Budweiser Buds for Buds Website

The other day I was browsing my Facebook News Feed and stumbled across the ad below:

Budweiser Facebook Buds for Buds Ad

Right away I asked myself a couple questions. ‘What good would a digital beer do me or a friend?’ And, ‘how is this supposed to enhance the Budweiser brand if I already doubt the concept?’

So I dug a little deeper.

According to ClickZ, Budweiser is in the middle of two trial programs allowing customers to send beer digitally to friends through Facebook, text messages, or email. The digital beer sent is a voucher allowing the recipient to redeem their gift as a physical beer in participating locations (currently restricted to Denver or Chicago).

These programs are an effort to reach out specifically to Budweiser’s millennial audience. Based on the research done by the alcohol brand, younger customers are more spread out across the country now, which hinders celebrating milestones with close friends or loved ones. The two programs, “Buds for Buds” and “Bud Light Birthday,” are attempts at bridging the gap between millennials, their friends, and their relationship with the Budweiser brand across the digital and physical space.

By partnering with Facebook, Budweiser will show people ads suggesting that they buy beer to friends who meet the 21-year-old age requirement (provided they share their birthday with Facebook). Users don’t have to download an external application to complete the transaction; it can happen through any browser. The platform, Gratafy, works with Budweiser to provide geo-targeted lists of the merchants participating to provide a swift and enjoyable experience for the users throughout.


Budweiser Buds for Buds Website

Budweiser Buds for Buds Website

Images Source: Budweiser

Not too long ago, I divulged the secrets in combining email and social media marketing. I discussed how these two marketing channels are powerhouses in returning results for your marketing strategy, and the importance in creating cohesive campaigns across mediums.

The same concept can be applied when attempting to integrate digital and physical marketing goals.

Bearing this in mind, let’s go back to Budweiser’s campaign.

First and foremost, Budweiser made the transition from digital to physical incredibly simple. They simulated the act of buying a friend a beer for their birthday on a digital level. The genius here is in their choice of platform – Facebook. As the most visited app for users 18+ in the country, Facebook is the perfect application to smoothly mix digital and physical for the desired millennial target audience.

And unlike the once-popular QR codes, Budweiser understands minimizing the barriers to purchasing. They side-stepped needing a third-party app to handle the interaction, and kept it within the browser. In which case, the multi-tasking, limited-attention-span, millennial can complete the intended action quickly and easily on any device.

These marketing decisions lead to an ease of organically sharing a digital brew with friends across cities and states. So why only keep it to Denver and Chicago? Well, like I said this is just a trial program. Sources say the programs are due to be rolled out nationally at some point in October, 2014. And with the level of targeting instituted in this campaign, I cannot imagine it would not be a success.

So how can you achieve similar big-brand success on a smaller scale?

Try these three methods of integrating digital and physical marketing campaigns:

1. Send an email promotion that can be redeemed “in-store.”
Sending a coupon to your users’ inboxes will give an incentive to visit your store and redeem the discount. Making the coupon only valid in-store would force them to make the trip, or lose out on the promotion for that campaign. It also is a good way to validate your email list with loyal customers!

2. Ask customers to participate in an online survey based on service received at your physical location.
While your first thought may have been, “Yeah, right!” you can sweeten the deal by offering a discount upon survey completion. Survey Monkey is a great source to collect emails of those who complete the survey and provide a way to share the survey via social. This way you can send out a customized email with a discount, thank them for their time, and hope they will share their thoughts with friends on social.

3. Host a Facebook Contest.
If you have a steady stream of visitors to your store, but a lackluster Facebook fan-base – you can promote your Facebook contest in your store to boost traffic to your social platform. Running a successful contest is easy with the right goals in mind, and keeping to Facebook contest guidelines.

Can you think of other successful ways to combine digital and physical marketing?
Tell us about them in the comments!

About the Author: Deanna Zaucha is the Content Marketing Coordinator for Webs and Pagemodo, and also manages our social media presence. She can be found on a dance floor, or on her iPhone keeping up with trends in marketing and tech. Get more from Deanna on Pagemodo’s Blog and Google+.

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