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Review of Coke’s Digital Marketing By Chen Ming Chun

The Coke Digital Network (CDN) – the future of precision marketing 

The Coke Digital Network is a project which only a big world brand like Coca-Cola can play. It is an important opportunity for Coca-Cola to scale up further by expanding its capabilities and geographic scope. Nowadays, in this fast changing technological environment, Coca-Cola hasn’t lagged behind but positioned itself as the spearhead of the industry continually. How big this Coke Digital Network (CDN) project is? We can see from the below video produced in 2009.

Coca-Cola, the world’s largest soft drink company, wins the most valuable brand for the Interbrand brand survey 2011. The company sells carbonated soft drink not only in stores, restaurants, and also vending machines all over the world. Coca-Cola has dominant power in the market place for several decades and this time they try to go further through the digital pathway. The company calls this approach to digital billboard space “the adventure”. “As a company looking for different ways to get message out faster and make it more relevant and targeted, Coca-Cola started to look at different approaches” said Beatriz Perez in 2010, senior VP of integrated marketing for Coca-Cola North America. Obviously, the traditional marketing tools are not enough for the beverage giant. They’ve already owned mature and well-developed tactics in commercial, campaigns and PR areas. In order to integrate digital network with the current advantages of Coca-Cola, the presence of CDN is essential. 

The CDN contains whole range of outdoors electronic billboards, mobile phone, tablets and social media advertising channels. Hi-tech equipments such as Coca-Cola interactive vending machines offer innovative marketing channel to support the CDN. The company intended to set up touch points in every place consumers exist since 2009. There are more than 25 digital faces in 20 cities, establishing a Coca-cola self owned media channel. Coca-Cola plans to enable more tailored and efficient content delivery flow through position marketing. By CDN, the company can import, transform and distribute intelligent digital media based on existing content. Every piece of Coca-Cola advertisement which presented on digital devices will be customized and optimized in each layer. This process can maximize the utility of Coca-Cola media content in multiple platforms by saving time, money and effort. On the other hand, when consumers continually interact with CDN content, they also grow the knowledge of the brand. They can get information about when, where and how to find Coca-Cola as well as what’s new for the brand campaigns and promotions. The whole circle provide an opportunity to co-create value with consumers and adds value gradually to both customers and the brand. 

Take the “Arctic Home” promotional campaign in December last year for example, the cooperation with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has been a really success with the involvement of CDN. The campaign timeline, budget, scale and media channels are all specially designed and combined together to form this great marketing campaign. The concept, structure and pathway are what marketers should understand and apply in the future. “One of the things we’re talking about is how we evolve as a marketing entity around the world […] what we’re going for more and more will be developing compelling content.” said Coca-Cola CMO Joseph Tripodi. He also indicated that “dramatic changes” in the nature of consumer engagement keep changing the way how business interacts with customers. Marketers must not resist or forget the existence of these changing waves but to embrace and interact with them actively. After all, digital and interactive marketing strategy will definitely be the one that decides whether a marketing proposal success or not for the following decades.

As the world’s most valuable leading brand, Coca-Cola has put great efforts for digital network creation and improvement for many years. That’s also why the brand has sort of magic power in people’s minds.

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