Marketing can be defined as the technique of planning and execution of conception, price and promotion of goods and services that are a part of any company (Powell and Gard, 2015). American Marketing Association has further defined marketing as an organizational function that creates, communicates as well as delivers value to the consumers. The overall nature of marketing is not only restricted to selling and advertisement activities but also to satisfy the needs and requirements of consumers (Smarandescu and Shimp, 2015). The present report has thus made an attempt to study the marketing strategies of Coca Cola Company which is an America based MNC that makes, retails, markets as well as sells nonalcoholic beverage and syrups all over the world. Its working is based on the mission to refresh the mind, soul and body of the world followed by instilling optimism through its actions and a set of 500 brands (Our business, 2016). Focus of the study is thus in assessing the role played by marketing and how it interrelates with different functions of organization. This is followed by assessing the marketing mix to achieve business objectives. The marketing essentials assignment can help you out to understand more about this.
P1 Explain the key roles and responsibilities of the marketing function.
There is an existence of varied marketing concepts and each one of it has its own set of roles and responsibility in context of coca cola. First is the production concept which focuses on providing cheap as well as quality products to the consumers. Role of the managers in coca cola as per this concept is to focus on high production effectiveness while manufacturing of drinks, mass production as well as provision of low cost items to the consumers. Then comes the product concept which states that consumers prefer high quality products that have a presence of innovative features (Smarandescu and Shimp, 2015). Hence the role of manager here is to improve the quality of product offerings with the passing time and also add innovative drinks to the portfolio. Then comes the marketing concept where the company is required to beat the rivals in production of quality products. Hence the manager should play the role of communicating to the consumers about their products by use of techniques like public relations, social media, print media as well as advertisements.
Marketing function has a presence of varied roles to play within Coca cola. The very first role is to promote the overall brand image of the company in a positive manner. The marketing department of the company further focuses on creating promotions tools and techniques so that consumers can be lured towards product and service offering. In case of coca cola the promotional tools are in form of TV advertisement, designing of banners; participation in mega events such as world cup and undertaking sponsorship initiatives. It has further been found that the marketing department of coca cola has utilized traditional as well as modern channels to promote its brand as well as products. It further launched a campaign known as taste the feeling in 2016 to unit all its brands. It further uses social media channels to promote itself and connect with the fans. Other than this coca cola has more than 1250 promotional video on its official you tube page (Our business, 2016).
The marketing department of the company further performs the task of creating adequate content for SEO (search engine optimization) so as to provide details about its product and service offering (Reeve and et.al., 2018). Marketing division further aids in maintain and monitor the social media actions on Facebook, Twitter, instagram etc. These are there to connect with the consumers and also get there feedback about new ways by which clients can be served (Sinha and Sheth, 2017). One of the major roles played by the department is of defining as well as managing the overall brand with respect to defining what the company is all about and how it acts. Focus of this department is also on carrying out consumer as well as market research where an understanding can be gained about overall taste and preferences of consumers and products can be served accordingly (Chalikias and Skordoulis, 2017). The research also aids in defining the target markets and how can they be reached in the best possible manner.
Current and future trends in marketing functions
There is an existence of various trends in marketing that is required to be adhered by management team at coca cola. As per relationship marketing the management at coca cola should lay emphasis on ensuring towards increased satisfaction of consumers and retaining them for a long time rather than focusing on the overall sales proportion. The upcoming trend is also of purpose-driven marketing where focus is required to be given on maintaining conversations with the consumers about their past purchases so that improvements can be brought in the portfolio (Smarandescu and Shimp, 2015). This will allow the brand to relate with the world by the use of new and powerful techniques. The future is also inclusive of Chatbots in order to engage with the consumers. It has also been regarded as the fastest means to get content and also answers t other queries rose by them. This can help to increase the overall experience of the consumers with the brands.
P2 Explain how roles and responsibilities of marketing relate to the wider organizational context.
There is a huge relation between roles and responsibility of marketing with the wider organizational context of coca cola. This is explained in the following manner. It is quite true that the marketing function is a part of business organization and all the departments are connected with it. This is as of coca cola wishes to plan and implement a marketing plan then it will need the help of other departments such as Human resource, finance, operations, and production among others. For example, human resource department recruits employees who can work in the marketing division of coca cola. These are in form of brand managers, social media marketers, and content writers among others. The HR further trains them in various aspects regarding working of company, policies and procedures and also pays them salary on a timely basis.
