Coca-Cola's four guiding principles on mobile

Low Lai Chow

Coca-Cola needs no convincing about the merits of mobile. But the soft drinks giant believes the most common ad formats – such as display or in-app messages – are far from the priority. "That's the least powerful way of engaging on mobile," Leonardo O'Grady, its integrated marketing and communications director, ASEAN, said at the MMA Forum, organised by the Mobile Marketing Association and held in Singapore.

Rather than determining its progress by looking at ad expenditure, the firm is thus emphasising the quality of engagement with consumers. "It's about making key connections, making it a part of [the] way you're creating a network in different touchpoints," said O'Grady. "It's not necessarily about adspend … it could be an experience, it could be a piece of film, it could be any number of experiences."

Driving brand relevance and advocacy are at the core of Coke's mobile strategy, and are achieved by creating shared value between the company and its customers. The four guiding principles supporting this model are telling compelling stories, provoking happiness, innovating with partners and achieving cultural leadership, O'Grady revealed.

  1. Tell compelling stories: "Tell stories that are so compelling people want to contribute to them or engage in them," said O'Grady. "Mobile is a compelling mechanism. It's a direct-response mechanism. If your stories, your engagement … aren't powerful, people won't respond and they won't transmit your stories to their friends and engage in the narrative."