Strategic Planning At A Glance – Coca-Cola

As I’ve stated in the past, Coca-Cola is, without a doubt, the cream of the crop with marketing campaigns. A few months back, I discussed how they did it again with a wildly successful social media campaign in Colombia. If you need a refresher:

  • It’s the first day of classes on a college campus and nervous freshmen are walking about; faces in their phones with the hope that someone will come up to them and start a conversation.
  • Coca-Cola puts up a machine of special Coke bottles that require a unique mechanism: join the smart cap with another to unlock and open (and yes, this required going up to somebody else that had one) the bottle.
  • Kids are opening bottles and starting conversations, making friends, and feeling better about themselves.
  • In the end, nearly 9.7 million views, hundreds of thousands of Facebook shares, and 5,000+ subscriptions later, this once again proves that Coca-Cola can do no wrong.

I have already talked about the content creation/curation strategy and how it has helped the soft drink giant excel in its campaign. But this is just one part of its success. With every great campaign comes a plan. This plan consists of business goals that the company creates to ensure that their social media campaign is successful, and in the case of the “Friendly Twist” campaign for Coca-Cola, their goals were as follows:

  • To sell their product
  • To reinforce their theme of bringing people together with a can or bottle of soda
  • To create engagement amongst the fans on social media with the hashtag #FriendlyTwist, especially on Twitter

The opportunity that was present is that college students are a fairly easy market to target to because of the fact that college students are more than likely all going through the same things no matter where they are, and what better moment than the first day of classes? Nobody knows each other, and the ones that do know each other are grouped up with their friends already, leaving others without friends alone to wonder if there is, perhaps, something wrong with them or if they have something stuck in their teeth because no one has approached them yet. Coca-Cola has jumped on this opportunity that was practically standing right in front of them to reach out to a brand new target audience and produce content based on a very common issue that they can relate to.

So how exactly might have Coca-Cola come to this? It helps to consider some research questions:

  • What downsides of college can students relate to, and how can Coca Cola incorporate their efforts into this?
  • Look at similar videos of heartwarming moments; how do these fare out in terms of popularity amongst viewers?
  • How can the brand successfully reinforce their message without being too old-fashioned, or creating a method that seems dated in comparison with similar campaigns?

These questions seem to be the most significant for the prior planning of the campaign.

Overall, this is proof that no good campaign was ever created without some extensive research and planning beforehand. Coca-Cola continues to be a fine example of how companies should act and plan ahead when coming up with campaign ideas for their brand.