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Jun 12, 2006

Marketing plan Coco Cola


Executive summary

Giant soft drink company Coca Cola has come under intense scrutiny by investors
due to its inability to effectively carry out its marketing program. Consequently
it is seeking the help of Polianitis Marketing Company Pty Ltd to develop a
professional marketing plan which will help the business achieve it�s objectives
more effectively and efficiently, and inevitably regain there iron fist reign on
the soft drink industry.

When establishing a re-birthed marketing plan every aspect of the marketing

plan must be critically examined and thoroughly researched. This consists of
examining market research, auditing business and current situation (situation
analysis) and carefully scrutinising the soft drink industry and possibilities for
Coca Cola in the market. Once Coca Cola have carefully analysed the internal and
external business environment and critically examined the industry in general the
most suitable marketing strategies will be selected and these strategies will be
administered by effectively and continually monitoring external threats and
opportunities and revising internal efficiency procedures.

Situation Analysis

Market Analysis:

The market analysis investigates both the internal and external business
environment. It is vital that Coca cola carefully monitor both the internal and
external aspects regarding it�s business as both the internal and external
environment and their respective influences will be decisive traits in relation to
Coke�s success and survival in the soft drink industry.

Internal Business Environment

The internal business environment and its influence is that which is to some
extent within the business�s control. The main attributes in the internal
environment include efficiency in the production process, through management
skills and effective communication channels. To effectively control and monitor
the internal business environment, Coke must conduct continual appraisals of the
business�s operations and readily act upon any factors, which cause
inefficiencies in any phase of the production and consumer process.

External Business Environment

The External business environment and its influences are usually powerful forces
that can affect a whole industry and, in fact, a whole economy. Changes in the
external environment will create opportunities or threats in the market place Coca
cola must be aware off. Fluctuations in the economy, changing customer attitudes
and values, and demographic patterns heavily influence the success of Coka Cola�s
products on the market and the reception they receive from the consumers.

SWOT Analysis:

SWOT stands for Strengths Weakness Opportunities Threats. SWOT analysis is a

technique much used in many general management as well as marketing scenarios.
SWOT consists of examining the current activities of the organisation- its
Strengths and Weakness- and then using this and external research data to set out
the Opportunities and Threats that exist.

Coca-Cola has been a complex part of world culture for a very long time. The
product's image is loaded with over-romanticizing, and this is an image many
people have taken deeply to heart. The Coca-Cola image is displayed on T-shirts,
hats, and collectible memorabilia. This extremely recognizable branding is one of
Coca-Cola's greatest strengths. "Enjoyed more than 685 million times a day around
the world Coca-Cola stands as a simple, yet powerful symbol of quality and
enjoyment" (Allen, 1995).
Additionally, Coca-Cola's bottling system is one of their greatest strengths. It
allows them to conduct business on a global scale while at the same time maintain
a local approach. The bottling companies are locally owned and operated by
independent business people who are authorized to sell products of the Coca-Cola
Company. Because Coke does not have outright ownership of its bottling network,
its main source of revenue is the sale of concentrate to its bottlers.

Weaknesses for any business need to be both minimised and monitored in order to
effectively achieve productivity and efficiency in their business�s activities,
Coke is no exception. Although domestic business as well as many international
markets are thriving (volumes in Latin America were up 12%), Coca-Cola has
recently reported some "declines in unit case volumes in Indonesia and Thailand
due to reduced consumer purchasing power." According to an article in Fortune
magazine, "In Japan, unit case sales fell 3% in the second quarter [of
1998]...scary because while Japan generates around 5% of worldwide volume, it
contributes three times as much to profits. Latin America, Southeast Asia, and
Japan account for about 35% of Coke's volume and none of these markets are
performing to expectation.
Coca-Cola on the other side has effects on the teeth which is an issue for health
care. It also has got sugar by which continuous drinking of Coca-Cola may cause
health problems. Being addicted to Coca-Cola also is a health problem, because
drinking of Coca-Cola daily has an effect on your body after few years.

Brand recognition is the significant factor affecting Coke's competitive position.
Coca-Cola's brand name is known well throughout 94% of the world today. The
primary concern over the past few years has been to get this name brand to be even
better known. Packaging changes have also affected sales and industry positioning,
but in general, the public has tended not to be affected by new products. Coca-
Cola's bottling system also allows the company to take advantage of infinite
growth opportunities around the world. This strategy gives Coke the opportunity to
service a large geographic, diverse area.

