Coles Marketing Strategy 2024: A Case Study

Coles, one of Australia’s leading supermarket chains, has developed a strategic marketing plan to stay ahead in the competitive grocery market. Their approach involves an in-depth analysis of the market, including SWOT analysis, target market analysis, and marketing mix analysis. By understanding the market dynamics, Coles aims to enhance its market position, attract customers, and achieve sustained growth.

Coles differentiates itself by offering a broad product selection, competitive pricing, ease of shopping, and a focus on customer satisfaction. To reach and engage their target market, they employ various marketing methods such as maintaining a strong online presence, engaging in public relations, implementing advertising campaigns, organizing promotions, optimizing packaging, and developing a strong brand identity.

The strategic marketing approach at Coles involves effective segmentation, targeting, and positioning (STP) strategies. By segmenting the market and understanding the specific needs and preferences of different customer groups, Coles can tailor their marketing efforts accordingly. This allows them to create value propositions that resonate with their target audience.

Marketing objectives play a crucial role in guiding Coles’ marketing activities. These objectives provide a clear direction for the company to achieve its goals, whether it’s increasing market share, expanding customer base, or improving customer loyalty. By aligning their marketing strategies with these objectives, Coles ensures that their efforts are focused and impactful.

The marketing mix, also known as the 4Ps, is a key component of Coles’ marketing strategy. They carefully consider the product, price, place, and promotion strategies to create a holistic and effective marketing approach. By offering high-quality products, competitive pricing, convenient store locations, and impactful promotional campaigns, Coles creates a compelling value proposition for its customers.

With over 100,000 staff members across various business segments, including supermarkets, fuel, and insurance, Coles has a significant presence in the Australian market. They have made substantial progress in their cloud adoption by migrating a significant portion of their workloads to Microsoft Azure. This transition has allowed Coles to focus on business problems and utilize machine learning models without the constraints of hardware.

In conclusion, Coles’ strategic marketing plan focuses on market analysis, SWOT analysis, target market analysis, marketing objectives, and marketing mix analysis. By providing a broad product selection, competitive pricing, ease of shopping, and prioritizing customer satisfaction, Coles aims to enhance its market position, attract customers, and achieve sustained growth. Through the implementation of various marketing methods and effective segmentation strategies, Coles is well-equipped to meet the evolving needs of its target market.

Key Takeaways:

  • Coles utilizes a strategic marketing plan to differentiate itself in the competitive grocery market.
  • Their focus on market analysis, SWOT analysis, target market analysis, marketing objectives, and marketing mix analysis guides their marketing efforts.
  • Coles emphasizes a broad product selection, competitive pricing, ease of shopping, and customer satisfaction.
  • Various marketing methods, such as online presence, public relations, advertising, promotions, packaging, and branding, contribute to Coles’ success.
  • Segmentation, targeting, and positioning (STP) strategies help Coles tailor their marketing efforts to specific customer groups.

The Competitive Grocery Market in Australia

When it comes to the grocery market in Australia, the competition is fierce. Coles and Woolworths, the two dominant players, together control more than 50% of the entire market share in the Australian supermarket and grocery industry. Woolworths holds the largest market share at 37.1%, closely followed by Coles Group at 27.9%. Other supermarkets and grocery companies make up only 18.6% of the market.

External competition in the Australian supermarket industry has grown rapidly in recent years, outpacing internal competition. This increasing competition has compelled Coles to offer massive discounts to consumers in order to maintain its market share.

However, the grocery industry in Australia also faces high barriers to entry due to its capital-intensive nature. This further reinforces the dominance of Coles and Woolworths in the market, limiting opportunities for new players to enter.

In 2015, both Coles and Woolworths found themselves under scrutiny by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Woolworths was charged with unethical conduct towards supermarket suppliers, while Coles was investigated for misleading advertising practices surrounding its bread products. These incidents raised concerns about fairness and competition within the industry.

