Traditional vs Modern Marketing Technology

Subject: Business
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 16
Word count: 4035
Topics: Coca Cola, Advertising, Management, Marketing, Social Media


Coca Cola was invented in the late 19th Century. The company produces concentrate whose formula is a trade secret and sells to its licensed bottlers. Its market share is currently at 42.8% in the beverage industry, making it the best brand above Pepsi whose market share is 31%. The entity uses traditional marketing methods, most of which if replaced, can enhance its performance as it diverts a lot of resources in the forums. In the wake of effective modern marketing techniques such as social media, search engine optimization, technological customer relationship management and digital marketing amongst others, rivals such as Pepsi are closing in the market domination gap between them and Coca Cola as they exclusively focus on modern techniques such as Social media. Coca Cola has a good blend of promotional and place as well as pricing techniques mix but is yet to achieve an esteemed promotional platform. The study focuses on marketing techniques and mix as used by Coca Cola and finds out whether the traditional forums still attract audience or enhance effectiveness and sustainability. It then recommends the best way forward for the entity’s sustainability amidst the rapidly growing soft drink market segment exclusively made of digitalized marketing technologies.


The Coca Cola Company is a worldwide soft drink firm with more than 300 beverages to its name (Pendergrast 2013, p. 105). Founded more than 130 years ago, the entity has grown to become the best soft drink brand worldwide (Pendergrast 2013, p. 105). It covers 42.8% of the soft drink market share hence has a competitive edge over its rivals such as Pepsi (Pendergrast 2013, p. 109). This study focuses on marketing techniques and mix used by Coca Cola and finds out whether the traditional forums still attract audience or enhances effectiveness. The research makes recommendations on how Coca Cola can best maintain sustainability as it concentrates a good part of its resources on traditional marketing techniques when there is a rapidly growing market segment exclusively made of digitalized marketing schemes. 

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Bruhn, Schoenmueller and Schäfer (2012, p. 770) note that traditional methods of marketing entail newspapers, telephone books, television, testimonials, magazines, brochures, live events, business cards, promotional products and radio.  Coca Cola blends traditional marketing DNA into its marketing techniques. It uses many forms of technology to market its products. The entity employs the use of big screens during live events, an old marketing strategy. The firm set up one of its advertisements in a stadium during a match and booked 60 minutes to advertise Coca-Cola, posing the drink as bringing people together. “A Coke for Us” advert had the theme of enhancing diversity (YouTube, 2018). Coca Cola targeted the modern consumer who is concerned with diversity and inclusion in the wake of globalization. Block parties, community fairs and exhibitions are old marketing methods that gained popularity in the late 19th Century as a way of promoting artist’s products (Bruhn 2012, p. 776). Even so, many businesses emulated the promotional tool and used big screen, a method which has since been replaced by modern marketing methods such as social media (, 2018). Coca-Cola has used radio advertising severally in the recent past to advertise its products. The soft drink company used the forum in a program called “the Coca-Cola Radio history”, a scheme meant to increase brand awareness and promote consumption of the fast food drink amongst other radio forums (, 2018). The company has not yet fully transformed to embrace modern marketing schemes and still relies a lot on traditional marketing methods. 

Coca-Cola uses television to advertise its products (, 2018). In Australia, the company ran an advertisement that informed people why its products were harmful to their health. Even so, experts viewed the move as a strategy to practice psychological marketing, a scheme similar to that employed by the tobacco industry. Critics said the advertisement was meant to pose the company as one concerned about its corporate social responsibility and was taking care of the consumer. In real sense, it took advantage of the forum to promote its healthy products. Coca-Cola is aware that the generation that mostly views such promotional tools is the older domain as distinct from the youth who are fond of social media. As such, the company used television to promote its sales. Customer preferences are changing and adept customer relationship management is called for (Bruhn 2012, p. 783). Social media marketing is a modern forum which allows for feedback and helps firms to understand the consumer better. Coca Cola has many feedback forums for its customers via its website. Even so, the company has not established enough social media websites where its consumers should report complaints. Through, customers have issued several complaints but some remain ‘unresponded’ to. Consumers claim that Coca Cola is addictive, a menace which has existed for a long time, yet the company is reluctant to react to the concern, depicting poor customer relationship management. 

