Combining content marketing and sponsorship at Coca-Cola

Low Lai Chow

"These days, the consumer is as much a brand manager as I am," Prinz Mathew Pinakatt, Coca-Cola's global director of alliances and ventures, declared while speaking at Sports Matters, a conference held in Singapore in September 2013.

Social media has been a key factor in encouraging such a state of affairs, he told delegates. But many brands have still not mastered the art of marketing on this channel. "It's really hard to say who's good at it. The larger the organisation, usually the harder it is, because of the guidelines and policies," Pinakatt said.

As such, small brands frequently possess an advantage. "They don't have a legal department to go to for every single post that they do, every single fan that they engage," he continued. "They are super-nimble, they're really fast, and they don't have a problem with their audience managing their brand. It took us a while to get to that point. We're 127 years old. We are the most valuable brand in the world. You naturally become very protective. But we're getting there."