Commentary—No Return from “Online Buzz?”

Jeremy Detgen_v

Jeremy Detjen

Coca-Cola created a large debate about a week ago, with their conclusion that “online buzz has no measurable impact on short-term sales,” according to an Ad Age article.

Wendy Clark, Coca-Cola’s vice president of integrated marketing communications and capabilities, expanded on this finding by stating that in isolation it is true, but should not “obscure the role that social media plays.” This statement was based on an internal Coca-Cola study that shows social media alone does not add much value to short-term sales, but when combined with other channels is more effective than any one channel on its own.

It is important to note that online buzz is only one metric of social media success, and at best it is a measure of high-level engagement or brand recognition. So it makes sense that it does not impact sales directly. Clark goes on to clarify that “in beta testing with Facebook, [they]’ve been able to track closed-loop sales from site exposure to in-store purchase with very promising initial results that are above norms for what [they] see with other media.” Continue reading ›