Data management and analytics entails using customer data to improve relationship and create customer loyalty (Ariker, Diaz, Moorman and Westover 2015, p.28). Rather than make the product ‘addictive’ as claimed by customers, the company should exclusively use modern technology to enhance its sales. For example, the University of Michigan once cut its relationship with Coca-Cola due to poor customer relationship management. The company did not take care of its clients’ environmental concerns in India as well as labor issues in Colombia, and only one consumer was sufficient to prompt a reduction in Coca Cola’s sales (Pissed Consumer, 2018). The ordeal was a wake-up call for the company to use modern technology and take care of all customers’ issues on a one to one segmentation platform, making the firm to allow itself to be environmentally audited in the affected regions for the first time. 

Ariker et al (2015, p. 29) observes that gaining insight in business through use of customer data obtained via marketing analytics is vital. Modern technology such as the free Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics enable merging of consumer data and grouping of similar feedback for control action by the company. Tools such as conversion optimization enable companies to conduct market research and learn about the market in order to penetrate it. Coca Cola uses the schemes but only selectively (Pendergrast 2013, p. 109). Google Adwords, Wordstream and Wordtracker are contemporary tools for Search Engine Marketing and provide a forum where marketers can learn about which advertisements are most clicked on. Through software such as Oracle Eloqua and Adobe Campaign, Coca Cola can not only increase its sales but will also save on costs of employing many personnel for marketing purposes, saving costs in the instance. The tools enable a firm to communicate between marketers and salesmen automatically and picks customer relationship points to inform sales people of loopholes (Ariker et al 2015, p. 41). Big data refers to high volume and high velocity and variety information which demand innovative and cost-effective information processing methods to allow for enhanced insight, process automation and decision-making (Ariker et al 2015, p. 43). Coca-Cola manages a huge amount of data (Pendergrast 2013, p. 109). With its size of information, to avoid missing out on any market trends, it should shun its traditional marketing methods and exclusively focus on modern techniques. By acting so, it will maintain sustainability as the best soft drink brand because its closest rival Pepsi has 31.1% of the industry’s market share as compared to Coca Cola’s 42.8% (Pendergrast 2013, p. 109).

Social media marketing is one the most modern forums which have increasingly gained popularity with the advent of Facebook , Twitter and  Istagram amongst others, targeting consumers through mobile phone technology (Bruhn et al 2012, p. 788). Bruhn (2012, p. 783) notes that Facebook for instance, has millions of followers, most of who are the youth . The new marketing trend focuses on social media. The marketing tool is convenient because it reaches a wide audience as well as saving on costs, contrary to traditional television and newspaper marketing which is paid for. The youth, the largest target group in marketing soft drinks, prefer social media as a way of communication. Pepsi has been found to be growing its social media audience hat a faster rate than Coca Cola (Bruhn 2012, p. 783). Even though the latter has more followers, Pepsi is aggressively catching up. The major reason behind the aspect is that coca Cola dedicates a large part of its resources to traditional marketing which has since lost audience. 


Coca-Cola has taken a multi-step segmentation approach. It segments its market based on demographics, geography, and psychographics (Shao and Yeqing 2015, p. 119). Coca Cola products such as the drink, “Oasis”, targets the youth, depicting demographic segmentation. Diet Coke targets the ‘health’ consumer who is concerned about their physiology. Coca-Cola targets all demographic segments in its approach towards increasing marketing effectiveness (Shao and Yeqing 2015, p. 122). The soda company’s market is also segmented into the health market (health customer) as well as trendy consumer or the ‘millenials’. Coca cola has also segmented its products by country of geography. For example “Oasis” is a product mainly found in Europe and “Stoney” is majorly concentrated in Africa (Shao and Yeqing 2015, p. 122). Even so, the company can only silently target the children market because it is illegal to market to minors due to their inadequate consciousness and capacity to control themselves.

