The report focuses on the evaluation about the marketing strategy of Coca- Cola. The study reflects on the concept of 8P marketing mix and its application on one of Coca- Cola product offerings. The Coca-Cola is one of the biggest beverage organizations that refresh customers with more than 3900 beverage choices. This company is one of the valuable as well as recognizable brands in the globe. Their portfolio features with 21 billion brands, out of which 19 are available in reduced options. Even they are the world’s biggest distribution system and hence distribute the products in more than 200 nations. The goal of this organization is to satisfy the needs of the consumers and packages their products in varied sizes to appeal specific consumers. The marketing mix refers to as the set of different marketing tools, which the company uses for pursuing its marketing objectives. It is mainly the standard strategic instrument that the company uses for formulating the product development plan and promotions. Occasionally the service marketers might refer to 8P’s marketing mix (Saren et al., 2012). This type of marketing mix facilitates this organization to review as well as define the vital issues, which impact the marketing strategy of their goods and services. However, this marketing mix helps the Coca-Cola entity to understand the synergy as well as dynamics that are involved among the important elements.
Marketing Mix Concepts
8P marketing mix refers to the framework that helps in evaluating their existing business through proper approaches. It is also considered as useful model that helps in evaluating particular organization rivalries and set their marketing strategy according to it. This new 8p’s are usually flexible for including the role of consumer service as well as adapt to all types of business that sells both products and services (Ribeiro, 2015). The 8P’s marketing mix includes-
- Product- The main hub of marketing effort is that the commodity must be according to the consumer’s desire. Even if the company has the best marketing, they might face difficulty selling the commodity for which it has no demand. For this reason, the marketing manager of the organization should understand about how their product will facilitate the customers in solving the problem (Ribeiro, 2015). Some of the organization uses a vital tool at this stage, which is product testing. This testing however helps them in making the product decisions regarding designing, packaging, brand names, etc that accompanies with the commodity offering.
- Place- It refers to the location where the businesses carry out or distribution channels utilized to reach marketplace. This involves decisions regarding distribution channels that are to be applied, the outlet location, transportation method and levels of inventory to be held. The distribution channels mainly involves independent intermediaries including retailers, distributors by which product passes to their consumers. These intermediaries however give cost- effective access in the marketplace.
- Promotion- Promotion mainly encompasses advertising, sponsorship, sales promotion, public relations, personal selling etc. Through promotional mix the target customers are usually made aware of product existence and benefits it confers on the customers. Usually, the organization makes their first contact with the customers through promotional efforts. Therefore, promotion raises the customers’ expectations as well as drives the company’s overall sales.
- Price- Price mainly covers the total amount that the customers pay for acquiring the product. It represents the unit basis that the organization receives for a specific product that is being marketed. The marketing manager mainly focuses on the pricing objectives and the factors influencing price setting. However, if the customer value is positive, then the product is priced more than its monetary value. Product price is also influenced by their distribution plans, markups, cost of value chain and competitors price their product.
- People- They basically defines service. This relates to the staffs that have direct contact with their customers. One of the vital operations of the business is to select, recruit and retain those people for doing the job involved in this marketing operation. The staffs in this Coca- Cola Company mainly have standard uniform. They focus on prompt as well as friendly service to their customers from their staff.
- Process- The Company’s design the processes for maximizing the consumers enjoyment throughout. Some of the process problems which are annoying for consumers are process elements that place provider’s convenience ahead of customers. The procedure at Coca- Cola organization is transparent as well as hidden (Hitt, Ireland & Hoskisson, 2012) It involves several processes including bottling as well as labeling solutions. The vital stage which this company considers is their control for getting products at proper time and selling the beverages for the target customers.
- Physical evidences- All visible as well as tangible traces of the business, which the consumer encounters preceding to purchasing of products are defined as physical evidence. However, advertising, corporate brochure, signage are the vital part of physical evidence in business (Drucker, 2013). Some of the company uses physical evidence for gaining competitive advantage as well as create good brand image. For example, the Coca- Cola signage that reassures the customer through branding.
- Product Distribution- Distribution indicates how the commodity reaches their customers for example, retailing point. Effective distribution is essential for the company to achieve their marketing objectives. However, it is necessary for the organization to distribute their product to the customers at right place and time. There are three kinds of distribution strategies that most of the organizations use based on their product features (Ribeiro, 2015). These strategies include- intensive distribution, selective distribution and exclusive distribution. Intensive distribution denotes the distribution of impulse or less priced products. Extensive distribution involves distribution of high priced products and thus needs sales detail from mediator. Furthermore, selective distribution occurs producers require higher geographical spread.
- Partnerships- The Company should seek for new partnership as well as manage their existing partners for improving their marketing operations. This would also help them to maximize profitability level and improve the business performance.
