During April 2020, Brand Reveal ran the "Day After" survey to understand the impact of the C19 crisis on the Marketing Mix of wines and spirits. This third article (out of 6) highlights the views of 79 industry professionals on the Communication evolution in wines & spirits. The key message : Digital and Purpose.
With no surprise, Social Media and digital communications show the highest level of investment intentions. On the other hand, there is a low appetite to grow presence in non-digital channels and events. This will most probably take shape through budget reallocation as Marketing Budgets are not likely to grow (see 6th article on Budget and Resources).
The growth of importance of the digital channel is not new news but it appears clearly in respondents intentions. If anything, the crisis is accelerating a transformation, which in turn will require know-how in planning, targeting, creativity, execution and ROI measurement.
Nearly half of the survey respondents are not willing to increase presence in public events or festivals. This can be of concern in an industry where presence and social interaction are key. This also flags the need for clear ROI approach to justify this type of activities.
The Survey did not cover brand specific message topics, but we asked about societal themes. Responses show a high level of interest towards social causes, charities and environment with nearly one out of two responses interested in these areas. This may have been made more acute by the Covid 19 situation as illustrated by the number of spirits companies contributing to the crisis management (hand disinfectants…) or wine brands already engaged in environmental support.
Overall, the C19 situation seems to accelerate the use of Digital Channels in communication. If in the past years "Digital" was often seen as a complement to "classic media", perhaps it will now become the main route to reach consumers hearts and minds. On the message content, Brands with a Purpose was a trend that many FMCG started embracing a few years ago. The challenge for brands will be to bind societal causes with the key brand benefit in a relevant way.