A paper submitted to fulfill the Integrated Marketing Communications
Course assignment 2
MSc in Business Management
Integrated Marketing Communications
Table of Contents
Table of Contents. 2
Literature Review.. 4
Integrated Marketing Communication. 5
Post Modernism.. 8
Reversed Production and Consumption. 9
Decentered Subjects. 9
Juxtaposition of Opposites. 9
Loss of Commitment and Brand Loyalty. 9
Analysis of “Coca-Cola Creates First Ever Drinkable Advertising Campaign” Advertisement 10
Conceptual Advertising and RABOSTIC Planning. 10
Brand Attributes, Marketing Objective, and Media. 12
Use of Community Social Responsibility. 13
Reference List 15
Marketing like all other aspects of life is dynamic and subject to change. The current postmodern consumers are exposed to products from various suppliers. As a result, marketers must develop unique and creative marketing methods to capture the attention of these individuals. In addition, while closing customers is an essential part of marketing, marketers must keep in mind that the advertisement method selected determines if they are guaranteed of current and future demand for their products. In light of this, marketers must determine the appropriateness of using either relationship or transactional marketing. Finally, marketers must determine the marketing method that best captures the interest of customers and ensures the advertisement is effective in sending the desired message.
Keywords: marketing, consumer, marketers, postmodern
Marketing: Coca-Cola Creates First Ever Drinkable Advertising Campaign
With the burgeoning competition, increased market liberalization, and increased access to many suppliers, the customers’ choice of products that they want to buy has increased exponentially. In light of this, companies must now more than ever before find new and innovative ways of marketing their products in a manner that satisfies the needs of these customers. In fact, they must strike a balance between transactional and relationship marketing due to the unique characteristic of the postmodern consumers. This paper will have a literature review, an analysis of the marketing method used by Coca-Cola, and a conclusion.
The manner in which businesses market their products is changing rapidly, mainly due to an array of factors that are beyond the control of sellers. In the face of burgeoning competition, the internet, market liberalization, and increased variety, consumers now have a wide pool of almost similar products they can buy (Proctor & Kitchen, 2002). Further, keeping in mind the cost of acquiring a new customer, businesses also now focus on retaining their current buyers while still acquiring new ones. In light of this, companies must always weigh between transactional and relationship marketing. Transactional marketing is a form of marketing that has its main objective as making a sale (Kitchen & Burgmann, 2015). On the contrary, relationship marketing aims at establishing long-lasting relationships with customers in order to secure sales (Chaffey and Smith, 2013). Due to its nature of aiming to immediately close a sale, transactional marketing has the weakness of failing to form a lasting relationship. Interestingly, although relationship marketing is championed for creating a lasting relationship with customers, it is worthwhile for marketers to realize that not all relationships may result in an actual sale. In light of this, they must always strike a balance on the right marketing approach for every situation.
Technological changes have played a major role in influencing the manner in which businesses connect with their customers. Although face-to-face transactions are less frequent, businesses have been able to harness on the opportunities presented by computers, which are used in online shopping, to create elaborate relationship marketing tactics. In most cases, businesses are reaching out to customers more directly through interactive media platforms such as social media, blogs, and their own websites (Simmons, 2008). As a result, they are able to build relationships with these customers.
Due to the importance and popularity of relationship marketing, businesses currently must use an integrated marketing communication (IMC) method to reach their customers. Simply, an IMC entails a company ensuring that it properly links all communication and messages that it sends to its stakeholders. In practice, the company aims at ensuring that these communication works in harmony in order to ensure that the information which is being promoted is properly understood. Generally, there must be uniformity and consistency in terms of price, product, promotion, and place in relation to the item being marketed (Caemmerer, 2009). On overall, the benefits of IMC far outweigh the costs associated with its implementation.
