The challenges associated with digital and mobile marketing seem so insurmountable that some brands hesitate to get involved. However, digital marketing provides opportunities to brands who are brave enough to dive in, especially considering that over 28 million Canadians use mobile devices to surf the net, text, email, shop and connect. Beverage alcohol brands who are engaged with the digital and mobile marketplace are at a distinct advantage.
Last year, 38 per cent of marketers increased spending on digital marketing and 64 per cent used social media as a critical enabler of products and services. To Laura Donovan, president of The Word Pro, it’s clear that “digital marketing is taking center stage.” Beverage alcohol brands that can turn digital challenges like brand consistency, data overload and technological advances into opportunities stand to benefit from this evolving digital landscape.
Opportunity 1 – Achieve Low Digital Marketing Costs & High Brand Consistency
When compared to traditional advertising, digital marketing proponents have touted its cost effectiveness, especially when using Google ad word campaigns where marketers set a budget and only pay per click (or impression).
Brands are also turning to marketing automation software to further reduce digital marketing costs. These software applications help companies produce engaging, branded content quickly and effectively while ensuring it’s easy to connect and engage with customers on social media and brand websites.
Opportunity 2 – Use Data to Give Products a Boost
According to Sales Force Canada, a key advantage to digital marketing is the level of data that is available to marketers, which “gives us a view into the lives of our customers in a way that wasn’t possible in traditional advertising. This information can help us make smart decisions about many different areas of business in order to improve customer satisfaction. This demonstrates how crucial marketing is to all areas of the organization.”
Beverage alcohol brands in particular have an opportunity to successfully segment their data to match consumers with the right products. For example, knowing that a beer, wine or spirit is selling particularly well in one geographic location or with one demographic group is powerful information. What should you do with this knowledge?
- Choose sponsorship opportunities in those local areas that target the right demographic mix
- Find local bars and restaurants who would be willing to stock your product
- Offer specialized product promotions to mobile customers in that area or demographic group
- Develop mobile apps that allow consumers to interact with your beverage alcohol brand. These could include partnering with restaurant brands to suggest food pairings, offering consumers a way to keep track of beverages that they have tasted, and even a way to rate or compare your products on the spot.
Sifting through all the data, however, is a challenge. “There’s a lot of noise for marketers to cut through. We don’t have a problem getting data from our digital efforts: The challenge is to decide what’s important and how to respond to it,” Sales Force Canada points out.
Opportunity 3: Engage Consumers
The digital marketing industry is fast-paced and technology is often changing, which makes it difficult for marketing teams to catch up. Beverage alcohol brands who can keep up with these changes are well positioned to pull ahead of the competition.
According to Hubspot, 35-50 per cent of sales go to vendors who respond first. With this in mind, beverage alcohol brands who effectively monitor social media channels and quickly respond to consumer inquiries are at an advantage.
Responsiveness helps build brand loyalty through an engaged customer base – a critical element to the success of any beverage alcohol brand. In fact, engagement is arguably one of the most important metrics for brands to measure. In 2015, marketers shifted their attention to measuring digital marketing “metrics that better reflect customer satisfaction. These include engagement rate and sentiment analysis.”
Instead of looking at digital marketing as a challenge for your brand, why not consider it an opportunity? As the world shifts to a digital landscape, beverage alcohol brands that are ready to jump in and turn challenges into opportunities will be able to pull ahead of their competition, an edge that can make the difference in an overly saturated marketplace.