Coca-Cola exec: Tighter mobile integration planned for Rio 2016 Olympics


Coca-Cola’s London 2012 Olympics strategy

NEW YORK A Coca-Cola executive at the Mobile Women to Watch 2014 Summit spilled the company’s plans to make the upcoming mobile programs for the FIFA 2014 and 2014 Olympics in Rio more tightly integrated based on learnings from the 2012 London Olympics campaign.

The executive from the soda giant discussed how Coca-Cola uses mobile for both branding and commerce during the Coca-Cola: Playing the Field in Mobile session. As one of the main sponsors of the Olympics and FIFA, some of the companys biggest mobile initiatives come out of large events, most recently at the 2012 London Olympics.

One of the learnings we saw was making sure that were integrated and aligned as a company, said Kim Siler, global mobile brand strategist at Coca-Cola, Atlanta.

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We had a very huge global digital strategy, she said. When you went into the market, some of that was missing, so the call-to-action.

Making sure that the host market is very integrated into what we are doing globally will be important. I dont want to call it a miss, but an opportunity for Rio 2016.

Mobile Women to Watch 2014 Summit was organized by Mobile Marketer.

Mobile gulp
Coca-Colas mobile strategy for the 2012 London Olympics heavily relied on music to target teens with an app that lets consumers create their own custom music.

Additionally, SMS programs implemented in nine markets led consumers to online content as well as an interactive mobile site. Coca-Cola learned to make SMS local and relevant to each market.

In the Canadian market, 40-50 percent response rate with five weekly messages. Even though Coca-Cola recommended that markets send out two weekly messages, the content was hyperlocal and tied to concerts and events.

In addition to making sure that mobile is more tightly integrated into the Rio 2016 and FIFA 2014 mobile activations, Coca-Cola also picked up some insights about its famous liquid and linked program that will influence the two events mobile strategies.

This means that it is crucial that all marketing mediums and products are linked together.

Additionally, Coca-Cola is using a mobile dashboard to measure the effectiveness of campaigns.

Ms. Siler presenting

Coca-Cola uses mobile Web, SMS, apps, location, 2D bar codes, video and commerce as parts of its mobile strategy.

Determining whether one specific type of mobile technology will be a winner is not the right approach, per Ms. Siler. Instead, it is about how all marketing mediums work together.

Take location, for example. Location plays a key role in how mobile can be used to target consumers on an individual level, but it also requires that all other elements of a marketing mix are in place.

Similar logic can be used for mobile bar codes and SMS.

I dont think its going to be 2D bar codes are going to be the answer, Ms. Siler said.

But when you put 2D bar codes with an SMS call-to-action with the ability to know when a diet, caffeine-free cherry Coke is out of stock and someone touches it and says that they need it, we have it the next day, it all works there, she said.

App on mobile
Coca-Cola also has a big focus on apps, but the technology requires that they are managed after a marketing initiative ends.

Coca-Colas budgets come from campaigns, so if an app is done at a campaign level, the brand has to have a longer-term plan for the app.

Successful apps from Coca-Cola include the Coke Studio app that integrates a live music studio. Additionally, apps within the Japan and Mexico markets were pointed out as successful by the Coca-Cola executive.

We have a lot of learnings there, it is a lot to manage, Ms. Siler said.

I would say right now were trying I dont want to say push away from apps but make sure that they have all those best practices in place before you just push out any app.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York

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