Coca-Cola CMO sees digital marketing as vital

Coca-Cola’s marketing will evolve into content management as the soft drinks giant pursues “a far more aggressive digital presence”, according to Coke’s top marketer Joseph Tripodi.

Speaking to Marketing Week at the launch of Coke’s 2010 FIFA World Cup marketing plan at FIFA headquarters in Zurich, executive vice-president and chief marketing and commercial officer Tripodi said “dramatic changes” in the nature of consumer engagement are driving the shift in the way the business interacts with customers.

To that end, all eyes at Coke’s Atlanta HQ are on the impressive performance of both CokeZone, Coca-Cola’s online portal in the UK, and My Coke Rewards, its more developed US version. Both sites offer consumers the chance to gather points with every purchase which can be swapped for a range of content, experiences and prizes.

“With My Coke Rewards we have 13 million names,” said Tripodi. “With that kind of database you can build relationships with consumers that are very different from the ones you gain through TV ads.”

As the relationship develops, says Tripodi, so the number of possibilities grow. “You start to evolve your thinking about how to engage them, beyond giving away T-shirts.

“One of the things we’re talking about now is how we evolve as a marketing entity around the world. We’re pushing for a far more aggressive digital presence. What we’re going for more and more will be developing compelling content. Some will be consumer generated, some of it we’ll buy, some of it we’ll create ourselves. The idea is to flex that content out over different digital endpoints.”

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