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Why your brewery marketing budget matters more than ever

Why your brewery marketing budget matters more than ever

In 2024, the craft beer industry will be more competitive than ever before. With over 9,000 new breweries vying for attention, it’s no longer enough to simply brew great beer. Seeking innovative brewery marketing strategies? Discover how to elevate your marketing approach and stand out in the crowded 2024 craft beer scene to draw in greater patronage.

To stand out in this crowded market, you need a robust brewery marketing budget that allows you to reach your target audience effectively.

But how much should you allocate? And where should you focus your efforts?

In this blog post, we’ll dive into 7 data-driven reasons why investing in a strong marketing strategy is essential for your brewery’s success in the coming year. From industry benchmarks to case studies of thriving breweries, you’ll learn how to maximize your ROI and adapt your brewery marketing plan to changing consumer preferences.

Craft Breweries

On average, craft breweries spend5-10% of their total revenue on marketing and advertising efforts.

The Importance of Marketing for Breweries in 2024

Increased Competition In The Craft Beer Industry

The craft beer industry has experienced tremendous growth over the past decade, with the number of breweries in the United States surpassing 9,000 as of 2023. This rapid expansion has led to an increasingly crowded market, making it more challenging for individual breweries to stand out and attract customers.

To thrive in this competitive landscape, breweries must prioritize effective marketing strategies that differentiate them from their rivals. This includes developing a unique brand identity, crafting compelling storytelling, and leveraging various marketing channels to reach target audiences.

Consumer preferences in the craft beer market have been evolving, with a growing emphasis on health-conscious and low-alcohol options. Younger generations, in particular, are seeking out more diverse and experimental beer styles, as well as beverages that align with their values, such as sustainability and social responsibility.

To remain relevant and appealing to these shifting demographics, breweries must adapt their marketing strategies accordingly. This may involve highlighting the nutritional aspects of their products, showcasing their commitment to environmental stewardship, and engaging with customers through social media and experiential marketing initiatives.

Allocating The Right Budget For Brewery Marketing

Determining an appropriate marketing budget for a brewery depends on various factors, including the size of the business, its growth objectives, and the overall financial health of the company. As a general rule of thumb, small businesses typically allocate between 7% and 12% of their total revenue to marketing efforts.

Factors to consider when setting a marketing budget

When establishing a marketing budget, breweries should consider the following factors:

  1. Business goals: Align the marketing budget with the brewery’s short-term and long-term objectives, such as increasing brand awareness, driving sales, or expanding into new markets.

  2. Target audience: Understanding the preferences and behaviors of the brewery’s target audience will help determine the most effective marketing channels and tactics to invest in.

  3. Competitive landscape: Analyze the marketing strategies and budgets of competing breweries to ensure that the allocated resources are sufficient to maintain a competitive edge.

  4. Return on investment (ROI): Regularly assess the performance of marketing initiatives and adjust the budget accordingly to maximize ROI and ensure that resources are being used efficiently.

By carefully considering these factors and allocating resources strategically, breweries can develop effective brewery marketing strategies and plans that drive business growth and help them navigate the challenges of an increasingly competitive market in 2024 and beyond.

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Allocating the Right Budget for Brewery Marketing

Marketing Budget of the Larger Craft Breweries

Larger craft breweries tend to allocate a higher percentage of their budget to marketing, often in the 10-15% range.

Industry Benchmarks For Marketing Spend

According to recent studies, the average marketing budget for established breweries ranges from 3-6% of total revenue, while startups typically allocate 12-20% of their gross revenue to marketing efforts. These benchmarks serve as a helpful guide when determining your brewery’s marketing budget, but it’s important to make adjustments based on your growth stage and market position.

For example, if you’re a well-established brewery with a loyal customer base and steady revenue, you may be able to allocate a smaller percentage of your budget to marketing compared to a startup brewery that needs to build brand awareness and attract new customers. On the other hand, if you’re an established brewery looking to expand into new markets or launch a new product line, you may need to temporarily increase your marketing budget to support these initiatives.

Factors Influencing Marketing Budget Allocation

When allocating your marketing budget, it’s essential to consider several key factors that will impact the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and overall ROI.

Target Audience and Market Research

Understanding your target audience is crucial for developing effective marketing strategies and allocating your budget accordingly. Conduct thorough market research to identify your ideal customer profile, including demographics, psychographics, and purchasing behaviors. This information will help you determine which marketing channels and tactics are most likely to resonate with your target audience and drive conversions.

