Chapter 4 Beer Cartel: Content marketing for a 34% gain in sales

Tracey Wallace / 3 min read

Why they won

Beer Cartel won the Innovation Award for Marketing Innovation.

For creating a content asset that drove thought leadership, revenue and customer loyalty.

Business stats

  • Co-owner: Richard Kelsey
  • Who submitted (and is quoted below): Richard Kelsey
  • Year founded: 2009
  • Headquartered: Sydney, Australia
  • Ecommerce vertical: Food & Beverage
  • Website
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

Business outcomes of the innovation

  • An increase in online revenue of $65,000, a 34% gain on the previous year.
  • Site traffic grew over 100%, from 62,000 unique website visits in 2016 to 128,000 in 2017.
  • Beer Cartel’s mailing list grew over 130%, from 13,000 subscribers in 2016 to 30,000 in 2017.

What they do

Beer Cartel is an online craft beer retailer based in Sydney, Australia that began back in 2009. The business has a philosophy of trying to be a thought leader and educator in the craft beer space.

The challenge behind the innovation

For 2017, we wanted to do something different that made the brand truly stand out. This led to the creation of the Australian Craft Beer Survey.

The idea behind this survey was to create a publicly released report that changed how Beer Cartel as a business was thought of by consumers, suppliers and the industry at large.

The aim of the survey was fourfold:

  1. to create publicity for Beer Cartel
  2. to be seen as a thought leader in the craft beer space
  3. to increase Beer Cartel’s mailing list
  4. to drive an increase in sales.

The survey was a 5-minute snapshot of Australian consumer craft beer drinking attitudes and behaviors.

To get mass participation, we did a couple things:

  • To encourage support of the survey by the industry, any organization that helped promoted the survey was given a free copy of the industry report released at the conclusion of the survey.
  • To encourage support of the survey by consumers, each was offered the chance to win $500 of craft beer. Plus, as an additional reward, consumers were given a coupon code to get $10 off their next order from Beer Cartel.

The survey ran from June to July 2017, and had amazing success.

Over 17,000 Australian craft beer drinking consumers took part. In a traditional market research context it can be difficult to get 1,000-2,000 people to complete a survey.

To increase that by a factor of 17 was a simply brilliant result. The results of the survey were released in August 2017 via Beer Cartel’s blog.

How they make it work

The BigCommerce platform played an important role in the success of the survey.

Without the following abilities, we wouldn’t have been able to track success or earn long-term benefits (like SEO, email list building or code redemption) through the campaign.

Here’s how BigCommerce helped:

  • The ability to create and measure coupon code redemptions provided guidance to the success of the coupon code offer that consumers were provided at the completion of the survey.
  • BigCommerce’s integration with MailChimp meant that it was easy to see how many consumers that completed the survey and were new to the database then purchased from Beer Cartel.
  • The BigCommerce blog provided a great place to host the survey results. Because it linked with the rest of the online store, it meant that consumers naturally browsed the rest of the store after reading the survey results, which increased sales.
  • The BigCommerce blog also meant consumers increased their average time on the website which assists in how the site is seen from an SEO perspective in Google’s eyes.

This ability to have the blog and ecommerce store as one was vital in realising much of the benefits of the survey’s success.

Final word

The positive business impact was huge.

During the period of June 2017 – August 2017, during which the survey was conducted and the results released, Beer Cartel saw the following gains which were directly attributable to the Australian Craft Beer Survey:

  • An increase in online revenue of $65,000 – a 34% gain on the previous year.
  • Site traffic grew over 100% – from 62,000 unique website visits in 2016 to 128,000 in 2017.
  • Beer Cartel’s mailing list grew over 130% – from 13,000 subscribers in 2016 to 30,000 in 2017.

Beyond direct business growth, we saw the following impacts on our thought leadership status as well:

  • There were over 20 articles written about the survey by various media online, which helped to position Beer Cartel as a thought leader and boosted SEO for the website.
  • There was huge discussion online about the survey by craft beer drinkers in various social media groups and on Beer Cartel’s social media.
  • Australian Craft Beer Survey related posts from Beer Cartel’s Facebook page alone had a reach of over 300,000.
  • There was a huge tide of businesses that were truly appreciative of the valuable contribution Beer Cartel had made to help the growth of craft beer in Australia.
  • Richard Kelsey, who created the survey, also presented the survey results at the Australian Craft Brewers Conference and this was very positively received.

In all, the survey helped improve Beer Cartel’s positioning and perceptions amongst the industry.

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Table of Contents

IntroThe 11 Most Technically Innovative Ecommerce Brands of 2021
Chapter 1 Seriously Silly Socks: Personalization + pick, pack, ship simplification.
Chapter 2 Bob Johnson’s Computer Stuff: Future-proofing on-site search
Chapter 3 Andie Swim: Fixing a broken industry purchasing funnel for good
Chapter 4 Beer Cartel: Content marketing for a 34% gain in sales
Chapter 5 Autograph Foliages: Migrating to a 40%+ in revenue
Chapter 6 Berlitz: Selling online courses to modern ecommerce shoppers
Chapter 7 dutil.: Removing gender barriers from the online shopping experience
Chapter 8 Flip Flop Shops: Multi-store pick, pack, ship and in-store pickup
Chapter 9 Freund Container: B2B empowerment through RESTful APIs
Chapter 10 Glory Cycles: High-end product-level customization for an expert customer
Chapter 11 Ironlak: Streamlining checkout complexity in a local hosting environment
Chapter 12 NaturallyCurly: Integrating data across EDI and API endpoints
Chapter 13 Neon Poodle: International expansion on steroids
Chapter 14 Pruvit Gear: Saving $1,000,000 annually + custom print-on-demand services
Chapter 15 Restaurantware: B2B & B2C in a single dashboard
Chapter 16 Rollie Nation: Building innovation into the fabric of the brand (UX included)
Chapter 17 Sam’s Furniture: Online furniture browsing + buying customers can’t resist
Chapter 18 Silver Jewelry Club: The newest flash sale site on the block
Chapter 19 Sorority Specialties: Catering to Gen Z’s ecommerce expectations


Tracey Wallace

Tracey Wallace

Director of Marketing MarkterHire | Former EIC, BigCommerce | Founder, Doris Sleep

Tracey is the Director of Marketing at MarketerHire, the marketplace for fast-growth B2B and DTC brands looking for high-quality, pre-vetted freelance marketing talent. She is also the founder of Doris Sleep and was previously the Head of Marketing at Eterneva, both fast-growth DTC brands marketplaces like MarketerHire aim to help. Before that, she was the Global Editor-in-Chief at BigCommerce, where she launched the company’s first online conference (pre-pandemic, nonetheless!), wrote books on How to Sell on Amazon, and worked closely with both ecommerce entrepreneurs and executives at Fortune 1,000 companies to help them scale strategically and profitably. She is a fifth generation Texan, the granddaughter of a depression-era baby turned WWII fighter jet pilot turned self-made millionaire, and wifed up to the truest of heroes, a pediatric trauma nurse, who keeps any of Tracey’s own complaints about business, marketing, or just a seemingly lousy day in perspective.

View all posts by Tracey Wallace

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