The ad activity runs across the TV, video on demand channels and even on the Coke zone website. This was targeted to the core audience, the youngsters. According to Coke zero, the ad is to position the band as “beacon of possibilities” (Bearne, 2012).
Diet Coke has also come up with its new phase of fashion focussed TV campaigning “Love it Light”. The TV campaigndisplays that the brand’s “fashionista” puppet ambassadors arguing over who among them deserves the last can of Coke left in the fridge. Diet Coke is also offering support to this year’s activity with three brand new pack designs, promoting the brand’s partnership with Benefit. The activity was also supported with a dedicated Facebook page which encourages the consumers to ‘Get Glam’ with Benefit make-up.
Diet Coke has carried out strategies for the tenure of three years which also included the brand linked to fashion. So far, the activities included partnerships with London Fashion Week, Asos and Week and Nails Inc (O’Reilly, 2012).
In last Christmas, Coca-Cola came up with ‘holidays are coming’, featuring Santa Claus, followed by an ad dubbed “snow globe” which shows the role of Coke in festive family occasions.
Outdoor Activities: Furthermore, Coca-Cola put effort to enhance the essence further by outdoor activities featuring Santa and Coca-Cola truck. At West End of London, Coca-Cola Piccadilly sign featured goodwill messages which have been tweeted by the consumers. The truck tour of Santa stopped at some 100 towns of UK to surprise millions of people in the festive season (Fernandez, 2010).
Press: Since long, the company has been using magazines as a form of advertisements. In 1931, the Coca-Cola Santa made its debut on the pages of The Saturday Evening Post. Along with this, the advertisement used to also come on the pages of Ladies Home Journal, National Geographic, The New Yorker and others. One of such advertisement featured Santa even as a rocker (The Coca-Cola Company, 2012).
Internet and Social Media: Internet has been a significant way for Coca-Cola to promote its products. The company has a well developed website, which is quite simple to navigate. The website also allows contests, shopping through a special section of the website, enabling the consumers to find out the way to help the community.
Now a days, social media has gained enough importance in the communication mix. Coca-Cola has also given its effort to position itself in the online media world. The company has created a well developed marketing strategy for facebook to reach a large amount of prospective audience.
Sponsorship: The company has moved into the sport sponsorship to encourage brand awareness. Coca-Cola will gauge its support to enhance the awareness among the young generation. As a longest serving partner of the global Olympic movement, the company refurbishes its marketing approach for every Olympiad. For London 2012, the company aims to assist the organising committee to inspire the youngsters in a way which would leave a legacy after the Games. Coca-Cola is doing so by carrying out its music oriented campaign ‘Move to the Beat’ (Barnett, 2012).
The company has lent its support to the charity initiatives which raises finance and awareness to help the charity organisation eliminate HIV and AIDS.
Direct Marketing and Sales Promotion: The company practices direct marketing and sales promotion activities. The company offers its products to retailers at low prices and as a result, the retailer can sell off the products on sale.
The company uses direct marketing in several ways. The company partners with various movie theatres and restaurants to advertise and sell its products. Coca-Cola has also started mobile advertising. It uses mobile graphics and texts to appeal the market.
The company has several objectives to be mentioned. Coca-Cola wants to accelerate the growth of carbonated soft drink. To drive profitable growth, the company looks forward to broaden its family of beverage brands. It wants to grow system profitability and capability together with its bottling partners. The company would continue to invest into high potential areas across varied markets. Coca-Cola would serve the customers efficiently and cost effectively to generate growth across the channels.
Coca-Cola’s marketing objective is to high visibility of the brand. The company wants to be the favourite brand among youth and in turn increase its sales.
The marketing communication objectives of Coca-Cola are to increase the awareness to the target audiences, to put an emphasis on the differences of its product against those of its competitors and hence it wants to create differentiation awareness among its consumers. Coca-Cola has a different taste compared to those of its competitors. The company wants to enhance the brand value by repositioning the brand as a substance of youth and fun. In all, the company wants to maintain preference of its brand among its consumers.
Summary: The Communication Strategy
Research has shown that between the years 1995 and 2000, women used to be heavier users than men. However, in 2002, statistics revealed that the tendency has been reversed. So, any can situation can change anytime. The target market for Coca-Cola can range widely from 15 till 40 and even more than that. The brand requires increasing its sales in the age group 15-24. Furthermore, the group 25-34, which tends to buy by impulse should be targeted.
Targeting the Youths
To attract the younger group, a pull strategy would be required. The company can take help of art sponsorship to enhance its corporate status and this is also expected to make the brand look younger. Following this idea, the company can promote any young, pretty, upcoming singer who is starting to be recognised in show-biz world. While girls would like to identify themselves with her, boys would favour her as she is pretty. Coca-Cola can sponsor rock, soft-rock concerts; Coca-Cola would be the only drink available in the concert. Rock has been pretty fashionable among the youngsters. So, this promotion will result in high visibility for the brand. Furthermore, the company can also arrange campaigns in the colleges to increase its brand awareness among the youth.
Targeting the Males
Coca-Cola is being known for sponsoring sport events. The rationale behind choosing this kind of promotional activities is to reach extremely large amount of audience. Sport events are followed by the different teams, leagues and supporters. In United Kingdom, the favourite sports are football, rugby and tennis. Coca-Cola can intensify its advertising campaign by placing banners inside and around the stadium, where people get some time to look around. Adding to it, banners around the stadium can increase ‘impulsive buying by attracting people waiting in queue to enter the stadium.
