I find it weird that in my last post I was dishing it to Coca Cola and now I’m faced with being their defender.
Yesterday I was having a conversation with someone and they mentioned that their Sales coach mentioned that there are a few adverts that when televised gives the viewer absolutely no idea as to what it is they are selling…Coca Cola was the prime example of course. Quickly I found myself coming to Coke’s defense, but not because I’m a loyal customer of Coke (I’m a Pepsi guy), but because the person who made such a comment and used Coke as an example clearly has no idea of Marketing in the 21st century.
Now I do admit that there are brands that advertise their products and services, and majority of the time it has absolutely nothing to do with what is being sold. However, in this case I had to disagree. The argument was that Coke made a commercial where there were carolers singing a cheerful tune, with a ‘Christmasy’ warm feel. Apparently viewers had to wait until the end of the commercial before realizing that the commercial was really about Coke, and because of this the Ad was ineffective. I have no idea how true this is because I didn’t bother to take the time to search for the Ad.
Still, the individual failed to realize the point of the commercial. Their perception of the commercial was that it would be ineffective in selling Coke, you know dollars and cents, increasing revenue. What he failed to also realize is that today marketing is not as simple as before when it was about how much money did we make from our marketing spend. Today marketing is a bit more complex and metrics to measure success of a marketing effort have also evolved. With the development of brands, marketing had to switch from being simply about dollars and cents to a more subjective metric. This was no exception with Coke’s commercial. I have not seen the commercial as mentioned, but quickly I could deduce that Coke’s primary intention was clearly not to try and sell more Coke, but more so to reinforce their brand message of happiness, joy and togetherness, which is synonymous with what the Christmas is about. With the emergence of such influencers as Facebook and Twitter, it is no longer just about ROI (Return on Investment) but also ROE (Return on Engagement). How engage your customers or fans are with your brand, this is the true power of marketing in the 21st century. The more engaged a brand becomes the more inseparable it will become to the customer, which means the more dollars and cents the brand will make. Marketing and brands seek to identify the indirect, subjective triggers that will cause a customer to spend any amount for their product or service, as Peter Cheverton calls it in Understanding Brands the ’emotional charge’ (yeah I just had to mention the book..love it!)
So to close this is something that marketers of yesteryear need to understand, it is not about how much money a marketing campaign, Ad, or promotion can generate directly and immediately, but it goes deeper to identify the core of the customer and what will make that customer’s lifetime value with your brand increase indefinitely.
Do you agree or disagree? What is your take on it? Leave a comment below.