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Marketing In Remote Locations - Coke & Health Care

You can buy a Coke anywhere!

So why can’t you access health care anywhere?

Melinda Gates’ compares Coke’s marketing & distribution with the distribution of health care products and messages in underdeveloped countries.

The video I wish to share with you highlights the creative strategy that Coke used to distribute their products into remote villages in Africa.

Melinda Gates (the wife of Microsoft founder, Bill Gates) explains how her not-for-profit organisation adapted Coke’s strategy to spread their health care services into similar remote locations.

As you watch it, see if you can draw similarities between these strategies and the strategies that many companies use to spread their marketing messages through social media.

In the ‘old days’, we referred to the spread of marketing messages from one person to another as ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing. The concept has not changed; just the medium!

Marketing through social media, word-of-mouth or small single-person distributors, all reply on a couple of key concepts:

  • There is a message or a product that people are sufficiently excited about to pass onto others

  • A medium is available through which it can travel; virtual or physical

  • The organisation supports and fosters the process

Such marketing processes do not occur without any input from the organisation. The message must excite people so they will pass it on. Many traditional message techniques work well in social media and single-person distribution systems. Some of those that are often used are:

  • Aspiration – a desire to be like a famous person or to live a particular lifestyle

  • Belongingness – a desire to be part of something; even a group of people who use a particular product

  • Humour – people enjoy a good laugh and will recommend the experience to others

  • Fear – the need to avoid negative consequences if you do not take some sort of action (like if you don’t buy the product)

There are many messages that marketers use. When you receive a message from someone you know, see if you can identify why they forwarded it to you and why you might pass it on to others. This will assist you to learn how marketing works and to identify which techniques might be suitable for your organisation’s products.

Tim Sillcock

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