How Coca-Cola Enables Real-Time Connections

By Nurain Alicharan in Social Media on May 13th, 2014

We were excited to learn about Coca-Cola's real-time marketing strategy during our last AMA Atlanta Social breakfast. Here's a quick recap of the insights from Coke's social marketing experts Neil Bedwell and Doug Busk.

How Coca-Cola Enables Real-Time Connections

Coca-Cola is the most socially talked about brand globally. Its consumers are spread out around the world, speaking different languages and cultivating diverse cultures. Although the company's strong market presence is obviously advantageous, it can make the task of creating and distributing emotional content even more difficult, especially in today’s world of real-time marketing.

What exactly is real-time marketing, you ask? According to Bedwell, real-time marketing is to “lean in to the connected world.” And although Coke's ahead of the curve in embracing real-time, Bedwell warns "there are no real-time experts; we’re all still trying to figure it out."

Numerous brands are relying on clever content around popular events, such as the Olympics and Super bowl to take advantage of real-time opportunities (Our previous blogs A Very Social Sochi and Super Bowl Real-Time Marketing Winners and Losers highlight how social media plays a key role during prominent events). However, it is important to consider whether real-time messaging is relevant to the brand or simply inauthentic and frivolous. “How we react during big moments is important. It should inform how we act on a daily basis,” said Bedwell. "Any content shared should be linked to the brand’s philosophy and have the ability to spread like liquid."

As it's important to align social content with the product and brand, it is just as necessary to embrace what others say about your company. Coke's strategy is to listen more than talk and embrace what others are saying in order to amplify the right messages. Analytics help them to identify the right time to act and which messages to magnify. While Coca-Cola has established a process that allows them to be prepared, responsive and engage in a timely manner, they are careful not to force themselves into a conversation. According to Busk, once you join a conversation, you must “be prepared to ride the rapids of a conversation appropriately.”

Have you embraced real-time engagement? Let us know in the comments below!

Ready to get started with real-time marketing? Get in touch with our social  experts today!