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Friday, 21 November 2014

Coca-Cola chief backs launch of Twitter Surveys as online tool

UK— Coca-Cola Europe’s Johan Houben has welcomed Twitter’s decision to branch out into surveys and urged marketers to experiment with the medium as a further way of evaluating the importance of brand advocacy online.

Speaking to Research at the GfK Naked conference in London yesterday, Houben, Coca-Cola Europe’s head of media, i-marketing and knowledge and insights, said marketers should be prepared to take risks.

“It’s a very interesting move from Twitter and we look forward to having discussions about it. I think it is very important that marketers feel able to experiment and allow for failure with such platforms, learning every step of the way. Anything that can help a brand to define value should be welcomed and can only help bolster engagement and hopefully sales,” he said.

Houben was talking after giving the keynote speech to the conference emphasising the importance of integrating digital into Coca-Cola’s business strategy.

He told the audience: “We are living in a world of constant change and this change is driving a huge sense of urgency. It is not feasible to simply stand still and expect new outcomes because the speed and scale of digital media is both a risk and an opportunity. This has created a complete period of rethink and digital is more important than ever across every customer touchpoint, covering a myriad of connected devices.

“Underpinning this though is the important point that measurement must be at the core of all your activity. You have to be able to evaluate everything you do and determine what is working and what is not - where you should be pumping the investment and where you should be slowly winding down. There is still a lot of work to do here and nobody has all the answers, but we are making headways in this.”

Houben said that campaign planning was no longer a linear process requiring research to underpin it, but was now more dynamic, changing according to customer sentiment or real-life testing using the social communications channels.

However, he warned, “There are many massive challenges ahead in this space yet to be defined, not least in the mobile space which is slowly emerging. I believe there are more questions left to be answered than answers, including in the metrics space where it is not easy to determine how you should be rating campaign success. Nothing is clearly defined, so the approach has to be tested on a trial-and-error basis.”

Alex North, measurement partnership lead EMEA at Facebook, agreed. Speaking as Facebook passed the 1 billion members mark worldwide, he said there were many questions still left unanswered over how to measure online activity, but the site’s reach had the potential to help brands relate better to their target audiences.

“Organic reach is too diluted and our research shows it only reaches 16% of members. Key to any social success is choosing research techniques and metrics that will accurately measure business success and the effectiveness of Facebook as part of a multi-media campaign.”

This was echoed by Richard Jameson, managing director UK at GfK. He said: “Digital is no longer in a vacuum but relies on understanding and interconnectivity backed by solid research measurements and a thorough understanding of the consumer journey.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I can understand this from the POV of reaching influencers, but does Twitter really incorporate the socio-demographic of Tesco? Afterall there's the twitterati, then an awful lot of dormant or abandonned accounts. But as a consumer segment to target I can see Coca~Cola's rationale

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