An early aspiration of The Coca-Cola Company was to position its beverages “within an arm’s length of desire.” Now, amidst the digital evolution, the world’s largest total beverage company is advancing its technological capabilities so products will be “within a click’s reach of desire.” It’s part of the company’s efforts to “digitize the enterprise.”
Through this digital strategy, Coca-Cola is increasingly engaging consumers when and where they use digital media platforms, enabling clickable power to purchase. This strategy includes vending machine interactions and e-coupons, and modernizing internal processes and systems to become more efficient. The company sees these actions as foundational to enabling growth.
“Clearly, digital is our core component and I think it’s almost in danger of becoming everything and at times nothing. Therefore, it is really important we break it down and get specific,” said James Quincey, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company.
Digital marketing, or engaging with consumers via digital media, is one strategic area where Coca-Cola is seeing success. Coke Studio, an international music franchise featuring live, studio-recorded performances from established and emerging artists, reached 1 billion views in 2017, and Coke TV ranks among the top YouTube channels. The company also leads across fast-moving consumer goods on Twitter and on Facebook with its Fanta®, Sprite® and Coca-Cola® pages.
The company is further expanding digitization efforts in e-commerce, helping its customers – grocery stores, restaurants, convenience stores, movie theaters, amusement parks and others – gain wins, too. Diet Coke® holds the number one grocery SKU in digital commerce in the United States. In Japan, 200,000 vending machines have been digitally enabled for consumers to engage via a mobile app. And in China, 5 million transactions were recorded with an e-coupon that offers a free Sprite® at McDonald's every time the temperature is above 35°C.
Coca-Cola recognizes that full digitization of the enterprise requires internal digitization as well.
“We’ve got more to do. Because there’s no way we can aspire to help engage with our consumers and help our customers if we ourselves can’t be at least on the front-edge in terms of how things work digitally. So we’ve made a lot of investment and we’re doing a lot of work to bring that up to speed internally. And, we are working with our bottling partners to do that,” said Quincey.
The modernization of Coca-Cola’s internal processes and systems has advanced over the past few years, including implementation of new software like Workday, which offers cloud applications for finance and human resources. Internal digitization is resulting in faster decisions, cost reductions and improved employee experience, all geared toward disciplined growth.
Digitizing the enterprise is one of Coca-Cola’s five strategic growth priorities, which were introduced in 2017. The other four are to accelerate growth of its leading consumer-centric brand portfolio, drive a value over volume approach to beverages, strengthen the system’s value-creation advantage and unlock the power of its people.