Market targeting refers to the act of identifying potential consumers and selecting at least one best segment to focus on (Shao and Yeqing 2015, p. 118). It entails identifying the most suitable consumers and selecting the best segments after market segmentation. The aspect entails conducting a political, legal, economic, social, technological, and technological analysis and coming up with the best market domain to major on. Coca Cola targets climatically hot regions which are sociologically diverse. For example, in its big screen advertisement “A Coke for Everyone” which indicates psychographic product promotion, the company aims at the modern consumer who condemns ethnocentrism and racism and instead advocates for equality (Shao and Young 2015. The entity knows that many people in developed nations are concerned with racial and ethnic prejudice and it puts itself on the frontline as the chief advocate against the vices. As such, many people’s tastes and preferences are appealed to as they consider Coca Cola a diversity ambassador. Coca-Cola also majors on Geographic segmentation (Shao and Yeqing 2015, p. 122). In third world countries where access is not as swift as in developed countries, Coca-Cola has ventured to make its existence known in such regions where its rivals such as Pepsi are not found. 

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Coca Cola should shift its resources to the youth which make a big portion of its market. The soft drink firm blends traditional marketing with some modern marketing techniques such as social media marketing through You Tube (YouTube, 2018). Through the advertisement named “The Lastt Customer”, Coca Cola is seen using psychographic advertising to capture the appeal of both potential and loyal customers. The You Tube clip depicts employees in a supermarket counter who pose as “Tagahatid Paskos”. They are helping people during Christmas and would have wished to spend with their families, albeit they do not have the money (YouTube, 2018). The employees are viewed as heroes since they are making everyone else’s Christmas special when theirs is tedious.  Just when they are about to close shop, a group of customers pop in. They cannot close the supermarket with clients within, and so have to wait for them to complete shopping. Finally, the last customers arrive at the counter, carrying huge amounts of shopping. When the attendants eventually finish wrapping the gifts, the ‘customers’ reveal themselves as Coca Cola agents and that the gifts are theirs (have been bought for the attendants). Elated, the subordinates cannot hide their utmost joy, some even crying due to happiness in the instance. 

The video portrays Coca Cola as a firm interested in philanthropy, boosting its image in the public domain. Coca Cola has perfectly used psychographic segmentation to appeal to the philanthropic aspect of viewers who think that by promoting the beverage, they are also contributing towards an aid kitty, furthering the brand slogan “Taste the Feeling”. The whole ordeal seems natural but a closer look reveals that it was planned, from the “Tagahatid Paskos” wearing Coca Cola hats to the Coca Cola agents being the only ones shopping past the closing hour yet the shop is still open (YouTube, 2018). The emotive advert, one of the instances where Coke has used a modern marketing method, increases the drinks liking as it influences consumer behavior.  However, had the company invested all its resources towards such social media promotion tools, it would have captured the youth in a bigger way. As it stands, Coca Cola still wastes a lot of resources in traditional marketing. 

Coca-cola has positioned itself as a philanthropic firm and one that aims at giving the best experience to the consumer (Shao and Yeqing 2015, p. 125). Its slogan “Taste the Feeling” is the brand strategy through which the company aims at raising emotions through the drink. However, Pepsi is slowly eating into the soft drinks market and giving Coca Cola a run for its money because it has concentrated its capacity in modern marketing techniques. Coca Cola should concentrate on one-to-one marketing. The move would make consumers feel that they are more cared for and enhances customer relationship management. Through impeccable market research, the entity should realize that it has not responded to an array of customer needs due to inadequate response to consumer feedback amidst its large data. Pepsi on the other hand, has managed to manoeuvre through its large data and improve on its customer relationship as discussed in the next paragraph. 

