Why Marketing Matters For Beer

Marketing is communication.

When you know who your ideal client is – what is that persona [specific attributes] of who you want engaged in your brand – you can get really clear on your marketing strategy.

  • Strategy is the road map; your trip (business goals) planned out.
  • Tactics get plugged in after the broad scope strategy is mapped out; tactics are the actual steps to how to execute your marketing plan (strategy).

Are you seeing how it’s all related?

Plans lead to maximum return on investment of effort with proper forethought and investment of time, talent and energy. Then your dollars and time go farther, as you’ve got a clarity and directions you’re going. On purpose. For a purpose.

Marketing is a necessary part of all businesses. Only fools think you don’t have to, need to market – or that it’ll all happen via word of mouth. Word of mouth is still the result of your marketing efforts, no matter what they be.

Some beer businesses wrongly think that having or making beer is enough. It’s not. Simply having isn’t marketing; it’s only having. All business entities, of all varieties under IRS codes, must make money to survive. Whether you’re granting it all out to others, or plowing it back into the entity or keeping it for yourself. making money – making progress and staying in the game you’ve chosen to play – is the name of the game.

Said another way, smart business that happen to be in the beer world, understand marketing for its elemental contribution and seat at the table of the entity. It’s why you are in business to begin with – who is your market – who are you serving – who do you do what you do. That’s all marketing.

Marketing is essential to all business endeavors. Heck, it’s part of personal endeavors as well. Communication always has been and always will be.

Marketing beer matters. Do it well, do it right and you’ll see what it matters. 

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Parade Marketing Insights

Do you ever participate in parades? If you do, you’ll want to get in touch for the outline of Parade Marketing Insights from me.

Yesterday I delivered a workshop at the invite of my local Chamber expressly addressing smart, effective & green parade ideas. In years past, the conventional and stupid (yes, I’ll say that) practice of handing out flyers and candy has been the standard.

image courtesy of Graham Lewis

image courtesy of Graham Lewis

Why? ‘Cause “people like it.” Not so if you’re looking to be smart business wise and conscientious to Mother Earth. The practice needs to be nipped all the way to the roots.

The participants who invested their time walked away with immediately useful tactics to employ – well beyond the parade focus. In fact, one of my local colleagues didn’t realize it was bent towards parade participation. They simply saw it as an opportunity to learn more about marketing. Brilliant!!

Marketing is communication. Communication creates memories and experiences which drive success and sales.

Anytime you can find education that helps you grow from a credible source for pay and for free or sponsored, GO. We all must keep learning to stay viable in our societies. The best and most credible teachers are always going to school in some way.

Thanks & cheers to a great 4th!

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Making It Tough For Customers To Find You

Are you only on Facebook? Having a page can be valuable only if you already have a webpage first.

Are you only on Twitter? Instagram? Pinterest? All of these are the same as above. How the heck do you expect people to fully access the information about you, to patronize you if you don’t have a universally available website first….this is a rhetorical query.

Here’s how you do it:

1. Website. Hire a pro to help you create a professional, brand image reflection online. A simple landing page with contact information is sufficient to start AND you must have one. Name (first and last), direct phone number, direct email ([email protected] is really impersonal by the way), street address for any brick and mortar, and hours of operation.

2. Website. Hire a pro to create a simple website with the pages necessary to really communicate your core message, products and services, and provide necessary contact information.

3. Website. Hire a pro to develop a world-class website that will serve your customers and audiences for years to come. Knowing that sites are dynamic, factor in review and updates as well.

Does this look like the person trying to find your website??

Does this look like the person trying to find your website??

By the way – The argument of “I don’t have any money for a website” is a load of crap. If you have a vested interest in the success of yourself and endeavors, then you budget and allocate the money. This is a critical marketing piece, people. Marketing properly is not optional – it’s foundational.

By the way – Interview web developers first – never go on complete faith or recommendations. Get recommendations from qualified people first, then interview, then sleep on it and decide.

By the way – Hiring a pro to develop your site is one of the best investments you can make with your dollars. People are very wise to what “looks good” and what looks amateur on-line. You can’t afford to screw your online presence up with sub par work. And it’s extremely difficult to turn around a bad first impression if you have a shoddy site first then change to a professional site.


1. Investigate other avenues. Websites are free and universally available TO EVERYONE. If you want to explode your audience potential, business revenue and returns and really run an operation right, get your website first.

2. Make sure the other avenues enhance and augment. I find it incredibly insulting, stupid and aggravating that organizations and companies will only have Facebook or other formats. Seriously, it repels me since I am not on Facebook (I stopped by happy choice). So now what they’ve done is eliminate my ability to communicate.

Did I mention hiring a pro? If you want it to look like an accomplished 8th grader or college sophomore did it, fine. Sit and wait for the damage to be done. If the 8th grader or sophomore is that talented and puts forth fully professional work, pay them. DO NOT barter or otherwise denigrate their abilities. Plus a transaction in a relationship sets a higher tone of expectations and business.

So – to all of you who have websites first: YES!! Keep them sharp, updated and current.

To all of you who only use a non-public membership sign-in format, I’ll take my business elsewhere. Why are you limiting your potential and alienating future customers?

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31 Facets of Women & Beer: Facet #25

As per the previous post – social responsibility – let’s get to Fiscal Responsibility for Facet #25.

Being fiscally responsible resonates large and loud with women. Here’s why.

Alarm for women = fiscal irresponsibility

Many women are heads of households. We already know they control and determine 80 – 85% of all purchases in the USA. They want to make good fiscal decisions themselves. And they want to support businesses who run financially sound operations.

