Time Out reveals alcohol brands miss out on their most important influencers

Time Out reveals alcohol brands miss out on their most important influencers

Research into the influencers who are really driving alcohol purchasing presented at Millennial 20/20 conference in New York

Choosing the right type of influencer can make all the difference to driving alcohol purchasing decisions of millennials, according to research by Time Out, the trusted global brand for inspiring and enabling people to make the most of the city. The research also highlights that alcohol brands may be largely ignoring a new type of influencer, dubbed “makers”, who can have the biggest impact on driving action.

The findings, presented by Time Out at the Millennial 20/20 Summit in New York, suggest that alcohol brands’ advertising does a great job at the beginning and the end of the purchasing journey, raising awareness and communicating where to buy. However, it often fails to provide buyers with the reassurance they need during the exploration phase, when they decide if a product is right for them and when they make the decision to purchase. This is exactly when the right choice of influencer can play a key role.

Time Out’s extensive research into influencers revealed two distinct types, “shakers” and “makers”. While “shakers” are the influencers mainly targeted by marketing campaigns, those with large social followings and high visibility to raise awareness, it is actually “makers” who drive millennials through the alcohol purchasing journey. These are the whisky expert colleagues, or the friends who always know about the latest bar openings that you turn to for more knowledgeable advice. “Makers” have smaller social networks than “shakers” but are the go-to people for recommendations in their social circle. In short, they are about depth and making things happen and can help millennials navigate the crowded brand landscape. It’s this group that’s often neglected by brands despite being much more effective at driving action.

In fact, the new research uncovered that in the alcohol industry, “makers” with their knowledge and close personal influence are 31% more effective than their “shaker” counterparts at giving millennials confidence and thus driving action and purchasing decisions.

Justin Etheridge, Chief Revenue Officer of Time Out, commented: “The millennial consumer is by far the most valuable for alcohol brands but with the fast rise of technology and their hunger for experience they are certainly becoming one of the most complex audiences to understand and reach. Our research found that millennials pay more attention to influencers than their older Gen X cousins.

As Time Out’s audience is made up of a large proportion of “makers”, we can provide advertising clients with access to this rare group of influencers, which can directly impact their millennial target audience’s purchase decisions. So we create and promote brand moments for our clients both locally as well as nationally that span content, video, social media, digital and print advertising and most importantly uniquely credible events – because while “makers” crave knowledge, information isn’t enough, it needs to provoke talkability.”

Time Out’s 360-degree approach to integrated marketing programs in action: How Time Out targeted makers for Tequila Herradura – the “Meet The Bartender” campaign

The challenge: Time Out was challenged to bring the new Tequila Herradura global campaign, “Luck Is Earned”, to life locally. The objective was to highlight the true spirit and authenticity of Tequila Herradura through raw, undiscovered talent.

The strategy: Time Out took a 360-degree approach with a heavy focus on experiential events which targeted millennials and engaged “makers” in the alcohol space.

The campaign partnered with three New York and two New Jersey bartenders to film “luck is earned”, a docustyle cocktail video content. Consumers could then use a custom voting hub to interact with videos and vote for their favorites. This was supported by promoted content on Time Out’s Facebook and Instagram channels as well as through digital and print advertising, where Time Out ran supporting media around the entire “Meet the Bartender” campaign.

The campaign concluded with hosting five consumer happy hours featuring Herradura cocktails and a live consumer “Meet the Bartender” pop up finale event with signature cocktails and all five bartenders.

The results: Tequila Herradura delivered as part of the campaign direct samplings to nearly 600 consumers and gained new points of distribution. Time Out ran media traffic drivers locally across digital and social channels to promote and engage targeted A21+ consumers in and around the New York City area, delivering nearly seven million impressions to the Time Out audience which includes a large proportion of millennials and “makers” (one in two Time Out consumers is an influencer, of these, 66% are “makers”).

Millenial 20/20 infographic 2017