Coke wins marketing. Yes, it is a contest, and yes, there are winners and losers. Coke wins. Constantly. There are a few ways we know this, the constant articles about Coca Colas marketing strategies being one of them (see the AdNews article or the BusinessInsider article for examples). A more data based approach, however, is more useful for any professional use and Forbes ranking of Coca Cola as the 4th most valuable brand is more quantitative in that respect. Now while that ranking may give some indication of brand recognition and marketing success, it is not specific enough to give any feedback on a single marketing task. That brings us to Cokes second win. The World Cup.
Yes, for the first time in history, a company has won both marketing and the World Cup. A world double and a world first. Now, in fairness, Germany actually won the 2014 World Cup, but Coca Cola won the marketing side of the World Cup, and as it was the second most watched sporting event in history (behind the 2012 Olympics as per BBC), it is a win nonetheless. In a study done by Millward Brown, they found that 81% of Brits recognized Coke as a World Cup partner, while an even greater 92% of Brazilians did as well. This is where Coke wins, in being the most recognized World Cup partner, showing just how well their marketing strategy at the World Cup worked. This data, for Coke in this instance, and in any other corporation as well, is instrumental in being able to judge the success of a marketing strategy or campaign.
This is where marketing metrics come into play. Marketing metrics are, simply put, measures to quantify the performance of a marketing strategy. Fortunately, and unfortunately, there are more marketing metrics than necessary, allowing for any number of measures across different aspects of marketing.
Marketing metrics can measure behavior metrics, financial performance, memory metrics (like in Millward Browns study), physical availability metrics, customer profile metrics, amongst others. For Coke, some of these could possibly be ignored. Realistically, physical availability is one metric Coke will not have to worry about (when was the last time you were looking to buy a Coke and could not find one?), while the rest are where Coke needs to be wary.
Customer profile metrics and behavioural metrics are two metrics where Coke would need to pay close attention to their performance. As per Keiningham et al., loyalty and satisfaction metrics can be used to predict customer retention. In Coca Colas field, specifically colas (as opposed to all of their other products as well), there is a plethora of competitors (see Wikipedia for a questionably accurate and complete list). With so many competitors, keeping customers is vital.
Financial performance is another that Coca Cola cannot ignore, however, they unsurprisingly have not published that data for me to talk about. However, it is not hard to understand why knowing how much money is being brought in by a marketing campaign is important. Obviously, if financial return is high, the marketing campaign is doing well. If not, some changes may be needed. Obviously this is a simplistic view but it should provide a little idea of why these particular metrics are needed.
The last type of metric is that of memory, one that Coke has not struggled with in the least. Between being in the top 5 most valuable and recognizable brands and an incredibly effective marketing campaign at the World Cup, Coke has done well to be both known and remembered by everyone, and Millward Brown’s study just quantifies and proves that (for a more general idea of how well they do in being recognized, walk down the street until you find someone who does not know what Coke is).
While Coke would score well in all of these metrics, Coke is an exception (like I said, they won marketing). In other companies and corporations, the correct metrics would give managers an idea of where their own marketing shortfalls might be, and from there how to fix them. I say the correct metric because using the wrong metric could either give useless data, or possibly data that presents a less than accurate picture of the marketing outlook. That being said, by using the correct metric, and using that data properly, any manager could turn their corporation into the next Coke (though most likely not).
Baker, R., 2016. Coca-Cola Makes Biggest Ever Shift To Global Marketing. AdNews. Available at: http://www.adnews.com.au/news/coca-cola-makes-biggest-ever-shift-to-global-marketing [Accessed September 24, 2016].
Anon, Category:Cola brands. Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/category:cola_brands [Accessed September 24, 2016].
Feloni, R., 2016. 7 strategies Coca-Cola used to become one of the world’s most recognisable brands. Business Insider Australia. Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com.au/strategies-coca-cola-used-to-become-an-iconic-brand-2016-2#/#1-it-started-with-a-unique-market-tested-formula-1 [Accessed September 24, 2016].
Keiningham, T. et al., The value of different customer satisfaction and loyalty metrics in predicting customer retention, recommendation, and share-of-wallet. The value of different customer satisfaction and loyalty metrics in predicting customer retention, recommendation, and share-of-wallet. Available at: http://www2.owen.vanderbilt.edu/bruce.cooil/documents/publications/msq2007.pdf [Accessed September 24, 2016].
Slater, M., 2014. Olympics and World Cup are the biggest, but what comes next? BBC Sport. Available at: http://www.bbc.com/sport/30326825 [Accessed September 24, 2016].
Anon, 2016. The World’s Most Valuable Brands. Forbes. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/powerful-brands/list/ [Accessed September 24, 2016].
Walker, S., 2014. Coke wins the World Cup 2014. Kantar UK Insights. Available at: http://uk.kantar.com/business/brands/2014/performance-of-brazil-world-cup-brand-sponsors/ [Accessed September 24, 2016].