In the 2021 National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum, Liquor Marketing Group CEO Gavin Saunders described the elements to the group’s success in 2020.

Liquor Marketing Group (LMG) took a bold chance in 2020, maintaining its extensive promotional support in both digital and print catalogues which ultimately paid off. The group was able to support its more than 1400 independent liquor stores last year with its extensive campaigning.

LMG CEO Gavin Saunders said while other retailers chose to reduce their catalogue and print marketing, LMG continued steady, leading to its eventual success and increased connection and engagement with customers in 2020.

“Our efforts in this space boosted in-store traffic and consumer purchases, and the latest Shopper Intelligence Survey also showed that LMG had the highest level of pre-planned purchases compared to other liquor retailers,” he said.

“The significant increase in pre-planned purchases (+12 per cent) during the COVID-19 period is material and the fact that Bottlemart / Sip’n Save leads the market in this area is a testament to the benefit of maintaining engagement with your consumers. This result provides both a great return for members on what was a most challenging year, but also provides an enduring benefit in terms of customer engagement.

“We will continue to focus on retaining and growing our customer base for each member in 2021… [while] we strive to support our members to achieve retail excellence and sales growth at sustainable gross profits.”

In 2021, LMG plans to strengthen and implement more engaging promotions along with leveraging its social, databases and e-commerce platforms. Its goal is to provide targeted marketing and tailored promotions for individual customers and support stores within their catchments.

“We will also focus on harnessing the extraordinary growth we have seen in e-commerce, provide our members with data and insights to deliver greater profits, and we will execute in-store to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations,” Saunders said.

“Outside of the strong growth in online purchasing, other trends we have seen has been continued premiumisation. Our premium wine, premium spirits and craft beer programs have performed exceptionally.”

While 2020 was a strong year for liquor sales, the potential impacts of rising unemployment and tougher economic conditions require retailers to review their operations and consumer engagement. Saunders believes these conditions make it more important than ever to connect with the customers. He said companies should analyse their operations, drive actionable insights, and compete for market share growth in each catchment.

“LMG is well positioned to support retailers in each of these areas for longer term success,” he told National Liquor News.

Several successful schemes

Saunders described some of the successful schemes in 2020 and what they impacts of these were.

  • Paying member rebates early for the March Quarter: This helped to support members’ cash flow at a time when restriction forced closure of on-premise venues.
  • Enhancing established e-commerce platform: Members benefited from the growing consumer demand in online liquor purchasing during the pandemic.
  • Maintaining shopper engagement: This produced extraordinary results, ahead of the market. LMG’s visibility has never been stronger – with print and digital catalogues, upweighted social media and online presence, exclusive activations, premium and gifting programs, and targeted promotions.

You can read this story and many more in the 2021 National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum here. 

Brydie Allen

Brydie Allen is the Editor of National Liquor News. She has been with Food and Beverage Media since 2019, when she joined the company as a journalist across National Liquor News, Bars & Clubs, The...

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