Speaking at the Festival of Media in Miami recently, Coca-Cola’s Head Marketer for Mexico, Selman Careaga, spoke to 12ahead about local trends and collating insight in a constantly connected world.
In his talk during the festival, which focussed on telling brand stories in Latin America, Careaga explained the company’s wider marketing approach; “We went away from the 360-degree plan, trying to cover all touchpoints, and now we have a 365-day plan for all of our brands,” he said.
As you’d imagine, social listening makes up a large part of the resource that goes into collecting local insights, and listening around the clock for Coca-Cola, and the competitors within its consumer group, is a necessity.
Careaga goes on to say that the social listening teams for Coca-Cola have more knowledge of audiences than any other research they can do.
Although this listening helps with finding out the micro trends, he explains, the insights that shape the campaigns need to apply to the whole of the Latin American region. “What we discovered was that the insights were always the same and the human needs of latam are very similar. We may not like to think so, but they are.” Because of this, one country such as Mexico can take the lead on the football campaign, while Argentina leads the Christmas activity, while it has to work for the whole region.
The growth of mobile in the latam region continues to leave the playing field relatively open for brands seeking consumer engagement. Careaga admits that they “don’t have the scalability yet but it’s coming very fast. In terms of the mobile space, the consumer and opportunity for brands, whoever catches the most space will be the winner.”
Instagram particularly is a growing platform for Coca-Cola in this region, says Careaga, and it is helping the company produce more content for a mobile generation, acting more like a publisher. This publisher mentality rings true not just in Coca-Cola’s planned publishing of content, but its reactive posts as well, such as the tweet sent by the brand during Mexico’s World Cup match this summer as a tribute to the team’s goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. This went on to be Coke’s most ever shared piece of content, (gaining over 5,000 retweets and 4,000 favourites).
Aside from telling brand stories and creating mobile content, Coca-Cola also developed and launched a new product, Coca-Cola Life, a surprising deviation for a brand that has been selling the same recipe for the last hundred years.
Still too early to test how it’s been received, but Careaga does admit that “the positive of Life is that it brings a little bit of innovation to the trademark; it’s not easy to innovate in a trademark, but Life brings a little freshness to the brand.”