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Higher mobile budgets correlate to higher revenue, says Coca-Cola exec

NEW YORK ? A Coca-Cola executive at the Mobile Marketing Association?s SM2 Innovation Summit 2015 said that mobile video outperformed television in a recent campaign for the Chinese New Year, and was twice as effective in fueling sales, proving its potency for food and beverage marketers.

During the ?SMoX Insights: Is Mobile a Strong Driver of Sales? Learnings from Walmart and Coca-Cola? session, several executives highlighted mobile?s contribution to the brands? overall revenue. They also discussed how the Mobile Marketing Association?s SMoX research yielded valuable data that helped dictate how much of their budgets they should allocate to mobile, and underscored the importance of mobile-optimized video campaigns.

?Mobile offered double the ROI of TV and was twice as effective in driving sales,? said Tom Daly, group director of global connections at The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta. ?Mobile video performed significantly better compared to TV and video.?

Higher budget allocation
Coca-Cola opted to leverage mobile for its most recent Chinese New Year campaign, which tapped image recognition technology to enable consumers to scan limited-edition bottles with their smartphones to receive clay doll emoticons for posting on the WeChat messaging application.

The beverage marketer turned to the SMoX research to better understand the data points that mobile is able to yield from a purchase intent perspective, as well as sales and image.

It discovered that mobile offered twice as much return on investment as television marketing efforts, and was doubly effective in driving sales. Coca-Cola found that if it placed its mobile budget at 15 percent, it saw a significant increase in profit, as opposed to an 8 percent allocation resulting in a mere 7 percent profit increase.

This is not the first time Coca-Cola has used SMoX findings when developing new strategies.

In March, Coca-Cola and MasterCard executives at the 2015 Mobile Marketing Association Forum New York urged other brands to partake in fact-based mobile marketing to insure that all facets of a company understand the potential of mobile and its wide consumer reach, as part of their participation in the SMoX program (see story).

?Mobile has the very real potential to drive significant increase in overall profits,? Mr. Daly said.

Competitive advantage
A Marketing Evolution executive affirmed the power of mobile in targeting the right audience, using a recent back-to-school campaign from Walmart as an example. The brand sees mobile as an ideal opportunity to grab a competitive advantage over similar marketers who may not have such valuable data yet, or take too long to act on it.

?Mobile is certainly hunching above its weight in delivering value to bottom line business results for marketers,? said Rex Briggs, founder and CEO of Marketing Evolution, Sacramento, CA.

When brands are optimizing for shopping intent, an average of 9 percent of their budgets should be delegated to mobile. Mobile also achieves its ultimate impact quickest, particularly for brands who understand its best practices.

While mobile initially had a cold reception from many advertisers, due in part to brands? reluctance to allocate significant funds to testing various marketing efforts, the sector has evolved in an incredible way. Major brands such as Coca-Cola and Walmart find it necessary rather than risky to save a relatively large portion of their budgets to mobile, especially as the bigger mobile budgets typically yield more revenue.

?There?s quite a lot of ability to increase the impact of mobile as people begin to learn about the best practices,? Mr. Briggs said. ?We think we?re going to see the ROI value of mobile increase over time.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely, editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York