The way that Lucas Herscovici sees it, beer is the original social network. As Anheuser-Busch InBev's VP for digital marketing in North America, his job is to ensure that his company's brews are part of the online conversation.
Mr. Herscovici will speak at Ad Age's Digital Conference at the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco on Oct.15th where he will discuss how A-B InBev uses targeted content and analytics to drive investment returns.
Bud Light was recently featured in a Facebook case study that stated the brewer was able to net an investment return of six times its ad spend for a recent campaign on the social network.
Ad Age recently spoke with Mr. Herscovici to learn more:
Ad Age: How did you measure ROI for the Facebook campaign?
Mr. Herscovici: We worked with Facebook and Datalogix. Datalogix is a company that has information about consumers [including] what they purchase in store and chains and grocery stores around the country. And they matched consumer purchases with Facebook IDs in an anonymous way based on loyalty card data. [Datalogix was] able to see the consumers who were exposed to our content and then if the consumers who were exposed to our content effectively purchased more after that exposure, versus a prior period.
Ad Age: When trying to reach consumers on Facebook, do you always need paid advertising? Or are you OK with only using brand content at times?
Mr. Herscovici: In today's world with Facebook you need [paid] media in order to reach consumers at scale. We have 17 million fans across our brands, but we know when we post something in our pages we are not reaching all of our fans, we are only reaching a certain percentage of our fans because Facebook has algorithms that control that. So if you really want to reach a bigger audience, you need to put money behind it.
Ad Age: You have used multiple digital platforms for your music-based marketing, including Myspace for the "Bud Light Music First" concert event. How do you go about deciding which platform to use?
Mr. Herscovici: Last year we were the first company to ever do a live stream with Pandora. And this year we were the first company to do a live stream with Spotify. These are two big players in the music space ... We always try to learn and experiment with new players out there. We experimented with Myspace because they are strong with music, and they were relaunching their site, and we had great results with Myspace ... We had over two-and-a half-million views of our live stream ... with them and this drove a very effective cost-per-view when we compare it with other things we've done in the past.
Ad Age: A-B InBev recently launched a data analytics initiative at the University of Illinois called "Bud Lab." How will you use this?
Mr. Herscovici: We want to ... [give] students the opportunity to work on projects that are focusing on data analytics, research and innovation. Se we have projects internally related with those areas and we want to be able to partner with the university to have them help us take us to the next level in that area. And it also serves as a way to attract new talent to the company.
Ad Age: Have you hired anyone from Bud Lab?
Mr. Herscovici: Not yet.