To begin with, the relationship marketing used in IMC creates loyalty among customers which enables the company to secure them from possible future competitors. In addition, IMC is more effective than traditional marketing techniques since it more tailored to the needs of a specific customer (Palmer, Simmons, and Mason, 2014). In part, IMC ensures that customers receive consisted, clear, and user specific messages that better connect with their needs and preferences (Ewing, 2009). Besides ordinary marketing, the use of IMC also acts as a guide which assists customers through various stages of the buying process. In fact, it enables buyers to have a specific advantage of been part of the content builders (Karjaluoto, Mustonen, & Ulkuniemi, 2015). As a consequence, the use of IMC enables a business to become more competitive and increases its profits from the additional sales. In addition, the issuance of guidance by the IMC enables buyers to shorten the period they use when making purchases, which in turn enables a company to dictate the outcome of a brand comparison (Pickton & Hartley, 1998). Finally, the use of IMC is cheaper for a business since it eliminates the cost of duplication such as those of graphics and photography that are reduced by using a single agency for all communications.
A brand is simply a symbol, design, or sign that is used by a business to differentiate it from competitors. According to Knox and Bickerton (2000), a brand is mainly used by companies to differentiate themselves from competitors and create preference among customers for their products. Although branding is powerful, if poorly managed, it can lead to massive losses and discredit the company’s reputation. O’Malley (1991) espouses that since humans have feelings and are emotional, these attributes affect their appeal to a brand, a factor that enables major brands to make huge profits. Importantly, branding enables a company to exhibit the main elements of competitiveness, which are rivalry among firms, protection from bargaining power of suppliers, threats of substitution, protection from bargaining power of buyers, and threats of new entrants (Hankinson & Cowking, 1993).
In general, strong brands differentiate a product in terms of personality, symbols, emotional benefit, and organization association. These factors, in particular, safeguard the product from competition. Hankinson and Cowking (1993), posit that there are five steps involved in the formation of a brand; research, proposition, marketing mix, communication triggers, and consumers. In the current competitive world, it is essential for a company to differentiate itself appropriately in the mind of customers so that it can have a distinctive competitive position (Kotler, 2005). Generally, a company can accomplish this goal by utilizing opportunities presented from the weaknesses of a competitor. On the contrary, the competitors’ strengths may present challenges that it may have to overcome when positioning itself. Fill (2002) notes that positioning is not mainly about the product, but the manner that a product is perceived to be differentiated from competitors. In light of this, the commercialization of positioning is determined on how trademarks that are associated with unique and compelling values can influence the purchasing decisions of customers (Upshaw, 1995).
While the creation of a brand can be described through positioning, the second part of branding is representation, which is usually described through personality. Simply, brand personality refers to the relationship that a specific brand creates with customers (Aaker, 1997). Brand personality can be described in terms of sincerity, competence, excitement, sophistication, and ruggedness. Therefore, in the current networked economy, the understanding of the consumer’s behavior is essential in determining its acceptance. Interestingly, a research on consumers’ choice in branding can enable businesses to understand the effects of branding on consumer choice (Keller, 2003).
Today’s companies must constantly keep track of the consumer’s behavior since current buyers are smart, savvy, and knowledgeable of the products being offered. In addition, due to the ease of accessing information, most of them are properly informed on the type and nature of products that they expect to get (Firat, Dholakia, & Venkatesh, 1995; Tsimonis & Dimitriadis, 2014). Due to the increase in income levels, as well as the increase in suppliers, modern consumers now have a wide choice, which limits the ability of sellers to dictate what they should buy (Lagrosen & Grunden, 2014). In light of this, postmodern marketing is based on these main aspects: hyper-reality, fragmentation, reversed production and consumption, decentered subjects, the juxtaposition of opposites, and loss of commitment and brand loyalty.
Hyper-reality refers to the modern ability of marketers to satisfy the needs of customers through simulated reality instead of the extant reality (Proctor & Kitchen, 2002). Through the use of hyper-reality, marketers can simulate environments that are not natural in certain areas.
Fragmentation is a result of the desire of modern customers to express themselves in their own unique ways. Therefore, there is no single method that represents all customers. Similarly, customers cannot be categorized into a single market (Rowley & Williams, 2008). Often, fragmented markets are reflected through the emergence of various brands, “real” and “virtual” outlets, readiness to transact products using various forms of payments, and increased levels of competition (Asmussen, Harridge-March, Occhiocupo, & Farquhar, 2013).
The tastes and preferences of postmodern consumers keep shifting since they are based on loyalty to images and symbols that they produce. Since symbols keep changing, this type of loyalty cannot be fixed, which makes them highly unpredictable and difficult to satisfy their needs (Eagle, Dahl, Czarnecka, & Lloyd, 2015).
