Javier Meza, SVP Marketing for Latin America, the Coca-Cola Company tells Portada how the beverage giant is pivoting to a more direct-to-consumer oriented strategy through owned media platforms, digital retail partnerships and more…
Javier Meza, SVP Marketing for Latin America, the Coca-Cola Company, is an Ecuadorean executive, who recently took over the reigns of Latin American marketing at Coca Cola out of Atlanta, Georgia, although, as he says, “he lives on the plane.”
These are times of change, also for the Coca Cola Company as the company recently announced a reorganization in nine operating units, Latin America being one of them, in order to streamline the organization and better enable the Coca-Cola system to pursue its “Beverages for Life” strategy. These newly created operating units focus on regional and local execution that will work closely with five marketing category leadership teams that span the globe to rapidly scale ideas. According to Meza, this is a new way of working “with more emphasis on global coordination.”
Coca-Cola Marketing in Latin America: Direct-to-Consumer
Direct-to-consumer relationships have become crucial for The Coca-Cola Company in order to ensure its brands are “within a click’s reach of desire” as online shopping continues to surge due to COVID-19. “We are doing a lot in that realm,” Meza notes. “Covid-19 has accelerated our conviction in direct-to-consumer investments,” he adds. As one example, he mentions CocaCola en tu Hogar, a direct-to-consumer platform that lets consumers order beverages and groceries for home delivery available in Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Central America and other parts of Spanish-speaking Latin America. A launch of the platform in the Brazilian market is also planned.
Another element of Coca Cola’s e-commerce strategy is Wabi, in the words of James Quincey, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of The Coca Cola Company, “a multi-platform venture available in 23 cities across five continentsthat connects Coca Cola’s system and other consumer-products companies to store owners and end consumers through an ecosystem of digital apps.”
The Coca-Cola Company is also partnering with multi-vertical company Rappi as well as with other Latin American e-commerce players like native third party marketplaces Amazon and Mercado Libre as well as working with brick and mortar retailers who have a substantial e-commerce presence.
Coca Cola is pivoting its marketing and advertising from a more traditional approach to one that incorporates e-commerce marketing elements. “We are shifting toward a more performance/transaction oriented marketing approach with click to purchase as a key objective,” Meza notes.
Social Selling and Expansion in Owned Media
Overall, the number of CPG and beverage companies, selling directly on Instagram and other social media properties has increased substantially over the last year. According to Meza, Instagram selling is particularly interesting when it comes to offering new products and product innovations. “Generally, Instagram can help to drive awareness and click-trough rates tend to be higher for innovative products,” he claims.
The increase in Direct-to-consumer efforts and the need to acquire first-party data is also guiding The Coca-Cola Company’s expansion into owned and operated media platforms. “The need to obtain more first party data is definitely one key aspects of our marketing going forward. Our answer to that is to create our owned media platforms like Coke Studio globally and “Coca Cola en tu Hogar” in Latin America. This priority is also guiding Coca-Cola’s Marketing Technologies investments. “Owned media platforms will help us achieve scale and more efficiency,” Meza says. “Owned Media Platforms and Customer development platforms (CDPs) will help us capture, maintain and leverage data”, he concludes.
Read about Coca Cola Latin America’s recent advertising campaign in today’s Sales Leads Latam.