Targeting adults of the age group 25-34 can be done using push strategy. The people of this age group would prefer to go to pub or any club with friends and drink alcohol. Coca-Cola can move into partnership with any well-known whisky brand such as J&B, Clan Campbell and develop promotional activities with the association of the barmen, who are looked upon as references in case of drink. In big cities, Coca-Cola can promote its whisky-coke as a fashionable drink while clubbing with friends.
Targeting mass audience: Advertising on TV and Movies
In today’s era, people are more attracted towards the advertisements in TV. There are few advantages of this medium. Advertisement on TV can avoid the clutter, which can be seen in sport advertisements. Furthermore, it is a cost effective channel giving opportunities to get connected with a large audience. The company can also move into partnership with movies to advertise its products. The audience would love to watch Peter Parker to have a sip of Coca-Cola. Large cinema complexes can be used to introduce new campaigns.
Targeting elderly people
The company can target audiences by advertising on newspapers and magazines. Teenagers would love to have a look at some fashion magazines like Hello!. This advertising channel will attract more female than men as women read magazines more than men.
Adding to all other strategies, a profile strategy is of importance to develop impressive brand image and corporate reputation. In the long run, Coca-Cola can use a drip marketing strategy to uphold awareness among consumers. In drip marketing strategy, companies send automated series of marketing activities to efficiently communicate with the current and prospective customers (Management CRM, 2009 ). The company can adopt a burst strategy in summer as in summer people tend to buy impulsively.
Marketing Communication Mix
TV and Movie Campaigns
A TV campaign can be introduced as a base of drip strategy. A theme based on more fun is required to be the base of campaigning to reposition the image of Coca-Cola. The symbol associated with Coca Cola is Polar Bear. So this white bear can be used as the prominent character in the campaign. One of the significant objectives is to encourage impulsive buy. This kind of promotional activity can take place in the beaches. On the beach, to remind people of Coca-Cola this kind of advertisement can be used with some Hawaii or rock music.
The objective of this advertisement is based on few objectives. Some of them are to reinforce the idea that Coca-Cola is a refresher drink, to develop the idea that Coca-Cola takes you to somewhere else and finally this reinforces the idea of fun and youth. Other advertisements can also be carried out in sync such as the bear clubbing with its friends in pubs or clubs can be a good idea. The campaign is required to be changed in the Christmas time with its usual Santa ads. The aim is to reach a large targeted audience.
Press advertising can be a burst campaign, used mostly in the end of Spring and Summer. In this time, Coca-Cola can come up with advertisements on the pages of magazines as in the holiday time people would have more time to read the magazines. In this way, the company will target two different audiences: young and old. From the creative point of view, the advertisement is required to be full with plenty of colours, with more of visual effect to reflect more youth and fun.
To attract the old people, the advertising is required to be full of facts. In this case, the advertisement must reveal the advantages of this drink against other drinks. This advertisement can display a strong relationship of grand children with their grandparents. In this way, Coca-Cola can help the elderly people feel strong bond with the young people by sharing values.
In the young magazines, the advertisement can be placed on the last cover page as the advertisement would be visually prominent. For elder people, the advertisements can be placed on the right page and at the beginning of the journal. People tend to read an advertisement at the beginning of the magazine.
Other communication mix recommendations
During the summer, Coca-Cola can make intensive use of banners. As mentioned earlier, the company can sponsor the show events of any young singer. To reinforce the same, the company can use the banners showing the singer wearing sunglasses and bottle of Coke. The same can be done with the bear. A cute bear wearing sunglass and Coke would appeal prospective customers on the beach.
Banners can be used to display in the buses where it can appeal a huge number of people. In bigger cities, general banners can be displayed to attract prospective consumers.
Coca-Cola is already known for their sport sponsorship. During the entire year, the company can put banner in the stadium during large sport events. National Rugby team and Football teams can be sponsored during the year.
Cause Related Marketing
Cause related marketing has a significant importance in developing public relations. The company extend its support to specific associations in order to enhance the awareness of the company. Through these means, the company can place itself as more credible, ethical and responsible. This differentiation is required to attract consumers’ attention in this competitive world. The company can take part in the events related to health or environment or may be both. The company can also invest in addressing health problems of young people, trying to establish a new model of an ideal body.
Coca-Cola can also continue to sponsor youth development programs, which can contain some training programs. In this way, the company can create a more clear and ethical image to the population.
In case of sales promotions, two channels can be used by the organisation: manufacturer to the resellers and manufacturers to the consumers. The objective of the first type of sales promotion is to make them buy and display more of its products. To establish a brand loyalty, the company can offer buying allowance and discounts to increase the average order size.
The company can offer special offers, coupons to increase immediate short term sales to the consumers. It can also organise a trip to some place for the winner. Along with that, they can have other prizes such as T-shirts, Caps and CDs. To promote this, the bottles can be designed with a shiny picture of the specific tourist place.
In today’s era of internet, the companies are fighting to get attention in the cyber space. The above competition can be also made available online. In order to reinforce brand awareness, games, screen-savers, eBooks and interesting downloads can be made available on the site. This promotion is not directly related to the product; however, this is expected to increase web traffic on its site and hence would create awareness among the young people.
Social Media has gained its importance with increasing traffic on the social networking sites. The company must use most of the social media and sites like facebook, twitter and other sites. The company can launch new campaigns, ads to attract the people on these networks and can seek feedbacks on the same. This would raise more awareness among the people.