Coca-Cola North America has launched an agency search to help it better monitor its brand online through the nebulous and often treacherous channels of social media.
The winning agency will be responsible for formulating a consistent way of keeping track of what consumers are saying across Twitter, Facebook and other channels about all of Coca-Cola’s brands in North America. It will then report back to the company to yield insights into how to improve or tweak marketing, and determine consumer sentiment about specific products.
The pitch – which internally Coca-Cola is calling a “listening review” – encompasses social-media monitoring across billion-dollar brands such as Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, Minute Maid, Powerade, Vitaminwater and Dasani.
Kerry Tressler, a Coca-Cola spokeswoman, said some 20 agencies have been involved in the selection process. She noted the company is looking to select a single agency and expects the decision will be made “fairly quickly.” She also said that roster shop 360i is among the agencies participating in the process.
New York-based 360i is the digital agency of record for a number of Coca-Cola brands, as well as the company’s Freestyle vending machine. Executives familiar with the review said that the agencies are from a variety of disciplines. In a few instances, holding companies are making teams of shops with digital capabilities, such as PR, social media and media planning/buying.
“[Our goal is] to identify a consistent agency and format for conducting social-media monitoring,” Tressler said. “[We want] to yield the most information about what consumers are saying about our brands, so we know what they are looking for.”
Some executives familiar with the new objective said it could resemble Gatorade’s “Mission Control.” When it launched last year, Gatorade devoted an actual space, complete with monitoring screens and tools, to its social-media engagement and feedback cause. That space also served as the subject of a mainstream marketing story.
However, Tressler said she wouldn’t compare Coca-Cola’s effort to what Gatorade has done with Mission Control. Coca-Cola’s effort, she said, is purely about mining information and won’t entail a physical space.
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