Postmodern consumers are always seeking products that make them feel likable, marketable, as well as those that portray their desired self-image (Fill, 2013). Since the manner in which these groups portray themselves is usually based on their overriding agendas, they in a sense portray the desired self-image of their members (Schultz, 2013; De Chernatony, McDonald, and Wallace, 2011).
The use of juxtaposition in marketing is a modern approach to marketing that uses an open, untargeted, and imprecise approach, which gives the audience the room for imaginative consumer participation. In this way, they are able to arouse consumer’s curiosity and their creative desire to form a meaning concerning the advert (Ghodeswar, 2008).
Postmodern consumers’ tastes are normally shifting, which makes it difficult for them to remain loyal to a specific brand. In general, the use of dynamic communication and fragmentation creates excitement among customers. Most postmodern consumers have low trust levels for industrial and technological order due to its failure to provide opportunities for most individuals in the world (McCarthy, Rowley, Ashworth, & Pioch, 2014).
When it comes to marketing, Coca-Cola Company has innovative marketers, who have ensured that it has consistently remained as one of the largest beverage manufacturers in the world. When marketing its beverages, Coke soda, which is also the brand carrier for Coca-Cola, is the most marketed product. Normally, Coca-Cola markets Coke soda as a product that enables families and friends to connect and share good memories. Interestingly, Coca-Cola ensures that Coke remains relevant to consumers by illustrating the manner in which technology, as well as other social and cultural advances, can be “connected” through Coke.
The Coca-Cola Drinkable Advertisement of Coke Zero was first aired in June 2015 and its target audience were mainly millennials and young adults (Drip drop Branding Solution, 2015). While most of Coke’s adverts are marketed on how they taste, this drink was marketed using multichannel media systems largely focused on how the drink sounds. According to Adam Tucker, who was one of the developers of the advertisement, adverts that enable customers to create an “engagement through fame” are twelve times more effective than those shared through emotional campaigns (Swant, 2015). In fact, due to the personalized engagement that this advert created with customers, 50% of the millennials who tried Coke Zero became monthly drinkers.
The Coke Zero Drinkable Advertisement was skillfully designed to capture the target audience. To achieve this objective, the advertisers incorporated the technologies, environment, as well as the culture of the target audience. Further, the advertisements were specifically tailored to meet the needs of these individuals. While appreciating the embracement of sports and music by the millennials and young adults, Coke Zero partnered with ESPN College Game Day and Shazam to build this advert. Shazam is a mobile phone application that identifies music and the author of the song. In light of this, Coca-Cola observed that young adults quickly embrace technology in their daily activities (Swant, 2015). In addition, it also noted that there was a quick uptake of smartphones by the general population, which would enable most individuals to use Shazam.
In terms of budget, the Coke Zero advert was a costly advertisement for the company. To begin with, there was the issuance of free sodas to individuals who won redeemable coupons. In addition, the development of the creative soda dispensing billboards was expensive. Nonetheless, due to the ability of this advert to be duplicated in various media systems, it was able to save a lot of advertisement costs for Coca-Cola (Moye, 2016). In particular, this advert could be duplicated on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It was also available in the Coca Cola’s website, YouTube, television, and radio. On overall, the creative display of the advert outweighed costs used in its development. In fact, Coca-Cola noted that although 85% of millennials and young adults had not tasted the Coke Zero soda, the repeat usage rate was 50% for those who tried the soda after viewing the advert.
On overall, the Coke Zero Drinkable Advertisement achieved its objectives. Primarily, the advert aimed at increasing the number of individuals who were willing consuming Coke Zero. The high acceptance rate, as well as a repeat consumption rate of more than 50%, indicated that Coca-Cola had achieved its objectives when using the advert. Coca Cola’s strategy of incorporating technology and sports was effective in reaching its targeting market. Generally, this method enabled the company to reach its target market who are lovers of sports and technology. Coca Cola’s tactics of using sound were also effective in the promotion. In particular, this method engaged the audience, which had more effect in enabling them to connect with the advertisement (Swant, 2015). In addition, the use of a sports arena in its advertisement connected with the audience since it created a memorable experience among these individuals.
