The Liquor Marketing Group’s (LMG) ‘Start At’ campaign, which is geared around focusing its marketing and member investment strategy has had a ‘phenomenal’ impact since it was introduced nine months ago.

Speaking at the LMG Queensland state conference in Port Douglas, both CEO Gavin Saunders and GM of Merchandise and Marketing, Damien Page, highlighted how Start At has helped improve group and member performance and how it will help drive further improvements in the future.

“We launched our revised go-to-market plans in November last year; we invested more heavily in marketing and we changed our brand image,” Saunders said. “The comparable results show that nine months, since the revised marketing plan, versus MAT.

“That additional investment has meant that, in Queensland for instance, we are 0.9 per cent better than what we were for the MAT period, so Start At is working and we are driving great results. From an overall national perspective, we have got almost double the growth.”

Saunders said that one of the reasons behind the success of the campaign is that LMG has invested significantly more funds into advertising and pricing support on behalf of its members and he revealed the group is planning greater investment again over the next 12 months.

“Positive news for the coming year is that there is a further 23.6 per cent uplift in what we are able to put into advertising and money into price. This means that we will be more active in terms of how we advertise, we will be more active and strategic in how we support price.”

That increased investment has come after the LMG board decided a number of years ago that the group needed to invest more of its revenue into member support and Saunders revealed that since the 2015 financial year the percentage of revenue which directly supports members has increased significantly and that there will be a further increase for the 2018 financial year.

Page also spoke of the benefits that the increased Start At investment has brought to LMG’s members since it was introduced.

“Since Start At campaign was launched, there has been the best performance in that nine-month period that we have had in the last three years. Start At has seen us implement the best plans that we have ever had, and we have increased our go-to-market plans by 44 per cent this year and we will go even further in the coming year, so there is a phenomenal amount of investment we are putting behind it.

“Our advocacy, which is ‘would you recommend Bottlemart / Sip n Save to anyone else?’ is improving, and if you have got advocacy improving it means you will grow.

“We also have significant improvements in shopper satisfaction, so shoppers are loving what we are doing, we lead the way when it comes to store loyalty, and our Premium Programs have been amazing. So as a snapshot of Start At, it is a phenomenal position for us to be in.”

Saunders agreed with that phenomenal position for the group, telling the conference that LMG is looking very strong now and for the future.

“LMG is in the best position that it has been for an extended period of time to deliver great results for our members. I put that down to a number of factors,” he said.

“Our brands are resonating with consumers; we have the right people who are experienced, professionals and dedicated; we are absolutely focused on driving performance for members; we have the tools for greater insights –better data and insights equals better decision making – our dedicated members exceed the expectations of our consumers on a daily basis.”

The LMG Queensland state conference continues, with further insights into the group’s Premium Programs to come later this week.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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