Currently, the threat of new viable competitors in the carbonated soft drink
industry is not very substantial. The threat of substitutes, however, is a very
real threat. The soft drink industry is very strong, but consumers are not
necessarily married to it. Possible substitutes that continuously put pressure on
both Pepsi and Coke include tea, coffee, juices, milk, and hot chocolate. Even
though Coca-Cola and Pepsi control nearly 40% of the entire beverage market, the
changing health-consciousness of the market could have a serious affect. Of
course, both Coke and Pepsi have already diversified into these markets, allowing
them to have further significant market shares and offset any losses incurred due
to fluctuations in the market. Consumer buying power also represents a key threat
in the industry. The rivalry between Pepsi and Coke has produce a very slow moving
industry in which management must continuously respond to the changing attitudes
and demands of their consumers or face losing market share to the competition.
Furthermore, consumers can easily switch to other beverages with little cost or

Product Life cycle:

When referring to each and every product or service ever placed before the
consumer i.e. in the long term all the existing products and services are dead.
For e.g.:- Replacement of Ford Cortina ( a highly successful car) by Ford Sierra,
the replacement of sierra by the Ford Mondeo and the replacement of the old Mondeo
by the new Mondeo in 2001. So every product is born, grows, matures and dies. So
in the commercial market place products and services are created, launched and
withdrawn in a process known as Product Life Cycle.
To be able to market its product properly, a business must be aware of the product
life cycle of its product. The standard product life cycle tends to have five
phases: Development, Introduction, Growth, Maturity and Decline. Coca-Cola is
currently in the maturity stage, which is evidenced primarily by the fact that
they have a large, loyal group of stable customers.
Furthermore, cost management, product differentiation and marketing have become
more important as growth slows and market share becomes the key determinant of
profitability. In foreign markets the product life cycle is in more of a growth
trend Coke's advantage in this area is mainly due to its establishment strong
branding and it is now able to use this area of stable profitability to subsidize
the domestic Cola Wars.
Insert the picture of the product lifecycle

Marketing Objectives

The objective is the starting point of the marketing plan. Objectives should seek
to answer the question 'Where do we want to go?'. The purposes of objectives

-> to enable a company to control its marketing plan.

-> to help to motivate individuals and teams to reach a common goal.
-> to provide an agreed, consistent focus for all functions of an organization.
All objectives should be SMART i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic,
and Timed.

Specific - Be precise about what you are going to achieve

Measurable - Quantify you objectives
Achievable - Are you attempting too much?
Realistic - Do you have the resource to make the objective happen (men, money,
machines, materials, minutes)?
Timed - State when you will achieve the objective (within a month? By February

1.Market Share Objectives:

To gain 60% of the market for soft drink industry by September 2007.

2.Profitability Objectives:
To achieve a 20% return on capital employed by August 2007

3. Promotional Objectives
To increase awareness of the product on the market.
4. Objectives for Survival
To survive the current market war between competitors.

5. Objectives for Growth

To increase the size of the worldwide Coca Cola enterprise by 10% .

Selecting Target Market

Once the situation analysis is complete, and the marketing objectives determined,
attention turns to the target market. The soft drink market is very large, and the
business cannot be �all things to all people�, so it must choose which market
segments have the greatest potential. The target market is the group of customers
on whom the business focuses attention. The target market is where Coca Cola
focuses its marketing efforts as it feels this is where it will be most productive
and successful. The target market for Coca cola is very wide as it satisfy�s the
needs for many different consumers, ranging from the healthy diet consciousness
through Diet Coke to the average human through its best selling drink regular
Coke. Most Coke products satisfy all age groups as it is proven that most people
of different age groups consume the Coca Cola product. This market is relatively
large and is open to both genders, thereby allowing greater product
There are four broad ways which Coca Cola can segment its market:
-> Mass marketing
-> Concentrated marketing
-> Differentiated marketing
-> Niche marketing
The most apparent method used by Coca Cola is with no doubt the differentiated
marketing method as Coke satisfy�s a range of different markets. Diet coke
satisfy�s the weight consciousness, regular coke, sprite, fanta the average
human, coffee, iced tea etc. Each group of beverages satisfy a particular group of
people but majority the average human.

