The Basics of Beer Marketing

Craft beer is one of the most profitable and fastest growing segments of the beer industry. It’s also a very competitive and crowded market, so you’ll have to work hard and stand out among the competition if you wish to succeed in this industry.

In this business, success could be translated to being different. This article could help you in focusing on the key factors that would contribute to your business’ success.

Know the market

Every market is unique. Thus, you’ll have to understand what makes you area different in order to build a profitable business.

Here, you should be able to gather as much information about beer drinkers (your prospective clients) and your competitors. As you learn more about your prospects and competitors, you’ll be able to come up with an effective marketing plan that would set you apart from these existing establishments, reach your target audience and penetrate the market.

Create your brand

Your brand is more than just a logo. It’s how you present your business to your customers. A great brand provides its clients with an interesting story. As you introduce your brand to the market, you’ll want to capture their attention and connect with your customers.

Once you capture their attention, this becomes the core of your identity. If possible, try to incorporate it through your marketing plan in order to create a more powerful presence.

Improve your product

More than anything, your product will be the center of your business. So, it is important to provide your customers with a great product. Also, device a plan on how to carry your brand story through the product you offer.

Create excitement among your customers

Getting your customers excited is an important aspect of your marketing plan. Execute your plans early on and engage beer drinkers to follow you until your launching day. A lot of beer drinkers get thrilled with the introduction of new breweries. By going with the right approach, you could easily create a buzz among the beer drinking community even before you start selling.

By putting up your own site combined with the power of social media, you can easily reach your target audience and provide them with the necessary information as you prepare for the launch of your brewery.


Carlsberg’s latest campaign gets you to share beers instead of links

Carlsberg can be quite creative when it comes to online advertisements such as this one but their latest drinks campaign in Belgium is another smart effort in promoting the brand. Creating an app called Tournée Digitale (Digital Tour), it encourages users to step away from their computers and meet their friends in person and share beers instead of links.

When you download the app, you are automatically entered into a competition where the winners get a free round of beer to share with their friends. When this happens, the app allows you to invite five of your friends to a Carlsberg event or party so you can share your drinks. You can give your Carlsburg drinks their very own name – so long as it ends with the suffix ‘sberg’ – when you’re sharing the free beers.

The final step of treating your friends is to share the news on your Facebook page about being treated by Carlsberg, thus promoting the brand to your other friends as well as a wider audience. The app is available for both iPhone and Android smartphones.

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3 Game Changers in Online Marketing

There are a lot of tools that promise to help, but the better approach may be to focus on the following three areas that every marketer needs to address if they want to succeed online

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1. Speed

Many websites are still under performing when it comes to speed, and there’s a measurable financial cost associated to this. Every second added to a website’s load decreases conversions by a massive 2% to 7% and reduces page views by 1% to 2%. Just as importantly, Google makes no secret of the fact that speed is part of its ranking process, meaning that a slow loading site is going to suffer in search results.

A fast website is, therefore, the first thing you need to ensure if you’re going to win in the increasingly competitive online retail world. There are basic, technical things you can do. For example, ensure your site is technically optimized.Also, check out your hosting and bandwidth providers and make sure that you’re not unnecessarily forcing users to download massive videos or images.

Another route to faster site speeds that’s being adopted by major players in web retail is the tag management system. Website tags are used by third-party technologies to track and control activity on a page. Many sites can have twenty or even thirty different tags per page, and each one of these will slow down a page’s loading speed. A tag management system can manage this process, speed up your site, and improve performance.

That said, speed isn’t just about the rate at which your pages load. The best companies are constantly evaluating and rolling out new approaches. To succeed, your marketing team needs to be working with your technical team to ensure that you can move quickly and make the most of the technologies and approaches that exist.

2. Customer View

Online shopping behavior is becoming more complex. Three quarters of customers use more than two points of contact to make a purchase, whether that is multiple visits to a single site or using different online and offline access methods. As a result, 25% of sales cycles take more than a month to complete from consideration to purchase.

During these extended purchase processes, there are hundreds of different influences, offers, social messaging, and other touch points that can influence a consumer decision. A user might visit your website initially, but then they might friend your Facebook page, see a display ad, visit through a search link, or head into your physical store. Retailers need to stay on top of this journey throughout its life cycle. You need to know what led to a customer buying something from your site and, more importantly, what led to them not buying.

The answer is to take a customer-centric view of your analytics, rather than a web-centric view. Traditionally, analyzing website traffic has been all about tracking individual visits to your website, but instead you need to think more broadly about what customers are doing that leads into their on-site experience.

