Coca-Cola And The Future of Advertising Agencies

download (1)Today’s Wall Street Journal article, A New Marketing World Requires New Skills, gives us a sweet opportunity to get into the head of Joe Tripoldi, Coca-Cola’s Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer. Joe shares what he expects from his marketing organization as the world of marketing makes some dramatic and fast-paced shifts from old-fashioned brand-building to digital marketing.

This deep look also provides client-side direction for advertising and digital agencies to better understand where the world of marketing is headed. Not that any of this informations should be news. However, it is reinforcement for the way all agencies should be thinking in March, 2014. Thinking means designing agency services and hiring the right talent for the future. If Coke wants analytics, digital, social, mobile and gamification expertise — all clients will eventually want this and agencies need to plan accordingly.

“The biggest issue for CMOs today is the critical need to ‘re-skill’ their marketing organizations and build new capabilities in areas like big data/analytics, digital, social, mobile, gamification and design.

“This is not just about hiring a few subject-matter experts, but building a depth of knowledge leaders and practitioners in these critical new competencies. If they don’t, marketing organizations will be stuck with traditional 1980s and ’90s brand-building skills in a 21st-century world of an ‘always on’ consumer. The times, they are a-changing.

“You cannot slide over people in your current organization because they have loosely dabbled in these areas. You need to go to the millennial marketplace for ‘natives’ who have lived and breathed these disciplines for much of their lives. Individuals who have passion for connecting brands with people in new ways.

“The talent is out in the marketplace, you just have to be creative to source it in nontraditional ways through communities or networks. Then you have to understand that you may only retain these people for a short time, but the positive, disruptive impact and the knowledge they can impart on your organization is game changing.”

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