AB InBev steps up social media efforts

AB InBev has signalled its intent to exploit the potential of social media followers by promoting global CRM chief Hugo Hanselmann to oversee its online consumer relationship strategy.

Budwesier

Hanselmann fills a vacancy created earlier this year when global director for digital connections Erin Matts left to become chief digital marketing officer at media business Glam Media.

He was previously the brewer’s global director for CRM and licensed merchandise. In a consolidation move, Hanselmann will keep those responsibilities and add the digital roles to his title.

The new role will see Hanselmann assume responsibility for developing the brewer’s Fans First social media strategy, which it has backed to replace traditional channels such as television as its primary outlet for developing marketing campaigns. He will also focus on developing the brewer’s customer relationships on mobile and web TV shows.

The decision to merge these roles is likely to place a greater focus on strategies that turn the brewer’s online followers into more engaged advocates.

Chris Burggraeve, chief marketing officer at the Stella Artois and Budweiser maker, told Marketing Week earlier this year that advocates on its Facebook page are “potentially” more valuable than non-fans.

In March, the company said social media, which accounted for almost a fifth (18%) of its marketing budget last year, was a key driver in a 4.1% revenue lift in 2011.

Prior to joining AB Inbev, Hanselmann worked for Daimler in Asia and Europe where he held various marketing related roles.

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