For instance, if your target audience primarily consists of millennials who are active on social media, you may want to allocate a larger portion of your budget to digital marketing efforts, such as social media advertising, influencer partnerships, and content marketing. On the other hand, if your target audience is more traditional and responds well to print advertising or in-store promotions, you may need to adjust your budget to prioritize these tactics.

Distribution Channels and Geographic Reach

Your brewery’s distribution channels and geographic reach will also influence your marketing budget allocation. If you’re a local brewery focusing on taproom sales and limited distribution within your community, your marketing budget may be lower compared to a regional or national brewery with a wider distribution network.

However, even local breweries can benefit from allocating a significant portion of their budget to targeted marketing efforts within their community, such as sponsoring local events, partnering with other local businesses, and engaging in community outreach initiatives. These tactics can help build brand loyalty and drive word-of-mouth referrals, which are essential for long-term success and repeat business.

Print advertising, such as in local magazines, can consume 5-10% of a brewery's marketing spend.

Marketing Mix and Tactics

Your marketing mix and chosen tactics will also play a significant role in determining your budget allocation. A well-rounded marketing strategy typically includes a combination of digital marketing activities (e.g., social media, email marketing, content marketing), traditional advertising (e.g., print, radio, television), events and experiential marketing, and packaging design.

The specific tactics you choose will depend on your target audience, distribution channels, and overall marketing goals. For example, if you’re launching a new seasonal beer, you may want to allocate a larger portion of your budget to packaging design and point-of-purchase displays to drive impulse purchases. If you’re focusing on building brand awareness and engagement, you may want to invest more in social media marketing, influencer partnerships, and events.

Determining The Ideal Marketing Budget For Your Brewery

So, what is a reasonable amount to spend on marketing for your brewery? The answer depends on several factors, including your growth stage, target audience, distribution channels, and overall business goals.

As a general rule of thumb, small breweries should aim to allocate at least 10-15% of their total revenue to marketing efforts, while larger, established breweries may be able to allocate a smaller percentage (e.g., 5-10%) and still achieve their desired results. However, these percentages may need to be adjusted based on your specific circumstances and goals.

To determine the ideal marketing budget for your brewery, start by setting clear, measurable marketing objectives that align with your overall business goals. These objectives may include increasing brand awareness, driving taproom sales, expanding distribution, or launching new products.

Next, conduct a thorough analysis of your target audience, market position, and competitive landscape. This information will help you identify the most effective marketing channels and tactics for reaching your target customers and achieving your objectives.

Finally, create a detailed marketing plan that outlines your chosen tactics, budget allocation, and expected ROI. Be sure to include a mix of short-term and long-term initiatives, and allocate your budget accordingly. Monitor your results regularly and make adjustments as needed to optimize your ROI and ensure that your marketing efforts are driving meaningful business results.

Brewery Marketing Budget Statistics

Craft breweries spend an average of $10,000-$50,000 per year on public relations and media outreach

Data-Backed Reasons for Investing in Brewery Marketing

In today’s competitive craft beer market, having a strong marketing presence is essential for the success and growth of your brewery. While it may be tempting to allocate resources primarily towards production and distribution, neglecting marketing can hinder your ability to attract new customers, retain existing ones, and ultimately, drive sales. Learn how to amplify your craft beer sales and boost your brewery’s income, paving the way for increased profitability and expansion.

Increased Brand Awareness and Customer Acquisition

One of the primary reasons to invest in brewery marketing is to increase brand awareness and attract new customers. In a crowded market, it’s crucial to stand out and effectively communicate what makes your brewery unique. A well-executed marketing and branding campaign can help you reach a wider audience and entice them to try your products. Seeking innovative brewery marketing strategies? Discover a range of marketing initiatives tailored to enhance your brewery’s visibility and draw in more patrons.

The Power of Social Media Marketing

Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter provide an excellent opportunity to showcase your craft brewery’s personality, share behind-the-scenes content, and engage with your audience. According to a survey by the Brewers Association, 92% of craft breweries use social media as part of their marketing strategy, with Instagram being the most popular platform.

Digital Advertising and Social Media Marketing

Digital advertising, including paid social media and search engine marketing, accounts for 15-25% of marketing budgets.

Higher Customer Retention and Loyalty

Investing in marketing not only helps attract new customers but also plays a crucial role in retaining existing ones and fostering loyalty. Research shows that 70% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand with a strong marketing presence. By consistently engaging with your audience and providing value through your marketing efforts, you create a deeper connection with your customers.