To ensure fair competition and protect consumers, the ACCC utilizes Australian Consumer Law to supervise actions in the supermarket industry. Coles and Woolworths have stringent requirements for their suppliers, including a category margin of more than 40% and significant advertising support in their owned media.

Furthermore, Coles and Woolworths have set margin percentage expectations, allowing them to make substantial profits with every price increase. However, this lack of competition has resulted in higher recommended prices compared to other countries, particularly on similar products from large multinationals.

The dominance of Coles and Woolworths in the Australian supermarket sector has limited options for suppliers, hindering real competition and variation in shelf pricing. This has contributed to the current cost of living crisis linked to food in Australia, as Coles and Woolworths’ practices have put financial strain on businesses, forcing them to increase prices, ultimately burdening consumers.

Overall, Coles and Woolworths collectively control 65% of the grocery market in Australia, reflecting their significant market influence and the challenges faced by other players in the industry.

Effective Marketing Strategies and Market Positioning

Coles, as one of the largest retailers in Australia, understands the importance of effective marketing strategies and market positioning in maintaining its competitive edge. By analyzing market trends and consumer preferences, Coles has been able to develop successful strategies that have contributed to its market growth and customer loyalty.

Through comprehensive market analysis and competitive intelligence, Coles has identified gaps in the market and leveraged its resources to deliver on these opportunities. By focusing on market positioning, Coles aims to be the preferred choice for Australian consumers seeking quality products, value for money, and exceptional customer service.

One of Coles’ effective marketing strategies is its commitment to offering a wide range of private label products. These private label products have gained popularity among consumers due to their quality and affordability. By having a significant range of private label products, Coles distinguishes itself from competitors and creates a unique value proposition for its customers.

Statistics Market Share
Coles (2021) 29.5%
Woolworths (2021) 37.6%
Aldi (2021) 10.8%

Moreover, Coles has embraced digital capabilities as part of its marketing strategy. The company has invested in online shopping and delivery services, allowing customers to conveniently shop from home. This digital transformation has not only contributed to revenue growth but has also improved customer convenience and satisfaction.

To strengthen its market positioning, Coles collaborates with other companies to create exclusive products and special promotions. These partnerships generate additional revenue and further differentiate Coles from its competitors.

By implementing effective marketing strategies and focusing on market positioning, Coles continues to thrive in the competitive grocery market in Australia. With a customer-centric approach and a commitment to innovation, Coles remains a strong contender in the industry.

Coles’ Approach to Media Measurement

Coles, as a major player in the retail industry, understands the importance of measuring the effectiveness of its advertising campaigns. To ensure optimal returns on its advertising investment, Coles has implemented a robust approach to media measurement that allows for precise analysis and evaluation.

One key aspect of Coles’ media measurement strategy is the utilization of Beatgrid’s advanced technology. By leveraging this technology, Coles can accurately track key metrics such as store visitations, footfall attribution, and brand impact. This level of data-driven analysis provides Coles with valuable insights into the effectiveness of their advertising efforts and helps in optimizing future campaigns.

To further enhance their media measurement capabilities, Coles has established a GDPR-compliant opt-in mobile panel. This panel allows Coles to gather real-time data on consumer behaviors, preferences, and responses to their advertising campaigns. By having access to such granular data, Coles can make informed decisions regarding their media spend and ensure that their advertising efforts are aligned with their business objectives.

The results of Coles’ media measurement efforts have been impressive. In Year 1, the use of Beatgrid’s technology led to the identification of significant seven-figure savings. Coles was able to achieve a 10% lower media investment in Year 2, resulting in almost a seven-figure saving while maintaining competitiveness.

Moreover, Coles experienced a remarkable 1600% return on investment (ROI) on the cost of the media measurement project against the savings achieved. These numbers speak volumes about the effectiveness of Coles’ approach to media measurement and its impact on the company’s bottom line.

