Research Proposal: Marketing Oriented Organization

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Marketing Orientated Organisation

The Coca-Cola Company - a Marketing Orientated Organisation

Organization Profile

The Coca-Cola Company was founded in 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia by Asa Griggs Candle and it is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the signature KO, for a value of $50.34 a share (July 16, 2008). The organization activates in the non-cyclical consumer goods and services sector, in the non-alcoholic beverages industry. In 2007, the company had registered revenues of $28,857 million and net profits of $5,981 million, both revealing growth as compared to fiscal year ended in December 2006. Their current market capitalization is of $116.93 billion (Reuters, 2008).

The organization is present in more than 200 countries across the globe and they strive to make a difference in all communities. A primary aim is to satisfy the customers' and consumers' needs and wants, but all operations are conducted with the ultimate goal of registering profits. The business profile of the Coca-Cola Company is presented in the picture below:

Source: The Coca-Cola Company 2007 Annual Report

The Coca-Cola Company operates in more than 200 countries and markets more than 2,800 beverage products. These products include sparkling and still beverages, such as waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees, sports and energy drinks. Four of the world's top five non-alcoholic sparkling beverage brands are ours: Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite and Fanta. Our mission (is) to refresh the world in body, mind and spirit; to inspire moments of optimism through our brands and our actions (and) to create value and make a difference everywhere we engage" (the Coca-Cola Company 2007 Annual Report).

The organization activates in a highly dynamic industry and their primary competitors are Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Nestle and the long standing rival, PepsiCo.

Marketing Orientation at the Company

The full satisfaction of the customers' needs sits at the core of Coca-Cola's marketing strategies. To make sure that each customer and potential customer has easy access to the company's products, the corporation has signed extended contracts with their bottlers. These, aside from their daily operations, also work closely together with the independent vendors, such as grocery stores, restaurants, street kiosks, amusement parks or theatres and cinemas to make sure that the Coca-Cola beverages reach the customer at a rate of 1.5 billion servings a day (the Coca-Cola Company 2007 Annual Report).

Another means of satisfying customers, this time the vendors, is that of implementing the customer-relationship strategic approaches. These approaches increase the value of each independent client and ensure the full support from the multinational beverage corporation. "A key area of innovation is actually what we are doing with the customer. We have a whole new model of revenue growth management -- ensuring we maximize revenue using various packages -- which is a significant part of us achieving margin enhancement" (E. Neville Isdell, Coca-Cola Company Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, quoted in the company's 2007 annual report). The top management at the Coca-Cola Company understood the importance of satisfied and capable customers for the ultimate success, and in this line of thoughts, they collaborate to create mutual benefits. "Helping them to grow their businesses helps to grow ours, too. Together with our bottling partners, we serve our customers through account management teams, providing services and support tailored to their needs. For example, the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Councils in Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America provide research into issues affecting the food retail industry" (Official Website of the Coca-Cola Company, 2008). The company also offers training programs to their customers as to help them increase the efficiency and profitability of their operations, but they also help them better cope with the marketing requirements in dealing with their own consumers. Another area of collaborative work is that of enlarging and diversifying the product offering. "We also work with customers to broaden the range of beverages they offer, provide nutritional information and ensure our beverages are marketed responsibly" (Official Website of the Coca-Cola Company, 2008).

Relative to their marketing efforts to support the communities where it activates, the Coca-Cola Company has strived to offer sponsorships to various social events, including educational scholarships or sports Olympics. The most relevant examples in this sense was the year 1996, when the Summer Olympics were organized in Georgia, Coca-Cola's home state. The organization offered numerous contributions and donations. Then, the beverage giant was the first multinational to make, introduce and reuse plastic recycled bottles (Hays, 2004). The strategy was extremely successful as it revealed the corporate interest towards a better planet and a strong desire to preserve the health of the environment and the populations.

The benefits of the marketing orientation implemented by the management at the Coca-Cola Company are numerous, for all of the parties involved. For instance, the organization has been able to create a strong and favourable reputation and brand name, which help boos sales. Then, the vendors are able to work and learn from an ultimate epitome of corporate success, which supports them in developing their businesses.

Another benefit, this time to the final consumer, is that the company has come to terms with the incurred changes and is trying to cope with them. To the client, this basically means that they will constantly have access to wide product palettes, offering the latest and most fashionable items, with the highest standards of quality. But this was not always true, as the Coca-Cola Company has generically been reluctant to change, emphasising a great deal on their already existent products and neglecting to adapt to the newer market and industry requirements. And the most relevant example in this sense is given by the fact that the recipe for Coke has not been changed for nearly a century; the change only occurred when Pepsi became increasingly successful and the Coke sales dropped. The strategy was beneficial, but not in the sense it had initially been intended. As such, the new recipe for Coke was disliked by the consumers, who rushed to the stores and bought large quantities of the old Coke - therefore sales still significantly increased. Today, the organization is extremely responsive to the changes in customers' demands and the competitors' strategies. They constantly research the market to identify new trends and cope with them. The marketing specialists at the beverage company also strive to identify and satisfy needs that the customers' are not even aware of. The Coke Zero, a cola-based beverage with no sugar added, is the most representative example in this sense and its tremendous success has materialized is record high sales in the first year since launch. Coca-Cola Zero is now present in 55 countries and it is "our most successful beverage launch in 25 years" (the Coca-Cola Company 2007 Annual Report).

3. Marketing Planning Process at the Company

The operations at the Coca-Cola Company are primarily based on three corporate objectives:

making a profit to increase the corporate value and repay the shareholders completely satisfying the customers' needs and wants, and finally supporting the development of the communities where the company is present (the Coca-Cola Company 2007 Annual Report)

The strategy implemented by the multinational to reaching these desiderates is quite complex and has been developed on numerous fields. First of all, the management strongly emphasizes that the above goals will not be achieved simply through growth, but through sustainable growth. Then, they place increased emphasis on achieving both short-term and long-term success. This basically means that even if the organization desires to retrieve short-term gains, they will develop and implement only those actions which are beneficial on the long run.

The management at the Coca-Cola Company bases their operations on the corporate strengths, one of the most important such strengths being the marketing innovation. They also strive to increase the operational efficiency and effectiveness, this not implying necessarily that the amounts of work will be increased, but that the ultimate quality of the delivered products and services will be significantly superior. Also, another successful strategic approach was that of promoting the health and wellness of both individuals and the planet (Official Website of the Coca-Cola Company, 2008).

The Coca-Cola Company has a wide series of marketing strategies to meet, some of the most relevant ones being an increase in customer satisfaction, an increased volume of sales through an increased market share by 5% throughout 12 months, to significantly improve the customer relationship during the following 12 months, or to increase the exports to foreign countries and penetrate the unserved markets.

Increase market share

The underlying premise that to win a sale, the customer has to perceive your offering as a greater value than any alternative" (QDI). This basically means that the Coca-Cola organization will have to change the way they penetrate markets. In this order of ideas, they could develop strategies to reshape the product placement in a way that will attract more customers. The current strategic approach emphasizes on the taste and the refreshing capabilities of a Coca-Cola beverage, but a new strategy could reveal the brand,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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