AB InBev adopts ‘mobile first’ strategy

AB InBev is shifting its marketing mindset to focusing on how campaigns work on mobile devices ahead of other channels as part of a wider digital drive to reach millennials through localised content.

Budweiser owner AB InBev will create brand campaigns for mobile devices first ahead of other channels.

The change stems from the growing number of consumers interacting with brands such as Budweiser and Stella Artois from their mobile devices, according to the business. It means all campaigns in 2014 will be developed based on how the experience will resonate with fans on mobile devices before then being developed for other channels. 

It is spearheading the mobile movement through investments in the on-trade, mobile wallet tie-ups, retail, interactive tap handles, connected devices and ad targeting.

To accelerate the take-up, the brewer has set up two teams – a digital execution team and a strategic unit – to work in tandem on cascading the approach to all its markets. The hubs will be supported by the company’s data lab, which launched earlier this year in partnership with the University of Illinois.

It is trialing advertising solutions that will take its brands from solely targeting specific demographics with the same promotion, to narrower groups within particular markets as well as interest categories and alcohol consumption habits.

The brewer hopes the changes will allow it to minimize wastage from paid media campaigns, a move first started in 2012 when it began moving ad budgets from TV to social media to boost overall campaign effectiveness. It says Facebook advertising is “positively ” impacting sales, claiming it now generates six dollars for every one dollar spent.

AB InBev is banking on local content to set it apart from rivals in the digital arena next year. The brewer is piloting marketing platforms that allow its teams to capture and then seed content at events to local fans via its social media channels. Rival Carlsberg installed a similar platform earlier this year to extend the reach of its own advertising campaigns but AB InBev wants to use the tool to maximise its sports sponsorships and Budweiser music activity.

Elsewhere, the brewer says it plans to gain share of food occasions from the wine category through upcoming campaigns while also ramping up efforts to win over female drinkers.