Coca-Cola’s digital transformation journey

96% of the world’s population recognise the Coca-Cola logo. Approximately 10,000 of the brand’s products are consumed every second. Based on these impressive statistics, you might assume this 140-year-old business would be ahead of the curve when it came to digital transformation.

However, speaking at a recent marketing conference, Coca-Cola CDO David Godsman revealed that the company had only just embarked on a five-year digital transformation plan. The aim: to overhaul what Godsman described as a ‘traditional brick and mortar business’ into a digital-first business. How was he expecting to achieve this? By focusing on four transformation areas: experience, operational, business and cultural.

According to Godsman, delivering on this meant learning more about customer preferences and behaviours to personalise communications at scale and bring the physical and digital worlds together.

Coca-Cola has a long, but steady history of business transformation. It took more than 60 years before it began expanding beyond North America. Only when it acquired Minute Maid in the 1960s did it start expanding its portfolio more significantly.

Following the decision to embark on its digital transformation journey in 2018, the company is delivering on its four key digital transformation areas. It’s creating more relevant experiences for consumers; using technology and data to improve new processes; disrupting its own business operations before others get there first; and transforming its culture from a traditional consumer packaged goods business into a company fit for the digital age.

It’s no mean feat moving from traditional brand and campaign creation into customer experience formation. In Godsman’s words, ‘this is one of the hardest things we will do as a company, in full transparency.’

When you’re dealing with a brand that reaches around 18% of the world’s population every day, the potential to create more personalised experiences is vast, but also challenging. As Godsman explained: ‘Our consumers are different. They have different behaviours, different preferences… [they] engage with us in very different ways… in mobile, on web, in social, through AR.

As a result, Coca-Cola has created a unified, omnichannel experience which can reach individuals, regardless of where they live or what language they speak. User-generated content created on digital platforms is also playing a key role in their strategy. On its social media channels, the company has a team of ‘experience makers’ (consumers) happy to share ‘their love and affinity for the brand.’

Godsman explained that the future company is ‘a co-creation environment with our consumers,’ reinforcing a plan to continue the digital transformation journey ‘hand in hand’ with loyal customers.

By providing data-based efficiencies on promotional merchandise and marketing collateral, Adare is proud to have played a small part in Coca-Cola’s success story. The service we provide means Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) save through data-driven procurement, market consolidation and improved time to market, throughout their 13 European markets.

If you would like to find out more about how we can help streamline your procurement processes and reduce risk, get in touch with the team today: hello@adareinternational.com.

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