Coca-Cola exec: Think beyond a single mobile campaign

NEW YORK ? A Coca-Cola Co. executive said that the mobile channel is a key component of the brand?s loyalty and customer relationship management initiatives at the Mobile Marketing Forum.

These days consumers have a lot of choice, with three times the product choices compared to 30 years ago, and there is an obscene amount of information online, much of which is trickling into mobile as well. In this environment of hyper-choice, consumers are overwhelmed, but mobile loyalty programs give brands a way to stand out from the rest and inspire repeat business.

?It takes dedication from the brand to develop a longer-term relationship with consumers?think beyond a single campaign,? said Tara Scarlett, senior manager of CRM and precision marketing at Coca-Cola, Atlanta. ?Ask yourself how you can make interaction with consumers as relevant as possible?

?Brand messaging is great, but what?s the next level?how do you keep that brand engagement going for a long period of time?? she said. ?How do you know what works?

?Connect, collect and perfect.?

Since Coca-Cola launched My Coke Rewards several years ago, it has emerged as one of the most popular consumer packaged goods sites in mobile marketing, according to a 2009 study from the Harte-Hanks? Aberdeen Group (see story).

To participate in the program, consumers enter unique codes under the caps of specially marked Coke products online or by texting in the keyword to a short code.

When they have accumulated enough points to redeem a reward from one or more of the program?s participating partners, they make their selection and the points are deducted from their account.

Cultivate loyal consumers using mobile
The ?Twist, TXT, Win? initiative focuses on 20 oz. Coca-Cola products, which carry the on-package call-to-action ?Twist, TXT?u could Win.?

Consumers who text in the alphanumeric code under the cap get an immediate response via SMS telling them whether or not they have won a prize.

Coca-Cola claims that a consumer wins a prize via mobile every 10 minutes, from movie passes and concert cash to flat-screen TVs and virtual goods.

?This program is designed to help drive velocity of the ongoing purchase, making consumers more likely to purchase one of our products rather than a competitor?s,? Ms. Scarlett said. ?We asked ourselves how do we reward our consumers? How do we delight them?

?This provides immediate gratification with instant-win prizes, and consumers also get points for a program we have called My Coke Rewards, an online loyalty program that is moving to mobile,? she said.

?It allows us to keep that consumer experience going for a longer period of time and encourages them to gather points on My Coke Rewards and redeem them for physical rewards, digital rewards and to enter sweepstakes.?

The brand also asks consumers to opt-in to receive future marketing messages.

?We want to make sure it is something people want to receive,? Ms. Scarlett said. ?If you ask them, they?re happier to respond to you.?

Coca-Cola is activating its World Cup sponsorship by expanding the Twist TXT Win mobile promotion to the international soccer tournament.

?Being able to tie this into other campaigns is also important, because we want to continue that relationship over a long period of time,? Ms. Scarlett said. ?Because of existing sponsorships and relationships, we can take that mobile promotion and filter it across whatever programs we have running.

?Part of our holistic planning for all of our individual brands involves mobile,? she said.

Coca-Cola also runs mobile advertising, and plans to complement its SMS initiatives with mobile Web properties and applications.

?Mobile brings us a whole another level of being able to have a dialog with a consumer and get the right message to the right person at the right time in the best format,? Ms. Scarlett said. ?Think about where consumer is most likely to be receptive.

?The big advantage of mobile is you can test and learn what is going to be the big trigger points for consumers,? she said. ?It?s part of the process of perfecting that relationship with consumers over time.?