Monthly Archives: September 2013

Coca Cola: Every day is a Journey

Professional, engaging and featuring fresh new content

The relaunch and dare I say, reinvention, of Coca Cola’s new website really impressed me, and I admire that Coca Cola is stepping up its game and redefining itself as a global brand to reinforce its own social DNA. Coca Cola has always been an iconic brand, but this website has cemented its reputation, redefined its brand presence, tied its stories neatly together and engaged the customers in a meaningful manner.

I decided to apply the 7 Cs of Customer Interface to this website, as well as overall usability in terms of accessibility, identity, navigation and content.

Context 8/10

Aesthetic – The content resembles that of a slick magazine, with emphasis on relevant international news stories. The site has an appealing and professional color scheme which is very eye-catching. The colors are consistent and match the images and overall cohesiveness of the website.

Functional – The home page is neatly categorised into different sections according to whatever engages the user and looks very professional as it has ‘Stories’, ‘Opinions’, ‘Brands’, ‘Videos’, ‘Most Read’, ‘Most Shared’, ‘Most Watched’ and social media plugin sections which are clearly separated and displayed.

Social Media Plugins are clearly displayed, easy to follow and boldly state the number of followers

However, the website seems to be available only in English.

Ease of Navigation – Consistent logo and menu bar at the top of the page. Drop down menus under clear menu categories makes it easy to navigate.

Content – 9/10

The content is arranged to resemble a slick magazine or digital media brand’s website, with the emphasis on international stories. “The more editorially-focused website creates, aggregates and curates content while maintaining the core functions of a corporate website (careers, investor relations, press releases, executive bios)”.

Good combination of text, blogs, well-placed graphics and videos; engaging editorials and relevant pages and content.

Communication – 7/10

Coca Cola’s website has strong communication features. Site-to-user communication includes email notifications and social media plugins and live newsfeeds.

User-to-site communication is either by email, the toll-free hotline, snail mail, or the option to submit an idea or newsletter subscription.

Commerce – 2/10

The website lacks a transactional capability, as its main purpose is not to promote a product or service, but the brand as a whole. The ‘Brands’ section of the website could be considered one of its advertising features.

Customization – 2/10

Customization is not really allowed as visitors do not have the opportunity to personalize the site. The student zone allows interested applicants to filter their career preferences through the search options.

Connection – 6/10

Links to Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and other social media networks are clearly visible. Links to press releases and company statements are displayed. There could be more relevant links to external sites.

Community – 8/10

There is a strong sense of community due to social media plugins such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Google+, Linkedin and YouTube, as well as the blogs and breaking news. This helps to achieve the goal of the website which is to encourage debate and different perspectives, building an engaged and well-informed community.

Embedded below is an example of one of Coca Cola’s advertisements, a clever mix of advertising with an underlying social mission which emphasizes its “Coming Together” campaign.

YouTube Preview Image

Overall, I feel that Coca Cola’s website leverages on the value of customers and word of mouth. It has built a strong conversation prism by creating a more organized picture of the new web to better harness the Social Web’s potential, activity and overall reach.

Furthermore, I admire its detailed and organized social map for how it targets social networks and communities and is clear about its social media usage, intent and powerful capabilities.

The Myth of Content Marketing, the new SEO and Penguin 2.0

I find it interesting that SEO consists of more than link-building. It provides various useful services for website owners, for example – review of site content or structure, technical advice on website development, content development, keyword research, expertise in specific markets and geographies and SEO training.

Website + promotion of website = content marketing = SEO

The article pointed out several tips to make SEO successful, which echoes what we learnt in class.

  • Clear titles and descriptions
  • Anchor text (the clickable text in a hyperlink) should be properly optimized with keywords
  • Clean inbound and outbound links and understand your link profiles
  • Ensure that sites do not crosslink to other sites
  • Page speed tool should be above 90% – page speed is an important factor
  • Prevent user-generated content spam
  • Redirects  – check site pages for redirects
  • Over-optimization on non-content items – navigation, header or footer
  • Alt-attributes: treat alt text as actual text
  • Ad Issues – avoids ads which are above the fold for your screen size
  • Crawl issues – avoid crawl errors
  • Malware or rogue sites – check if you trigger malware warnings

In class, we learnt that it is important for marketers to be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you random emails. No one can guarantee a high ranking on Google.  You should be sure to understand where the marketing money goes -toward permanent inclusion or temporary advertising.

If the SEO owns shadow domains, puts links to other clients on doorway pages, offers to sell keywords in the address bar or gets traffic from “fake” search engines, businesses should feel free to walk away.

In my opinion, there are many techniques that could be adopted to combat these dangers. It is important to monitor my own site on a regular basis or request our SEO to do this for us. Audits need to be conducted at regular intervals.  Furthermore, another suggestion would be to analyze the most popular articles, and try to understand what makes them popular or high quality. Following that, it would be good to imitate the writing style and content ideas and INNOVATE, to increase visibility.

Other sources:






‘Why Some People Have No Boundaries Online’

I found this article very relevant to all of us as we subconsciously, or even consciously, think about how we appear to people and filter what we say and how we behave to others depending on our level of comfort and understanding about them. Not only is it marketing, it is also human nature.

It raises so many interesting questions: How similar are our online selves to our offline selves? Are we integrators or segmentors? To what extent does how we want to appear to others affect our online actions? Do we aim to impress or express?

It was interesting that research findings indicated that being more of a segmentor, which involves separating our professional and personal lives, is more favourable to our social image. This “creates online relationships that mirror the tailored nature of offline relationships”.

For example, the bestselling book “Boundaries in an overconnected world” discusses setting limits to preserve our focus and privacy. It reminds us that it is important to protect ourselves online from possible cyber crime while still maintaining meaningful relationships.

However, it is challenging to be hyper-organized and maintain various social media profiles to serve different needs and engage others in different types of information, personal and professional.

Furthermore, this is closely related to what was discussed in class – how we would deal with the challenge of language being hijacked and diluted. Our personality and communication skills are supposed to connect people to the personality of company or brand which we represent. Deciding the kind of interaction and collaboration that we want to engage in to build meaningful interactions that provide value to contributors affects whether we achieve our goals of impressing or expressing ourselves. Sometimes, the tradeoffs of authenticity, connecting with others on a personal level, are presenting online relationships that “mirror the tailored nature of offline relationships”. Interaction, collaboration and consistency build meaningful interactions that deliver value to contributors.

Personally, I am more of an integrator, often building bridges between my personal and professional life. I am also more of an expresser, more concerned with being seen accurately by others and trying to understand others through social media in a more personal manner. I even keep a personal blog which is open to the public. This article has allowed me to gain insight into the strategies that I select to maintain more of my privacy and segment my Linkedin VS Facebook audience.