Furthermore, through data analysis, Coles has been able to optimize its media plan based on audience demographics. For example, they discovered a 34-point reach difference on TV between audiences over 55 and those under 24. Armed with this information, Coles can now fine-tune its media strategy to target different age groups effectively.

The success of Coles’ media measurement approach is further evidenced by the fact that TV and Radio combined have proven to be the most effective channel mix for the company. By applying lessons learned from previous years, Coles has been able to deliver better results and maximize the impact of its advertising campaigns.

Coles’ Media Measurement Statistics

Year Ad Creatives Tested Media Investment (% Lower vs. Previous Year) Cost Savings Achieved ROI
1 150 N/A Seven-figure savings N/A
2 270 10% Almost seven-figure savings 1600%

With a focus on data-driven decision-making and continuous improvement, Coles’ approach to media measurement has proven to be a game-changer. By leveraging advanced technology, analyzing audience demographics, and optimizing channel mix, Coles has been able to achieve impressive results and maximize the effectiveness of its advertising campaigns.

Benefits of Coles’ Approach

Coles’ approach to media measurement brings numerous benefits for the company. By accurately measuring media effectiveness and optimizing media spend, Coles can make data-driven decisions for future marketing campaigns.

One of the key advantages of Coles’ approach is the ability to accurately gauge the impact of their advertising campaigns. This allows them to allocate resources more effectively, ensuring an optimized media spend. By identifying which channels and strategies are most effective in reaching their target audience, Coles can focus their efforts on those areas, maximizing their return on investment.

Another benefit of Coles’ approach is the ability to track and measure various key metrics using the Marketing Evaluation Matrix. This matrix includes behavioral metrics, financial metrics, memory metrics, physical availability metrics, and customer profile metrics. By analyzing these metrics, Coles can gain valuable insights into their marketing performance and make informed decisions for future campaigns.

Furthermore, Coles’ use of AI technology enhances their media effectiveness and allows for more precise targeting. With AI-powered solutions, such as predictive analytics and personalized product recommendations, Coles can deliver more relevant and engaging content to their customers. This not only improves customer satisfaction but also increases the likelihood of conversion and repeat purchases.

Overall, Coles’ approach to media measurement provides them with a competitive advantage in the market. By accurately measuring media effectiveness, optimizing media spend, and leveraging AI technology, Coles can enhance their marketing strategies, reach their target audience more effectively, and ultimately drive business growth.

Coles’ Branding and Customer Engagement Strategy

Coles, one of Australia’s leading retailers, has successfully crafted a powerful branding and customer engagement strategy to stay competitive in the ever-evolving market. With a focus on customer segmentation and personalized experiences, Coles has managed to build strong relationships with its customers and establish itself as a trusted brand.

Customer segmentation lies at the heart of Coles’ branding strategy. By identifying different customer segments and understanding their unique needs and preferences, Coles is able to offer tailored solutions and create targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with specific groups. This approach allows Coles to foster stronger connections with its diverse customer base and deliver personalized experiences that drive customer loyalty and satisfaction.

One of the key elements of Coles’ customer engagement strategy is its commitment to reliability and quality. By consistently delivering products and services that meet or exceed customer expectations, Coles has earned the trust of consumers nationwide. This trust forms the foundation of Coles’ branding, enabling the company to position itself as the go-to retailer for reliable and high-quality products.

In addition to trust, Coles emphasizes customer satisfaction as a core aspect of its branding. Through consistent engagement with customers at key points in strategy development, Coles ensures that its offerings align with customer needs and preferences. This customer-centric approach allows Coles to continuously refine and optimize its products and services, ultimately leading to greater customer satisfaction.

Coles’ branding and customer engagement strategy have been instrumental in its success as a retailer. By embracing customer segmentation, prioritizing trust and quality, and prioritizing customer satisfaction, Coles has positioned itself as a leading brand in the Australian market. Through its ongoing commitment to building strong relationships with customers and delivering personalized experiences, Coles continues to thrive in a competitive industry.

