We talked to Yocelin Delgadillo, Media Manager Victoria and Premium Brands at AB InBev during her participation at AdWeek Latam. We discussed new digital strategies for Mexican brands, particularly how marketing for Modelo and other beers has switched to digital. In addition, she told us all about partnerships with fairs and festivals, e-commerce, and the company’s plans for streaming entertainment platforms. 

 

E-Commerce and New Digital Strategies

What’s your on and offline media mix?

This year, we’re becoming a digital-first company for the first time ever. This doesn’t mean 100% of our budget goes to digital, but rather that we’re growing in the digital space. For some brands, a digital-first media mix means 60% of their budget goes to digital. This varies throughout our portfolio, but we have many new digital strategies.

For some brands, a digital-first media mix means 60% of their budget goes to digital.
Beer House Caption

Strategies for Stella and Michelob Ultra, brands in our premium portfolio, are very digital and e-commerce-focused. Actually, Stella has a very strong e-commerce perspective. It’s one of the best-selling brands in our e-commerce platform Beer House.

How did you launch and reinforce e-commerce?

The key to enter e-commerce was communication with retailers such as Rappi, Amazon and Mercado Libre. We have entire teams devoted to our relationship with them, designing promotions and creating brand awareness in those platforms. We know we must take awareness as a starting point in order to speed up the funnel. It’s even more efficient in Mercado Libre and Amazon, for instance, because the purchase takes place right there.

Every single piece of digital content of ours contains a call to action. Not all of them are necessarily related to sales, but we redirect users to websites that are mainly devoted to sales. We rarely send any traffic from a branding site to see more content. “If you’ve seen Vicky Chamoy and you’re already interested, you can buy it here.” You click on the CTA and it’ll take you to Beer House or Modelorama to get the product. That’s one of the pros of having our own e-commerce platform in house. We can estimate, optimize, and actually measure sales.

That’s one of the pros of having our own e-commerce platform in house. We can estimate, optimize, and actually measure sales.

Sponsorships of Fairs and Festivals

Tell us a bit about brand presence in festivals like Corona Capital and Flow Fest. 

I’m in charge of four brands: Michelob Ultra, Modelo, Stella Artois and Victoria. Therefore, I need to be very aware of the perspective and muse of each brand. Each brand has a very different target. However, we have them well defined, and that helps us understand what works and what doesn’t, as well as to design new digital strategies for them.

Each brand has a very different target. However, we have them well defined.

Yocelin Delgadillo, Director of Integrated Marketing Communications, AB InBev.

On the other hand, experience marketing has become a platform to showcase all the Modelo brands. Before, you wanted to buy beer at the Corona Capital festival and they only had Corona. Now, Corona is the headliner, but Stella has a VIP bar, or BudLight headlines EDM festivals in the North of the country, but Corona is always there. Now we have full portfolio presence instead of just activating one brand. We’ve been there since 2019. All these experiences have also become perfect sampling occasions (for new products). Fairs are very important sampling points for our new Chamoy line. Victoria is the main brand, but we want to launch the Chamoy variety and that’s where consumers can try it.

How do you manage to get your message across at festivals, which involve so many different sponsors and brands? 

We have an advantage: our experiences team is part of our media area. The name of that whole department is “Connections”, and it’s in charge of all connections with consumers ranging from advertising to events. Because we’re in the same area, we speak the same language and are aware of the same strategies. Actually, at the Experiences team, when we work with OCESA and other organizers of art festivals we try to close deals that are not simply about being another sponsor looking for naming. We want to get involved with the experience, we want to sponsor a stage that receives music that resonates with the brand. 

We want to get involved with the experience.

They know we’re more than just a company that wants its logo on the poster. We want to be a part of the experience. Our advantage is our long relationship with them, they know our message by now.

A Slice of the Streaming Cake

AB InBev e-commerce

What is the marketing team focusing on most intensely at the moment?

Everything related to data. We have a new data expert entering the team who’ll put together campaigns based on first-party data. I think personalization at scale is crucial, it’s one of the area’s KPIs, and a great percentage of our digital impressions are segmented according to affinity instead of just ethnographic information. Also, our business intelligence team sends us daily reports. Together with the agency, we’re constantly monitoring asset performance per audience. We prepare a specific briefing per audience for each campaign.

We have a new data expert entering the team who’ll put together campaigns based on first-party data.

Another new thing is that we have someone dedicated to entertainment, looking at how we take part of series and movies. It’s going beyond product placemant. The question is, are we truly participating in entertainment in an active way? We already have an important relationship with Netflix and Amazon Prime, where our products play an important role in the story.

What changed in the consumer to make you enter those platforms?

People decide what they want to watch. It’s no longer a matter of choosing between open broadcast and cable TV. Many people watch content on Youtube, Hulu, Netflix. If we want our message to reach them, we have to migrate to where they are. Streaming platforms don’t want us there, so it’s interesting how we create a relationship with content creators so that they make us a part of their stories.

If we want our message to reach them, we have to migrate to where they are.

Coronavirus Crisis

In the interview with Delgadillo, we didn’t specifically address the branding difficulties that have resulted from the Coronavirus pandemic. However, other media have discussed the confusion and consequences for the Corona brand.

Even though it could seem obvious that the virus isn’t in any way related to beer, AdWeek reports that between January 26 and February 1, Google Trends registered an important increase in searches such as “beer virus” and “corona beer virus”.

So far, the company behind the Corona brand hasn’t said anything about the subject. On the other hand, social media has created a series of memes to make fun of the confusion. AB InBev has not withdrawn from partnerships with important events such as Corona Capital, scheduled to take place in Guadalajara in May and later on in Mexico City.

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Ximena is a Swiss-Mexican journalist based in Mexico City where she specialized in business, and travel topics. Graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), she has worked as an editor at the magazines Expansión , Aire and Accent, from Expansion Group. Currently she is working with different media in Spanish and English independently. She is a passionate traveler who does not miss the opportunity to see a new place in the world.

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