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Essay: Integrated Marketing Communication of Pepsi: Strategies, Analysis, and Implementation

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  • Subject area(s): Marketing essays
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  • Published: 1 October 2019*
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  • Tags: PepsiCo essays

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Marketers within the present marketing organizations always try to display a short and clear message throughout various channels and platforms. Integration was the secret to success, with continuity and uniformity being the simplest strategies that transformed the discipline of marking. Therefore, adopting an integrated marketing communications (ICT) plan presents a competitive edge for any successful business. Nevertheless, various firms still use the linear direct marketing procedure through which they develop their products, create messages, and add incentives to the mix. The products then need to be driven through various channels or a sales team to consumers. A consumer-structured communication model has developed with a fast and vigorous learning process for the consumer. This has resulted in reduced efficiency rates and rising costs from conventional direct marketing activity. Therefore, firms are now required to adopt an integrated marketing communication style that integrates conventional media, online networks, products, social networks, and people to realize success. The aim of this paper is, therefore, explaining the different integrated marketing communication plans utilized by Pepsi. ICT is a method for attaining the objectives of a marketing campaign through a harmonized utilization of various promotion approaches that are meant to support each other.

Executive Summary

Marketers are required to merge a variety of marketing communication approaches to carry out their marketing endeavors. The various approaches of marketing communication present clear merits and difficulties and, therefore, marketers require a high level of proficiency and experience to implement them properly (Clow & Baack, 2012). This marketing plan is aimed at creating an understanding of how marketing and distribution of products are done by Pepsi within the market regarding price, promotion, and distribution. Therefore, this paper performs various analysis including advertising, PR, personal selling, guerilla marketing, sales promotion, digital marketing, and direct marketing. Today’s marketing initiatives utilize several methods, therefore, requiring firms to adopt integrated marketing communication. This paper will discuss these marketing communication approaches in details.


​Currently, PepsiCo can be ranked among the most successful firm in consumer products globally and employs more than 480,000 people. The company started as an inheritor to Loft Inc., a firm affiliated in 1930. Originally, the company was known as Pepsi-Cola, but it later improved its business operations, therefore, adopting the present name, PepsiCo. This was after creating a merger with another firm, Frito-Lay in 1965. Pepsi’s merger greatly improved its market position and formed the basis for its vast growth. Pepsi’s products have gained recognition and respect all over the world. Pepsi currently deals with three main US and international businesses including snacks, beverages, and restaurants. PepsiCo has achieved a market leadership position in each of these businesses, thus placing it as a global leader in the bottling of soft drinks, the largest snack producer, and the largest contracted restaurant system in the world. Pepsi’s increased success can be attributed to its high-performance standards, high competition, effectiveness, commitment, and ethical business practices.

​The marketing strategy adopted by Pepsi incorporates a combination of elements of the firm’s marketing communication mix as will be discussed within the paper. According to Dudovskiy (2016), Pepsi increased the budget allocated to advertising and marketing in 2015 by 40%. Pepsi has used creativity and formation of planned alliances as a way of improving its marketing strategy in addition to endorsements by various personalities.

Forms of Marketing Communications Used by PepsiCo


​Pepsi has mainly done its advertising through print and media as a conventional means of transmitting their marketing message to their target consumers. The firm’s print and media advertising sometimes comprise of relative campaigns intended for distorting their main competitor’s brand image- Coca Cola. For instance, there is one Pepsi advert that shows a cheerful Pepsi drinker scoffing another individual buying a Coke by mocking Coca Cola’s Christmas campaign (Dudovskiy, 2016). According to Dudovskiy (2016), despite there being no considerable change in the firm’s advertising budget within the last three years, the distribution model has improved. Particularly, considering the rising use of social media into the individual lives of people around the world, Pepsi is progressively making huge advertising investment through social media. Due to its huge advertising investment, Pepsi has introduced a chain of fruitful viral marketing campaigns with apparent positive outcomes on their brand image.