Developing The Marketing Mix

The marketing mix is probably the most crucial stage of the marketing planning
process. This is where the marketing tactics for each product are determined. The
marketing mix refers to the combination of the four factors(price, promotion,
product, place) that make up the core of a business�s marketing strategy. In this
step of the marketing planning process, marketing mix must be designed to satisfy
the wants of target markets and achieve the marketing objectives. The most
successful businesses have continually monitored and changed their marketing mix
due to respective internal and external factors and have monitored the external
business environment in order to maximise their marketing mix components.


Many Products are physical objects that you can own and take home. But the
word product means much more than just physical goods. In marketing, product also
refers to services, such as holidays or a movie, where you enjoy the benefits
without owning the result of the service.
Businesses must think about products on three different levels, which are
the core product, the actual product and the augmented product. The core product
is what the consumer is actually buying and the benefits it gives. Coca Cola
customers are buying a wide range of soft drinks. The actual product is the parts
and features, which deliver the core product. Consumers will buy the coke product
because of the high standards and high quality of the Coca Cola products. The
augmented product is the extra consumer benefits and services provided to
customers. Since soft drinks are a consumable good, the augmented level is very
limited. But Coca Cola do offer a help line and complaint phone service for
customers who are not satisfied with the product or wish to give feedback on the


Once a business has decided which segments of the market it will compete in,
developed a clear picture of its target market and defined its product, the
positioning strategy can be developed. Positioning is the process of creating, the
image the product holds in the mind of consumers, relative to competing products.
Coca Cola and Franklins both make soft drinks, although Franklins may try to
compete they will still be seen as down market from Coca Cola. Positioning helps
customers understand what is unique about the products when compared with the
competition. Coca Cola plan to further create positions that will give their
products the greatest advantage in their target markets. Coca Cola has been
positioned based on the process of positioning by direct comparison and have
positioned their products to benefit their target market. Most people create an
image of a product by comparing it to another product, thus evident through the
famous battles between Coca-Cola and Pepsi products.


It is often hard to say exactly why we buy one company�s product over
another. Companies such as Nike and Adidas spend large amounts of money trying to
win consumers away from their competitors who make products that are very similar.
The popularity of the brand is often the deciding factor. Over the time Coca Cola
has spent millions of dollars developing and promoting their brand name, resulting
in world wide recognition. 'Coca-Cola' is the most recognised trademark,
recognised by 94% of the world's population and is the most widely recognised word
after "OK". Coca Cola�s red and white colours and special writing are all examples
of world-wide trademarks.
There are a number of branding strategies: Generic brand strategy,
Individual brand strategy, Family brand strategy, Manufacturer�s brand strategy,
Private brand strategy and Hybrid brand strategy. Coca Cola utilizes the
Individual brand strategy as Coca Cola�s major products are given their own brand
names e.g Fanta, Sprite, Coca Cola etc although they maybe presented as different
lines they operate under the name of Coca Cola.


Packaging, which is not as highly perceived by businesses, is still an important

factor to examine in the marketing mix. Packaging protects the product during
transportation, while it sits in the shelf and during use by consumers, it
promotes the product and distinguishes it from the competition. Packaging can
allow the business to design promotional schemes, which can generate extra revenue
and advertisements. Coca-Cola has benefited from packaging the product with
incentives and endorsements on the labelling as a promotional strategy to increase
it�s volume of sales and revenue.


Price is a very important part of the marketing mix as it can effect both
the supply and demand for Coca Cola. The price of Coca Cola�s products is one of
the most important factors in a customer�s decision to buy. Price will often be
the difference that will push a customer to buy our product over another, as long
as most things are fairly similar. For this reason pricing policies need to be
designed with consumers and external influences in mind, in order to effectively
achieve a stable balance between sales and covering the production costs.
Price strategies are important to Coca Cola because the price determines the
amount of sales and profit per unit sold. Businesses have to set a price that is
attractive to their customers and provides the business with a good level of
profit. Long before a sale was ever made Coca Cola had developed a forecast of
consumer demand at different prices which inevitably determined whether or not the
product came on the market, as well as the allocation of adequate money and
resources to produce, promote and distribute the product.

