Should Coca Cola reconsider its content marketing strategy with Journey?

This post was contributed by Kevin Green, EVP, Global Digital Strategy and Partnerships at Racepoint Global.

I recently read a fascinating article on the Coca Cola Journey brand journalism site.  The author suggests that the low engagement around the content on the site signals a failure and that Coke should reconsider their approach.  Ashley Brown, the creator of Journey at Coke, engages the author in the comments and the dialogue is absolutely a “MUST READ!”

Screenshot of the Coca Cola Journey page.

Screenshot of the Coca Cola Journey page.

From my perspective, this is a semantic argument where both sides could claim they are correct.  The author is right to call out Coke and the internal team regarding their success since they have spoken in depth about Journey’s goal to drive conversation and awareness of the brand (which, essentially, it’s really not doing.)  However, Coke is correct to state that one single metric does not define success. 

few thoughts came to mind for me:

  • Much of Journey’s content is created by external content partners. Content from external sources tend to dilute engagement and is often not as relevant to the target audience as intended.
  • If Journey is receiving more traffic than previously did, does engagement matter?  Sometimes you have to compare apples to apples to define success.
  • From the beginning, I thought Coke bit off more than they could chew with the content strategy on Journey.  There was too much there and little reason for the customer to engage with so much content.  Would they have been better off focusing on one or two key areas and investing more money in the quality of the content vs. the volume?
  • Who is creating the content inside Coke?  It’s the marketing team… including the interns.  Where are the external stories, influencers and brand advocates?
  • The authors are buried… Journey does not do a good job of putting the people first.  When we think about successful publishing models, the quality authors always rise to the top and gain individual recognition.  We’ve seen the same challenge for other global brands… however, influencers, when fully engaged, can see tremendous benefits from their participation (book deals).  Does Journey need to increase the visibility of the author?  Would that increase accountability?

What are your thoughts?

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