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Case Study: Gatorade Marketing and Social Media

The specific case and case study questions posted by the student were:
Gatorade is one of the best known marketers in the world. As the producer of sports drinks and one of the first companies to make widespread use of athletes to endorse its products, Gatorade is best known for its creative television commercials. However, Gatorade also recognizes the impact of social media on its brand and has done more than most brands to put that in the center of its marketing efforts. Enter the Gatorade Mission Control Center in Chicago. This room sits literally in the middle of the marketing department and can be considered a war room for monitoring the brand's performance using real-time social media. The room features monitors that tap into services like Radian6, which turns data into visual meaning. For example, Gatorade's marketing team can use the data from Twitter to track sentiment about the brand, its competitors and its athlete partners. Gatorade can also monitor similar information found on blogs and social networks in order to portray a complete brand picture. Senior Marketing Director, Consumer & Shopper Engagement, Carla Hassan, stated that Mission Control has been used to develop its "Gatorade has evolved" campaign. They also use this information for more conventional tactics such as optimizing landing pages and increasing consumer engagement.

1. Why do you think having the Mission Control Center central to the marketing department is important to Gatorade?
2. Why do you think social media is so important to Gatorade? Do you think it deserves this placement within the marketing mix?
3. Do you think that social media will be this important to most brands in the near future? Why or why not?

Solution Preview

1. It is imperative for Gatorade to have its Mission Control Center (MCC) in the same location as the marketing department for a number of reasons. The first is an ability to utilize real-time consumer behavior data to enhance or modify current Gatorade marketing campaigns. If consumers are not responding in the manner desired, data can be analyzed, new ideas can be brainstormed to define a plan and the actual refinements can all be achieved in one place. The centralized MCC with the marketing department ensures that all the "key players" are in one locale to get things done efficiently. This model also helps to diminish the opportunity for miscommunication. If the MCC was located elsewhere, those analyzing the consumer data and the marketing department would need to correspond via email, by phone or video-conference. All ...

Solution Summary

Gatorade utilizes a multitude of venues in marketing; which has led to the company being one of the best in marketing. This case study analyzes the use of spokespeople, commercials and even social media. The solution explains how Gatorade has attained success by utilizing a centralized "Mission Control Center" for marketing. In over 500 words, with a reference, the solution addresses three questions specific to this case study.

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