Pepsi's crushing Coke in social

Pepsi's crushing Coca-Cola in social

The social media marketing world has been all in a tizz about Coca-Cola Senior Manager of Marketing Strategy and Insights, Eric Schmidt's, recent comments about their industry. Specifically, his revelation that all the positive buzz generated by his social team only bolsters Coke sales by a miniscule 0.01%.

Well, forgive us - this is going to sound a wee bit blunt. But what do Coke expect? No one buys a can of Coke online. Not unless they're seriously patient and a little bit strange. And, sure, there might be a little ambient goodwill that ferments in the soul of a Fan or Follower until they next pass a newsagent but a) you're going to really struggle to track this and b) you're ceding all control at that stage to the retailer. One big promotion for a rival and all your hard work will probably be undone.

But Coke's problem isn't that they're using social. It's that they're using social media marketing instead of social commerce. The moment you start selling in social, everything changes. Why? Because there's an immediate action. There's instant engagement. You create a desire and serve that desire right there in the social arena. And, if that sounds a little theoretical, it really isn't. In fact, we're already doing exactly that with Coke's biggest rival, PepsiCo - and it's working amazingly. Here's a lowdown...

Pepsi Max Social Commerce Case Study

So, here's the good news for Mr Schmidt and Coca-Cola - brands like his can sell via social. But you need to think about what you're selling and you need to sell it socially, where the audience is, not wait for them to purchase later or send them off to a faceless e-commerce store. Get that nailed and you'll see a massive upswing in engagement, sharing and sales. Carry on doing what you have been doing (and Coke have been quick to clarify that they have no plans to change their strategy) and the results will be disastrous.

Robin Bresnark

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"There is no social media"

Social media does not exist

I love it when people are bold. Bold and correct. And Norwegian marketing supremo Helge Tennø said something absolutely brilliant last night. Like a free lunch, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, "There is no Social Media".

Cue the sound of a million self-appointed gurus imploding.


To be fair to Helge, he provides some superb and balanced context to his wonderfully bold statement, citing leading professors, journals and institutions who all agree we're about to undergo an industrial-revolution-style sea-change in retail, where mass consumerism (one size fits all) gives way to individual demand and tailored production. Participation and dialogue (that'll be your social media, folks) can be one of the answers, but it has to be implemented at the business level, rather than shouldering it off to a marketing team and hoping for the best.

The upshot? Over to Helge...

This is not about one single tool entertaining customers or allowing the creative brains to experiment as the business itself is doing “business as usual”.

He nailed it. Social media, if it does exist, is meaningless. Social Commerce is everything.

Here's a sidenote: we just ran a Social Commerce campaign with Pepsi Max in Helge's homeland of Norway which

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