Inputs and Outputs: Exploring Growth Marketing for Beer, Wine and Spirits Brands

There are so many ways for beer, wine and spirits brands to approach digital marketing. (We cover a lot of the basics in this report.)

One way? Separate digital marketing tactics into two camps: Inputs and Outputs.

What goes in vs. what comes out

The outputs are what most of us think of when we think about digital marketing: advertisements, impressions, media.

The inputs are much more nuanced and vast, driven by growth marketing.

What’s growth marketing?

Search bar reading "define: growth marketing"

Growth Marketing is the process of experimentation and analysis that produces an optimized approach to digital marketing.

More simply: It represents the work a brand puts in to build a blueprint for better digital marketing.

Growth marketing is a significant and vital part of a strong digital strategy. While outputs (ads and media) represent maybe a fourth of the digital marketing playbook, inputs (tests and analysis) cover a majority of the work.

A short-term, campaign-to-campaign approach to digital marketing will only cover the outputs — leaving significant growth out of the picture. 

To build and execute the right outputs, a brand needs to invest in understanding every element of a product, from flavor profile to audience psychographics to distribution network.

Build a growth marketing strategy

Start somewhere familiar: The Five “W”s.

Who (and Why)

Find out who is (and who could be) buying the brand. Look at people who currently buy the brand and those who currently buy its main competitors. Layer demographics with psychographic attributes, geographic locations and purchasing data to paint a clear picture of the who, and their why.


  • Are they already buying the brand?
  • Are they buying similar products at a similar price point?
  • Do they express attributes similar to current brand buyers?
  • Could their flavor preferences signal that they might like the product, but haven’t tried it yet?


Decide on target areas and test them. Different regions of the country will react differently to products. Same goes for different cities, ZIP codes, types of stores and more. Learn how brands and products sell in specific stores to discover ideal areas and business types to run marketing.


  • In what types of stores does the target audience shop?
  • Does the product perform better in dense or more rural areas?
  • Do sales change if the product is shelved in a different part of the store?


Seasonality plays a significant role in alcohol sales, and should affect when a brand advertises and when it doesn’t. After evaluating the “who” and “where,” look more closely at when those people in those locations are making purchases.


  • Are there patterns to when people are buying the brand?
  • Do those patterns shift based on location?
  • Are people in target markets purchasing the brand in different seasonality than its competitor brands?


With a set of strong inputs, a brand can decide what comes next: more innovation testing and planning or dynamic digital media outputs?

Get growing

By asking the right questions and analyzing their answers, brands can turn growth marketing inputs into digital marketing outputs. This type of strategic plan drives better ad spend, stronger engagement and more meaningful conversions.

Ready to build growth marketing into your strategy? Let’s chat.

Dig deeper into long-term growth through digital marketing. Get our latest report GROWTH BEYOND PROMOTION today.