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Integrating digital innovation into marketing DNA

Integrating digital innovation into marketing DNA Agata Smieciuszewski

Many brands want to be innovative. But how do you put this goal into practice within your organization? Tina Wung, the director of digital strategy at Anheuser-Busch InBev, broke down the process into five steps at the iMedia Brand Summit in Amelia Island, Florida. 1. Set the vision In 2013, Anheuser-Busch InBev recognized the need to make digital a core foundation of the organization. The first step was to do an industry benchmark and build a long-term digital vision, including creating a team with resources dedicated to becoming the No. 1 CPG company in digital, with the help of cross-functional support. 2. Build the right infrastructure Making goals with no resources is a recipe for failure, so the company made sure to invest in itself. It built teams specifically to support marketing, trade, and internal business solutions, along with strategy, innovation, and execution. It made sure to recruit all types of skill sets -- traditional brand management, engineering, shopper marketing, entrepreneurship, and, most importantly, a passion for digital. 3. Mandate an innovation mindset Anheuser-Busch InBev made a 70/20/10 rule in marketing, which broke down to:

  • 70 percent proven, fundamental marketing

  • 20 percent incremental innovation

  • 10 percent stretch innovation, true risks

It was trying to change consumer behavior and shift the way the brand is presented in the minds of the consumer through a test and learn mentality. 4. Test and learn Anheuser-Busch InBev first went after emerging media platforms, becoming the first brand to launch a video advertising product on Tinder, a popular dating app among Millennials. The engagement was huge, earning 1.4 million entries in its campaign. It also partnered with Gratify and Facebook to launch "Buds for buds," a campaign designed to drive e-commerce in channels that Millennials were already in. The campaign allowed consumers to purchase a Budweiser beer for a friend in another city, who could then pick up the beer at a local bar. The campaign was successful, increasing brand penetration, consideration, and purchase intent in the test cities. 5. Challenge your team Anheuser-Busch InBev wanted to create something truly innovative, so the teams came out with a product that consumers loved. The company created the Bud Light e-Fridge, which was the first foray into connected home plus in-home beer delivery. The fridge can:

  • Count down to when your beers are cold

  • Keep count of how many beers are left

  • Remind you when the game is on

  • Trigger at-home delivery to restock

The product sold out the first 900 units, which is great for the company because it gave it access to a lot of first-party transactional data that can help market products in the future, along with the constant branding and product revenue stream. Wung emphasized the importance of partnering with the right companies, which can result in huge positive outcomes for everyone. One thing's for sure -- investing in innovation is paying off big.

Agata is a writer, editor, and social media marketer living in Los Angeles. She's a former Associate Editor at iMedia Connection and Social Media Manager and Editor of MMX at Modern Marketing Summit. Before that, she worked in the healthcare,...

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