Pricing Strategies And Tactics

The pricing Strategy a business will use will have to focus on achieving the
marketing plan�s objectives and support the positioning of the product, and take
external factors such as economic conditions and competitors in to account. There
are 5 strategies available to business: Market skimming pricing, Penetration
pricing, Loss leaders, Price Points and Discounts. Over the years Coca Cola has
used Penetration Pricing as a way of grabbing a foothold in the market and won a
market share. It�s product penetrated the marketplace. Once customer loyalty is
established as seen with Coca Cola it is then able to slowly raise the price of
its product. There has been a fierce pricing rivalry between Coca Cola and Pepsi
products as each company competes for customer recognition and satisfaction. Till
now it appears as if Coke has come up on top, although in order to gain long term
profits Coke had to sacrifise short term profits where in some cases it either
went under of just broke even, but as seen it has been all for the best.
Pricing Methods

Good pricing decisions are based on an analysis of what target customers

expect to pay, and what they perceive as good quality. If the price is too high,
consumers will spend their money on other goods and services. If the price is too
low, the firm can lose money and go out of business.
Pricing methods include: Cost based Pricing, Market based pricing and
Competition based Pricing. Over the years Coca has lost ground here in it�s
pricing but has regained it�s strength as it employed the Competition-based
pricing method which allowed it to compete more effectively in the soft drink
market. Leader follower pricing occurs when there is one quite powerful business
in the market which is thought to be the market leader. The business will tend to
have a larger market share, loyal customers and some technological edge, thus the
case currently with Coke, it was first the follower but through effective
management has now become the leader of the market and is working towards
achieving the marketing objectives of the Coca Cola. Survival in the market place,
own 60 % of market share by 2007, increase further awareness of product and a
return on 20% on capital employed for August 2007.


In today�s competitive environment , having the right product at the right

place in the right place at the right time may still not be enough to be
successful. Effective communication with the target market is essential for the
success of the product and business. Promotion is the p of the marketing mix
designed to inform the marketplace about who you are, how good your product is and
where they can buy it. Promotion is also used to persuade the customers to try a
new product, or buy more of an old product.
The promotional mix is the combination of personal selling, advertising,
sales promotion and public relations that it uses in its marketing plan. Above the
line promotions refers to mainstream media:Advertising through common media such
as television, radio, transport, and billboards and in newspapers and magazines.
Because most of the target is most likely to be exposed to media such as
television, radio and magazines, Coca Cola has used this as the main form of
promotion for extensive range of products. Although advertising is usually very
expensive, it is the most effective way of reminding and exposing potential
customers to Coca Cola Products. Coca Cola also utilizes below the line promotions
such as contests, coupons, and free samples. These activities are an effective way
of getting people to give your product a go.

Place and Distribution:

The place P of the marketing mix refers to distribution of the product- the
ways of getting the product to the market.The distribution of products starts with
the producer and ends with the consumer.
One key element of the �Place/Distribution� aspect is the respective distribution
channels that Coca Cola has elected to transport and sell its product.

Selecting the most appropriate distribution channel is important, as the choice

will determine sales levels and costs. The choice for a distribution channel for
any business depends on numerous factors, these include:
� How far away the customers are;
� The type of product being transported;
� The lead times required; and;
� The costs associated with transport;
There are four types of distribution strategies that Coca Cola could have chosen
from, these are: intensive, selective, exclusive and direct distribution. It is
apparent from the popularity of the Coca Cola�s product on the market that the
business in the past used the method of intensive distribution as the product is
available at every possible outlet. From supermarkets to service stations to your
local corner shop, anywhere you go you will find the Coca Cola products.

Physical Distribution Issues

Coca Cola needs to consider a number of issues relating to the physical

distribution of its soft drink products. The five components of physical
distribution are, order processing, warehousing, materials handling, inventory
control, transportation. Coca Cola must further try to balance their operations
with more efficient distribution channels.

