Discuss about the Marketing Communication for Social Marketing.
The Coca-Cola Company is principally a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of non-alcoholic drink syrups and concentrates. It was created in 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia by a pharmacist named John. S. Pemberton. It was initially offered as a fountain drink by adding Coca Cola solution with carbonated water. The brand was patented in 1887 and got its registered trademark in 1893. In 1899, the company started licensed bottling venture in the United States and expanded globally in the year 1906. The company has a long history of acquisition. In 1960, it had acquired Minute Maid and in 1993 it acquired Thums Up and Barq’s in 1995. It had bought Colombia Pictures for the sum of $692 million but later sold it to Sony Corporation in 1989 for the sum of $3 billion (coca-colacompany.com 2016).
- Carbonated Soft Drinks: Under this product category, the company produces brands like Coca Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Fanta, Sprite, Barq’s, Barriliots, Dasani, Fresca, Mello Yello, Pibb, Sprite and many others.
- Juice and Juice Drinks: Minute Maid is the main product of this category. Apart from this product, Five Alive, Honest Kids, Odwalla Smoothie, Simply Orange and Simply Lemonade.
- Water and Water Based Beverages: There are varieties of mineral water and flavored water brands like Aquarius, Dasani, Fruitwater, Smartwater, and Vitaminwater.
- Sports Drinks: There are two brands under this category namely Powergrade and Powergrade Zero.
- Tea, Coffee and Coffee Drinks: It has wide variety of tea, coffee and coffee drinks. Some of them are Fuze, Gold Peak, Honest Tea, Gold Peak Coffee, Georgia Coffee.
- Other Products: It includes Zico coconut water, Odwalla Bar, Odwalla Protein Shake and Core Power (coca-colaproductfacts.com 2016).
Target Market of Coca Cola Company
The Coca Cola Company takes into consideration each and every single individual as its target customer, yet while segmenting the market for its product the company takes into consideration the age, family size and income level of the targeted customers. Age is one of the factors that the company considers to be essential for segmenting its market and therefore it manufactures products that could meet the demand of the targeted age group. Coca Cola mainly targets the customers in the age group of 10-45 by endorsing their products through popular celebrities and personalities in their commercials and advertisements (Czinkota and Ronkainen 2013).
The company also targets various schools, colleges, universities, restaurants and hotels to fetch long-term contracts. The company offers a wide range of products for this age category like Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, Fanta, Georgia Coffee and many other products. Apart from these products, it also offers non caffeine drinks like Diet Coke Zero, Fanta Zero, Minute Maid, Powergrade, Powergrade Zero, Sprite Zero for the above mentioned age category as well as for the customers above the age of 45 years who are diabetic. Income is another important factor for determining its target market. The company offers its products in various packages and sizes at distinctive price levels which make its products quite affordable for middle income groups, families, students. This type of targeting is also directly linked with the size of family due to variation in the packaging and bottle sizes (Armstrong et al. 2012)
The Coca Cola Company, the world’s leading beverage company made an essential change in its marketing strategy with its new global campaign titled “Taste the Feeling” launched in 2016. The current campaign took over its previous popular marketing campaign “Open Happiness”. The current campaign conveys the message of discovering refreshment and fun in little moments of life. Coca Cola adopted this master brand positioning strategy to consolidate its principal brand Coca Cola as well its sub brands like Coke Zero, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta and many other products under its umbrella. The current plan is proving to be a success as well as quite promising but also brought about certain challenges like the requisite for designing an exceptional packaging and communication strategy. The “Open Happiness” campaign largely focused on the brand whereas the current campaign of “Taste the Feeling” shifted the focus towards the products apart from bringing to light the emotional and functional outlook of the brand. In the current brand promotion campaign Coca Cola aims to symbolize refreshment, energy, and joy (fortune.com 2016).
“One Brand” Strategy
The current campaign was a brainchild of Coca Cola Company’s chief marketing officer Marcos de Quintos who developed the plan with an objective to unite the brand globally and make a “One Brand” approach. With the new campaign came another façade of the new plan, with more than 20 commercials which focused heavily on the product.
Coca Cola positioned its various brands namely Coke Zero and Diet Coke under the “One Brand” approach with all the products featuring the new “Taste the Feeling” tagline. Some branding experts believe that it is an approach undertaken by the company to remind consumers that refreshment and Coca Cola are synonymous. The shift might look very small for an outsider but the experts consider it to be a really huge shift. It is a thoughtful shift that would guide the company in the new age where the company seems to be preparing to make some bold moves. “Open Happiness” campaign was triumphant but it got away too far from the product as the tagline can be associated with anything that a person opens but the current campaign have strong connectivity which directly speaks about the feeling derived from drinking Coca Cola (businesswire.com 2016).
Communication Goals of Coca Cola Company
The marketing campaigns launched by the Coca Cola Company aims to achieve its primary objectives. Like any other business the primary objective of the company is profit maximization and all its communications goals are directed towards the accomplishment of its primary objectives. The marketing and advertisement campaigns of the company contribute to the accomplishment of its primary objective of profit maximization in numerous ways. The Coca Cola Company used mass media methodology in its integrated marketing communication program. It uses television advertising, billboards and print media for its marketing campaigns (Morrison 2016).