Then comes the finance department of coca cola that sets appropriate budget for the marketing department so that the managers can plan and implement the marketing plan. The production department will focus on producing the soft drinks as per the research carried out by marketing department of company that suits the taste and preferences of consumers. The need here is that the market research team communicates the finding to production department who will then make the soft drinks accordingly (Sinha and Sheth, 2017). Then comes the logistic department who will help in supply of raw materials necessary to produce the soft drink. It will also have a direct interaction with marketing department where the logistics head may supply computers, laptops, printers, stationery so that promotional ads, banners etc. can be created (Tuten and Solomon, 2017).
Operations department has also got a close relation with the marketing division of coca cola as it ensures that adequate research and development activities are carried out so that present and future needs can be satisfied. The items can also be made in the desired quality and design specifications that have been laid down by the consumers. The volume of orders that have been generated through marketing activiities can also be met by production department in the required time schedule. In the same lines, the consumer service department also provides speedy data about the needs of consumers to the marketers which increase the chances of attaining early success.
P3 Compare the ways in which different organizations apply the marketing mix to the marketing planning process to achieve business objectives.
The coca cola company makes use of extended marketing mix in order to attain the organizational aims and objectives. These are as follows;
- Product – The product of coca cola are made as per the needs and demands of consumers and the main objective is to satisfy the consumers. The company thus has a presence of 3300 products in its category which is the widest portfolio in the beverage industry. The beverages are further divided into diet category, fruit drinks, water, fruit juices that are 100 percent pure, energy drinks as well as tea and coffee (Our business, 2016). Coca cola has further been regarded as the no 1 brand in sparking beverages, juices as well as retailed water that comes in packets. This widespread number of products is likely to aid in attainment of business objective related to bringing a portfolio of quality beverages to the consumers so that their needs and desires can be satisfied (Objectives and Statements, 2018).
- Price – The prices of coca cola is quite competitive in nature as they are not too high so as to being able to reach the consumer and not to low which may give an impression of low quality. The overall pricing strategy of Coca cola is thus aimed to drive the process of brand loyalty. Moreover, the recent times has also seen a decrease in the demand of soda products which has resulted in lowering of prices as per the size of purchase (Morhart and et.al., 2015). In this regard, Bulk purchasers are paying significantly less amount as compared to those who are just buying one or two pieces of product offered by Coca cola. The above pricing strategy is there to fulfill the objective of increasing revenue/sales figures followed by maximizing long term return to the shareholders.
- Place – Coca cola has got a presence of extensive beverage distribution system and its products are sold in more than 200 nations that are spread in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Middle East, America among others. Studies have further revealed than an average of 1.9 billon servings of coca cola are sold every day (The Coca-Cola Company, 2018). The company further has an increased reliance on the bottling partners so as to ensure towards packaging and distribution of the products. The coca cola company thus operates through multiple local channels where the manufactures are involved in selling of concentrates, beverage base as well as syrups to bottling operations. The bottling partners then sell the final product to the consumers and vending partners from where it reaches to consumers. Such a huge network of suppliers and bottling partners will attain the objective of creating mutual connection with them and generate increased value.
- Promotion – it is quite true that there is an existence of intense competition in the soda industry as all the top brands are lasting huge emphasis on the promotional activities in order to enhance the sales and revenue figures. Studies have revealed that the company spent around 4 billion dollars on the promotional activities during the year 2016 by making use of traditional and modern channels (Our business, 2016). There was a launch of Taste the Feeling campaign which focused on uniting all its brands together which was a huge shift from its previous strategies. Other than this, it also promoted its products through TV ads, outdoor campaigns, across internet as well as social media (Swinburn and et.al., 2015). The accounts like Facebook, twitter and instagram are mainly used by the company in order to connect with the fans and ensure towards consumer engagement. Moreover there is also a presence of more than 1200 videos of the company on it’s you tube channel (The Coca-Cola Company, 2018). Other than this, personal selling strategy is also used by the company for the purpose of promotion where the company has appointed highly trained sales team which acts as sales representative to retailers and aid in maintaining overall service a product loyalty.
- Process – the beverage manufacturing processes of the company are such that they provide quality product that have a presence of refreshing flavor and distinctive taste. Other than this the company has focused on packaging bottles so as to create minimum impact on the environment but also increase the overall shelf life of the contents. This has helped in attaining the objective of being a responsible company that creates minimal negative impact to the environment (Objectives and Statements, 2018). There is further a presence of varied processes in bottling and labeling solutions so as to sell the product to the consumers before the expiry date and in a timely manner.