Order Processing- Coca Cola cannot delay their processes for consumer deliveries
(i.e. delivery to selling centers), as this is inefficient business functioning
and is portrays a flawed image of the product and overall business.
Warehousing and inventory control- warehousing of Coca Cola products is necessary.
Inventory control is another important aspect of distribution as inventory makes
up a large percentage of businesses assets. Choosing the correct and desired
inventory measure that Jackson�s sees as most effective is vital. Jackson�s must
remember though that there are factors involved with inventory control that can
hinder the products sales and customer perceptions (hazards, distribution from
storage facilities, etc�).
Materials handling- this deals with physically handling the product and using
machinery such as forklifts and conveyor belts. When holding products, then Coca
Cola has benefited from purchasing or renting respective machinery.
Transportation- transporting Coca Cola products is the one most important
components of physical distribution. Electing either to transport the sports drink
by air, rail, road or water depends on the market (i.e. global, or domestic?) and
depends on the associated costs. The most beneficial transportation method for
Coca Cola would be ROAD if the product were moved around from storage to the cost

Implementing, Monitoring And Controlling

Financial Forecasts

Financial forecasts are predictions of future events relating strictly to expected

costs and revenue costs for future years. There are five major marketing
expenditures, which include research costs, product development costs, product
costs, promotion costs and distribution costs.

Sales force composite is the most logical method in forecasting revenue. This
involves estimates from individual salespeople to sell to work out a total for the
whole business. Once these costs and revenues are forecasted, management can then
decide which combination of marketing mix strategies will deliver the most sales
revenue at the lowest cost.


Implementation is the process of turning plans into actions, and involves all the
activities that put the marketing plan to work. Successful implementation depends
on how well the business blends its people, organisational structure and company
culture into a cohesive program that supports the marketing plan.

For its further success, Coca Cola must impose several key changes. Production
needs to be on time and meet the quota demanded from wholesalers. It must also be
efficient so as not to build inventory stocks and inventory prices. The marketing
needs to be motivated and knowledgeable about the product. The forms of promotion
such as advertising must be attracting and enticing to the target market to get
the greatest amount of exposure possible for the product. This will ensure the
success of the product in the stores. Distribution of the product must be
efficient. This problem has already been taken care of with convenient transport
routes to commercial areas and transport already being arranged.

Monitoring And Controlling

Monitoring and controlling allows the business to check for variance in the budget
and actual. This is important because it allows Coca Cola to take the necessary
actions to meet the marketing objectives. There are three tools Coca Cola should
use to monitor the marketing plan. They are the following:

i. Sales Analysis
The sales analysis breaks down total business sales by market segments to identify
strengths and weaknesses in the different areas of sales. Sellers of Coca Cola
products vary from major retail supermarkets to small corner stores. This gives
the its products maximum exposure to customers at their convenience.

ii. Market Share Analysis

Market share analysis compares Coca Cola�s business sales performance with that
of its competitors. Coca Cola looks to increase its market share by over 60%. With
the changes Coca Cola is currently undergoing, they aim to regain an iron fist
control of the market. Target market various age groups and lifestyles from high
school students too universities, and male or female.

Marketing Profitability Analysis

This analysis looks at the cost side of marketing and the profitability of
products, sales territories, market segments and sales people. There are three
ratios to monitor marketing profitability; they are market research to sales,
advertising to sales and sales representatives to sales. The results of these
three tools can help Coca Cola determine any emerging trends, such as the need for
a different product. Comparing these results with actual results gives the
business an idea on when to change.

Market Research

When attempting to implement a new Marketing plan a business must address its
target market and conduct the relevant information to insure the new marketing
plan both differs from the old and is better for the business. When conducting
market research a business must first define the problem and then gather the
appropriate information to solve the problem. There are 3 types of information a
business can gather to solve its problems.
->Exploratory Research which clarifies the problem an d searches for ways to
address it.
->Descriptive Research is used to measure and describe things like the market
potential for a product and characteristics of the target market.
->Casual Research is used to test a hypothesis about a cause and effect
Coca Cola through its market research has addressed all three types of research to
define the problem raised by shareholders and gathered information to serve their

Factors Influencing Consumer Choice

When making decisions on products a business must look at factors that
influence consumer choice such as psychological factors, Sociocultural factors,
Economic factors and Government Factors.
Psychological Factors: such as motivation, perception, lifestyle, personality and
self concept, learning , and attitudes influence the consumers behaviour towards a
product and Coca Cola has addressed this issue by introducing Diet Coke to satisfy
different lifestyles.
Sociocultural factors: such as culture, subculture, socio-economic status, family
and reference groups influence the consumers behaviour towards a product.
Economic factors: such as Disposable income and discretionary income. Coca Cola
has addressed this side of the influence by maintaining a low price on the price
of its products.
Government Factors: such as new regulations, inflation, interest rates all
influence consumer spending and choice.