When they shop and therefore when they are in the market to buy beer (on or off sale) they will be much more likely to support businesses they know to be fiscally responsible. If they know the company is sound and in the black, consumer confidence goes up and stays up. When they hear or feel like things are shaky – weeelllll…they may just divert their attention and dollars to a company they do know to be sound. Or at least one they have not heard is running in the red.

How do you communicate this in a tasteful manner? Talk about it on your site (yes, you must have a site…that is managed and monitored on a regular basis…). Share with them, as is appropriate, different things you do with your dollars, causes you support, money you’ve given to the community WHILE running an in-the-black business. As long as you are tactful and not boastful, sharing the general state of your financial situation is a big positive to women consumers.

Fiscal responsibility runs at the surface for women. No matter their income levels, women want to buy with confidence. Knowing your beer brand is solid goes a long way towards her continued and future purchases.

31 Facets of Women & Beer Series starts here

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31 Facets of Women & Beer: Facet #17

Do you know how to communicate with women? Communication is Facet 17 – although it should perhaps prioritarily be number one.

Do you know what women want? Communicate with them and find out.

Communication makes the world go round. It lubricates relationships, facilitates good deeds, and is directly tied to women and their relationship with beer.

Ask yourself and your brand, very specifically:

Do you know how the women who do or want to or who may have a potential drive to support your brand want to be communicated with?

If you don’t, start asking.

Talk with women, solicit information from them on this very thing. How, when, where, frequency and how much. Women will tell you how often, in what format, and with which vehicles they wish to hear from you and about your beers.

The old saw of not knowing what the heck women want is only true if you don’t ask them.

31 Facets of Women & Beer Series starts here

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Importance Of An Up To Date Website

Today’s topic hits home, particularly: Having an up to date website.

Forgive our recent silence as we were going through this very thing (and still finishing up on all parts of the site).

It’d been a while coming for us to take care of a few internal site workings so late last week we got to it. And it’s one arena of business and life I feel unsure of. We all want and ‘need’ to have the online part of life. However, when it’s not quite right and you’re in the middle of something that may be impeded due to updates and maintenance, well – it’s hard to be patient.

And patient we must be.

And there are many talented people available to hire to help you – ask around for a few recommendations. Even if you’re unsure like me, finding the right person to help is key. Here’s one excellent choice.

Make it easy for people to find you

A successful online presence is important, ne – critical, to some this day in age. It’s the yellow pages of days past and if you want to be findable for your customers, you must be online. Somehow and in some way.

Keep in mind that while you may own, run and operate the site, websites and all forms of online media are about the customer. The person who is engaging in the conversation. They need to be able to find you, dig around, make choices and have the info at their fingertips to either support you or find what they need elsewhere.

Having spoken at the NBWA convention again this year on women, craft beer buyers and social media, I have found the feedback on the realization that a website is the first step to be very encouraging. Many distributors in particular and really small breweries don’t have sites. GASP! Get yourself a simple info based, nicely designed site up no later than when you open your doors (however virtual or brick and mortar you may be).

An up to date website is a key part of doing business today. And most likely will be for the foreseeable future. Keep it up to date, make it simple, and get the info out there for your waiting customer.

Tip: Schedule time every month to review at least one of your pages, if you don’t already have the right dedicated person to keep it up to date daily.


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Mind Share

Are you top of mind? As a brewery, beer business or even consumer? How do you stay top of mind?

The post today is inspired by the fact that my hands are busy with pen and paper. Actually today is one of a few days that I’m spending on follow up and follow through per last week’s Craft Brewers Conference.

It’s important to let people know you appreciated their time, energy and attention. Hard copy mail gets people’s attention – and I can tell you, based on women’s research around beer, women like hard copy mail when appropriate and not spam (or too often or ….)

It’s a fabulous complement to all the (sometimes very) impersonal online communications. I’m saying: Use Both. Online and offline combine sweetly to share your message, encourage patronage and in general let people know you value them as customers.

There are guiding principals to follow when communicating with women, in any format. Do you know how to get that information – the info that will direct you to successful communication with women? Figure it out, or have someone like WEB help you if needed, and reap more top of mind share.

Now, if you’ll excuse, back to pen and paper I go.

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What Women Want Series: Part 7 – Proper Communication

Women vote for your brand with their dollars

Communicate regularly in the way that the female consumer wants to be reached.

Ask them what they prefer and then honor that request.  Maintain your contact avenues very regularly (culling and updating email/mail lists, etc.) and know with what frequency they want to be touched.

In this day and age, permission marketing is even more important than ever. Making sure women get what they want as far as advertising and marketing is critical to them engaging in your brand.


Well, everyone has a full day, yes? And we all get the same 24/7/365. Many women seem to still juggle more in terms of daily chores, duties, and responsibilities with family and work and…. If you contact women when they want to be contacted, how they want to be contacted and in what medium they prefer, you’ll get waaaaaay farther than just throwing darts in the dark.

One size does not fit all and one communication method does not fit all of today’s patrons.

Is your beer in her shopping bag?

Plus if you’re not savvy about how your message is reaching them, you stand to irritate, alienate and loose potentially valuable female patrons. Talk to them and ask them ‘How would you like to be communicated with from Brewery ABC?’ It takes only a few minutes of time and has enormous pay off potential.

Know that there is no one universal communication style answer that fits even the majority of women. Some like Internet contact, some prefer hard copy mail, and still some only want to investigate themselves when they’re interested. Knowing this about the female consumer will help you earn and keep their business.

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