Amazon does a great job of this, using all the information they have on you to ensure that their recommendations are almost always spot on. Similarly, Apple does a great job of integrating the in-store and online experience. They’ve taken the pain away from in-store lines with their remote iPhone-style checkouts. Would you like them to email you your receipt? Of course! And in doing so, you’ve just handed them valuable information about your purchase that they can use on their website.

 3. Personalization

Once you have a distinct understanding of your customer the next step is to see how you can personalize their experience. Personalization isn’t the same as recommendation. It’s not saying ‘you bought that so you might like this.’ It’s about building an online experience that’s truly personal and unique.

Imagine a store owner who knows you by your name, your size, your preferences, and hang ups. Imagine if you’re hesitating to buy a pricey shirt and they offer you quality reassurance or even a special offer if you’re about to walk away? What about if they can help you curate an outfit or even try it on? What if the store layout was adapted to your liking? What if you always walked into the Hugo Boss section? (Assuming that’s your cup of tea?).

This is personalization: The combination of bespoke design, layout, stock, and messaging. Some websites out there are starting to do this, but only a few so far. However, many websites still work on a site-wide change basis, changing everything for everyone. Research by Jim Manzi , has shown that only 10% of site-wide changes actually drive business change. True personalization relies on being able to serve the right content to the right segment at a specific time, nearly guaranteeing that your changes are going to drive results.

Of course, personalization isn’t a simple process, and it requires what could be the fourth game changer: automation. If you’re going to personalize for individual users effectively without killing your backstage team then you need to be able to customize on the fly based on the data you hold.


Mobile Usage in Travel on the Rise

In December 2012, I wrote a piece called The Mobile Revolution in Travel about recent trends and reports that painted what seemed to be an optimistic portrait regarding mobile adoption rates and its impact for the travel industry. Less than a year later, it appears as if reports were, if anything, very conservative: the growth is in fact staggering!


All the statistics show sheer growth, not only for smartphones but also tablets and other wireless devices, i.e. iPods. According to a recent study by Tradedoubler Insight Unit, tech-savvy European travelers are ignoring travel agents and instead using mobile and online sites to book their vacations. This study looked at the online behavior of 2,500 smartphone users from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Poland. Overall, 19% of these tech-savvy travelers booked their vacation through their mobile device. But if you dig a little deeper, you’d find that in the 25-34 years old demographics, 28% of users say they now book their holidays from the comfort of their mobile phone!

This should come as no surprise, though. Google Travel found that 25% of all online search for travel came from a mobile device at the end of 2012 and eMarketer predicts that this figure would jump up to 40% by the end of 2013. Well, lo and behold, it seems we’re already there! Looking at results gathered during Q1 2013 for the various hotels across North America managed by HeBS, a New York-based agency, we find that 39.5% of all online traffic came from either a smartphone or a tablet – in 89% of cases, an iPad.

Sources of Traffic and Revenue per Device Category

Source: The 3 Screens in Hospitality, Q1 2013, HeBS

As can be seen in the chart above, while there is a considerable amount of traffic generated from mobile devices, bookings & revenues remain a small fraction. Nevertheless, it now represents more than 10% of revenues, and growing! So much so, in fact, that PhoCusWright estimates it should reach20% of online travel dollars in the U.S. by end of 2014, when mobile bookings will reach US$25.8 billion.

Yet, another aspect that requires marketers’ attention is the fact that while bookings may remain on the lower end of the spectrum, mobile is increasingly important at the research level. Thus, travel brands should ensure they have optimal mobile sites and/or applications to properly capture their fair share of bookings, whether this eventually comes through a mobile device, laptop, desktop or even call center.This recent study and infographic from Mobiquity sheds some interesting insights on the matter.

How People Book After Researching


Share of time spent per day with major media by US adults, 2010-2013At the end of the day, however, we need to grasp and understand that mobile devices are taking an omnipresent role in our everyday life and that they represent more than just “another channel” to market, communicate or advertize through. In fact, eMarketer recently found that for the very first time, as of this year time spent on nonvoice mobile activities will surpass time spent online on desktop and laptop computers!

We have a much closer relationship with our mobile devices than we would with the office desktop or even a personal laptop. Some bring their smartphone with them to the washroom, others bring their tablet to bed for nighttime reading… it has therefore become a lifestyle item, above and beyond its useful and inherent attributes.