This connection translates into increased customer loyalty, as they feel more invested in your brand and are more likely to choose your products over competitors. Loyal customers not only make repeat purchases but also become brand advocates, spreading positive word-of-mouth and helping to attract new customers organically.

Improved Sales and Revenue Growth

Ultimately, the goal of investing in a brewery marketing strategy is to drive sales and revenue growth. Industry data reveals that breweries with consistent marketing efforts experience 15-20% higher annual revenue growth compared to those with minimal or inconsistent marketing.

By allocating a dedicated marketing budget, you can develop and execute strategies that directly impact your bottom line. This includes tactics like:

  • Running targeted advertising campaigns to reach your ideal customer base

  • Participating in local events and festivals to increase brand visibility and generate sales

  • Collaborating with other businesses or influencers to expand your reach and tap into new markets

Investing in marketing allows you to proactively pursue growth opportunities and adapt to changes in the market, rather than relying solely on organic growth or word-of-mouth.

As you can see, the data supports the importance of having a robust marketing budget for your brewery. By prioritizing brand awareness, customer loyalty, and strategic growth initiatives, you can position your brewery for long-term success in an increasingly competitive industry.

Determining the Optimal Marketing Budget for Your Brewery

  • Assess your brewery’s unique needs, goals, and target audience to allocate resources effectively

  • Balance traditional and digital marketing tactics based on budget and desired impact

  • Industry experts recommend dedicating 3-6% of revenue to marketing for small businesses

Assessing Your Brewery’s Unique Needs and Goals

To determine the optimal marketing budget for your brewery, start by identifying your target markets and customer segments. Conduct market research to understand their preferences, behaviors, and where they spend their time, both online and offline. This information will guide your marketing strategy and budget allocation.

Next, define your short-term and long-term business objectives. Are you aiming to increase brand awareness, drive taproom traffic, or boost distribution sales? Clarifying these goals will help prioritize your marketing efforts and investments.

Allocating Resources Across Marketing Channels

With your target audience and goals in mind, prioritize high-impact marketing tactics that align with your budget. Traditional methods like events, sponsorships, and print advertising can be effective for building a local brand presence. However, digital channels such as social media, email marketing, and targeted advertising often offer more cost-effective and measurable ways to reach and engage your audience.

Ultimately, the right marketing budget for your brewery will depend on your unique circumstances, goals, and resources. By assessing your needs, prioritizing high-impact tactics, and monitoring your ROI, you can continuously optimize your investments to drive growth and success in the competitive craft beer industry.

Maximizing ROI: Strategies for Effective Brewery Marketing

Developing A Data-Driven Marketing Plan

Setting clear key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics for success is essential to maximizing your brewery’s marketing dollars and ROI. By establishing well-defined goals, such as increasing brand awareness, driving taproom visits, or boosting online sales, you can create a focused marketing strategy that allocates resources effectively.

Regularly monitoring and adjusting tactics based on performance data allows you to optimize your marketing efforts continuously. Utilizing tools like Google Analytics, social media insights, and customer surveys can provide valuable information about which campaigns resonate with your target audience and drive desired actions. By making data-informed decisions, you can refine your marketing plan to maximize results and minimize wasted spend.

Setting clear KPIs and metrics for success

Some common KPIs for brewery marketing include:

  • Website traffic and engagement (e.g., time on site, pages per session)

  • Social media followers, likes, comments, and shares

  • Email newsletter open and click-through rates

  • Taproom visitation and sales

  • Online sales and revenue

  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC) and lifetime value (LTV)

Leveraging Partnerships and Collaborations

Partnering with complementary brands or local businesses can help expand your brewery’s reach and tap into new audiences. Co-marketing initiatives, such as joint promotions, events, or product collaborations, allow you to pool resources and cross-promote to each other partner’s customer bases.

Participating in industry events and festivals is another effective way to increase brand visibility and engage with beer enthusiasts. By showcasing your products alongside other breweries, you can attract new customers, gather valuable customer feedback, and establish your brand as a key player in the craft beer community.

Importance of Partnership

Sponsorships and event partnerships make up 10-20% of typical brewery marketing budgets.

Co-marketing With Complementary Brands or Local Businesses

Examples of potential partnership opportunities include:

  • Collaborating with a local restaurant to create a custom beer pairing menu

  • Partnering with a nearby outdoor gear store to sponsor a hiking or cycling event

  • Teaming up with a local artists’ collective to host a taproom art show or live music series

Investing In Authentic Storytelling and Content Creation

In today’s crowded craft beer market, authentic storytelling is crucial to differentiate your brewery and build a loyal customer base. Showcasing your brewery’s unique history, values, and community involvement helps create an emotional connection with your audience and fosters brand affinity.

