Coca-Cola is applying marketing science to its work in Australia – so improving internal processes and ensuring it measures the right things, according to a senior executive.

Adam Ross, content lead for Coca-Cola South Pacific, speaking at the recent Future of Brands conference in Sydney, stressed the importance of speaking the same language across the creative and comms teams.

Coming from an agency background himself, he understands the frustration when a client doesn’t get an idea and the resulting work ends up rather bland.

But since Coca-Cola really only supplies syrup to bottlers who turn that into product, “the only thing that we really make is brands.” he said.

“It is a huge investment into the craft that delivers on that.” And that’s only possible when agency partners and in-house teams are on the same wavelength.

So while Ross isn’t making content himself, he has spent considerable time creating a system within the business to identify great work. And at the heart of this is marketing science. (For more, read WARC’s report: How marketing science changed the game for Coca-Cola.)

“Recently, we spent a lot of time internally distilling and communicating marketing science and why things work,” he said.

That has moved the conversation away from whether he and his colleagues like the work, to whether or not it will be effective. “It’s irrelevant whether we like it or not,” Ross said. “‘Why does it work?’ is the right conversation to have.”

That in turn means training people to write better briefs and to evaluate whether the creative works rather than bringing personal preferences into their judgements.

The framework that Ross has developed is, he says, based on “enduring principles” around how brains and memories and emotions work and how choices are made.

Going through this process creates work that has a significantly greater impact, he reported.

“All of a sudden, you can look at a piece of work – whether that’s a brand manager, a member of the IMC team, an agency, a creative, whoever it may be – you can look at a piece of work and rather than go, ‘I like it, I don’t like it, change that from green to red, or make the logo bigger’, we can go, ‘Is that going to get noticed? How and why? What emotional response are we trying to evoke, and how’s it doing that?’”

Sourced from WARC