The implementation of this advertisement was effective. To begin with, the advert was launched during the summer holidays when most of the millennials are free. Moreover, due to the conducive hot weather, the consumption of soda is high during this period. The use of billboards that could dispense soda was effective in creating interest among the target audience. As a result, this advert was able to reach most of its target audience. Finally, the element of control was effectively utilized to ensure that the advert remained relevant to its audience. To elaborate, Coca-Cola ensured that the advert was only run for a short period, from June 2015 till early 2016, after which it was replaced by the “Coke Brotherly Love” in most markets.
The Coke Zero brand is a variant of Coke, that is sugar-free but still tastes like the original Coke soda from Coca-Cola. In light of this, Coke Zero brand is associated as a healthy drink. The Coke Zero brand is therefore considered as a high-quality healthy drink. The marketing objective for the Coke Zero was to increase its popularity among health-conscious drinkers of its existence. In addition, it also aimed at attracting potential drinkers (Swant, 2015). This association was emphasized by the advert being case in the ESPN sports arena and the use of Shazam application, which is normally used to detect authors of various songs.
The audiovisual media, social websites, and radio were the forms of media that were used in the “Coke Zero Drinkable Advertising Campaign.” In the television and social media platforms, the audience were able to clearly see how they could get Coke soda from the dispensing billboards. Through the radio, individuals could still use Shazam application to fully view the advertisement on their smartphones. Therefore, these forms of advertisements ensured that there was wide and adequate coverage of this advertisement.
Coca-Cola Company is one of the few industries that spend a significant portion of their resources on community social responsibility (CSR). Although the Coke Zero advertisement did not directly indicate Coca Cola’s CSR, this product by itself illustrates the company’s interest in the welfare of its customers. Given that the excessive use of sugar has been a health concern, especially in the current wave of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and obesity, Coca-Cola developed Coke Zero to curb this problem among its customers. Coke Zero is sugar-free but still tastes like ordinary Coke soda, which uses sugar.
Further, Coca-Cola has undertaken various CSR activities globally that aim at improving the lives of its employees and the poor. Coca-Cola Company is an active participant in the recycling process in the US. Most of its initiatives aim at protecting the country from industrial and domestic pollution. The company is a member of the Closed Loop Fund, which aims at investing $100 million in the development of recycling infrastructure in the US that will be used factories and local communities (Galeano, 2016). Keeping America Beautiful (KAB) and Coca-Cola Foundation works jointly to ensure that recycling bins are more accessible to the public. Notably, the Coca-Cola/Keep America Beautiful Public Space Recycling Bin Grant Program provides more than 4500 grants to communities in the US with an aim of ensuring there are more effective methods of collecting waste using recycling bins.
In yet another case, Coca-Cola employees’ working at the company’s plant in Signes, France, have taken up the initiative to protect the local environment by planting apple trees as well as keeping honey bees. The Signes area is about 240 hectares and provides employment to around 2000 individuals (Staff, 2016). Coca-Cola has also being a major player in improving the overall health of individuals in developing countries. Through its elaborate logistics system, which ensures that its products are easily accessible even in hard-to-reach areas, Coca-Cola has ensured that individuals in these areas receive antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, which are donated by The Coca-Cola Company, the Global Fund, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Project Last Mile, which facilitates this initiative was launched in 2010 in Tanzania (Moye, 2016). Besides facilitating the transport of medication, Project Last Mile also offers training to public officials so that this initiative can improve the public health system in developing countries.
From the discussion above and the analysis of the Coca-Cola advertisement “Coca-Cola Creates First Ever Drinkable Advertising Campaign,” it is evident that in order for an advertisement to be effective it must be able to arouse the interest of its audience to buy its product. As a basic requirement, marketers must be able to determine the marketing method to use for each target market. Generally, the current postmodern customer is always spoilt for choice when selecting the type of product to buy. Therefore, the objective of the marketer should not only be to close in the customer but also to create a relationship with him/her that will guarantee of both current and future sales. The Coca-Cola Company advertisement “Coca-Cola Creates First Ever Drinkable Advertising Campaign” was effective in enabling the Coca-Cola to create a lasting relationship with its customers since it was innovative and engaged them in the advert. In addition, it also incorporated technology, music, and sports which are an essential part of millennials and young adults. In effect, this advertisement was effective in creating a lasting relationship with its target audience, a matter that can be proved with the high repeat customer purchase of Coke Zero.
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