Creating engaging visual content, such as photos and videos, is essential for capturing attention on social media and driving website traffic. High-quality imagery of your products, taproom, and events can entice potential customers to visit and try your beers. Additionally, developing informative blog posts, podcasts, or video series about brewing processes, beer styles, and food pairings can position your brewery’s brand as an authority in the industry and provide value to your audience.

Showcasing Brewery’s Unique History, Values, and Community Involvement

Some ideas for compelling storytelling content include:

  • A blog series highlighting the personal journeys of your brewery’s founders and staff

  • Social media posts showcasing your brewery’s sustainability initiatives or charitable partnerships

  • Video interviews with local farmers or suppliers who provide ingredients for your beers

By developing a data-driven marketing plan, leveraging strategic partnerships, and investing in authentic storytelling, your brewery can maximize its marketing ROI and build a strong, recognizable brand in the competitive craft beer industry.

Adapting Your Brewery’s Marketing Budget for Future Success

In today’s rapidly evolving craft beer landscape, breweries must remain agile and adaptable to stay ahead of the competition. This involves regularly reassessing marketing strategies and budgets to ensure they align with current industry trends and consumer preferences.

Staying Agile In The Face of Industry Changes

As the craft beer industry continues to grow and change, breweries must be willing to adapt their marketing approaches accordingly. This means closely monitoring market trends, consumer behavior, and emerging technologies to identify new opportunities for reaching and engaging with target audiences.

Regularly Reassessing Marketing Strategies and Budgets

According to Bart Watson, chief economist for the Brewers Association, “Successful breweries are those that can quickly adapt to changing market conditions and consumer preferences. This requires a willingness to regularly reassess marketing strategies and budgets to ensure they remain effective and efficient.”

One way to stay agile is to adopt a data-driven marketing approach, leveraging analytics and customer insights to inform decision-making. By closely tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic, social media engagement, and sales data, breweries can quickly identify what’s working and what’s not, and adjust their strategies accordingly.

Embracing New Technologies and Platforms To Reach Evolving Audiences

In addition to regularly reassessing marketing strategies, breweries must also be open to embracing new technologies and platforms to reach and engage with evolving audiences. This may include investing in social media advertising, influencer partnerships, or even developing custom mobile apps to enhance the customer experience.

Prioritizing Authentic Brand Experiences and Community Building

While embracing new technologies and platforms is important, breweries must also remain true to their core values and mission. This means prioritizing authentic brand experiences and community-building initiatives that resonate with target audiences and foster long-term loyalty.

Focusing On Creating Memorable, Shareable Moments For Customers

One way to create authentic brand experiences is to focus on creating memorable, shareable moments for customers. This may involve hosting unique events, offering exclusive products or experiences, or simply creating a welcoming and engaging taproom environment.

Investing In Initiatives That Align With Brewery’s Values And Mission

In addition to creating memorable experiences, breweries should also prioritize investing in initiatives that align with their core values and company mission. This may include supporting local charities, sponsoring community events, or even developing sustainability programs to reduce environmental impact.

By staying agile in the face of industry changes and prioritizing authentic brand experiences and community building, breweries can adapt their marketing budgets for future success. This requires a willingness to regularly reassess strategies, embrace new technologies, and remain true to core values – all while keeping a close eye on data and customer insights to inform decision-making.

Brewing Up Marketing Success in 2024

As the craft beer industry continues to evolve, investing in a robust marketing budget is no longer optional – it’s essential.

By allocating the right resources to your marketing efforts, you can increase brand awareness, improve customer retention, and ultimately drive sales and revenue growth. Industry benchmarks suggest dedicating 3-6% of total revenue to established breweries and 12-20% to startups, with adjustments based on your unique goals and target audience.

Developing a data-driven marketing plan that leverages partnerships, authentic storytelling, and a balanced mix of traditional and digital tactics will help you maximize your ROI. By staying agile and prioritizing meaningful brand experiences, you’ll be well-positioned to thrive in the competitive landscape of 2024 and beyond.

So, how will you craft your brewery’s marketing strategy for the coming year? Will you double down on targeted digital marketing campaigns, embrace experiential marketing, or find your unique blend of tactics to connect with your audience? The choice is yours – but one thing is clear: a robust marketing budget is a key ingredient to brewing up success in 2024.

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