IT’S ALL SOCIAL
Forget websites, they’re so passé. Bacardi is set to scale back its brand websites and refocus its marketing efforts on social-media platforms that host its branded content. The drinks company, which owns Bacardi, Bombay Sapphire, Dewar’s, and Grey Goose, will pare back its sites because they are expensive to run and are experiencing a fall in visitors, according to sources. Over the next year or two, it is believed that Bacardi will shift up to “9O%” of its digital spend to Facebook as it no longer deems dotcom sites relevant. The company will bolster its social-media presence, where it will be looking to place branded content that can be shared more easily with online communities. The target audience is consumers in their early 2Os. The Bacardi UK site currently offers visitors a range of products and information, including branded apps, music downloads and cocktail tips. Bacardi’s not the only company changing gears. Diageo recently centered a campaign for Smirnoff on a branded Facebook page, using the site as a platform for its Nightlife Exchange Project. The page is updated with real time news and includes live streaming of global events. Diageo claimed the campaign has helped it recruit 312,OOO Smirnoff “fans” in the UK and two million globally. Diageo plans to build on its success by increasing its year-on-year digital spend for Smirnoff by 115%. Heineken is also raising its investment in social media-related marketing, with the upcoming launch of a Facebook store that sells branded merchandise. This is part of a wider strategy by the brewer to use the web to develop its global presence. It would seem that in today’s world it’s not how many hits you get, it’s how many “friends” you have.