For many years, Soda consumers have complained and asked the companies to produce health products. One-to-one marketing is a form of promotion which concentrates on customer relationship management and personal interaction with clients to enhance customer loyalty (Bruhn 2012, p. 790). Coca Cola does not have perfect psychographic positioning to counter the current behavioral trends. Its rival, Pepsi, came up with a product “Pespsi Special” in Japan ( The soda, the first of its kind, was meant to cut down human body fats instead of adding onto it, making it popular with customers especially in the Japanese market which is health conscious. The drink was said to have had the ability to inhibit the risk of heart ailments and contained dietary fibre, functioning through suppression of absorbed fat. The idea indicated how Pepsi was ahead of coca Cola in using modern trends to position its product while the latter still consumes a big portion of its funds in traditional marketing. 

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Coca Cola has positioned itself in numerous markets. The company used to supply only urban regions at first and could not reach the rural market due to infrastructural challenges amongst other milestones (Goodier 2015, p. 16). The company established outlets and additionally partnered with franchisees to increase its supply chain. The franchisees act as middlemen and still use Coca Cola’s name as they do not have the authority to add any value to the brand, an aspect which promotes the beverage and a move that has majorly attributed to the success of the giant beverage entity. The company also has sales people who boost its growth and distribution, some of whom are paid on commission. Even so, in the wake of digitalization, companies do not rely on personal selling through salesmen any more. Forums such as social media and mobile phone marketing have taken the stage (Bruhn et al 2012, p. 788). Orchestrated marketing means that producers use different blends of advertising to personally reach the consumer via digital forums. “The death of the salesman” means that companies save on payroll costs and employ only a few people. Coca Cola could do better with cutting down on its staff and instead divert the resources to more social media and other digital marketing methods. Coca Cola also has bottling plants and hosts local live events in its markets (Goodier 2015, p. 17). Live events are becoming less popular due to the effect of the internet. People are shying away from social life. Through modern forums such as e-commerce, Coca Cola can deliver products to its clients from the closest shop in a similar manner as Amazon and Alibaba do since e-commerce is overtaking physical retailing (Bruhn et al 2012, p. 788). 


Stoyanov (2015, p. 5) notes that the Coca Cola product is differentiated according to size, content, packaging, taste and shape. The contents vary in size from 300 ml onwards and some bottles are as big as 2 litres (Stoyanov 2015, p. 5). The company has at least 3000 differentiated products to its name (Stoyanov 2015, p. 6). These include energy drinks, sports drinks, water, juice and others. Coca Cola is still the number 1 brand amongst the soft drink beverages (Pendergrast 2013, p. 105). The product slogan is “Taste the Feeling”, a phrase which also doubles up as a marketing gimmick. The company also produces mineral water (Pendergrast 2013, p. 105). The latter was a move after several customers complained that they needed healthier products, even though rivals such as Pepsi have come up with better counter offers such as “Pepsi Special” which is said to reduce fat content, a better analytical customer relationship management. Coca Cola’s products have evolved with time. Sprite which was introduced into the market before 1999 is put forward as having the urban influence (Stoyanov 2015, p. 9). Its content are green in color and the label contains a mix of blue and yellow. Coca Cola which is the main product has red as the dominant color in the packaging. Red is used by marketers since it boosts memory in consumers and makes them associate more with the product (Shao et al 2015, p. 126). Stoyanov (2015, p. 6) observes that other products include Fanta, Limca, Maaza, Diet Coke, Minute Maid, Burn and Kinley, all differentiated to penetrate and capture a different market segment. 

The product differentiation used by Coca Cola is still relevant in the contemporary digital era. Through consistent advertisements, Coca Cola has managed to make its products relevant to the modern consumer (Stoyanov, 2015, p. 10). It should however do away with traditional marketing forums such as magazines, radio and television as the domains are losing popularity and might not be sustainable. 


Coca cola employs many promotional tools and mixes traditional and modern tools of marketing (Ling 2017, p. 206). For example, it creates appeals through charitable events and corporate social responsibility. The entity’s slogan,”Taste the Feeling” is a marketing gimmick meant to influence the consumer psychologically by making them think that they are emotionally attached to the drink. The red color used on Coca Cola packaging is an aspect used by marketers to boost memory in the consumer as a next pre-purchase influencer in favour of the drink. Coca Cola also uses exhibitions and live shows, traditional tools which are losing popularity. The entity markets through television and radio, both of which have a smaller audience as compared to social media and are at times only schemed through via mobile phones. Ling (2017, p. 207) notes that Coca Cola also advertises through point of sale where stickers are displayed on refrigerators as well as through direct marketing by partnering with firms such as McDonalds to display only Coca Cola products on the frontline. 


