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Case study: How does Coca-Cola do it in the digital world?

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Jan 27, 2023 1:23:48 PM
Case study: How does Coca-Cola do it in the digital world?

Coca-Cola is undoubtedly one of the most recognized brands in the world, with a market presence that dates back to its beginnings in 1886 when John Pemberton served the first Coca-Cola. Today, the Coca-Cola Company sells hundreds of beverage brands in more than 200 countries. It is calculated that the average person consumes approximately 275 cans of Coca-Cola annually in the United States alone.

In this article, we'll go through the following topics:

  • The digital challenge for Coca-Cola and the "Share a Coke" campaign is a success story.
  • The digital challenge for Coca-Cola.


The digital challenge for Coca-Cola

The challenge for companies like Coca-Cola is that their products' brand presence and positioning are no longer the main issues; instead, they look at marketing strategies oriented toward connection, loyalty, and innovation with their consumers.

All this is what James Sommerville, VP of Global Design of Coca-Cola Company, commented for Adobe Summit:

We are a 130+-year-old brand that has always been in the experience business. An ice-cold Coke, ice, and lemon in a big glass, there's a fizz and a tingle when you drink it, and that's all very sensory, so we still believe in a physical analog world, which is at the heart and soul of our product, but at the same time, we want to transfer and transform our business, to be able to deliver that experience on a digital platform. The important thing for brands today is to listen to the consumer.

Coca-Cola sells almost 2 billion servings daily, and one of the goals we would like to achieve is 2 billion daily conversations.  Two-way conversations so that we not only provide the perfect beverage at the moment they need it but also digital interaction with the customer. 

For a company like Coca-Cola that handles large volumes of consumers, regions, products, and channels, it is challenging to have the right platforms to organize communication strategies and effectively serve their customers.

Here is where Coca-Cola has developed multiple communication, promotion, and loyalty programs, through digital platforms such as mobile applications, eCommerce B2B / B2C, production of enterprise digital content, and even the creation of the first Coca-Cola flavor in the metaverse. 

The "Share a Coke" campaign is a case of success.

Let's examine one example to understand how Coca-Cola uses technology to connect with its consumers.

Many will remember the "Share a Coke" campaign in which the logo on the can was replaced with famous names, encouraging customers to share a Coke with a friend or family member. This massively successful social marketing campaign underpinned its process with two main elements to achieve the digital rollout.

share Coca Cola

The first element was the Customer Experience Management platform, which is necessary to manage the campaign data:

  • Segmentation
  • Customer profiling
  • Identity management
  • AI-powered learning
  • Creation of customer experience applications

The Adobe Experience Platform is the foundation that helps companies like Coca-Cola develop a robust foundation for delivering the right experiences to consumers across all channels.

Case study: Starbucks success with the Inbound Marketing methodology<<

Adobe Experience Platform

The management of digital assets in this Coca-Cola campaign was also an important task to solve, with crucial aspects such as:

  • Personalized and consistent content for each profile
  • Content suitable for each channel/profile
  • Automation rules to be able to scale with minimum effort
  • Ease of creating, distributing, and optimizing experiences on a large scale.

All of this may seem like a Herculean task. Still, it is with the help of specialized platforms that companies like Coca-Cola manage to implement these initiatives and achieve their objectives.

The second element is the Marketing Automation tool, required for a campaign that reached in the beginning alone more than 550 million personalized Coca-Cola, around 340,000 posts on Instagram with the hashtag #shareacoke, and a result by consumers of 96% with positive or neutral feelings towards the campaign.

All this is possible thanks to marketing automation platforms, where Marketo is a fundamental pillar to achieving engagement with customers throughout the customer lifecycle and delighting them to keep them as buyers and brand advocates.

Marketo Engage's always-on marketing principle was able to support Coca-Cola in automating the indispensable aspects of campaigns like this one:

Main Advantages of Marketo<<

  • Audience segmentation: Profiling communications consider behavioral, demographic, and channel data.
  • Multichannel personalization: Tailored landing pages with conversion-oriented forms for customers receiving profiled communications from websites, emails, SMS, social networks, and events.
  • Customer scoring (lead scoring): Used this to determine the level of interest of each customer and drive the level of engagement at each stage of the funnel.
  • Active marketing activities: Respond on time to a large contact base. Used automation to respond in real-time when a consumer activates a CTA, sending personalized content.
  • Performance per campaign: Measuring performance in terms of ROI, revenue, investment, and funnel stage allows us to determine which investments yield the best returns.


Related blog: Case study: Panasonic and its growth with Marketo.

We see how in an increasingly digital world, the challenge for many companies, like Coca-Cola, is how to replicate the physical experience of their products in the digital arena.

Here is where marketing efforts have to lead to the digitization of the experience, where digital processes, strategies, technology, and the consumer as the center of the digital ecosystem must converge.

Finally, the secret ingredient of any digital initiative that Coca-Cola has been developing is innovation in a Customer Experience that moves a consumer thirsty for new and better experiences.


About this blog

Customer Experience Insights is a blog to share ideas, experiences and the vision of how to adopt better Customer Experiences in our organizations.

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