Key Elements of Coles’ Branding and Customer Engagement Strategy
Customer segmentation
Trust and reliability
Customer satisfaction

Coles’ Vision and Mission

Coles, one of Australia’s leading supermarket chains, has a clear vision and mission that guides its operations and strategic decisions. The company’s vision is to become the most trusted retailer in Australia, recognized for its commitment to quality, reliability, and customer satisfaction.

At the heart of Coles’ mission is the goal to sustainably feed all Australians and help them lead healthier and happier lives. This mission reflects Coles’ dedication to providing a wide range of nutritious and affordable food options to meet the diverse needs of its customers.

With a focus on long-term sustainability and responsible business practices, Coles has implemented various initiatives to make a positive impact on society and the environment. The company has set ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, actively supports animal welfare, and has policies in place to respect land and human rights.

Coles also emphasizes responsible marketing practices and has implemented a workforce nutrition program to promote the health and wellbeing of its employees. However, there is room for improvement in terms of accessibility and affordability of healthy foods for vulnerable groups.

As a key player in the retail sector, Coles understands the importance of adapting to changing consumer preferences and market trends. With the growing demand for plant-based foods and a shift towards more sustainable choices, Coles is well-positioned to capitalize on this opportunity and meet the evolving needs of its customers.

In an intensely competitive market, Coles continues to innovate and improve its operations. The company has embraced online management and provides customers with convenient ways to order groceries and other products online. This strategic focus on digital channels aligns with the preferences of modern consumers and enables Coles to deliver a seamless and personalized shopping experience.

With over 762 stores throughout Australia, Coles is deeply embedded in local communities and takes pride in its commitment to supporting farmers and suppliers. The company’s direct milk sourcing model and initiatives to reduce food waste and plastic use exemplify its dedication to sustainability and responsible business practices.

Coles Supermarket Statistics Data
Number of Supermarkets 807
Number of Employees 100,000
Sales Growth 5.1%
Assets AU $22.2 billion
Revenue AU $33 billion
Flybuys Loyalty Program 50% share in Local Pacific Pty Ltd

In conclusion, Coles’ vision and mission drive its commitment to customer satisfaction, sustainability, and community support. With its strong market presence, innovative strategies, and dedication to responsible business practices, Coles continues to evolve and meet the changing needs of Australian consumers.

Coles’ Strategic Pillars

Coles, one of the leading supermarket chains in Australia, has developed a robust set of strategic pillars to guide its operations and drive sustainable growth. These pillars revolve around key areas of focus that align with Coles’ vision and mission. They include:

1. Smarter Selling

Under the first strategic pillar, Coles aims to drive efficiency and productivity by leveraging cutting-edge technology and data-driven solutions. Through its ‘smarter selling’ program, Coles focuses on optimizing store layouts, improving supply chain management, and implementing innovative systems to enhance operational performance. By harnessing the power of technology, Coles aims to streamline its processes, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction.

2. Motivating Customers

The second pillar revolves around motivating customers by providing them with the best value for their money, offering a wide range of high-quality food and beverages, and creating a destination for health, wellness, and convenience. Coles recognizes the increasing awareness of health and well-being among Australians and aims to cater to their evolving preferences by offering natural and organic products. By consistently delivering exceptional value and an unparalleled shopping experience, Coles aims to deepen customer loyalty and drive sustainable growth.

3. Standing and Winning Together

Coles understands the importance of fostering an engaged and motivated workforce. The third strategic pillar focuses on employee engagement, sustainability, and innovation. Coles recognizes that its employees play a crucial role in its success and endeavors to create a workplace culture that fosters collaboration, innovation, and personal growth. Additionally, Coles is committed to sustainability and aims to reduce its environmental footprint by implementing sustainable practices across its operations.

