Mike’s Hard Lemonade is making a monumental shift to an all-digital approach to marketing. Founded 15 years ago, Mike’s Hard Lemonade have spent roughly $19M in TV advertising in the last two fiscal years alone. Their competition is fierce, large, and have a plentiful supply of cash to flood TV advertising. By moving to an all-digital approach, dropping their traditional agency Grey and beginning to work with niche vendors, Mike’s Hard Lemonade is taking an innovative gamble on digital to compete with traditional beverage companies.
It will be interesting to see how Mike’s Hard Lemonade’s all digital strategy may level the playing field. A solid share of their marketing spend still lies in traditional television, but clearly this is an avenue to watch as the TV landscape changes. Watching TV does not have the same context as it previously did and the smart marketing strategies are shifting towards web–based TV services like Hulu, YouTube, Netflix, Amazon. Streaming TV has become the fresh infusion of digital that savvy strategists are tapping into to have an edge up against the competition.
The lesson to be learned from Mike’s Hard Lemonade is that the traditional CMOs need to digitize quickly. We are still seeing digital segregated within their own business unit. As digital becomes centric to marketing, organizations will need to focus on integrating digital everywhere in order to truly evolve their organization. Establishing a digital center of excellence at the start is not just enough, integrating digital best practices into most areas of the business will prove to be the differentiator for a successful end game.
For the laggard CMOs looking to upgrade the digital maturity of their organization, we recommend a benchmark of their processes and people along with an organizational playbook for digital.