Applying the components to one of the product offerings
The Coca-Cola organization has developed several new products, out of which Diet Coke has gained huge success since it created good sales and overtook existing brand named as Diet Cola. Currently this product has been ranked as third biggest soft drink being sold in the global marketplace (Singh, 2012). This product is also known as Coca-Cola Light in some places and has been subsidiary of parent organization. The 8P’s marketing mix of this product is illustrated as under-
- Product- The Coca-Cola company applied separate formula to produce this Diet Coke. The calorie content in this product in 330 ml can is 1.3 kilocalories. This organization has produced several flavors of this diet Coke, which includes-
- Splenda Diet Coke-Launched in 2005 and has about 2.83 mg of total caffeine content
- Diet Coke Lime- launched in 2004 and is presently available in US, UK, Canada and Ireland.
- Diet Coke Cherry- Launched in 1986 and is mainly available in US and UK with cherry flavor
- Place-Diet Coke has created good marketplace by its quality. The launch of this product was restricted to several markets in the US. But its network was spread to near about 150 nations. At present, it is highly successful brands and hence its is available in the nations such as Australia, Austria etc.
- Price- The product price is one of the vital components which have direct impact on demand as well as supply of this product. In fact, proper pricing policy has been vital for brand success and hence is considered as medium for generating higher revenues. This in turn helps them to expand it in the customer market. Coca- Cola has applied numerous pricing strategies for this brand. They applied skimming pricing policy during the launch of Diet Coke and after switched to competitive pricing policy due to availability of similar products produced by rivals organization. Moreover, they also applied penetration policy for creating new markets in each nation. This strategy facilitates them to retain loyal consumer base as well as create good revenues from this pricing policy (Gilaninia, Taleghani & Azizi, 2013). The Coke’s price was highly reasonable with respect to their rivalries.
- Promotion-If any product is of high standards, the company must apply proper promotional activities. The company targeted those persons who are conscious about their health and suffering from diabetes. In fact, absence of less sugar content also facilitated this brand in achieving desired success. This company also followed aggressive policy in promoting this product, which in turn helped them in increasing awareness as well as visibility among the customers.
- People-Coca- Cola also employed huge number of staffs and provided training to them, so that they can provide good service to the customers ( Armstrong et al., 2015),. This however helped them to attract large number of customers and attain their trust about this brand. It alsi helped them to attain good reputation.
- Process-The packaging of this product was done in appropriate way, thereby it involved bottling as well as labeling this solution. In order to keep the quality better than other product, they changed their process of operation. They segmented levels pf income through packaging. For low income persons, they made returnable glass bottle while for high income people it was non returnable bottle.
- Physical evidences-the logo of this Diet Coke and the advertising method also helped them to attract customers in the new market.
- Product distribution-This product has good distribution network for marketing their products competently and efficiently. This company has applied intensive policy in distributing this product in order to make it available in the grocery store (Rohm, Kaltcheva &. Milnes, 2013). However, diet Coke can was easily available and hence could be purchased in convenient manner.
- Partnerships-.they also partnered with other companies in order to produce best quality product. They associates with the several bottling partners in order to discuss about their development of the main performance indicators for this coca-cola systems. The associates as well as representatives from their bottling partners have helped them to determine feasibility owing to legal as well as management complexity of this company’s system.
Contemporary issues facing the marketers in the present world
The contemporary issues facing the marketers of the coca- cola includes-
- Corporate social responsibility (CSR)- CSR refers to as the commitment for improving society well being through some discretionary business practices as well as corporate resources contribution (Tai & Chuang, 2014). Few areas of CSR interest are the welfare of laborers, environment protection etc. Some of the CSR issues that the marketers of coca- cola faces in the present world includes-
- This company has been accused of containing high pesticide residue level that has been found through different tests.
- Another issue was that they have been accused of causing shortage of water in several areas. In fact, they have given allegation of creating water pollution through the discharge of wastewater.
- Advances in technology- Though advancement of technology helped the marketers, they faced several issues such as face to face interactions between marketers and customers and training the team for developing new products (Berthon et al., 2012). As targeting international audience is one of the key components of marketing, the marketers of this company also faces huge challenge they could not identify the persona of the buyers.
- Social media interactions- In the recent era, the marketers face huge challenge of social media interactions due to absence of guildlines provided by the government (Hastings & Domegan, 2013). In addition, the marketers might face inadequacy of information, which in turn adversely affects the organization. However, the marketer’s faces difficulties in making decision based on this information (Royle & Laing, 2014). Furthermore, bad feedback from the customers might discourage the marketers of the organization.
- Ethical concerns- The marketers faces ethical issues regarding marketing campaigns as it might target the children (Kuo & Rice, 2015). Some of the advertisements that are directed towards the children can impact their mental condition.
- Globalization- Globalization has created several problems for the marketers in this century. The brand name choice is the vital issue that some companies like coca- cola faces as it is used around the globe for flagship of their products (Royle & Laing, 2014). They also face huge competition in terms of pricing and distribution of products owing to globalization.
