Coke champions Facebook

20 June 2012

ATLANTA: Coca-Cola, the soft drinks manufacturer, is retaining its faith in Facebook as a medium for engaging consumers, despite the emergence of questions regarding this issue in certain quarters.

As reported by Marketing Week, Joseph Tripodi, Coke's chief marketing and commercial officer, said Facebook's evolution and marketers' understanding of the social network as a communications vehicle are nascent, but the service's potential is not in doubt.

Such suggestions follow on from the recent decision of General Motors, the automaker, to stop using Facebook ads, which led to a broader examination of the site's efficacy as an advertising medium.

"That platform is at the early stages and we're still learning how we engage and leverage it, but this hysteria that I've seen lately, I think it's very short-termist and not thinking about the long term implications and the implications of engaging with people on that kind of platform," Tripodi said.

In keeping with this argument, Tripodi asserted that it was incumbent upon both Facebook and brand owners to build enhanced measurement processes for the social network.

"As a marketing community we have to understand that in Facebook we have a platform like we've never seen before. We need to come together to design unique solutions for a unique platform," he said.

"If we take creative solutions that were developed for a more traditional television world and put them on the social platform, were kidding ourselves. We need to be having new thinking."

More specifically, Tripodi forwarded the view that generating positive word of mouth was essential as a method of staying top-of-mind and constructing long-lasting bonds with consumers.

"When you think of the continuum of a business, you go from local, to multi-country, to international, to global, but the highest order is network and network advantage is about having brand advocates telling stories for us," he said.

"I used to think that loyalty was at the top of the pyramid of classic marketing awareness model, but now it's advocates. If you can turn people that love your brand from passive loyalists to advocates you create a type of network advantage that means your brand will stay relevant.

"We all know that losing relevance is the worst thing that can happen to your brand."

In discussing Coca-Cola's strategy on the social network, Tripodi reported it is attempting to leverage a "a world where mob rules" in order to connect with customers, staff and shareholders.

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff