Cannes Lions 2012: Five-points to a great marketing strategy

By , Seminars, Cannes | In Advertising | June 20, 2012
On Day 3 of the 59th International Festival of Creativity, Joseph Tripodi of Coca-Cola shared the five points of marketing strategy brands should follow to remain relevant in consumers' life.

While last year Coca-Cola provided a glimpse to the concept called Liquid and Linked , on the third day of the 59th International Festival of Creativity, Joseph Tripodi, executive vice-president and chief marketing and commercial officer, The Coca-Cola Company, spoke on 'New rules of marketing and consumer engagement'.

Moving beyond the concept of Content 2020, Tripodi said, "The world is going through a cultural revolution as we speak now. In today's time, it is the mob which rules the market place and has so much of power that it can also topple the government of any country. This mob is rewriting the rules of marketing and hence wants to be a part of a brand story rather than watch the brand grow from one corner."

Joseph Tripodi

He next emphasised on the five points of marketing strategy that the beverage company follows in its marketing and communication. The first one is 'Delivered shared value'.

Tripodi explained, "A brand, when it initiates a conversation with the stakeholders, which includes everyone from the retailers to the consumer, has to ensure that it drives some additional value. This thought is also a part of The Coca-Cola Company's 'Vision 2020' and helped it to double the size of the business."

He further stated that as part of the 'Liquid and Linked' point, the company believes that content should lead to an experience which will further fuel conversation with many. He then gave the example of the 'Coca-Cola Hug' machine, which was installed in a college in Singapore. As part of the programme, the machine ejected free Coca-Cola bottles or cans as soon as it was hugged by a person. The programme led to generation of conversation so much so that it got over 120 impressions within seven days on Facebook.

He then touched upon the second point, 'Engage the market' and gave the example of 'Project Connect' wherein the company printed 150 names on Coke bottles. The exercise led to consumers looking for their names on bottles of Coke in retail outlets and various other shops.

"Content should be authentic and a programme should ideally start with an impression and lead to generation of expression, which should further lead to development of conversation and finally, should lead to generation of transaction," added Tripodi.

He then stressed on the third point, 'To be a leader and develop leadership'.

According to Tripodi, brands should focus some effort on leadership through big and small gestures. Ideally, brands should try and address issues and try to drive an impact. Also, brands should have the courage and drive cultural leadership. He provided the example of a project called 'Arctic Home', as a part of which the company turned Coke cans from red to white, featuring polar bears. The exercise highlighted the plight of polar bears and the company developed an app and a flash site to further create an impact. Though a three-year long project, in the first year it generated about 1.3 billion impressions on Facebook.

Tripodi then touched upon the fourth point, 'Network advantage', and to support the point he cited the example of the programme called 'Coke Studio'. The programme was first launched in Pakistan and has been expanded to other countries including India, Africa and West Asia.

As part of the programme, the beverage company refined music and this in turn brought Sufi singer Arif Lohar into the limelight, turning him into a famous icon.

He then stressed on the last point, 'Advocacy'. Tripodi remarked, "It is important for people who love our brands to advocate them at the same time and this is only possible when brands initiate powerful conversations. Coca-Cola has over 42 million Facebook fans and it is important that people talk about Coca-Cola."

Lastly, he cited the example of Coca-Cola's association with the forthcoming London Olympics. To engage the youth, the company, along with musician Mark Rohnson, selected five athletes representing five different games. Based on the sound generated by these games, Rohnson created a music track. The beverage company then organised a music night with Katy B and Rohnson in the UK, inviting 2,000 teenagers to party at the event.

"People who captured various moments of the event through phones, iPads and cameras further created content and passed it on to each other, which in turn generated conversation and from that one piece of content we have been able to create 60 more pieces of content," said Tripodi.

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