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Coca-Cola CMO explains why the business is yet to have a true digital strategy

Coca-Cola CMO explains why the business is yet to have a true digital strategy.

Social media is the strategy for those who don’t have a true digital strategy, claimed Coca-Cola’s chief marketing officer (CMO), who is working to change this mindset at the renowned advertiser.

It is part of the reason why TV still vastly outperforms its digital efforts despite the business pumping large sums into alternative digital channels over the years. Consequently, TV is still “very, very critical for our business,” said Coca-Cola's CMO Marcos de Quintos at an industry event reported by AdAge, where he revealed that “TV still offers the best ROI across media channels".

While the data he used was pulled from 2014 investments, it highlighted Coca-Cola’s TV spend generating $2.13 for every dollar spent on TV, compared with $1.26 for digital. Such a stark difference between the two mediums is emblematic of the wider knowledge gaps in marketers’ media management skills that has come to light this year following the Dentsu Aegis and Facebook measurement controversies.

Change has been on the cards for some time; Coca-Cola hired WPP digital outfit Possible at the turn of the year to help centralise its social media marketing so that it operates from a much lower cost base with high productvity benefits.

“We are very seriously trying to transform our company to make it a digital company but not just to put ads in social media,” said de Quintos. His business may be “investing big amounts of money” into digital but “historically probably not the smartest way” as evidenced by the fact that the brand runs around 300 apps worldwide and yet most of them have “less than 50,000 users or 100,000 users, he continued – “That is nothing”.

To quicken the shift, the business hired former Bank of America executive David Godsman earlier this month to be its first chief digital marketing officer. He is tasked with steering “the digital transformation of global marketing and align our system around a single digital marketing agenda,” according to an internal memo quoted by AdAge.

Coca-Cola’s top marketer also gave an insight into how the business works with its agencies, which is more flexible than those advertisers with similar global budgets. “We don’t have one agency of record for any of our brands,” he revealed. “We are doing constant pitches with a roster of agencies. If there is an agency that is on the roster and they don’t win anything that is their problem. If they want to step down. We will continue working with others.”

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