Contemporary issues impacting marketing strategy of Coca- Cola
Contemporary problems adversely affected the marketing strategy of Coca- cola. Due to CSR issues, this company had to face long legal process and hence they lost their customers trust (Wilson, 2012). In fact, the overall sales of few products lowered and also damaged their reputation. Moreover, advancement of technology also reduced efficiency of some of the marketers of this company. As Coca- Cola faced several challenges for being globalised, the company tried to provide good quality and refreshing products. Few advertising campaigns also created conflict between the company and society (Keller & Fay, 2012). This in turn influenced their targeted audience and pricing policy of the company. Although technological advancement improved their distribution network, the technological issues increased the overall cost of the production and distribution. Globalization issues also influenced their marketing strategy and hence they changed their logo as well as slogan of each product. These issues also adversely impacted on their partnerships of this company.
Recommendations for helping Coca-cola to face contemporary issues
As globalization created branding issues for coca-cola, their marketers should introduce new recipe for the original products. They should create slogans for each product in order to make their own identity and achieve success. Additionally, as technological advancement also creates issues for the marketers of coca- cola, their marketing strategies should include providing training and development to their marketers. They should also provide education to their marketers about the social media interactions, which in turn will help them to attain feedback from the customers about the product and make changes accordingly. It will also help them in building good relationship with their customers. Coca- cola should also made effort in improving the community areas by making some initiatives regarding waste management and climate change. They should also focus on supporting society based rainwater harvesting projects for restoring levels of water and promoting health education. In context of ethical concerns, the company must focus on responsible marketing (Baker, 2014). This means they should make their marketing campaigns in responsible as socially sustainable way. As society shapes advertisements, the company should focus on the making advertisements that consist of moral values.
From the above report, it can be concluded that adoption of proper marketing strategies by the Coca- Cola Company helps them in gaining competitive advantage against their rivalries. Although they faced some contemporary issues, they adopted new marketing strategies in order to mitigate these challenges. Moreover, it also helped in building good relationship with customers and attains their trust. This also helped them to maximize profit and lower their debt level. As a result, this improved their financial performance of the company and helped them in expanding their business globally.
Armstrong, G., Kotler, P., Harker, M., & Brennan, R. (2015). Marketing: an introduction. Pearson Education.
Baker, M. J. (2014). Marketing strategy and management. Palgrave Macmillan.
Berthon, P. R., Pitt, L. F., Plangger, K., & Shapiro, D. (2012). Marketing meets Web 2.0, social media, and creative consumers: Implications for international marketing strategy. Business horizons, 55(3), 261-271.
Boone, L. E., & Kurtz, D. L. (2013). Contemporary marketing. Cengage learning.
De Mooij, M. (2013). Global marketing and advertising: Understanding cultural paradoxes. Sage Publications.
Drucker, P. (2013, October). Paradigm Shift in Marketing. In Workshop-Saturday.
Gilaninia, S., Taleghani, M., & Azizi, N. (2013). Marketing mix and consumer behavior. Kuwait Chapter of the Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review, 2(12), 53.
Hastings, G., & Domegan, C. (2013). Social marketing: From tunes to symphonies. Routledge.
Hitt, M. A., Ireland, R. D., & Hoskisson, R. E. (2012). Strategic management cases: competitiveness and globalization. Cengage Learning.
Kapferer, J. N. (2012). The new strategic brand management: Advanced insights and strategic thinking. Kogan page publishers.
Keller, E., & Fay, B. (2012). Word-of-mouth advocacy: A new key to advertising effectiveness. Journal of Advertising Research, 52(4), 459-464.
Kuo, A., & Rice, D. H. (2015). The impact of perceptual congruence on the effectiveness of cause-related marketing campaigns. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 25(1), 78-88.
Leonidou, C. N., Katsikeas, C. S., & Morgan, N. A. (2013). “Greening” the marketing mix: do firms do it and does it pay off?. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 41(2), 151-170.
Liu, Y., & Lopez, R. A. (2016). The impact of social media conversations on consumer brand choices. Marketing Letters, 27(1), 1-13.
Ribeiro, R. (2015). Os 8P? s do Marketing Contempor?neo (The 8p's of Contemporary Marketing).
Rohm, A., D. Kaltcheva, V., & R. Milne, G. (2013). A mixed-method approach to examining brand-consumer interactions driven by social media. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 7(4), 295-311.
Royle, J., & Laing, A. (2014). The digital marketing skills gap: Developing a Digital Marketer Model for the communication industries. International Journal of Information Management, 34(2), 65-73.
Saren, M., Maclaran, P., Goulding, C., Elliott, R., & Caterall, M. (2012). Critical marketing. Routledge.
Singh, D. (2013). The brand personality component of brand goodwill: some antecedents and consequences. Brand equity & advertising: Advertising's role in building strong brands, 83-96.
Tai, F. M., & Chuang, S. H. (2014). Corporate social responsibility. Ibusiness, 6(03), 117.
Wilson, R. M., & Gilligan, C. (2012). Strategic marketing management. Routledge.