Coca-Cola in his veins

Thursday, 3 March 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Untitled-1The Coca-Cola Company will lead transparency in the industry, said The Coca-Cola Company Chief Marketing Officer Marcos de Quinto, in a brief interview with the Daily FT recently.

“Transparency is really one of the most important things and it’s going to become even more, more and more important. For all companies, transparency is basic regarding everything,” he added, on the sidelines of the company’s ‘one brand’ global marketing approach Asia Pacific unveiling in Hong Kong.

De Quinto, who has been with the company since 1982 and became CMO in January last year, laughingly says that he stayed because no other company wanted him, but is quick to add that his mind and heart are very strongly tied to company.

Prior to assuming his current role, he served as President of Coca-Cola’s Iberia Business Unit, which covers Spain and Portugal, and as Vice President of Coca-Cola’s Europe Group. De Quinto led the company’s Iberian operations for 14 years from January 2000.

Now spearheading change at the company he has called home for so long, De Quinto is emphatic that Coca-Cola has always been a simple pleasure that is consistently locally relevant, given its presence in 207 countries, one billion consumptions and being the second most recognised word in the world.

“Coca-Cola is for everybody, it is an affordable and unique pleasure. Coca-Cola is a big brand due to its simplicity; that’s very important. Our humbleness has been the secret of our success. We are going back to this essential truth,” says the top marketing and communications professional, who describes himself in his Twitter bio as ‘a pirate sailing under no flag’.

Following are excerpts of the interview:


By Marianne David

Q: You’ve been with The Coca-Cola Company for almost 35 years; what made you stay with the company for so long?

It’s been 34 years; I stayed because no other company wanted me! (Laughs). I joined at 23 and stayed because my mind and my heart are very strongly tied to this company.

Q: How would you describe the journey over the last three-and-a-half decades?

Well, it has been a rollercoaster. I’ve been working so much that time has passed very, very fast.

Q: You took over as Chief Marketing Officer just over a year ago; how would you describe the last year?

It has been amazing. There were so many things to do, I barely had the time to think about it. I’m very satisfied about what has been done in a short period of time; I have a group of very good people working with me, I have a very good team. The way that we are working with all the operations in the world, it’s fantastic how we’re working as a group. We have made this big change over to the ‘one brand’ global marketing drive in record time.

Q: When did you decide to come up with this change and could you describe the process?

When I took over in February 2015, in my mind I knew already that we had to completely reposition Coca-Cola for the next year. Everything has been fantastic but we needed to change going forward; we had it very clear.

Two weeks after I came into the position, we gave a briefing to the relevant people about the new strategy and it was very well embraced by everybody. The work of the team has been amazing. It is very difficult for any big company to make strategic changes in such a short period of time. We have done it while aligning all the markets in which we operate. That’s something that gives me a lot of satisfaction but we have been so busy that it feels like it was all yesterday.

Q: Could you tell me your views on digital marketing and transparency?

I think that all marketing is basically digital. We are creating content and whatever way we distribute this content, everything today is digital.

Transparency is really one of the most important things and it’s going to become even more, more and more important. For all companies, transparency is basic regarding everything. I expect that The Coca-Cola Company will be leading transparency in the industry.