Coke Reveals How They Measure Social

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In 1904, Italian Botanist, Francesco Franceschi, purchased 40 acres on Mission Ridge in Santa Barbara. The City acquired the property in 1931 and turned it into a park. The view from up there is impressive.


Photo credit Lewis Y.

That’s where I took Tim Goudie in January, 2006 when he came to visit. Tim had some questions.

Having traveled full time while managing the NBA Sports Property at The Coca-Cola Company for all markets outside North America for more than three years, Tim was made Group Interactive Marketing Manager. They figured his MBA from the University of Leicester would be well utilized.

“I’ve spent one year in this role,” he said, “I want to really get my hands around the metrics and analytics. I know what Coke cares about. I want to know what they should care about.”

“And what do they care about now?”

“Brand love.”

“Perfect! How do you measure that?”

“We interview more than 100,000 people each year in 70 markets around the world and use that to figure out if we should sponsor the Olympics or buy a Super Bowl ad or buy more coolers that say ‘Drink Coca-Cola’ on them. That, by the way, lifts sales 20%.”

“Sounds like you have a significant handle on it.”

“Yeah, but we’re still only reporting HITS online.”

“Oh.”

A long conversation ensued followed by Tim heading back to Atlanta to dive head first into digital analytics.

At my request, he kept track of his journey and by October, he was experienced enough – and humble enough – to spell out his successes and failures at the eMetrics Summit in Washington, D.C. He described his efforts helping the company implement Internet marketing strategies into the larger marketing mix. He was tasked with proving the value of online marketing and it did not always go smoothly.

His presentation was called,

    A Coca-Cola Case Study
….otherwise known as….
“So how the hell do we do this?”

His fourteen key bits of advice were:

1. First educate yourself…..quickly
2. Engage your vendors…..be candid
3. Find an internal patron….or you will die
4. Establish your KPI’s….shut down chatter
5. The data…..who needs to know?
6. Finalize your data sources
7. Scorecards…..a place for your raw data
8. Dashboards……making the data friendly
9. Talent…..recruit carefully
10. Interpreting the data….find help to start with
11. Tagging….get it right early
12. Publish widely……someone will get it
13. Measurement & ROI……another key metric!
14. The future…..we’ve only started

He gave a rousing recommendation about the online training he got at the UBC/DAA Award of Achievement in Digital Analytics

Two years later, I had the temerity to ask Tim to come back and do it again – this time in San Francisco. It was very informative.

His key bits of advice were remarkably similar (and are likely to be today) but he added a few critical things:

We are evolving in the digital space – things change more rapidly than ever before.
Metrics are ridiculously political – let’s be careful out there.
From metrics to business measures – did you sell more beverage?

This was when Tim (like the rest of us) was responsible for linking online to offline to mobile to widgets to games to voice of customer to the beginnings of social media. Once again, he described his steps, his missteps and the lessons he learned along the way. Again, it was very informative.

And then – as happens at large companies – Tim was reassigned. They needed his help back on the international side of the business and made him Strategic Marketing Manager Sparkling Beverages for the North West Africa Business Unit. Yes, they shipped him off to Egypt for a couple of years.

But the Coca-Cola Company required Tim’s help at HQ once again so he re-relocated to Atlanta to become Director of Global Partnerships. His job was to partner with Google, Facebook and Microsoft.

In April of this year, there was another knock on Tim’s door and they offered him another territory to conquer – social media.

Given the strength of my audacity, I have asked Tim to once again grace our stage – this time in Boston – to give us an update.

What’s he measuring now that he’s Director, Social Media Sustainability? What has he learned along the way?

Come to the eMetrics Summit in Boston and hear him speak on Wednesday, October 2 about how Coca-Cola Gets Social.

His view from up there is impressive.

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