How AB InBev Is Transforming Its Marketing

Marketing strategy at the world’s largest brewer has gone through a significant change over the past year. I recently asked Richard Oppy, VP of global brands at AB InBev, to brief us on what’s been taking place.

Paul Talbot: Emerging from the pandemic and reflecting on AB InBev strategic marketing decisions made in early 2020, what worked out well and what could have turned out better?

Richard Oppy: Very early on, our CMO Pedro Earp made a crucial, strategic marketing decision that greatly impacted our business. Rather than take a defensive or conservative position during the Covid-19 pandemic, we used this time to accelerate the transformation of our team as modern marketers.

Another big decision we made during this time was to turn our marketing plans on their head and implement a company-wide Ideas For Good process. We pooled all of our resources, and every week for three months, our teams from around the world came together to pitch ideas against a brief for what we could do to help our communities and customers in need.

As a direct result of this process, we pivoted our breweries to make hand sanitizer and fill oxygen tanks; we even helped build hospitals in Brazil and Mexico. From this process, we also developed brand programs like Rally For Restaurants, a global program that generated $7.4M in short-term cash flow for over 24,000 restaurants in 21 countries.

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