Coca-Cola and Integrated Marketing Communications
In 1893 the Coca-Cola logo became a registered trademark. This marked what would become most recognizable brand around the world. If you have a television, radio, or get out now and then it is almost impossible to not be exposed to some form of marketing campaign or advertising of Coca-Cola products. Coca-Cola is a thriving global corporation that is firmly embedded in 206 countries and is a $67 billion dollar corporation (CNBC, 2013).
Coca-Cola’s Senior Vice President of Integrated Marketing Communications, Wendy Clark, is responsible for Design, Marketing Communications, Media, Sponsorships, Interactive Marketing and marketing the Live Positively sustainability platform (Coca-Cola, 2013). The Marketing team’s latest campaign is the “Open Happiness” campaign. They utilize holistic design and only use ad agencies that have proven track records and a thorough understanding of digital media opportunities. The use of online streaming media, pop-ups, and interactive ads, online flash ads, and sponsorship are all great mass communication methods or part of a communication design. Even a world renowned leader in the soft drink industry isn’t leaving things to chance by just attempting to sustain sales based on their incredibly strong brands. They realize the need to maintain a presence and even lead the crowd into the latest marketing techniques ensuring their continued success through clearly and consistently communicating their advertising messages. Through Coca-Cola’s great products and consistent and worldwide communications delivery, employing every delivery vehicle imaginable, they have managed to sell 3,500 different products worldwide and still growing, receive 1,322,000 tweets per quarter, been in business for over 128 years, have 16 $1 billion dollar brands (extensions), and their products are available in over 200 countries (Coca-Cola, 2013). I submit this as evidence of their strong and effective communication delivery and channeling of their products. They have created strong consumer desire and consistently deliver on their communicated advertising campaigns. I know I personally always get a lift when I open a can or a bottle and hear that first escape of carbonation, “Open Happiness” in effect! Effective Channels
Coca-Cola products saturate the marketplace. There are so many products and communication delivery vehicles as well as product delivery systems/Channels. For starters they have a trademark recognized around the world, Coke products with the red label or can and white lettering and picture of a bottle on the packaging, instant product identification. Next they channel their actual products through restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, discount chains such as BJ’s or a Wal-Mart, and sporting events to name a few. From my perspective the most effective channel is the grocery store and convenience store channels. Here they not only have an opportunity to deliver their product but they also have display cases that feature just their Coca-Cola brands which also serves as a form of in store advertising. Effective Promotion Mix
There are several promotional tools that Coca-Cola employs through their various channels. When I go to the local 7/11 I get two 2liters for $3.33 saving about a dollar over other distribution points. I also see 12 packs on sale at the grocery stores all the time for four or five 12 packs for the price of three or four. They also use free product giveaways with winning message under the bottle cap of purchased drinks. Many of the pricing promotions are enabled by Price-Off (off-invoice or off-list) as a straight discount to the vendor during a specific period of time or based on volume purchasing (Kotler, P. & Keller, K., 2012, p. 521).
The Marketing Mix
Coca-Cola is everywhere! How did they get that way? Through an outstanding marketing mix. They are very attentive to the original four Ps of the marketing mix; product, price, promotion, and place. As the four Ps evolved into people, processes, programs, and performance, so did Coca-Cola’s management of them along with the original tenants as well (Kotler, P. & Keller, K., 2012).
When we talk about their products we have to note that Coca-Cola has 500 different brands, including Coke, to appeal to the various tastes of consumers around the world. They have various sizes of products they offer in order to fit the many different consumer wants. Their products have very readily identifiable branding/logos (such as the golden arches for McDonald’s). Coca-Cola even introduced a new soda fountain dispenser called the Coca-Cola Freestyle Jet Machine. This soft drink dispenser is capable of producing 140 variations of the various Coca-Cola products from a retro looking soda machine with a touch screen for the users. The machines are wired to the internet and collect all dispensing data that is accessible by the corporate headquarters in Atlanta so they may gather sales data and demographics to aid in their strategic planning (CNBC, 2013). Conclusion
Coca-Cola’s marketing team, led by Wendy Clark, has stayed focused on new technologies and message delivery methods while keeping a holistic marketing approach at the core of the operation. Wendy and Coca-Cola recognize the importance of marketing activities breadth and their interdependencies such as development, design, and implementation of marketing programs, processes (Kotler, P. & Keller, K., 2012, p. G4). With this holistic approach Coca-Cola is poised to continue their rule over the soft drink/beverage industry. Reference
CNBC, website (2013). The Real Story Behind the Real Thing. Retrieved from:http://www.cnbc.com/id/33307309/CocaCola_The_Real_Story_Behind_the_Real_Thing Coca-Cola, website (2013). Retrieved from: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/our-company/leadership-viewpoints-wendy-clark Kotler, P. & Keller, K. L. (2012). Marketing Management, 14th edition. Prentice Hall: NJ