Refreshing billions around the world.
Open rate for personalized rewards emails
Uplift in click-through rates with personalization
Email journeys running in multiple languages
“The ability to bring all of our consumer information together — in real time — is critical to helping us engage with billions of Coca-Cola consumers around the globe.”
Director of Precision Marketing Technologies, The Coca-Cola Company
When Keith Bartig, Director of Precision Marketing Technologies, first joined The Coca-Cola Company, he was impressed by the company’s reputation for putting people first: from customers to employees to communities around the globe. But it was Bartig’s first position working alongside social media teams that opened his eyes to the unique reach of Coca-Cola.
“I quickly discovered that people everywhere in the world have their favorite Coca-Cola brands,” says Bartig. “We sell two billion servings a day. Online we were hearing from passionate fans of regional brands and flavors that I’d never even heard of. It really impressed me to see just how much diversity there was. It shows how Coca-Cola brands are part of the daily lives of so many.”
Personalizing for billions of customers
Coke is one of the most iconic drinks around the world, but The Coca-Cola Company is more than just sparkling sodas. From water, sports drinks, coffee, and tea, to dairy, juice, and alcoholic beverages, the company has a diverse portfolio with more than 250 brands. That’s why Coca-Cola now refers to itself as a “total beverage company”.
Having such a large number of brands has changed how Coca-Cola engages with consumers. Rather than selling the same brands to everyone, the company wanted to focus on selling consumers the drinks that they want the most. That means giving them deals on their favorites and also introducing them to new brands or flavors that they may want to try.
Parents picking up breakfast for the family might be looking for a store that has juice for the kids and coffee for themselves. Or a gym goer might appreciate a coupon for a sports drink to keep them hydrated and energized throughout their workout.
But how does one of the biggest beverage companies in the world scale to deliver personalized messages to potentially billions of consumers? Coca-Cola decided to bring together regional customer data platforms (CDP) from across the world to create a single view that delivered real-time insights into global customers. Rather than spending energy piecing together standalone solutions from multiple vendors, the company decided to shift to an IT platform strategy that leverages integrated solutions to minimize time needed to manage solutions.
“Few companies operate on such a massive scale as Coca-Cola. For us, Adobe Experience Cloud was the best choice,” explains Bartig. “It has the breadth of solutions that we wanted — handling everything from ecommerce and content management to real-time personalization and analytics — with the scale needed to reach customers everywhere they are: at a restaurant, neighborhood store, and everywhere in between.”
Leaning on expert support
Coca-Cola’s marketing teams need enough flexibility to create custom campaigns for their region. At the same time, by standardizing on a central martech platform, they can collaborate and build upon their global colleagues’ ideas to quickly roll out new campaigns, deliver deeper personalization, and increase engagement across all regions. That’s why rather than rolling out the new experience platform one market at a time, the Coca-Cola martech team took a new approach: a simultaneous worldwide roll out.
Coca-Cola enlisted the help of Adobe Professional Services to accomplish this ambitious goal. Adobe’s technical experts dramatically accelerated time to market, establishing a center of excellence model to manage the roll out of Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform and Adobe Journey Optimizer, which run on Adobe Experience Platform, for use across all regions in just five months. During phase one of deployment, these solutions brought together 98 million customer profiles from more than 100 countries into a single CDP, with plans for billions of profiles when complete.
Adobe Customer Journey Analytics will empower teams to explore individual layers of data and generate cross-channel insights. This will help marketers find new opportunities for engagement and improve customer experiences even as the platform continues to scale rapidly. Adobe also worked closely with business and technical teams to develop effective digital strategies that extended across digital channels, incorporating emails, offers, and landing pages to encourage continuous engagement.
“By going broad, we’re seeing all regions evolve and take big steps at the same time,” says Bartig. “We also see a change in how teams worldwide work together. Everyone relies on information coming from everyone else, so teams need to be a lot more aware of how they collect and share data in a way that will benefit everyone.”
Engaging with customers worldwide
Just as every region has its own specialized beverages, from Japan’s “Lemon-dou” cocktail drink to the “AdeS” plant-based beverages popular across Latin America, the martech team works as a center of excellence with marketing groups globally to help them create uniquely appealing campaigns for their region.
“We add all requested components and capabilities to a repository available to everyone,” says Bartig. “By designing for the future, we can help all regions build upon each other’s successes to increase engagement with consumers anywhere.”
Combining Adobe technology with the expertise of Coca-Cola’s regional marketing teams and Adobe Professional Services has resulted in some truly innovative campaigns.
“The Adobe Professional Services team worked hand-in-hand with the Coca-Cola martech team to achieve milestones, find technical solutions, and build a scalable platform. Now that we have transitioned to Adobe Journey Optimizer, we are excited to use the real-time engagement capabilities it offers,” says Bartig.
The Latin America marketing team came up with a campaign that aimed to not only increase engagement, but also promote Coca-Cola’s sustainability messages. The Virtual Bottle Program incentivizes consumers to exchange previously used bottles for new bottles of Coca-Cola products. An inventory system triggers automated customer journeys that sends free Virtual Bottle coupons to interested consumers, along with regular reminders. Adobe Target uses customer segments to personalize email messages and encourage more consumers to engage with the program. The campaign resulted in a 16% uplift in point of sales exchanges of physical plastic bottles — a win for Coca-Cola, consumers, and the environment.
In the U.S., marketers released a new sweepstakes during football season that personalized content depending on each consumer’s location and their local NFL team. People who entered the sweepstakes received messages personalized with team logos, and region-specific content including gameday recipes. These communications saw a 63% uplift in click-through rates compared to default content.
Marketing teams in APAC activated customer segments in Real-Time CDP to build look-alike audiences in Facebook, which increased the match rate on Facebook by 3%, resulting in even more customer acquisitions through paid media. Marketers also created new campaigns to increase engagement with rewards program members. Consumers received personalized messaging about different ways to interact with rewards, from playing games to spending points. These emails achieved a 40% open rate — a huge boost over the industry standard of just 3%.
“We currently have more than 350 email journeys in multiple languages running through the Adobe platform,” says Bartig. “Adobe Experience Cloud is the only platform with both the breadth of marketing capabilities and global scale that meets The Coca-Cola Company’s needs.”
Reaching consumers anytime, anywhere
Every year, Coca-Cola continues to expand the beverages offered to consumers worldwide. Likewise, Bartig, the Coca-Cola martech team, and Adobe Professional Services plan to continue building upon the digital experience platform to mature use cases and better engage consumers. Future plans include automating content creation and asset management using Adobe Workfront integrated with Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Experience Manager.
“Coca-Cola consumers interact with us everywhere. They’re scanning QR codes and exploring online content while buying their favorite beverage at stores,” says Bartig. “The ability to bring all of our consumer information together — in real time — is critical to helping us engage with billions of Coca-Cola consumers around the globe.”