Diageo logo


Developing a winning GO-TO-MARKET Strategy

The Brief – Adopting a more informed approach for a Go-to-Market strategy

Diageo is the global leader in premium alcoholic drinks. With over 200 brands, and sales in more than 180 countries, Diageo’s portfolio has unrivalled breadth across spirits and beer.

Diageo has a long-term vision to revolutionise how it sources, stores and uses data to fully exploit the total alcoholic drinks opportunity at a national, regional, local and individual outlet level.

With this long-term vision in mind, Diageo wanted to adopt a more informed approach to their go-to-market strategy and execution, with the ultimate goal of getting its brands into the hands of the right people, via the right outlets, in the right locations. It’s ‘technology led’ draught cocktails was the first category in Diageo’s portfolio to undergo closer examination in order to achieve this goal.

There has been a surge in cocktail popularity as consumers continue to opt for something different that they can’t replicate at home; draught cocktails are already proving to be popular in the market with both retail customers and end consumers alike. Their quality is proven to match that of hand-made cocktails; staff love the speed of service, and they’re able to maintain a high-quality cocktail line with very little training. End consumers appreciate the consistency of taste and presentation.

However, it was clear there is huge potential to expand in the on-trade sector across the UK as a whole, as well as in highly targeted areas of maximum opportunity. There was strong recognition within Diageo that a more data-driven, scientific approach would greatly increase distribution and deliver improved ROI.

To grow market penetration, Diageo required a better understanding of the outlets that could purchase these products, as well as the motivations and buying behaviours of the end consumer.  This would inform their go-to-market strategy.

Action – Developing Brand Personas

In common with many other FMCG consumer brands, Diageo was heavily reliant on existing brand data to identify their target consumer for draught cocktails. This included brand research, consumer audience profiles, and various market share, market penetration and tracking data specifically in the territory of draught cocktails.

However, there was no first party data available for customer profiling or segmentation. Therefore, Serendipity2 embarked on a landscaping review of the available brand data, market research and customer insight findings from Diageo. This enabled S2’s Strategy & Insight team to draw out the main demographic, lifestyle and attitudinal characteristics of the Diageo consumer, which would aid the development of much more accurate brand personas.


Using a proprietary multi-dimensional approach, Serendipity2 used the demographic, lifestyle and attitudinal profiles of the energy drink consumer to identify target geodemographic segments. These types were grouped into four personas to reflect the different cocktail drinking consumers. By ranking and grouping geodemographic clusters, the S2 was able to turn a granular classification into an actionable segmentation of distinct and recognisable cocktail drinker market personas.

The Result

As well as four target brand personas, as part of the go-to-market strategy Serendipity2 also defined a fourth ‘Anti’ segment comprised of those types for whom draught cocktails are just not relevant. Very often it’s the ratio of those consumer that are for or against a category or brand that determine the potential of a line.

Since the building blocks of the personas were geodemographic clusters that are available for the whole UK, Serendipity2 were able to deploy the draught cocktail consumer profile in their MarketView Google mapping and data visualisation system. This gave Diageo’s draught cocktail sales and category teams access to a tool that showed them the market potential and dominant persona in every local area. By overlaying the locations of their target retailers, they could instantly see where to focus their sales activity.

The team also provided Diageo with an artworked presentation that described the four target personas in everyday terms so that they could be communicated within the business and with trade partners. Persona segmentation gives brands their own language for talking about consumers, and this helps to embed the typology in the culture of the organisation, whilst also providing a framework for developing trade selling stories.

Using MarketView, Serendipity2 also created sales territories for the Diageo sales reps targeting the licensed pub, restaurant & independent sector. This ensured that sales people were recruited and deployed in the areas of greatest potential for increasing the distribution and availability of draught cocktails to their target consumers.

To conclude, marketing personas help you understand your customers, improve engagement with them through the right channel and find more prospects that look like them. The ability to target the right prospects and customers in the right manner with the right promotion is key in today’s marketplace and provides the platform for truly targeted personalised marketing activity.

Overlaying these personas onto MarketView and creating heat maps based on different variables allows your brand to align retail and wholesale distribution with market potential and shopper demand.  Taking this approach forms the basis of a robust go-to-market strategy.


Fill in the details below and we'll call you back.