The Coca-Cola Company’s Employee Marketing Strategy

Overview of the problem

Competition among beverage manufacturing firms has stiffened over the past few decades as each firm seeks to maximize its market share. Market share maximization is a kind of a non-zero sum game whereby one firm gains while the other loses. An increase in market share for one company leads to a decrease in the market share of the rival company (De Mooij, 2013). Most beverage producing companies are multinational companies that heighten the competition among them. Owing to the high competition in the beverage industry, firms have resulted in using aggressive promotional strategies to attract the attention of customers. The intensive print and television adverts consume much of the companies’ profits leading to a sharp decrease in their respective net income. This paper proposes a marketing strategy premised on the employees as a solution to the high cost of advertising incurred by Coca-Cola through alternative Medias.

Breakdown of the idea

The idea shall center on cutting down the operation cost through a reduction in the advertising costs. Under the strategy, all employees of the company shall be provided with garments bearing the name of the company. Moreover, the garments shall contain attractive messages meant to persuade the customers to purchase the company’s products. Such messages shall include:

  1. Quench your thirst with one bottle of Coca-Cola
  2. Enjoy a refreshing moment with Coca-Cola
  3. No party without Coca-Cola

The garments shall also bear creative photos of people enjoying the beverages alongside persuasive messages. The company shall cite the social responsibility programs in place and structure the message to support such programs. For example, if the company assists in paying school fees for the needy students, the message would be, “every shilling you spend on our products helps educate the community.” The employees shall give customers T-shirts and Caps inscribed with the messages to customers upon making purchases.

Employees shall also be trained in the effective use of social media to market the company’s products. Each subsidiary company shall open a specific page in the social media, and employees will be encouraged to participate in educating the customers on the company’s products. Customers shall be encouraged to visit the pages through other Medias such as TV and radio adverts. The pages shall be used to explain the philanthropic work undertaken by the individual subsidiary in their respective area of operation.

A vision of the idea that explains the value to the company

The company’s vision is to be the leading beverage producer in the globe (Aaker, Kumar, & Day, 2008). The objective of this proposal is to reduce the operation cost by cutting down the cost of advertising. The objective is in line with the company’s short term and long-term goals that center on providing the customers with the best quality products at a lower price. Cutting down the operation cost will help the firm achieve this objective. The low prices shall give the company a sustained competitive advantage over the rivals and will suppress the entry of new companies into the industry.

The resources needed to execute the idea

The execution of the mentioned strategy requires a wide range of resources that will be specifically required in the first year of the implementation process. The resources required to execute this idea include:

  1. Financial capital
  2. Human capital

The human capital refers to the employees of the company who include the CEOs, managers, and other employees of the firm. The three classes of employees are important in the implementation process since they will be directly involved in the execution of the idea. The financial resource shall specifically be important in the first year of the implementation process since a huge sum of money will be required to train the employees on the effective use of social media in marketing. Part of the finances shall also be devoted to the production of garments and caps bearing the label of Coca-Cola. Photos of people drinking the company’s beverages shall also be included with attractive messages.

The potential interdepartmental or inter-organizational relationships needed to complete the proposal

Successful implementation of the strategy shall require collaboration by the various departments within the company. The financial, the human resource, and the training department shall work together to implement the strategy. The financial department shall provide the necessary financial support to facilitate the training of workers and procure the garments. On the other hand, the human resource department shall provide potential trainees and offer the training to them at Coca-Cola University.

A potential timeline for completion

Coca-Cola is a multinational company with subsidiaries spread all over the world. The company has a diverse workforce, which requires a nation-specific training of employees (Doyle & Stern, 2006). The implementation process is set to kick off in 2016 and will be complete by December the same year. Employee training will take place from January 2016 to April 2016. The training shall center on:

  1. Internet marketing
  2. Customer relation

Ways the proposed business action is an innovative idea

The main idea of innovation is to increase efficiency and reduce the cost of operations. By adopting an employee-based form of marketing, the company shall realize a huge decrease in the operations costs, leading to higher profits (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). Currently, most companies do not understand the importance of using employees as marketing tools, and they result in using other expensive marketing strategies (Sicilia & Palazón, 2008). Given that employees are in direct contact with customers, using them to market the company’s product could be a sure way of maximizing the sales of the firm.

Social media is one of the cheapest advertising modes, and training employees on internet marketing will go a long way in boosting the company’s sales. Due to the diversity of customers from different countries, the branches should have their pages on social media. The pages shall bring together customers sharing the same cultural and linguistic backgrounds. The interaction between the employees and the customers will create a venue through which customer reviews will be obtained. The reviews shall be used as the basis for the improvement of the product to satisfy the customers’ needs. Besides, customers will get direct answers from authorized employees, increasing their confidence with the company’s products. The company’s sales have been affected by the stereotypes that have been circulating in the market about the adverse health effects of soda consumption (Weber, Story, & Harnack, 2006). Such stereotypes shall be falsified through social media, and the right information will be given to customers.

Return on investment

Adoption of the said strategy will increase the company’s profitability through savings in advertising. The company shall realize a decrease in profits in the first year of the implementation of the strategy due to the huge startup investment required. The benefits of the strategy shall be realized in the second year following the implementation. The firm’s turnover is set to increase by 20% in the second year following the implementation of the strategy as indicated. The increase in the turnover will translate into higher shareholders’ value due to the additional profits obtained. The after-tax profits of the company shall increase by 15% and 20% in the second and third years respectively.

References

Aaker, A., Kumar, V., & Day, G. (2008). Marketing research. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

De Mooij, M. (2013). Global marketing and advertising: Understanding cultural paradoxes. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Doyle, P., & Stern, P. (2006). Marketing management and strategy. New York, NY: Pearson.

Mangold, G., & Faulds, D. (2009). Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix. Business Horizons, 52(4), 357-365.

Sicilia, M., & Palazón, M. (2008). Brand communities on the internet: A case study of Coca Cola’s Spanish virtual community. Corporate Communications, 13(3), 255-270.

Weber, K., Story, M., & Harnack, L. (2006). Internet food marketing strategies aimed at children and adolescents: a content analysis of food and beverage brand web sites. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 106(9), 1463-1466.