Some takeaways:

  • Not all mobile is mobile. Treat smartphones and tablets differently, and have a distinct strategy for each. Behavior and willingness to spend are not the same, whether in research mode or in booking mode, according to different devices.
  • Online travel agencies (OTAs) have taken a clear leadership in this space yet again, with mobile applications and mobile sites adapted, in some instances differently according to tablets or smartphones. Hotels, airlines, cruise lines, restaurants and destinations should take a few notes from their best practices.
  • Have a mobile marketing strategy in place and appropriate dollars to fund future initiatives. If it’s too late for 2013, then it’s certainly time to prioritize this for 2014 strategy planning sessions that are taking place in various travel brands headquarters right now…

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The power of mobile marketing for breweries

It seems that mobile tech has taken over the world. Everywhere you go, there are screens in hand providing information, communication and even entertainment. If there is one market space that has constantly mastered the art of advertising and recently mobile marketing campaigns, it is the beer market.

Budweiser is one company that has harnessed the full potential of mobile marketing. In one campaign, the company used QR Codes to put the customer in control of ‘Happy Hour’ while boosting beer sales. Another successful Budweiser campaign used the “Buddy Cup”. With the use of QR Codes and a chip that was placed inside every cup, people were able to connect up on Facebook and turn a beer in to a long lasting friendship.

Heineken, quickly understood the power of mobile campaigns and followed suit with a great ‘You make the call’ mobile campaign. The marketing team at Heineken couldn’t touch the bar scene as Budweiser already conquered the social playground, so they went for the next best thing, the stadium. Besides watching the game, everyone is having an ice cold one while screaming and offering advice to their team and Heineken hit the nail on the head with this one.

What was it that Heineken and Budweiser did correctly and resulted in non-stop engagement and interaction? They offered an experience, not a scan to generate engagement. These companies demonstrate that when done correctly, mobile marketing can be an invaluable tool for brewers. While the budgets of the larger beer makers might allow more reach and frequency, it’s valuable for the craft industry to watch-and-follow the trends.  Craft breweries can use similar tactics that are more influential based on their markets and local backyards.  Mobile, social and word of mouth marketing channels allow budget-conscious companies to really have an impact on the specific audience or demographic they are trying to reach.  What have been some of your most successful “word of mouth” strategies?


How to Use Social Media, Mobile Marketing, and SEO to Masterfully Market Craft Beer

This is a great article we found that talks about SEO, Mobile Marketing and Social Media for Craft Breweries!

Small, craft breweries make the stuff of life! They work hard to create concoctions that dazzle and delight the taste-buds. It’s a labor of love, a way of life, and a good business.

The craft beer industry employs an estimated 100,000 people and it grew by 12% in retail dollars in the first half of 2010, all while the mainstream beer market was down 2.2% in 2009. Those are pretty impressive statistics and show what can happen when a lot of passionate people get their message out and share their love for the craft.

When was the last time you went to buy beer at the supermarket or large liquor store? Beer choices can be daunting and seasonal brews can make it even more difficult to decide. There are pale ales, India pale ales, stouts, porters, wheat beers, and pilsners to choose from, among many others. Craft brewing in the U.S. is also very regional, with some breweries dominating a state, but not sending much out beyond its borders.

Craft breweries operate on small margins, though, and the there is a lot of competition. Unfortunately, beer marketing is expensive and cutthroat and small brewers must compete against multi-billion dollar companies that can get whatever they want from TV networks. So, enter social media. Craft brewers are utilizing social media to great result and creating waves of popular sentiment on Facebook & Twitter. Viral marketing is huge for small brewers of fine ales. Advertising on the social media and mobile platforms is inexpensive and targeted to the people that already love their microbrews. And, of course beer drinking is a naturally social phenomenon so people share information about their favorite beers and recommend them to their friends.

Generally, a microbrewery can afford to spend 2% of gross revenue on advertising. Social media marketing, search engine optimization, and mobile phone marketing campaigns generate the highest return on investment and are the easiest ways to get the word out quickly. Internet marketing is very targeted and broadcasts the message to people that are already interested in buying craft beer, connecting with other microbrew aficionados, and trying new beers.

Great blogs like The South Florida Beer Blog and Beer Therapy help get the word out about craft beer festivals, new brews, and events at local bars. Websites like Pintly and TapHunter help people find places that carry their favorite brews when they head out or go to a different city. Untapped is a mobile optimized site that is like a mini-Facebook/Foursquare for beer lovers that allows them to check into a bar and say what beer they’re drinking, and then connect with other enthusiasts.

The best way for a microbrewery to start using digital marketing effectively is to begin campaigns across the social media platforms, get into mobile marketing, and do search engine optimization.

I’ll outline the best basic strategy:

Step 1: Create a Facebook Fanpage and make custom tabs. Create a custom welcome page that invites the guest to “Like” the page and opt-in to the brewery’s email list. Also, make custom tabs to showcase each beer that the brewery produces. The custom pages set the brand apart from the crowd and get other fans to communicate with each other and with the brewers.

