Director, Connections Innovation
The Coca-Cola Company
Douglas Busk takes to heart Coca-Cola’s goal to become the most socially responsible and engaged organization in the world. When he looks at the evolution of the 127-year company, he sees an extraordinary transformation from a mass marketer to a direct marketer, largely due to social media and the global connectivity around Coca-Cola. Now the world’s most socially-discussed brand, there are 33 mentions of Coke globally every minute.
As Director of Connections Innovation, a global role which he describes as part of Senior Vice President, Integrated Marketing Communications and Capabilities’ Wendy Clark’s center of excellence, he is concerned with “evolving the way we are connecting”—both in terms of digital customer service, as well as providing a central resource for teams in every market. Yet, Coca-Cola’s global scope and sheer size creates challenges and opportunities to such tasks. Coke is found in 207 countries, has 3500 products available in 23,000,000 retail outlets and provides 1.8 billion (8 oz.) servings per day.
Doug has therefore championed the Hub Network, comprised of 300 social media personnel around the world who are listening, analyzing and engaging in real-time. Their goal is to empower front-line marketing while also providing global consistency to Coca-Cola’s messaging. Gauging the velocity of social conversations is critical to The Hub team, particularly in an age when commentary can go viral instantly.
Doug is always interested in finding what he calls “tweet zero,” or the first moment when the earliest influencers push a conversation into overdrive. This determination helps his team move the brand conversation to what matters most to consumers. Also within the Hub are producers adept as story-telling who can quickly turn around compelling content as a resource for all Coke teams around the world who access the network.
The Hub Network has also proven to act like a true “nervous system” that analyzes both tone and growth of social media conversations around the world. In fact, Doug’s team discovered an early vicious conversation in the market regarding Coca-Cola. They soon found it was a sophisticated attack through spammers and botnets. Fortunately, as the message lacked a human tone, it wasn’t retweeted and didn’t spread. The Hub, though, demonstrated it had the ability to inform Coke marketers and management of a time when not engaging was also critical.
Prior to championing the creation of the Hub Network, Doug Busk led global mobile commerce strategy for Coca-Cola. Earlier in his career, he held business development and product marketing management roles with Amdocs and SinglePoint. During the 2008 US Presidential election cycle, he served as the outside strategic advisor to the landmark mobile efforts of the Obama campaign. While with Cingular and Verizon, Doug drove data production innovation, including mobile giving via text messaging which later enable over $35MM in giving for the Red Cross’ Haiti earthquake relief efforts.