Nielsen Offers Alcohol Marketing Insights

by , Jan 2, 2013, 6:43 PM
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Effective marketing by alcoholic beverage makers and retailers demands a nuanced understanding of varied mindsets and behaviors within consumer demographic segments, as well as behavioral differences seen within beverage categories.

A new Nielsen Category Fundamentals study offers insights on these dynamics.

Differing by-category purchasing behaviors represent significant marketing tactic opportunities, according to the study. 

For example, while decisions to buy alcoholic beverages are planned in 69% of instances, “niche categories such as pre-mixed cocktails and flavored malt-based beverages reflect a pronounced shift to more impulse behavior,” reports Nielsen. That means that while pre-store marketing is still important for brand awareness, focused in-store efforts can be very effective in driving unplanned purchases.

Other by-category insights:

*Spirits purchases are generally planned, but consumers typically postpone those purchases until they are going out to make other purchases (spirits purchases themselves trigger only 39% of the trips). Takeaway: Combining alcohol marketing communications with consumer packaged goods is key in activating spirits purchases. 

*Traditional or mainstream domestic beer drinkers (who consume 78% of these purchases on the same day) exhibit high levels of purchase planning and habitual in-store behavior. Occasion marketing -- highlighting a variety of suggestions for settings in which to consume and share beers -- is an effective tactic for breaking through this habitual behavior.

*Craft beer consumers are much more impulsive, frequently making purchases without having a specific occasion in mind. They are notably receptive to in-store marketing, including highlighting of specialty and seasonal beers.

*Wine drinkers are explorers, and make their purchase decisions in-store. Compared to beer and spirits, a high level (37%) of wine purchase decisions are made in-store. Furthermore, 70% of specific wine-purchase decisions or selections are made at the shelf. However, wine drinkers explore, research and engage with the category between store trips, so word-of-mouth marketing and advertising that yields high recall -- as well as sampling and in-store marketing -- can significantly boost sales in this category. 

On the demographics front, Nielsen reports that in contrast to the “autopilot” alcoholic beverages purchasing behavior of Boomers, Millennials are experimental, and responsive to in-store displays, promotions and new-product launch marketing.

Hispanic consumers are highly engaged with -- and influenced by -- pre-store marketing, including social media, particularly when messaging is tailored.

And while differences are more nuanced within alcoholic beverage categories, in general, males not only purchase more of these beverages than females, but tend to be more influenced by current marketing/advertising efforts. Females are less engaged with both pre-store and in-store marketing, and more likely to purchase alcohol at the request of another person.

 "Couple Wine Shopping photo from Shutterstock" 

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