As the COVID-19 shutdown continues to wreak havoc on the economy, beverage companies are getting  creative when it comes to boosting revenue and connecting with consumers.

Although the tasting room of Brooks Winery reopened on June 1, Janie Brooks Heuck, managing director of the Amity, Ore.-based winery, estimates that the winery will see distribution losses of $900,000 compared with 2019.

Yet, to keep the winery top of mind, the winery is sending non-sales-driven weekly emails, doing Zoom calls with its 2,000 wine club members, and has hosted 30 virtual events. Brooks Heuck notes that success happens prior to virtual tastings, as all participants purchase wine. See page XX.

Three29, a Sacramento-based digital marketing firm, notes that beverage companies that “truly invest in digital for every part of their business: search, social, advertising, email, marketing automation and eCommerce” have the best chances of survival.

However, due to COVID-19, overall spending for digital ads is down 38 percent in March and April, and TV spending is down 41 percent versus planned levels, it says.

In a statement, Kevin Howe, principal at Three29, notes, “Executed properly, digital marketing more than pays for itself with the assurance that every dollar spent is generating an incremental dollar amount of revenue, imperative in the current business climate.”