Bacardi’s head of digital Peter Clare believes 2013 has to be the year that social media starts to generate profit in its own right. Looking to the year ahead, Clare told The Drum that the digital revolution means all businesses will have to continue to evolve their marketing strategies in order to stay relevant, claiming 2013 will be the year that “mobile becomes a primary focus” and that “social media has to start providing ROI”.
As head of digital at Bacardi, Clare takes responsibility for the brands “over-arching digital strategy, social media channels, websites, search, mobile, and digital media planning”. He also works with the Bacardi team to “integrate digital ideas and practices into activity they’re implementing,” which includes things like “building mobile sites allowing consumers to instantly enter an on-pack promotion,” additionally Clare works as a “digital consultant on Bacardi Martini’s other key brands such as Grey Goose and Bombay Sapphire, and help up-skill the wider marketing team in all things digital”.
With a view to increasing its market share in the rum category throughout the year on top of growing brand awareness of its new product Bacardi OakHeart, digital and social media are becoming essential tools for a brand like Bacardi to build meaningful, direct relationships with consumers, says Clare.
“As our products are sold via third parties - supermarkets, pubs etc. - it’s vital we build brand health and sales via direct relationships with the target market,” he adds.
In recent months Bacardi has been taking steps to increasingly associate itself with music concerts and television shows, even taking home a bronze in the Branded Content and Entertainment Lions category at Cannes Lions 2012 for its association with ‘The Dewarists’, a musical television series on Star World India which is part music documentary, part travelogue. Circulated reports suggest Bacardi is ramping up its digital focus for the year ahead with the brand speculated to invest 15 per cent of its total marketing budget solely on digital.
According to Clare digital’s increasing dominance means brands will have to seriously consider “the way they sell their products, the channels they use to talk to customers and the selection of media channels". Adding: “What I hope happens in 2013 is that more CEO’s and CMO’s get their hands dirty, get involved in social media, come on the digital training courses and talk at digital conferences”.
Clare also predicts that creating integrated campaigns will get harder this year as “big tech companies go to war, Google vs. Amazon, Facebook vs. Twitter, and Microsoft vs. Everyone” explaining that though this will make consumer journey’s more complex it will ultimately improve media buying deals for brands, which will be of benefit as FMCG marketers move their focus to selling online.
Speaking of his position as a judge at this year’s Drum Marketing Awards, Clare says he is most looking forward to the “Digital Strategy and Social Media Strategy categories,” and explains that what he’ll be looking for from entrants is good ideas more than anything else.
“At the heart of any great marketing there is normally a good idea, something consumers want to be a part of, works well through a range of channels and delivers for the business. I’ve seen a lot of good work (and some not so good!) whilst working at some very successful brands, hopefully this will give me the experience to spot marketing that both inspires consumers and delivers positive business results,” he says.
Deadline to enter The Drum Marketing Awards is 25 January and will include categories such as Marketing Services Company of the Year, Global Brand Strategy of the Year, Customer Insight Strategy of the Year, Digital Strategy of the Year, and Sponsorship Strategy to name a few.