Coca-Cola, one of the world’s biggest spending advertisers, is planning
to use data compiled during its sponsorship of Euro ’96 to launch its
largest ever direct marketing campaign in the UK.
The move is further evidence of FMCG brands looking at database
marketing as the key to building relationships with consumers.
The drinks giant has been building a football database since the 1994
World Cup and, thanks to data collected during Euro ’96, is in a
position to start using it for targeted communications with consumers.
The company is known to have put work up for pitch and is talking to a
number of specialist direct marketing agencies with a view to launching
an initiative in the new year. Coke has traditionally relied on
heavyweight mass media, with a global ad budget of pounds 1.2bn and UK
spend of more than pounds 20m a year.
Although the direct move is not a massive piece of business in terms of
spend, it could mark an important new direction in Coke’s marketing
strategy. A relationship marketing drive would fit in well with Coke’s
‘For the Fans’ strategy and could be transferred to other sports used in
its 1996 advertising, such as cricket and athletics.
Coke has sought links with consumers through sponsorship deals, and was
tied to almost all major sports events taking place this year.
Coke spokeswoman Louise Terry said a better than expected response to
its Euro ’96 promotion, where ring pulls could be redeemed for football
kit, prompted thoughts of using the data to target people interested in
‘Football is a big marketing platform for us and we are looking at ways
of tying this with the database. It’s low-key compared to the rest of
our marketing, but we are committed to establishing the best form of
communication with consumers.’