Coca Cola's secret weapon for world domination- mobile marketing


Tom Daly feels cheated. The Group Director of Global Connections (see Management Plan) leads the company''s mobile marketing efforts, which is currently around 4% of marketing spend. "Every day, there are 1.7 billion transactions of our product. With 6 billion SIM cards globally, that represents a lot of people who should be holding a Coke". Coca Cola is counting on mobile to help realize CEO Muhtar Kent''s 2020 Vision Plan of doubling 2010 revenue to $200 million by 2020. "The fundamental question is whether the phone will be an enabler or barrier toward achieving our business goals. We can''t afford to stand on the sidelines".


"Our focus is on building content and experiences that only mobile can create. We want to move beyond mobile advertising and create interactions between consumers and the brand". An example launched this month is an update of the 1971 ad, "I''d like to buy the world a Coke", reconfigured for the mobile age. With a few taps of the Smartphone, consumers can really “buy the world a Coke” and even add a personalized message. Click to see the video here
Growth will need to come in emerging markets, where Smartphone penetration is growing quickly but still below 10%. In mobile, that means a 70:20:10 budget framework focused on ubiquity- 70% for messaging (SMS and MMS), 20% for mobile web, and only 10% for Smartphone applications. 
An example from China is Minute Maid''s Pulpy Super Milky, launched in late 2009. This glutinous, coconut-flavored milk was positioned as a lifestyle, health brand. It became the first $1 billion new beverage in a developing market. Pulpy Super Milky''s mobile marketing efforts focused on SMS and mobile web.
In fact, Coca-Cola''s single most successful Chinese mobile marketing campaign combined mobile messaging and mobile web. Consumers were invited to send a Chinese New Year greeting across media platforms, including mobile. First, they would leave a New Years wish for friends and loved ones on the mobile web campaign site. Coca-Cola would then send your wish out on a virtual coke bottle via MMS.
The company shares learnings across the organization via an internal sharing portal. "There is a lot of relevant experience across the Coke global system. We need to reduce the learning curve". Tom cites an Augmented Reality campaign in Argentina in which the Coke bottle is transformed into a television set. "We know that TV works but we also know our customer is using multiple screens while they watch TV. Why can''t we make that an opportunity for engagement?" This campaign has now been adapted across Latin America and other markets.
Click to see the video here 
In the short term, Daly''s mobile priorities are to improve the quality of external campaign effectiveness measurement and internal planning tools. "There is a science for understanding media mixed modeling and mobile is still behind the curve".
Another goal is to reduce the friction in mobile transactions. "Location is particularly important for our business. Right now, buying a coke for $1.25 via mobile is complex. An environment where packaged goods can be purchased with mobile phones would create a lot more value for our consumers".
Finally, there is significant opportunity for innovation in the retail experience. Expect to see more innovative Point of Sale (POS) installations such as this prototype using Augmented Reality and Holographic 3D. 
Click to see video here
Coca Cola needs to achieve growth while "creating moments of optimism and happiness", such as this ambient campaign at a London university. Mobile will be key toward achieving that goal.
Click to see video here