Overall, Coles’ strategic pillars form the foundation of its business strategy, guiding its decision-making processes and ensuring a customer-centric approach. By staying true to these pillars, Coles aims to maintain its position as a market leader in the highly competitive grocery industry in Australia.

Key Statistics
Number of Stores Approximately 2500 supermarkets and other stores across Australia
Number of Employees Around 107,000
Revenue in 2017 Approximately $970 million
Sales Revenue $40.5 billion, up by 5.9% from the prior year
Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) $1.042 billion, marking a 0.3% increase from the previous year
Operating Cash Flow $3.604 billion
Projected Cost Savings Efficiencies of over $1 billion over the next four years


Coles, with its strategic marketing approach and focus on customer satisfaction, has successfully navigated the highly competitive Australian grocery market. By employing effective advertising measurement, market positioning, and customer segmentation, Coles has established itself as a trusted retailer, generating an annual revenue of $33 billion through its more than 1,000 locations and over 100,000 employees.

Looking towards the future, Coles aims to continue its growth and success. By investing in its online platform, embracing sustainability initiatives, and expanding its range of private label products, Coles is positioning itself for future growth and an even stronger market presence. With a strong market position and a commitment to delivering competitive pricing and a wide range of products, Coles is well-equipped to meet the evolving needs and preferences of Australian consumers.

As Coles looks ahead, it is important to highlight the success factors that have contributed to its achievements thus far. These include effective marketing metrics, such as behavioral, financial, memory, physical availability, marketing availability, and customer profile metrics. Coles’ emphasis on customer satisfaction, innovative strategies, and a focus on sustainability have also played a significant role in its success.

Overall, Coles is poised for continued growth and success in the Australian grocery market. By staying true to its vision and mission, focusing on customer needs, and adapting to industry trends, Coles aims to be the most trusted retailer in Australia while making a positive impact on society and the environment.


What is Coles’ marketing strategy?

Coles employs a strategic approach that focuses on market positioning, customer segmentation, and innovative advertising tactics to differentiate itself in the competitive grocery market.

Who are Coles’ main competitors?

Coles faces fierce competition from Woolworths, another major player in the Australian grocery market.

How does Coles measure the effectiveness of its advertising campaigns?

Coles utilizes advanced technology and a mobile panel to measure the impact of its advertising campaigns, tracking metrics such as store visitations, footfall attribution, and brand impact.

What are the benefits of Coles’ approach to media measurement?

Coles’ media measurement approach allows for accurate measurement of media effectiveness, optimized media spend, and data-driven decision-making for future campaigns.

What is Coles’ branding and customer engagement strategy?

Coles focuses on fostering trust and building strong customer relationships through tailored solutions, personalized experiences, and targeted marketing campaigns based on customer segmentation.

What is Coles’ vision and mission?

Coles aims to become the most trusted retailer in Australia and sustainably feed all Australians, while also placing emphasis on reliability, quality, customer satisfaction, responsible sourcing, and community support.

What are Coles’ strategic pillars?

Coles’ business operations are guided by three strategic pillars: smarter selling, motivating customers, and standing and winning together. Smarter selling involves utilizing technology-driven solutions, motivating customers by delivering value and convenience, and standing and winning together through employee engagement, sustainability, and innovation.

How has Coles’ marketing strategy contributed to its success?

Coles’ effective marketing strategies, including market positioning, branding, customer segmentation, and accurate media measurement, have contributed to its success in the highly competitive grocery market in Australia.

What are Coles’ plans for the future?

Coles aims to continue its growth and become the most trusted retailer in Australia, while also making a positive impact on society and the environment.
About the author

Nina Sheridan is a seasoned author at, a blog renowned for its insightful exploration of the increasingly interconnected worlds of business, technology, and lifestyle. With a keen eye for the dynamic interplay between these sectors, Nina brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her writing. Her expertise lies in dissecting complex topics and presenting them in an accessible, engaging manner that resonates with a diverse audience.