5 lessons from Coca-Cola
Its ads have always been creative and entertaining. Through its huge marketing budgets, it has cut a pathway into our consciousness that places it as one of the most recognisable brands in the world. It doesn’t matter where you go, Coca Cola is there!
Coca Cola is also the largest business brand on Facebook with nearly 40 million fans.
Coca Cola Wakes up to Content Marketing
Recently they have realised that their marketing strategy that has worked well for them for decades needed to evolve, and as such, they are moving from “Creative Excellence” to “Content Excellence”. Content for Coca Cola is now the “Matter” and “Substance” of “Brand Engagement”.
Content is now the key to marketing in the 21st century on a social web, so what can we learn from Coca Cola’s new marketing strategy?
Lesson 1: Create Liquid Content
The purpose of content excellence is to create “Ideas” so contagious that they cannot be controlled. This is what is called “liquid content”.
On a social web, people can easily share ideas, videos and photos on social networks such Facebook.
So create content that begs to be shared, whether that be an image, a video or an article.
Lesson 2: Ensure your Content is Linked
The next part of the equation is to ensure that these ideas create content that is innately relevant to:
- The business objectives of your company
- The brand
- Your customer interests
This is “Linked” content… Content that is relevant and connected to the companies goals and brand.
Ensure that the content communicates your message that is congruent with your mission and values.
Lesson 3: Create Conversations
Coca Cola has realised that the consumer creates more stories and ideas than they do, so their goal is to provoke conversations and then “Act” and “React” to those conversations 365 days of the year.
Don’t just publish — interact with your audience and “tribe”.
Lesson 4: Move onto Dynamic Story Telling
On traditional media in the past, story telling was static and a one way street. Television and newspapers shouted at you with no means of interaction.
Coca Cola has come the realisation that to grow their business on the social web they need to move on from “One Way Story Telling” to “Dynamic Story Telling”.
This means you need to allow the story to evolve as you interact and converse with your customers. You need to converse with your customers in many media formats and social networks.
Storytelling has moved on from static and synchronous, to multifaceted, engaged and spreadable.
Lesson 5: Be Brave and Creative with Your Content Creation
Part of the new Coca Cola content strategy is applying a 70/20/10 investment principle to creating “Liquid content“.
- 70% of your content should be low risk. It pays the rent and is your bread and butter marketing (should be easy to do and only consumes 50% of your time).
- 20% of your content creation should innovate off what works.
- 10% of your content marketing is high risk ideas that will be tomorrows 70% or 20%… be prepared to fail.
This provides a blueprint to moving on from just developing white papers, to trying some content that is more visual, courageous and engaging in web world that has embraced multimedia and interactive content.
The 30 Second TV Ad is no Longer King
Coca Cola has come to the conclusion that the world has moved on from the 30 second TV ad. So has the Old Spice brand and many other businesses who are embracing social media as part of their marketing strategy.
We need to move towards a genuine consumer collaboration model that builds buzz and adopts a more iterative approach to content creation.
Learning how to fuel the conversations, act and interact has never been more important.
Consumers ideas, creativity and conversations have been set free with the evolution of social networks, learning to leverage and wrangle those conversations to increase your brand visibility is now a vital part of your marketing.
Some marketing wars
1. Coca-Cola and Pepsi have been sniping at each other since the 1970’s
The eternal feud between Coke and Pepsi has raged for decades, but the most widely-known marketing skirmish between the two was the Pepsi Challenge in 1975.
2. After it was bought by Pillsbury in 1967, Burger King started launching direct attacks on McDonald’s
Like Coke and Pepsi, these two fast food behemoths have constantly traded blows for decades, though much of the jostling was done without direct attacks. Instead, they used product development (like this duplicate breakfast sandwich) and market positioning to fight the war.
3. Apple has been taking shots at Microsoft for nearly four decades
From Pirates of Silicon Valley to its constant coverage by tech publications across the world, Apple and Microsoft’s epic rivalry is well documented.
4. The war between Sega and Nintendo has finally ended, but it was a cutthroat ride
”Genesis does what Nintendon’t” was Sega’s big — and very straightforward — tagline in its attempt to win the battle of Genesis vs. Super Nintendo.
5. Miller and Anheuser Busch’s ad war has been brutal, but incredibly entertaining for viewers
Though there’s a lot of nuance behind the positioning of the Bud Light and Miller Lite brands, consumers only get to see what they put on TV. Fortunately, that’s the best part.
6. Long-time German rivals Audi and BMW have always been at each other’s throats, looking for definitive superiority
Audi and BMW have taken the fight to the race track and the world’s biggest auto magazines, but a mid-2000’s Santa Monica billboard battle managed to crank up the rivalry even further.
7. Dominos infuriated Subway when it entered the sandwich biz
A fight was bound to happen when Domino’s started cranking up the advertising for its new oven-baked sandwiches in 2009. And it got ugly, fast.
8. Starbucks has kept quiet so far under the onslaught of Dunkin’ Donuts
Dunkin’ began its attack on Starbucks in 2007 with ads that mocked the uppity coffee culture. Since then, it has been an all-out assault — with no response from Seattle’s coffee giant.
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