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Coca-Cola is a global company. But when it comes to marketing, the CPG is harnessing digital tools to reach local consumers.
On an earnings call to recap the fourth quarter of 2022, CEO James Quincey detailed digital marketing initiatives the company is undertaking in Vietnam, India and Latin America.
“Our new marketing model is working with linked occasions and passion points to drive engagement,” Quincey said. “We're experimenting to optimize marketing. This is driving deeper connections with consumers, reaching them in unique and new ways. We are tying our beverages to consumption occasions and engaging consumers through local experiences.”
Quincey outlined several of the initiatives, and the results:
In Vietnam, the Coke is Cooking campaign aimed to drive traffic back to stores. Coca-Cola partnered with more than 700 food shops, and created thousands of combo deals that combined food and Coke. The event also included digital support from local influencers, and merchandising within stores.
“This was the first time we used an on-ground event as a commercial asset, creating a social and digital content generator,” Quincey said.
The results: The campaign resulted in more than 1 million combo transactions, as well as 20% uplift for participating merchants.
In Latin America, Coca-Cola partnered with the massive music festival Rock in Rio to create new content in livestreams and the metaverse. The goal was to combine in-person and digital experiences, and increase engagement with consumers as a result.
The results: Coca-Cola boosted its reach from the roughly 700,00 attendees at the festival to more than 45 million people in the region. Ultimately, sales inside the festival increased 23%.
In India, Coca-Cola launched the Thums Up Stump Cam for cricket fans. Through the app, consumers could scan a QR code on a product label, and get access to match moments at the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup broadcast from a camera installed on a wicket.
“Throughout the 45-day tournament, we used first-party data and artificial intelligence to send personalized content to consumers based on their favorite matches, and we amplified the experience through sports influencers,” Quincey said.
The results: The cola brand Thums Up had growth that outpaced the full sparkling portfolio in India during the activation period. In all, it drove about one quarter of India's total volume growth of the year, and Thums Up saw its highest monthly market share jump during the activation period.
In Germany, Coca-Cola created voice-based experiences with a technology partner that allowed people to shop and learn more about Coca-Cola products using only their voice.
The results: The campaign had 11 million impressions, and consumers engaged with the experience had a 25% add-to-cart rate.
Gen Z insights
As it launched Minute Maid Aguas Frescas, Coca-Cola leveraged Gen Z insights for a digital media marketing campaign.
The results: The campaign propelled the product to quickly scale from a launch phase in cans into Coca-Cola’s freestyle platform and fountain offerings. In 2022, the product recorded a 60% repeat rate.
When it comes to revenue growth, Coca-Cola is also seeking to leverage insights that can help it better understand customers.
“There is still much work to be done to maximize revenue by further segmenting our markets and consumers based on additional variables,” Quincey said. “We are leveraging digital and data-backed insights to better understand our consumers.This will help drive affordable propositions for basket incidence growth and recruit new drinkers. It will also lead to premiumization to drive price and mix.”
Trending in Marketing
New advertising opportunities are being beta tested for in-store audio and product demos.
Retail media’s fast growth isn’t only limited to increasing spend. The advertising itself is also poised to appear in more places beyond ecommerce marketplaces, and even beyond the web.
The latest example comes from Walmart Connect, which is the retail media arm of the world’s largest retailer.
Walmart shared details on testing that it is completing for in-store retail media. To this point, Walmart Connect has been considered the advertising platform for Walmart’s ecommerce site. But these tests indicate that’s poised to expand.
Stores present a potent opportunity for Walmart. It has 4,700 big box locations around the U.S., and customers returned to them in droves last year. In 2022, 88% of the retailer’s customers visited Walmart stores.
Walmart Connect already has already dipped a toe into in-store advertising, with a TV wall, self-checkout ads and integrated marketing. The new pilots aim to take a step further.
“The next frontier of retail media is in-store experiences, and it’s one we’re excited to chart,” Whitney Cooper, head of omnichannel transformation at Walmart Connect, wrote in a blog post on the new tests. “But it’s still an emerging opportunity for us, as we continue to test what serves customers best and which solutions are scalable to Walmart’s size.”
Here’s a look at the two new offerings currently under beta test:
Walmart suppliers will be able to integrate product demos into campaigns across in-store and digital environments.
Product demos aren’t new to store floors, but Walmart Connect is seeking to give them an update that blends digital and physical experiences.
“Part of our test is how to enhance the omnichannel experience by bridging the physical back to digital: For example, by pairing a demo cart with QR codes that link back to a curated Walmart.com landing page so customers can find inspiration and shop their list all in one spot,” Cooper wrote.
Walmart is currently offering 120 demos at stores each weekend, and plans to scale to 1,000 by the end of 2023.
Walmart Connect will now offer advertising placements on Walmart’s in-store radio network. Suppliers will have the option to purchase ads by region or store, enabling targeting of key markets.
“This is the first time brands will be able to speak directly to Walmart customers through this medium,” Cooper writes. “These ads also create a new upper-funnel touchpoint for brand marketers and out-of-home (OOH) buyers to create awareness, because in-store audio is about connecting with customers wherever they are in the store — they don’t have to pass the brand in the aisle.”
With the tests, we’ll be watching for how this advertising is measured, and whether Walmart Connect is tracking impact across different types of formats, and not just a single campaign.