How Coca-Cola uses tactical planning

Overview of Tactical planning

At the business level, there are three clear dimensions in terms of planning: strategic, tactical and operational.

The strategic planning covers all the macro aspects of the company, lines and master objectives that go from the own organizational identity, mission, values, structure and transcends to the long plans of the areas or core functions. Ends in tactical plans.

The tactical planning on their part, have to reach a specific department or company function. It is where the objectives set at a strategic level are deployed. It has a temporary horizon of short to medium term, usually one year and derives in the detail of the operation, that is, in operational plans.

Finally, operational planning is the thoroughness of actions that will be carried out in the short term, to reach the tactical plans. It is concrete, punctual and specific.

In PYMES these three levels are generally carried out spontaneously sometimes inadvertently. In large and consolidated companies such as Coca-Cola, these dimensions are clearly marked.

The tactical planning of Coca-Cola, for example, focuses on regionalization, the size of its markets, the segmentation of its products, new incursions, penetration tactics among other initiatives. Let’s see some of these practices of a global company with more than one hundred years of success.

Strategies for entering new markets

Once in charge of Tactical Planning of Coca-Cola measured and prioritized their markets, they must decide on the strategy appropriate input, which depend on the characteristics of the intended market: culture, demographics, values, social strata, climate, educational level, tastes, preferences. In short, a number of variables, all valued.

From the previous example, it can be assumed that 45% of Argentines do not consume Coca-Cola because they have a preference for their competitor Pepsi. In this case, the marketing efforts are focused on the clear objective of stealing the market from Pepsi, emphasizing the characteristics of the product that make Coca-Cola superior.

Coca-Cola is based on its local market studies to discover the variables that affect the preferences of its non-captive market. If customers agree that “taste” is a decisive variable, the company will focus promotional efforts to highlight its unique and superior taste to Pepsi.

If the variable “convenience of purchase” is significant, Coca-Cola will invest resources in expanding its distribution channels.

If it is the case that a significant portion of Argentines does not consume Coca-Cola for its taste, the company will appeal for its light, dietary or low sugar variants, while the general acceptance increases.

In short, all the effort in the face of the incursion into new markets is marked by the tendencies, tastes and preferences of the customers.

Other Tactical Initiatives

The unfavourable precedent of “La Nueva Coke” in 1985 served Coca-Cola to know that it should preserve its legacies of almost a century. Although it frequently introduces new flavours for non-captive segments, its recipe has remained almost unchanged for decades.

As well as its recipe, its legendary colours and logos have remained standard since 1923. Another legacy of the industry is the distribution in classic returnable bottles “of your property”. A design inspired by the fruit of the Cocoa that in 2015 arrived at the hundred years. To learn more about the packaging tactics of Coca-Cola you can check ” the history of bottling ” on its official site.

Although it seems somewhat operative, the brand is very concerned about its standards, it is such that it induces its retailers to serve the beverage at not less than 36 degrees Fahrenheit, which is equivalent to about 3 degrees Celsius. It even has a regulation for the location of the Coca-Cola Vending Machines.

Another tactic of Coca-Cola, everything an Ace up his sleeve! is its ability to increase sales by increasing the consumption of its captive markets. He does this through subtle practices such as encouraging the consumption of ” salty snacks ” as the ideal accompaniment to his drinks.

Coca-Cola is a world leader in brand positioning, beyond the drink is a whole line of consumption, for that it is worth a hard work in promotional marketing. Anywhere in the world, when entering a bar or café it is not uncommon to find posters, watches, vending machines, cup holders and all iconic decorations of the brand. A simple idea, a clear tactic! that you think about Coca-Cola every time you are thirsty.

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