BlogPaws 2011 Photo/Caption contest seeks entries from the pets
Making my lips more kissable, youthful and plump? I'm ready for the challenge!

What marketing and social media secrets can you learn from Coke?

By Amanda Ponzar

Coke Just read a great article “Coca-Cola Marketing Shifts from Impressions to Expressions” by Joe Tripodi, CMO of Coca-Cola, in Harvard Business Review.

In marketing, it’s not just about impressions (audience size) anymore but rather about engaging consumers and tracking what they DO, how they interact with your brand. Today, people create their own content and talk about brands –- what they like and what they don’t –- very publicly on social networks. In this very blog, I’ve posted about Starbucks, Salvation Army, Microsoft and many, many more.

Magic Of course I have opinions on brands –- don't you? I love Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. It removes all those black marks from walls without baking soda. I like driving Toyotas. I love Kashi cereal. Recently, I had trouble with a brand (their home fragrance product spilled and ate the paint off my mantel –- toxic!), but they jumped into action quickly and responded well, so I won’t be complaining about them in this blog post or on Twitter. Lucky them.

But back to Coke. They’re now tracking “consumer expressions”, or any way consumers engage with their brand, whether a like on Facebook or sharing a post with their network. This is harder to track as it’s not just the number of people, but WHAT they are doing –- qualitative versus quantitative data. It takes a lot more time and engagement on our part too –- not just shoveling news releases, tweets or TV commercials out the door, but listening, engaging and responding.

Kashi Coke’s key marketing ideas center around empowering people to promote the brand, which is what many of the best brands do (haven’t you heard of brand fanatics or brand evangelists? See “10 ways to create brand fanatics”).

Apparently, on YouTube, out of 145 million views related to Coke, only 26 million were related to content Coke actually created. Most of it was made by their fans! Coke also aims to make creative, relevant content that is “so compelling,” that people can’t help sharing it. (They call this “liquid and linked” -- content that can flow through any medium and is linked to their core brand/biz.) Coke even admitted that their Facebook fan page, with more than 25M fans, was created by consumers, not Coke. WHOA. Most brands would have had a heart attack and shut that sucker down, but Coke chose to partner and now claims their Facebook site is growing by 100k fans per week. How many brands can say that?

Cokezero What struck me most was how willing Coke was to dialogue with consumers and adapt –- whether turning a viral video into a commercial or letting fans create content. Coke just celebrated its 125th anniversary in May (happy birthday to you), and they may just be on their way to another 125. 


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


This seems like a very smart marketing strategy — really making use of a fan base. In a social media world that is constantly changing, it looks like Coke is adapting well.


It will be interesting to see how successful they are in their ability to 'dialogue with consumers'. It's easy for a big brand to say, yet it's not an easy thing to pull off.

essay writers

Coke is a smart company. That is why they have gotten through great stock markets and bad. They seem to have loyal customers who love both the product and company and that is what it is all about.


Coke is a smart company. That is why they have gotten through great stock markets and bad. They seem to have loyal customers who love both the product and company and that is what it is all about.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)