Its integrated marketing communication program employs marketing mix of advertising, social media marketing, sales promotion, and web based interactive and direct marketing. Following are the objectives that the company aims to achieve through its integrated marketing communication (IMC):
- Creating Brand and Product Awareness: This marketing objective can be said as the secondary objective of the company as it already have a wide range of products extensively available in almost 200 countries and high degree of brand recognition.
- Encouraging Liking Towards the Company’s Products: This objective aims to encourage consumers towards the liking of the products of the company over its competitor’s products due to the extremely competitive global market for beverages.
- Product Trials: The company aims to encourage prospective new customers to take a trial of its products but this objective is pursued by the company very occasionally and only in the markets which are new to the company (Yeshin 2012).
- Encourage Short Term Sales: This particular marketing objective is taken up by the company on a season basis. For example: the company introduces summer season sales offers in supermarkets and the significant information is being conveyed to the existing and potential customers.
- Identify Consumers’ Buying Behavior: The integrated marketing communication also aims to identify the buying behavior of the consumers a develop products in order to integrate the lifestyle of the consumers with their consumption behavior and thereby attaining their lasting loyalty (Blakeman 2014).
Reason for Applying IMC by Coca Cola Company
An efficient integrated marketing communication method that is set up and maintained is essential prevailing business prerequisite. Coca Cola’s IMC approach has set a benchmark that presents an instant of reference of preferred accomplishment that is desired across various industries. High revenues and sales, brand recognition and visibility, brand positioning in the global market are indicators of the strong levels of achievements accomplished by the business. The company’s products are consumed globally as a consequence of in-store and retail marketing activities which are carefully detailed. In the business that has spanned for more than 100 years, the company has gone to the pinnacle of industrial food chain. The elements that are applied with respect to the IMC approach, the relative significance of the constituents, constituent competence, and the overall success of the approach have integrated to conceive a feeling that customers have affectionately embraced. If this IMC approach is employed throughout then undoubtedly the company will remain a market leader (Mihart 2012).
Message Strategy and Execution Tactics
The marketing campaign materials are planned according to the message they intend to convey and sounds, words and images featured within them are developed by marketing experts to serve the purpose. Messages sent via sounds, words and images promoting the brand can be categorized into three heads – Coca Cola is trendy, it helps best in quenching thirst and drink it is a part of lifestyle (De Mooij 2013).
Various materials employed by the company try to convey a message that the drink quenches the thirst in best possible way and partly for this reason the drink is consumed by millions of people every day. Coca Cola has positioned itself as drink to quench thirst, symbol of success and style. The subject matter of diverse marketing resources employed to promote Coca Cola also attempts to make potential and existing customers to believe that it’s an essential constituent of daily life (Bakan 2016).
Promotional Mix and Media Strategy
The Coca Cola Company employs several promotional methods to create enhanced market demand by socializing with behavior and lifestyle and chiefly targeting value based promotion. People frequently witnesses the product’s commercials categorized for a specific festival or with a common positive message. The company uses corporate social responsibility as marketing tool to secure emotional gain in consumers mind. In the past the company has hired many famous personalities like Wayne Rooney, Christina Aguilera, Sarah Jessica Parker to promote their brands globally (Shimp and Andrews 2012).
The company comes up with many commercials that creates an emotional connect with the consumers and since the current generation of youth are extensively engaged in social networking, they promote their brand through their official page on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as through Youtube. Apart from these, the company also engages itself with many sports worldwide to promote its products like official drinks sponsor of any cricket league or football tournament like the Fifa Football World Cup and many others. The company is using the above promotional mix and media strategies to develop principal campaigns like the recent Fifa World Cup social media strategy to get anybody involved whether a football fan or not. The social media has served as an important platform to interact with the people and maintain a healthy relation through two way communication (Roman and Zgiep 2013).
The effectiveness of the success of its promotional activities can be ascertained by consistently increasing number of followers that they have on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and the blogs and reblogs that they receive. Further data analytics of the company consistently tracks its official website visits by people throughout the year (Arapi and Kruja 2015).
The Coca-Cola Company is principally a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of non-alcoholic drink syrups and concentrates. It was created in 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia by a pharmacist named John. S. Pemberton. It was initially offered as a fountain drink by adding Coca Cola solution with carbonated water. It has a wide range of products under its umbrella such as Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, Minute Maid and many others.
While segmenting the market for its product the company takes into consideration the age, family size and income level of the targeted customers. The company has developed its brand positioning strategy from “Open Happiness” to “Taste the Feeling”. The integrated marketing communication (IMC) approach is aimed at brand awareness, encourage liking towards the products and many others. The reason for applying IMC is to enhance sales and revenue, increase brand recognition and positioning of the product.
The marketing campaign materials are planned according to the message they intend to convey and sounds, words and images featured within them are developed by marketing experts to serve the purpose. The Coca Cola Company employs several promotional methods to create enhanced market demand by socializing with behavior and lifestyle and chiefly targeting value based promotion.
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