Real World & Digital Marketing Beverage Trends-2024

marketing trends seen in 2 monitors

By: Hanifa Sekandi

The beverage race requires a lot of grit and stamina. It is about the long game and certainly not short wins. Although, every brand aspires to be the viral brand of the moment. What the alcoholic beverage industry learned in 2023 is that not all trends are beneficial to your bottom line. Also, your consumer values quality more than social acclaim. Let’s be honest: online growth is integral to modern marketing success. Although out-of-home (OOH) marketing is still viable, it must be coupled with innovative digital marketing strategies.

  So, where do you start in your next marketing cycle? Now that you have wrapped up your holiday marketing campaign, a new year brings endless opportunities to become a standout brand or to keep your current notoriety.

Where the Real World Meets the Digital World

  Subliminal marketing will never get old. Although some consider it to be an archaic marketing strategy, it is not. Have you ever walked or driven by a billboard of a chicken sandwich by a popular food chain and then later that day see the same ad while you scroll through social media? By the end of the week, when that hunger strikes, it is likely that you will find yourself either making a chicken sandwich with a recipe you stumbled upon on TikTok or firing up your food delivery app to order one.

  Traditional marketing still works, although it is hard to measure the return on your investment with tangible metrics. Remember, before the digital world took over, advertisers spent a lot of time creating campaigns for magazines, billboards, benches, buses or anywhere they could display. It worked, and it still does. What digital advertisers understand from this method is that the more people see something, the more likely they are to gravitate toward it when they are browsing through beverage options at the store. Something new is always worth a try when it is familiar.

  A notable example of this is when Red Bull filled garbage bins with empty cans of Red Bull. They also had empty cans placed outside of London’s popular clubs while at the same time distributing their beverage to DJs. Simple but amazingly effective.

  Another fitting example of this is Taiwan Beer’s use of Honey Beer Drones to deliver complimentary six packs of Honey Beer, the brand’s new beverage, to those who registered on their website. As a result, within just 10 days, 15,000 people subscribed. This interactive guerilla marketing strategy worked well because it highlighted the use of honey in the beer and added a visual effect that people could see, film, share and talk about. It also added another great component: delivery through drones, and tech aficionados approved of this creative delivery tool. Both brands understood that real-time marketing strategies allow consumers to feel connected to the brand.

  As you look ahead at your marketing strategies, keep in mind that people are expecting more than just digital strategies. Also, the assumption that your consumer only exists in the digital world is erroneous. With that said, digital marketing does matter. It is up to you to do the research to discern what digital strategy will best position your beverage in this competitive landscape. Hopefully, your brand mission and messaging clearly define your “why” – why your brand was made just for your intended consumer, and your “who,” – who your consumers are. How does your brand complement their lifestyles and their buying decisions when they purchase an alcoholic beverage?

Beverage Marketing in the Digital World

  Welcome to the modern digital world. It is not old, but honestly, it feels new since every day, there is something new on the horizon. Currently, AI technology is said to disrupt modern-day advertising. As you begin to adopt some of these tools, do not get carried away. Remember, these tools are meant to enhance your digital marketing strategy and, in some cases, streamline processes so you can spend time on other tasks. So, what are digital trends to implement into your next marketing cycle in the new year?

Video Marketing: Creating compelling visual marketing is no longer an afterthought. Companies need to invest in the talent and tools to create videos, both long and short-form clips, to highlight online. Consider these videos as mini commercials that can be uploaded to your social media channels or used as strategically placed ads. Your marketing team should perform A/B testing on the desired platform to see which videos are worthwhile paid ads. You may find that some videos perform quite well on Instagram as a reel, while others perform better on TikTok, YouTube or Facebook. Many great and easy-to-use marketing tools allow you to create videos. The benefit of these tools is that they allow you to create a lot of visual content and allocate your marketing budget effectively. Video marketing should also include testimonials by real consumers.

Curated Marketing: As you know, it is a numbers game, so your company must understand analytics to develop marketing campaigns that target specific consumers. Email marketing campaigns fall short when you do not invest the time to understand your customers. Paired with mobile marketing, having a good grasp of analytics and using this data to create personalized marketing campaigns will improve your open rate and engagement. For example, some consumers prefer to receive newsletters that feature sales and discounts, whereas others enjoy reading blogs that are informative while also displaying your product. There are many CRM tools for marketing now. Finding one that works for your team should top your list as the new year approaches. For example, HubSpot and Klaviyo are great tools for segmented marketing campaigns.

Real World Beverage Marketing

  Once you have a digital marketing strategy, devise a real-world marketing strategy to enhance and complement it. You may also choose to start with OOH marketing strategies before you delve into digital ones, but the two are needed for a complete package. In addition, you cannot assume that your digital strategy is the only golden ticket to success. If your goal is to be in the alcoholic beverage sector for the long haul, it is best not to rely solely on one strategy. Although spending time online has become the modern-day norm, it does not account for the real-time moments that people experience in their daily lives. Endcaps at grocery stores, miniature bottles placed by the cash counter or free samples or coupons handed out on the way into a store create real-world experiences for consumers. Earned marketing builds trust. Other than advertising in magazines or utilizing display ads, what are other ways to market your brand in real-time?

Experiential Events: Create experiential events where people can taste your beverage. This is a common strategy by agencies when marketing to the press and influencers. Instead, invite your consumer to these events! Partner with bars and restaurants to create events such as tastings or food pairing menus that highlight your beverage. Most hotel bars and restaurants have happy hours. Offer to sponsor a happy hour. Not only does this encourage these establishments to carry your beverage, but it also creates a fruitful partnership. They are also more likely to recommend your drink to customers, as well.

Think Outside the Box, OOH Marketing: The more you are seen, the more likely you will become an option. Some brands have cut down their marketing budgets in this regard. Understandably, digital marketing appears to be the most viable strategy. Do not get lost in the idea of going viral. It is nice to have, but consider it as luck of the draw. Just make a high-quality product and build authentic, evergreen marketing strategies. Reserve some of your expenditure for OOH Marketing. Oddly enough, these ads make their way into the digital sphere if they are buzzworthy.

  A splendid example is Corona’s billboard display in Brighton, Great Britain. When Corona wanted to highlight that their beverage is made with natural ingredients, they painted a wall with their brand’s classic yellow and placed the signature Corona label in the center. At a specific time, when the position of the sun changed, between 6:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m., a bottle overlay of beer appeared along with text that said, “made from the natural world.” During this time, people could view the classic Corona bottle. Now, this is not only something to talk about but also a great intersection of digital marketing via social shares. 

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