- People – coca cola has given an increased emphasis on its employees as well. This has been done by ensuring towards open communication so that they get a chance to share innovative ideas. It further has a presence of employee insight survey so as to make regular dialogue with them (Timothy, 2015). It is further serious towards overall training and development of employees so that it can retain the best ones for a long span of time. The management has also ensured that employees consider coca cola as a great place of working through provision of gym passes; cycle to work scheme and organizing programs for community development. In this manner, the emphasis has been given on fulfilling the objective of being a great place to work where people can be inspired to be the best with respect to whatever they do (Our business, 2016).
- Physical evidence – the physical evidence of coca cola is in form of its website that provides a widespread information about or duct and service offering of the company. This also includes history of company and its manufacturing Other than this coca cola is an industry leader in the area of packaging which are also sustainable in nature. The packaging is further based on principles of reuse and recycling.
P4 Produce and evaluate a basic marketing plan for an organization.
The present marketing plan for coca cola will focus on launching a new diet coke in India. The steps for the same are as follows;
About the company
Coca cola has been known as nonalcoholic beverage manufacturer on a worldwide basis including India and has been selling its product since 1892. It however made a reentry into India in 1993 and has been serving an unmatched profit of beverages to refresh the consumers (Coca cola in India, 2018). The present requirement is to introduce a new variant of Diet coke in the country.
The consumers of the future product to be introduced by coca cola are health conscious consumers, sports persons as well as those who like the taste of diet coke. The need of consumers from the diet coke is the one that keeps them slim and also has a presence of additional taste and flavors that were not present earlier. The target consumers of coca cola will lie in the age range of 20 to 60 years as these are the ones who are most health conscious and will be served all over India and to all the genders.
The biggest competitor of Diet coke in India will be Pepsi that has also launched its diet Pepsi for the consumers. Other than this, there is also a presence of many local brands that are serving diet soda all over the nation. Moreover the own brand of coca cola can also act as a major competitor to this new variant introduced by the company.
- To increase the brand awareness of the product by 25 percent on a yearly basis.
- To attain net profit of 20 percent by the year end.
The product will be positioned as the only drink to be launched by coca cola that has a presence of herbal infusion. This will also make the drink as not entirely artificial. This positioning strategy is likely to help coca cola in gaining an advantage over the rival firms in terms of healthy offering. Other than this TV ads will also be showcased on TV which showcases the consumers who have tried the new variant and are in love with it. Banners and posters will also be posted in health clubs, gyms, fitness as well as weight loss centers so as to lure the health conscious consumers towards the product.
The product is basically an herbal variant of diet coke that will be available in all the regular sizes and in cans as well as plastic bottles.
Seeing the immense rivalry among soda brands in India it is best for the company to focus on competitive pricing strategy so as to maintain the market share and also generate sales and revenue figures through the diet coke.
As per the place marketing mix element for diet coke the brand will be available all over India and will adhere with a mass marketing strategy.
The promotion of this variant of diet coke launched by the company will be majorly based on word of mouth publicity which will be done by the consumers who will try it and share there experience in person or through social media channels.
Marketing Plan Budget
The budget to be set for marketing of diet coke to be launched by the company is dependent on finance present with the company and how much amount it wants to spend on marketing activities for diet coke.
The last but not the least step is to monitor whether marketing strategies are going well or not and if there is a presence of any weakness in it.
From the above report it can be concluded that Coca Cola Company has a renowned presence all over the world. There is also an existence of varied marketing functions that are played by the department such as market research, brand management; promotion etc. and these have an interrelation with the other departments as well. The 7ps on marketing further showcases that the company has varied range of product offerings for the consumers that are also priced in a competitive manner with a presence of well managed distribution system. The employees are also well trained to offer the products to consumers by handling by promotion section of the company and maintaining the website.
- Chalikias, M. and Skordoulis, M., 2017. Implementation of FW Lanchester’s combat model in a supply chain in duopoly: the case of Coca-Cola and Pepsi in Greece.Operational Research. 17(3). pp.737-745.
- Powell, D. and Gard, M., 2015. The governmentality of childhood obesity: Coca-Cola, public health and primary schools.Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education. (6). pp.854-867.