1) Attract new consumers, not existing ones
Attracting existing consumers is easy. Attracting newer ones is harder – but it’s what the company needs to be focusing on, said Brian Smith, COO, The Coca-Cola Company, at the Barclay’s Global Consumer Staples Conference last week.
“In the past, we were less zeroed in on recruiting the consumer base for the specific brand, to be able to increase the bottom of the pyramid and bring more people into the brand,” said Smith. “And we tended to do a lot of marketing that would increase the frequency of the loyal consumer base. What we’re changing going forward is we’ll continue to have activities around the frequency, but as well, the big push is going to be to recruit more so that we can broaden the weekly drinkers that we have.”
2) Measure results
“We’ll have mechanisms to really understand exactly who is drinking on a weekly basis around so that we have very strong quantitative measures of whether we’re making progress or not in terms of increasing the consumer base,” continued Smith.
“As opposed to just sort of obsessing about the DME spend and spending it in a way that is somewhat less disciplined, more geographically based, where people were doing more about what they thought was right, but it wasn’t necessarily thought in an integrated way across the corporation... we’re going to think about it much more scientifically to figure out not only how the message should be sent so it’s effective; what the assets are that we want to use to be able to go after the consumer basis for each given brand, which will be different depending on the brand.
“So as opposed to just TV like we used to do in the past, if we go into digital, is it going to be gaming? Is it going to be music? Is it going to be sports? What kinds of assets are we going to use because ultimately what we’re trying to do is to engage the consumers as opposed to just talking to them, and so we need to draw them into that conversation and then actually becoming, in a lot of cases, co-creators of the content we want to disseminate, and that’s the way we believe we can get the stickiness with the consumer base to be able to increase the base.”
3) Identifying and ditching mediocre campaigns
The result is that marketing spend will become much more efficient.
“Part of the thing in the past is that we didn’t know exactly which marketing was the marketing that was driving the growth, and so by having better metrics to know exactly how the marketing is working, we’ll be able to get rid of all the marketing that didn’t do very much and be able to reallocate it towards what does,” said Smith.
4) Match up dreams with capabilities
There’s no point in having a great product and great marketing strategy if you can’t ultimately delivery it into the hands of consumers. Distribution must match up with marketing ambitions, adds Smith.
“A lot of times, we’ve launched products where we had great products, well positioned for the right consumer segments with the right spend in media, but where we didn’t have the follow through necessarily in terms of getting the distribution, having the coolers and being able to track to make sure that we’re getting the sampling that we need to be able to get consumers, to connect the dots, across the whole thing.”
Smith’s final words of wisdom?
“It I had to use one word in terms of how marketing is going to change, it’s discipline around both the what and the how we’re going to do things for the global brands around the world”.