The craft alcohol industry is growing quickly. Which means it is becoming more important for small brands to stand out against the competition. In order to achieve success in this crowded market, craft alcohol makers need to create comprehensive marketing plans that are tailored specifically to their target customers.
Every craft alcohol brand has business goals, but not every brand knows how to turn those business goals into an actionable marketing plan.
Spoiler alert – sporadic fits of marketing attempts or only thinking about marketing when you really need it to work are NOT the path to success!
Creating a marketing plan might seem like an overwhelming task, especially if you’re just starting out or don’t have a lot of experience with marketing. Luckily for you we’re sharing our one page marketing plan to make things easy. Because it’s better to have at least some idea of where you’re going before you start putting in time and effort. Because we all know both of those are limited for craft alcohol makers!
Ready to create a marketing plan that works?
Our Craft Alcohol Marketing Bootcamp covers everything you need to know to to help you market your craft alcohol business. It covers everything from social media strategy, to tasting room traffic, to paid advertising.
The first course is specifically designed to help you plan your marketing strategies, resources, and budget to help your brand grow!
It may seem like you’re getting along fine without a marketing plan so far. But let me ask you, how do you calculate the lost opportunities, learning, and revenue a good plan could have helped you achieve beyond what you’ve achieved so far? It’s a fact, businesses that plan are twice as likely to succeed. Because marketing plans provide a basis to set tasks and organize work efforts toward the strategies that should have the greatest impact on your brand.
So, stand out from the crowd by creating a marketing plan that is right for your craft alcohol brand!
To help you plan your marketing strategically and drive results, we’re sharing an article our founder, Suzanne, originally wrote for Distiller Magazine on the topic…
Just Say No… To Marketing
Originally published in Distiller Magazine, December 2019.
Listen, my craft maker friends, let’s get one thing straight: I love marketing. When done right, it can be one of the biggest differentiators between failing and thriving craft distilleries. And my number one priority is ensuring more craft makers land in the thriving camp.
Which means, “Yay! Marketing!”
But there’s a catch.
It’s often way too easy to say yes to marketing ideas and opportunities when they come our way, especially when we’re in the early stages or have big growth targets. We’re like ravenous fans at a football tailgate: We really want a big, juicy T-bone, but wave a flabby cold-cut in front of us and we’ll eat it. No more flabby cold-cuts! T-bone or go home.
Let’s be honest, though. It’s a beautiful thing and feels really good when people reach out or opportunities show up on your doorstep that will help get your brand name out there. I get it — it’s flattering! And likely at least a little beneficial. But we’re all too busy and resource-constrained to spend our time on things that will only move the needle a little bit. We don’t want to play a game of inches; we want to play a game of yards, which means we need a well-thought-out marketing plan.
Deciding Which Tactics Are Worth It…
Marketing that delivers true business value is the only kind of marketing I ever want you to do, but determining the value takes some planning and a commitment to continually refer to that plan whenever new opportunities arise. This practice — developing a clear marketing plan, sticking to it, and intentionally updating it — can be lax for a lot of marketers, which leads to wasted resources and frustration with results.
Developing your marketing plan will help you understand all marketing activities and how they connect to your business goals, so you can ensure everything you do in marketing makes sense and is worth your time, money and energy. In fact, once you get this down, it will become your go-to marketing touchstone. Here is an easy-breezy one page marketing plan template from our Craft Alcohol Marketing Bootcamp to get you started…
Start with One Thing
Realistically for any business goal, where do you need to focus your marketing energy? Are you brand spankin’ new and need to drive awareness before you can even dream about moving consumers deeper into their journey with your brand? Or, do you already have good awareness, but now you need consumers engaging with your brand, indicating consideration/evaluation? Instead, do you have great big groups of fans who are already aware and considering and have enough of a relationship with you that you can start moving them to visit or buy? Would your existing fans sharing with others be the most helpful in reaching this business goal?
Now, I know: You’re all going to feel like the answer is, “I need all of those things to be happening!”
You’re right, of course. But here’s the trick: If you make your goals SMART goals, it will really help you home in on what work is most important to drive the tangible result you need, right now. Where you have multiple marketing goals per business goal, think a little about the order of operations or any contingencies between them to help prioritize and plan.