Drinks brand and outlet operators have to harness the power of customer and sales data if they are to survive and thrive in today’s digitally enabled age.
That was the theme that characterised both the offerings of exhibitors, alongside the best practice shared in during the presentation sessions that informed the International Drinks Expo (IDE), held in London recently.
The challenges topping the agenda of attendees gathered at London ExCeL included how to both use and compete with digital to maximise footfall, dwell time, covers and the value of an average sale.
Rachel Ann Kreis, Geoblink Vice President of Marketing and Outbound, was just one of the expert speakers on hand to highlight the challenges faced by drinks operators and brands when it comes to acquiring and retaining customers nowadays.
Kreis said the drinks retail ecosystem is at a tipping point, where 25% of the UK’s pubs have closed since 2001. In response, she predicted that intelligent location management would be key to success in future.
Drawing on exclusive research, she explained how 87% of drinks retailers say location is the most critical factor to their ongoing success. So, understanding the role that location plays in customer acquisition will be key.
Customer data holds the keys to success
Sam Brown, Wireless Social Sales Director, stressed how important customer, alongside location and sales data is to understanding customer value behaviour, to tailor marketing campaigns to specific demographics.
He also pointed out how powerful the combination of secure public Wi-Fi and an incentive to use it, like a promotion, can give drinks operators the ability to prove the success of own or branded marketing campaigns.
Mark Comer, Commercial Finance Director at Loungers PLC (and Cosy Clubs), pointed to the value of new sources of customer and location-related data analysis. He stressed that data is everywhere but doesn’t add value in isolation.
Mark outlined how data-based analysis has helped Loungers to fine-tune the business insight it uses to grow from a single suburban site in a Bristol to a national operator with 160 sites listed on the AIM stock exchange.
Loungers’ ‘flex budget’ model for example allows each site to have a unique budget based on sales performance, layout and sales mix. “We now better understand where our money is going,” said Comer.
Multi-merchant promotions drive sales
Eagle Eye’s very own Brands Business Development Manager, Catherine Titherington, also tackled key drinks operator and brand issues in her keynote, asking, “should we be raising the drinks bar on digital activations?”
Titherington said: “We’ve moved away from the days of static campaigns, where real-time optimisation allows for campaign optimisation on-the-fly to maximise results, including raising brand awareness and sales.”
She added that tracking branded drinks campaign end-to-end performance starts with raising awareness and engagement but must then facilitate the issuance of promotions via multi-merchant redemption solutions.
Tracking the redemption data in comparison to the rate of sales, as well as new and incremental customer acquisition, makes it possible to track the propensity to repurchase along with long-term investment returns.