How getting rid of the CMO ‘broadened’ Coca-Cola’s marketing approach

The introduction of the chief growth officer position more than 18 months ago has focused the minds of Coca-Cola’s marketers on business growth, rather than awareness and winning Cannes Lions awards, as it looks to reach new consumers and boost brand loyalty.

Coca-Cola One Brand

Coca-Cola’s decision to get rid of its chief marketing officer role in favour of a chief growth officer has “broadened” the company’s approach to marketing, according to one of the drink giant’s top marketers.

Coca-Cola scrapped the CMO position in March last year, appointing Francisco Crespo as chief growth officer instead. And that move has helped change the outlook of the marketing department and “broadened its approach”, says Coca-Cola’s global vice-president of creative, Rodolfo Echeverria.

Speaking exclusively to Marketing Week at a press event in Atlanta, US, he says: “Marketing in Coca-Cola is meant to drive business. The basic elements of awareness and winning awards at the Cannes Lions Festival no longer satisfies us.”

He adds: “We have always been big but now we are obsessively pursuing growth not in the sense that we want to be richer but in the sense we are looking at those consumers who are not our consumers right now. We’re asking how can we grow? How can we satisfy more and better consumer needs?

“When you have the boss whose job title is growth officer then you have to come up with growth in terms of new consumers who love the brand more, are buying Coca-Cola more frequently and have a high appreciation for the brand value.”

Coca-Cola’s business strategy now is focused on becoming a ‘total beverage company’, moving away from its reliance on fizzy drinks. To do that it has launched new products such as Fuze Tea, as well as buying brands such as Costa.

Echeverria admits that diversification has been a challenge, particularly in ensuring each brand has a strong identity. “We have to really focus to make sure every one of our brands has an edge, a differentiating point that is relevant to the people or relates to that brand.”

He adds: “When you have 500+ brands around the world it is a really heavy duty to give all those children a personality, a specific tone and manner and something distinctive to say all around the world.”

However, he also believes that business shift has had a positive affect on marketers within the company, with the total beverage approach “forcing” employees to be more curious.

Echeverria says: “Big companies can make this mistake of looking at themselves, looking at their belly button and thinking that the world is here. But we are really teaching and grooming a new generation of marketers that always look at the world and what it has to teach us.”

Hide Comments2 Show Comments
Comments
  • Casper Gorniok 17 Nov 2018 at 11:59 pm

    Very much agree with the thrust of this article…..purchasing Costa is part of the Growth Strategy.

  • Heather Johnston 18 Nov 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Is that the reasoning behind the wholly personality-free Diet Coke ad infesting UK screens at the moment? When they walk the walk, I’ll listen to the talk.

  • Post a comment

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here