AB asked Neato to design and deploy a program that would grow its business and win back consumer loyalty in key college markets throughout the country.
We developed and managed one of the most scaled field marketing and sales efforts to date. We vetted, trained, and managed over 240 driven and well-connected Ambassadors. Through a combination of account support and consumer activations, our program grew business in target accounts by an average of over 10%.
AB’s marketing team commissioned a third-party expert to analyze the performance of its largest initiatives, and the college program was found to be the most successful program that the company had deployed. It achieved higher metrics than Bud Light’s largest experiential marketing campaigns, and custom packaging initiatives.
Anheuser-Busch’s most iconic beer brands were suffering while as more consumers were turning to craft beer, Mexican import beers, wine, and spirits. AB knew that had to go on the offense to change the momentum and win back the hearts and minds of 21+ consumers.
College towns have some of the most vibrant bar scenes in the country. 21+ college seniors and graduates represent the next generation of consumers for beer companies.
On-premise (accounts that sell direct to consumers for consumption on the premises) sales trends are a leading indicator of overall sales trends in the beer industry. If on-premise sales go up, the rest of the business will follow and vice-versa.
AB knew that in order to restore the health of their most valuable brands, they had to win over the next generation of consumers and meet them where they were – in college towns across America.
We created one of the most scaled people programs to date. We brought on 240 driven, well-connected, local experts to be our Ambassadors in each market.
Ambassadors and Anheuser-Busch employees were flown across the country to AB’s headquarters in St Louis for a multi-day training event. The event provided Ambassadors with a thorough understanding of the brand they were representing, and their role. Each team left the training with a plan-in-hand and clear next steps to begin executing in their markets.
Our interactive training sessions gave Ambassadors, AB stakeholders, and Neato employees the opportunity to collaborate and align on a personalized approach to each market.
In order to prioritize our resources, we worked with our Ambassadors to identify which accounts were most popular. With Neato’s oversight and coaching, Ambassadors established relationships with their wholesaler and local account staff to ensure that the product was available, featured, and on special whenever possible.
Ambassadors knew the day and time that each account was busiest. These insights helped to inform our weekly market schedules. We worked with each market to create forecasts and measure performance against our goal. Weekly plans were adjusted based on learnings from the prior week.
Neato developed and oversaw a robust set of operational tools and processes to support program execution, performance analysis, and optimization. This was a multi-million dollar investment for AB. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were being funneled into markets on a weekly basis. We had to quickly identify and address problems.
Just as importantly, we had to identify ways to elevate our approach and output. Our operations team was able to analyze market data and identify a target cost per sample, per market. Over time, we were able to reduce the number by identifying ways to generate more activations and interact with more consumers per hour.
As an organization, AB had determined a dollar amount they could rationalize spending per consumer interaction to see a return on investment. Over time, we were able to achieve interactions at less than half of that number.
The program was always-on. Ambassadors were actively engaged with accounts and consumers at all hours. Our team developed a protocol to support Ambassadors whenever they needed us, day or night.
Program Spend Managed
Average Volume Growth Across the Country
AB Consumer Marketing Program, per IPSOS Analysis