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Coca-Cola SVP for marketing insists: social plays a crucial role at the heart of our activations


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

March 22, 2013 | 2 min read

Coca-Cola’s senior vice president for integrated marketing communications and capabilities, Wendy Clark, has spoken out after a report from the company found that social media does not lead to sales results.

The study found that online buzz has no measurable impact on short-term sales: only leading to an 0.01 per cent increase.

While Clark admitted that in isolation, this is true, she suggests that ‘progressive marketers know better’: “it’s the combination of owned, earned, shared and paid media connections – with social playing a crucial role at the heart of our activations – that creates marketplace impact, consumer engagement, brand love and brand value.”

She insisted that no single medium by itself is as strong as the combination of media, noting the spread of consumers using multiple screens: watching a TV ad while surfing the net of their smartphone, for example.

Clark said: “For marketers, this requires having a single, integrated conversation across those screens. When we do this well, we create significantly higher impact than any of those screens could do on their own. Our last two years of results with our Big Game campaigns are great examples of this multi-screen approach and impact.”

She admitted: “As it is for all marketers, integrating so many moving parts in real time and with a constantly changing brand dialogue isn’t easy. These are new skills and capabilities, and we don’t always get it right. But we’re trying, we’re learning and we’re unquestionably committed to continuing the journey of executing wholly integrated campaigns, with social at the heart, to fuel better outcomes and impact for our company.”


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