Coca Cola has differentiated its products so as to capture many markets. It packages beverage in 500ml, 2 litres, 1 litre and 1.5 litres to cater for its financially divergent customers (Stoyanov 2015, p. 5). Coca Cola, through psychological pricing, ends its prices with a 9 to make them appear cheaper (Ling 2017,p. 211). Plastic bottles, aluminium cans and refillable bottles are some of the entity’s products which sell at different rates in a scheme that depicts segmented pricing.

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Coca Cola blends traditional and modern methods in its marketing system. The entity still uses traditional marketing methods in the wake of modern techniques which are more efficient, prompting it to utilize a good portion of resources in print media, radio and television as well as events, money which would have helped the company increase its 42.8 % current market share. Its traditional marketing methods are only partially effective and the company admits that 30% of promotional efficiency is lost in the ordeal. Traditional marketing methods such as newspapers, telephone books, television, testimonials, magazines, brochures, live events, business cards and radio are being phased out by modern technology. The recent stadium promotional gig, “A Coke for Us” is an example of live event that the company took part in and signifies how much the entity spends in traditional marketing forums when the globalized world has been taken over by technology and social life is dwindling continuously.

“The Coca Cola Radio History” portrays a company which still dwells on radio advertisements when a big number of its consumers do not use the forum. As such, it wastes its resources in unnecessary forums which do not bring in much profit. The entity cannot manage its big data efficiently to achieve one to one segmentation because it is focused on mixing a large array of traditional DNA with modern marketing techniques. For instance, it only realized it had lost a section of university consumers due to lack of environmental concern when the clients stopped consuming Coca Cola. Pepsi, which is more concerned with its market and after technological research has even introduced a fat-reduction drink, “Pepsi Special” now has more than 30% of the industry’s market share and is a threat to Coca Cola, falling in the same list of Forbes as one amongst the most favourable brands worldwide. Pepsi is gaining social media audience at a faster rate than Coca Cola because it has put more efforts in the modern marketing methods. Coca Cola has a good blend of product, pricing and place techniques but needs to improve on its promotional platform.


Coca Cola should consider concentrating more on social media marketing. The forum is popular and is being used by many entities to advertise through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others. The largest soft drink consumers, the youth, are fond of this type of media and have moved away from television and radio which are fading away. Marketing analytics assists businesses to gain insight by using software such as Google Adwords and WordStream.  Analytics enable marketers to view which advertisements were most clicked on and can be combined with customer relationship management by replying to feedback and controlling complaints through product innovation or differentiation. Inadequate management of big data has cost Coca Cola a lot and by making use of Google Adwords, Wordstream and Wordtracker, modern search engine technology; customer data can be organized chronologically as needed by the user.

The company should avoid traditional marketing DNA because the market segment is dwindling and is in the decline phase. Instead it should focus on a rapidly growing segment of new marketing techniques. Coca Cola should divert its resources to concentrate in modern marketing methods such as internet based technologies, social media marketing, gaining insight in business through customer feedback, automated communication between salesmen and marketers, search engine optimization and other forms of digital marketing. The company is concentrating on traditional marketing methods to the extent that its rivals are overtaking it in the most important forum, the contemporary digital marketing tools. Pepsi, for instance, is earning Facebook followers at a faster rate than Coca Cola because it is solution-centric, even through the later is still leading in popularity. If the company does not focus on its modern marketing DNA, its rivals might soon take over and Coca Cola will not only lose its century-long brand image but also esteemed market share. The company should avoid traditional marketing DNA because the market segment is dwindling. Instead it should enhance customer-centrity through focusing and diversifying on the rapidly growing market of modern marketing techniques.

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