“Nothing happens till something is sold,” was the bottom-line assessment of John Stichweh, Director, Global Interactive Marketing, Coca Cola Company, at the "Marketing Mashups: Navigating Consumer-Driven Marketing” panel at Ad:tech today.
Newly arrived at Coca-Cola, but a seasoned P & G veteran, Stichweh’s real world focus on corporate objectives for playing in the online social networking and UGC spaces was as refreshing as a cold coke on a hot summer day in NYC.
Out of the gate, Stichweh put forth that Web 2.0 marketing spends do not provide a “measurable link to sales.” Stichweh noted the difficulty of evaluating the incremental benefits of consumer generated media investment and of justifying the ROI from a shareholder’s perspective.
Stichweh served up a timely, and compelling, illustration of the lack of hard ROI metrics for even high profile Web 2.0 marketing campaigns.
Stichweh pointed to Coca-Cola’s just launched sponsorship of installment two of the not-quite-amateur Grobe-Voltz team’s “Diet Coke and Mentos” franchise (see “Showing on Google Video, not YouTube (yet)”), and exhorted:
How many more cases of Coke am I selling? I don’t know.
What about the tried and true brand awareness measurement or the warm and cozy brand affinity metric?
Stichweh proudly brandished Coca- Cola’s “built-in” brand franchise bounty:
Coca-cola benefits form 100% brand awareness and is one of the two most used terms worldwide: OK and Coca-Cola.
So, who needs to “democratize the product process for consumers”? Stichweh, as Director of Global Interactive Marketing, and the company he does interactive marketing for, Coca-Cola.
Stichweh acknowledged that corporate brands can not shy away from popular, consumer-focused interactive media. He also underscored, however, the importance of moving beyond “proxy measurements” to evaluate and quantify campaign outcomes.
Stichweh may not know if Coca-Cola’s investment in the Google Sponsored Video promotion of “Diet Coke and Mentos II” leads to sales of coca-cola, but he can undoubtedly get the metrics from the "mad scientists" for how many bottles of coca-cola they used to make “soda fly out of the bottle.”