eBev 2017

Pernod Ricard VP of consumer insights: Use data to target the consumer journey

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pernod ricard Jameson irish whiskey

The biggest opportunities for the alcohol industry lie in successfully targeting the consumer journey and purchase occasions through data, according to Pernod Ricard VP of consumer insights & planning.

“Data is critically important, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a means to an end. It points us in the right direction,”​ Tim Murphy said at eBev 2017 in Las Vegas.

“The true opportunity is targeting. Really being able to focus on a specific consumer, a specific occasion, and a specific behavior which actually brings the data to life.”

Free Wi-Fi in bars

Pernod Ricard, which makes a number of alcohol brands including Jameson and Glenlivet, realized the importance of understanding consumers’ consumption behavior at the bar.

“Access to the consumer at the bar is such a great opportunity, but it is one that we’re struggling with,” ​Murphy said.

To reach consumers, Pernod Ricard has worked with multiple bars in the Chicago area and in other parts of Illinois to offer free Wi-Fi service on behalf of one of its brands.

“The beauty was once we got that critical mass of consumers in the database, we were able to test different messages,”​ he said.

By providing Wi-Fi service to various bar customers, Pernod Ricard was able to test the effectiveness of more specific proximity-based messaging vs. broader global messaging.

The company found that when they engaged with consumers at the point of purchase at the bar with relevant messaging such as drink promotions, the engagement rate and return visits to the bar increased.

Weather events and gifting

Beverage companies can also use data to target specific occasions to reach consumers, which Pernod Ricard learned from working with alcohol home-delivery service Drizly who had one of their highest sales days right before a New York City snowstorm.

“When snow is forecast, you want to hibernate, generally you want to drink too, but you don’t want to go out to the store,”​ Murphy said.

“So we put together a fairly simple weather–triggered campaign.”

When temperatures dropped to a certain level, Pernod Ricard would send out a message to Drizly subscribers with a cocktail recipe that called for one of their spirits bands as an ingredient.

Gifting alcohol is also another occasion-based opportunity: as 90% of consumers give the gift of spirits at least once per year and 25% gift alcohol more than five times per year, according to Murphy.

He added that the majority of alcohol gifts are spontaneous, made two or three days in advance or even on the day of purchase. 

Additionally, alcohol brands should think outside major holidays and instead focus on tapping into the consumer mindset for more frequent social gatherings like dinner parties or celebrating a promotion.

“The opportunity is in those everyday occasions,”​ Murphy said. 

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