Step 2: Get into mobile marketing because it is the way of the future. Google and Facebook both are investing a lot of resources in the enhancement of mobile search and mobile marketing for small businesses and smart phone users. For now, it is a cheap way to get in front of a lot of people. Banner ads that appear on smart phones only cost about $.05/click. Furthermore, the best way to utilize mobile is with an SMS campaign. A brewery can generate a huge list of interested buyers with this method. First, create a campaign in which a user can send a mobile keyword, like “GOODBEER” to a shortcode, like “99999.” Once they opt-in, send them coupons and relevant, anticipated, and intelligent updates about seasonal beers, or craft beer festivals. There is much room to get creative with mobile, and the results are trackable so ROI is strong.

Step 3: Do diligent search engine optimization for the brewery’s website. It is important to always be found on the first page of Google for your beer’s best keywords. Make sure the site is always on top for local search terms since craft brewers tend to be regional. Make contacts with bloggers and comment on the sites of influential beer blogs with high page rank in order to get authoratative links back to your website.

All of this serves to attract, engage, and retain a lot of beer lovers. So for a reasonable outlay of cash and a potentially large return on investment, social media marketing and mobile marketing, along with search engine optimization, work perfectly to help America’s microbreweries sell more beer and make a lot more people happy doing it.

Now that you know how to begin your brewery’s digital marketing campaigns, when are you going to implement it?

Chances are that if you work with a craft brewery, this makes sense to you and you know that it is valuable. And, you know that you don’t have time to do it all because you’re wearing many hats. My company can do it for you. I am a life-long lover of craft beers and can help brewers market their brands in a crowded market place. Please contact me for a free assessment of your company’s current internet marketing presence and to get a plan for a powerful social media, mobile marketing, and SEO initiative for your business. I operate Breach Marketing in from Miami Beach, Florida, creating innovative, effective, profitable social media marketing and mobile marketing campaigns, as well as doing SEO for small businesses. I specialize in helping businesses that specialize in the good life — wineries, craft brewers, restaurants, bars, and tourism operators — succeed with their internet marketing initiatives.

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Mobile apps and push messaging drive engagement with attendees

We found this article and thought it would be great to share with you, even though it does not have to do with craft brewery, it shows how important and how fast the mobile marketing is happening.  People want to be apart of things, whether that is tennis, TV shows, of craft beers. The technology world is constantly growing and the companies that will succeed are the companies that can communicate with their audience. As a company owner it is very important to be able to communicate with my customers and get them involved. Take a look at this article to see what the Wimbledon is doing this year! We would love to hear your thoughts on mobile marketing!

This year’s annual Wimbledon tennis championships will have a dedicated mobile application that will enable attendees to track their favorite players and stay abreast of all the happenings via streaming video and radio.

Users will be able to track up to ten tennis players and receive push notifications on their progress throughout the tournament. Additionally, the app features an interactive map enabling users to find restrooms, restaurants and other amenities.

“They are trying to create a way to deeply engage tennis enthusiasts – those who are attending the events at Wimbledon as well as those who are not,” said Coleen Carey, vice president of product marketing at Urban Airship, Portland.

“They’ve created a really great experience that is compelling from a content perspective with a lot of video and radio, and this is the one-stop shop via the mobile device for everything you want to know about the Wimbledon games as well as deeply personalizing that by allowing an individual to go in and track their favorite players,” she said.

“It is really taking all of the benefits of mobile and the fact that not only is this a major worldwide event but a local event for those who attend and creating all points of information via that app.”

Urban Airship is providing the push notifications for the Championships Wimbledon 2013 app, which was built in partnership with the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club and IBM.

Real-time updates
The Wimbledon Championships take place June 24 – July 5.

Custom mobile apps designed specifically for live events are becoming more common as mobile adoption grows and organizers discover that mobile can drive deep engagement with attendees, who are away from home and their desktop computers but still want to be connected to information about an event.

For big events such as Wimbledon, push messaging can be used to remind users when a specific performance or match begins or inform users when there has been a change in the schedule.

Push messaging has also been used at several events in the past year to inform attendees in real-time when a dangerous thunderstorm was forecasted, for example.

Inherently mobile
Events such as Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, South by Southwest and last year’s London Olympics have all offered custom mobile apps that included push messaging with good results.

For example, the Lollapalooza app saw an opt-in rate for push messaging of around 90 percent. Additionally, users opened the app on average 15 times per day.

To read more on this article