How Coca-Cola Uses AI to Drive Further its Success
Sun, April 11, 2021

How Coca-Cola Uses AI to Drive Further its Success

Coca-Cola is considered as the world’s largest beverage company, selling around 500 brands of soft drink in more than 200 countries around the world and serving almost 1.9 billion drinks every day / Photo by: Mike Mozart via Flickr

 

Coca-Cola is considered as the world’s largest beverage company, selling around 500 brands of soft drink in more than 200 countries around the world and serving almost 1.9 billion drinks every day. There are various reasons for the company’s immense success. It can enter markets where other drink manufacturers are unable to. Their drinks are also regarded to be a substitute for water in many countries. For instance, a tourist will likely be drinking Coke products instead of the local water in Mexico. 

Reports show that Coca-Cola’s revenue of $35.1 billion makes it the world’s 84th largest economy, which puts it ahead of Costa Rica. This also means that the company generates huge amounts of data on a daily basis, from production and distribution to sales. Because of this, Coca-Cola needs strong data-driven strategies to succeed. And artificial intelligence is the right answer for this.

A recent report by the Allied Market Research, a global market research firm, showed that the global AI market is projected to reach $169.41 billion by 2025 from only $4.06 billion in 2016. This accounts for a CAGR of 55.6% during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the increasing demand for analyzing and interpreting large amounts of data, rising investments in AI technologies, and rising customer satisfaction coupled with an increase in the adoption of a reliable cloud application. 

To stay on top of the game, Coca-Cola has incorporated AI to conduct extensive research and to further discover development resources. This aims to make the most out of every data and insight it collects. According to reports, the company was one of the first globally recognized brands outside of the IT market to talk about big data. Esat Sezer, Coca-Cola’s chief data officer, said, “Social media, mobile applications, cloud computing, and e-commerce are combining to give companies like Coca-Cola an unprecedented toolset to change the way they approach IT. Behind all this, big data gives you the intelligence to cap it all off.”

Greg Chambers, the company’s global director of digital innovation, admitted that AI is the foundation for everything that they do. “We create intelligent experiences. AI is the kernel that powers that experience,” he said. Here are some ways AI is driving the success of Coca-Cola. 

Allocating Products Efficiently

Coca-Cola manufactures, produces, and sells thousands of products every day across the world that it is normal to lose track of a transaction, especially for retailers. Saurabh Parikh, VP/Innovation, Architecture & Data at CONA Services, a unit of Coca-Cola that serves the organization's bottlers across North America, stated that one major challenge is knowing the right product assortment for a particular outlet. This is where AI comes in. 

According to WARC, an online site that provides the latest evidence, expertise, and guidance to make marketers more effective, AI has the ability to build a specific portfolio that makes sense for that outlet and that outlet’s shopper. For instance, the company is able to compare every convenience store in a set market with each other through a “cosine similarity-based algorithm.” This helps in identifying which retailers have the most equivalent sales patterns, customer profiles, and seasonal trends. “The business opportunity is in millions. So, this is an example where AI is delivering value to our business, top line as well as the bottom line,” Parikh said. 

Social Data Mining

Social media is a huge factor that can drive a company’s success because it can reach and influence millions of people in just a single post. As of now, Coca-Cola has 105 million Facebook fans and 35 million Twitter followers. In this technology-driven era, it is important that a company knows how its customers are reacting to their products, especially because 90% of the consumers base their purchasing decisions on social media content.

Through AI, Coca-Cola can gauge the sentiments of the consumers using computer vision and algorithms. In 2015, the company was able to calculate the number of times that their product is mentioned anywhere in the world in an average of just over once every two seconds. Mariano Bosaz, global senior digital director, stated that “content creation is something that we have been doing for a very long time—we brief creative agencies and then they come up with stories…what I want to start experimenting with are automated narratives.”

Social media is a huge factor that can drive a company’s success because it can reach and influence millions of people in just a single post. As of now, Coca-Cola has 105 million Facebook fans and 35 million Twitter followers / Photo by: Today Testing via Wikimedia Commons

 

AI Vending Machines

Coca-Cola is driving innovation into its worldwide network of branded vending machines by incorporating advanced AI. For instance, anyone can go straight over one million vending machines in Japan and get their Coca-Cola drinks using smartphones. According to Digital Food and Beverage, an online site designed to help clients achieve omnichannel excellence and drive profits, these vending machines can also promote appropriate products for certain areas and offer discounts and deals by analyzing purchasing behaviors and customer data. 

At the same time, AI can also adjust the "mood" of the vending machine to be appropriate for its location. For instance, vending machines that are located in a gym would promote or serve more water. Aside from helping Coca-Cola mine huge volumes of data that can be used to drive further marketing decisions, AI can also offer unique and personalized purchasing experiences for fans of the brand.

Indeed, AI can be a huge help for giant companies such as Coca-Cola. Of course, even small businesses can benefit from this technology, it’s just a matter of identifying where it will be applied to get the most out of it.

Coca-Cola is driving innovation into its worldwide network of branded vending machines by incorporating advanced AI / Photo by: Corpse Reviver via Wikimedia Commons