Sales Promotion

​PepsiCo has used a variety of ways during sales promotion with the aim of enhancing their profits in the short-run. The most famous way utilized by Pepsi involves the application of sales promotion instruments including discount vouchers, the point of sale materials, loyalty rewards, and competitions. Also, Pepsi is also popular for initiating a chain of initial sales promotion campaigns. For instance, Pepsi presented a new special edition of the bottle using the brand name “Pepsi Perfect” in October 2015 mimicking how the brand looked like after its brief featuring in the film “Back to the Future” in 1989. The film depicts an innovative bottle of Pepsi being delivered to Michael Fox through a tube.

Public Relations

​Pepsi has presented an ethical image in the community. The firm largely promotes human, talent, and environmental sustainability. The continuing campaigns have been termed as Think Social and “Performance with purpose – The Promise of PepsiCo.” According to Sarno (2016), Pepsi revealed their new strategy for the expectations of their products where most products within their corporate agenda are listed for accomplishment by 2025 and other few scheduled for 2030. These goals aim to show that the firm is dedicated to making their products healthier and more environmentally reliable options.

Moreover, the firm is aiming at reducing sugar levels in its drinks, efficient use of water during the production of ingredients in the farms, and reduction of greenhouse emissions (Sarno, 2016). These goals are specially meant to tackle transforming customer needs and social focus. The company’s main focus for the next decade involves making products for health improvement and happiness, empower people within the society, and protection of nature. The above ideas results from an emerging marketing strategy of understanding people’s needs, what the firm’s shareholders perceive functional, and 2030 agenda for SDGs by the United Nations. Lastly, Pepsi uses the Marketing Public Relation that requires the firm to provide direct support to communal product promotion and the making of the brand image. This is the role of the marketing department instead of the PR department. Thus, Pepsi promotes its products using Marketing Public Relations by using different tools including conducting and sponsoring sports events and games such as Football and basketball.

Digital Marketing

​Pepsi also uses digital marketing as a way of promoting their products. The firm has an accessible and interactive website and includes a section where users can learn how to help their community. On top of that, the firm also uses social media sites including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to interact with its consumers. Digital marketing has helped the firm to reach those individuals who spend a lot of time on the internet and cannot make time to watch advertisements on television.

Direct Marketing

​Direct marketing is a form of marketing that helps firms to sell their products directly to their consumers without necessarily going through retailers. Pepsi has also used this promotional strategy to reach their consumers. The firm is utilizing mobile marketing to connect with its customers with the Youngistaan model and presenting them with a channel through which they can share their description of Youngistaan. The firm is utilizing mobile communities, mobile portals, caller ringtones, and SMS marketing as a way of engaging the younger generations. The Youngistaan campaign by Pepsi on SMS marketing was conducted in two stages. The first stage was conducted from February to March and included absolute advertising (Ohri, 2008). Subscribers of the mobile marketing were given a banner ad requesting them to give their views or opinion on Youngstaan, and give a rating to the point of view of others and look at the Pepsi’s mobile portal.

Personal Selling

​Theoretically, the soft drink industry does not allow for personal selling. Nevertheless, Pepsi uses an alternative means of personal selling since the firm interacts regularly and directly with its retailers and wholesalers than the consumers. For a comprehensible and dependable communication, the firm employs sales executives in each of the market sections. The role of the sales executive involves communicating with the retailers and wholesalers of their related market sections regularly. Also, the sales executives act as regulators within the market. They monitor the brand position within the market and make comparisons with that of their competitors and then report to the sales managers assigned to that area. Lastly, they are responsible for making sure there are no variations in the supply of the company’s products in the market and that consumers can acquire the products without difficulty during the high season that starts from March to September.


​Pepsi implemented different communication tools and procedures to reach to the consumers within their market successfully. Integrated marketing communications plan exploits an amalgamation of different communications tools and media to deliver a message to the intended individuals (Mulhern, 2013). Through a combination of various tools, marketers can guarantee that they reach their target audience and can also control the different tools in the most effective manner. Integrated marketing derives from the power of conventional advertising and efforts of the public relations, over and above the use of newer, online communication instruments including internet and social media. Therefore, the firm must have an effective communication plan to influence the targeted audience.

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