Experts urge local marketers to be authentic in messaging

Alex Ames, director of content and creative excellence at the Coca-Cola Company, making a point during his presentation at the 2019 CIMPA conference at the Kimpton Seafire Resort on Friday. - Photo: Reshma Ragoonath

For a global brand like Coca-Cola, staying relevant still takes effort and creativity when it comes to marketing its products.

But more than anything else, Alex Ames, the Coca-Cola Company’s director of content and creative excellence, believes the brand’s success comes from keeping it real and maintaining authenticity.

It is something he urged local marketing professionals to consider when they look at casting for their campaigns and showcasing their client’s products.

Ames was among seven international speakers at this year’s annual Cayman Islands Marketing Professionals Association conference at the Kimpton Seafire Resort last week.

He told local marketers that personalisation has been a key element in the company’s arsenal, especially when it comes to cementing its staying power within the beverage industry.

Products and brands, he said, must have a personality. They ought to have something people can connect with and can relate to.

“If you think of the brands, the people you want to talk with at dinner, they are the brands you share something in common. You find something to talk about, you find something, whether it’s family or shared beliefs or a sports team. That’s great. That’s the person you want to invite back to your dinner party,” he said.

Speaking in the topic of ‘What we can learn from The Rock (and the Coca-Cola Company)’ about optimising content through personalisation, Ames said it was important that “you think of brands as people and as a person”.

He pointed out that successful campaigns within the industry are those that people can see themselves in and connect with.

He suggested that there must be a ‘balance’ between informing the consumer about a product and giving the product a personality.

Social media plays a large part in marketing campaigns globally, and in Cayman it is not different.

CIMPA chair Catherine Healy said the results from the Association’s 2019 media survey, which is a non-scientific study, found that that Facebook and Instagram are the “two largest social media platforms” in use on island.

“If your brand is not on social media, you’re not being seen by quite a number of your clients. So, we believe that almost everybody is on social media, especially if you’re selling to millennials or Gen Z, that’s where you really want to be,” she said.

The two-day conference, which wrapped up on Friday, featured discussion on emerging marketing trends.

Speakers included Indie Lee, founder and CEO of Indie Lee, a rising international clean make-up brand, and Daniel Rodic, CEO and co-founder of Exact Media.

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