26 50

CMO50 2022 #26-50: Paul Gloster

  • Name Paul Gloster
  • Title Chief marketing officer
  • Company Lyre’s Spirit Co
  • Commenced role July 2019
  • Reporting Line CEO
  • Member of the Executive Team Yes
  • Marketing Function 25 staff, 7 direct reports
  • Industry Sector FMCG
  • 2021 ranking 26-50
  • Related

    Brand Post

    Non-alcoholic spirits might well be a tall ask for a nation known for its love of a drink, however, Paul Gloster, CMO of Lyre’s Spirit Co is helping the company make fantastic inroads.

    “We have a team which has embarked on a journey to change the way the world drinks, it’s never been done before, so the bravery of the entire Lyre’s team in pioneering the social and cultural change required to achieve our goals is what I think is truly brave,” Gloster explains.

    Innovative marketing 

    In 2019, Lyre’s launched as a range of non-alcoholic alternatives to traditional spirits. When the on-premise channel closed due to lockdowns, there was a trend towards at-home cocktail making and consumption.

    Post pandemic, this shift remains. Yet when it comes to non-alcoholic cocktails, consumers are still discovering how to transform a traditional alcoholic cocktail into a no or low alcohol equivalent. To deliver Lyre’s core strategic business purpose of ‘changing the way the world drinks’, marketing searched for innovative technology solutions so that anyone, anywhere and at any time could transform their favourite cocktails into non-alcoholic Lyre’s. This was especially applicable for the potential 'at home non-alcoholic bartender'. 

    Gloster says in late 2020, the project commenced under the strategic umbrella of ‘anywhere anytime’ to create a modern consumer engagement campaign.

    “The campaign has been delivered in partnership with Amazon, one of our largest global customers, using their Alexa technology to guide consumers through the steps of making a Lyre’s non-alcoholic cocktail," he says.

    “Consumers simply add the ‘Make it a Lyre’s’ skill and are prompted to name a cocktail they usually enjoy, such as an Espresso Martini, Negroni or Cosmopolitan. Via Alexa, the skill recommends a Lyre’s non-alcoholic alternative, reading out the recipe one easy step at a time. Customers can follow the recipe on an Alexa-enabled smart screen device or navigate the recipe hands free via an Alexa-enabled smart speaker.

    “Customers in some markets also have the convenient option to add products to their Amazon cart as they navigate the recipe, ensuring the bar is always kept fully stocked with Lyre’s. Broader awareness was built via targeted digital and PR, and our results to date have been very strong, particularly in the key market of the USA where thousands of Lyre’s cocktails recipes have been assisted by Alexa.”

    Business smarts

    Lyre’s is one of the fastest growing consumer goods companies in the world. Within three years, it’s gone from four employees to over 100 people in 70 countries, with sales revenue in triple digit growth. 

    “As founding CMO, it was a major objective to bypass an organic start-up model and from day one, build an engaged team, inspired by a purpose-driven culture and aligned towards delivering our growth objectives; without falling into the start-up trap of taking 10 years to work it out!” Gloster says.

    “Aligning the rapidly expanding marketing and sales team together behind a universal brand positioning was a priority as CMO. It was clear success required Lyre’s to lead a change in entrenched social and cultural drinking behaviours around the world. The core view was we must change the way the world drinks, so this became our purpose. 

    “This brand clarity naturally fed into our proposition, which is the freedom to have your drink your way. Embedding a tangible call to action to ensure people are enjoying the freedom only Lyre’s range of non-alcoholic drinks offer. The clarity of our marketing goals quickly became the cornerstone of our entire organisational purpose.”

    Championing adoption and influencing drinking change across many markets, it is now embedded across a globally dispersed, remotely working, cross functional team. Not only has this been critical in bringing about organisational change beyond the CMO’s function, but the clear purpose extends into external equity fundraising efforts. 

    Within the current recessionary environment, this has been a key point of difference in attracting growth investment funds as Lyre’s demonstrates a highly aligned purpose and attractive proposition when securing funding. Its purpose is now weaved throughout its narrative, from internal meetings to shareholder updates and has delivered organisational change by aligning purpose beyond the marketing function.

    Data-driven maturity

    Lyre’s is in a competitive race to establish market leadership across the globe. Demand for Lyre’s is high, however, not all new markets exhibit the same maturity. 

    Gloster says rolling out a global one-size-fits-all approach neglects local market maturity, wastes precious start-up resources and risks long term growth. Lyre’s uses a bespoke data-driven insight tool to compare multiple markets and inform the growth plan, and drive the pursuit of rapid, sustainable market leadership. 

    “Curating and combining both lead and lag indicators from qualitative and quantitative analysis across 45 countries, we use algorithms across five actionable barriers or enablers which shape marketing strategy and, importantly, provide a quantitative view on market maturity,” he says.

    “A simple traffic light system allows assessment by indicator and places emphasis on usage of the relevant elements from the global marketing toolkit. Our data-led view of market maturity allows specific campaigns to be developed to drive awareness and adoption. 

    “Using these insights, we’ve added AR technology to our global toolkit to make it easy for consumers to interact with Lyre’s in launched, but not mature, markets. Broad user adoption is key at this stage of growth, so informing consumers of the Lyre’s range and how to make drinks with Lyre’s is critical. 

    “Enabled via a link using a smart-phone, a Lyre’s bottle of choice appears and the anthropomorphic animals come to life to guide you through three drinks. This is linked to store-finders and social media to close the loop on driving adoption. This program is in soft rollout at present with market aligned deployment as an activation for “Sober October’, a key recruitment period for non-alcoholic spirit users. Neck tags have been added in retail to expand awareness and as a value add to shoppers in key accounts.

    “Investing in new marketing technology is a way of making life easy for people to find Lyre’s, so the technology becomes an enabler of the message, and the tech is in the background of the message for our brand. It's paying dividends as it's differentiating Lyre’s and finding new ways to get us into the conversation.”

    Customer-led value

    Sharing best practice across the business has been a challenge where team members have never physically met and are still using video-based meeting technology to interact. Spending time in other markets, it was very clear to Gloster the sales and marketing capabilities within the Australia and New Zealand teams were not prevalent across teams in other markets.

    The rapid learning curve the A/NZ team went through building the brand had some important lessons for the benefit of other teams in their capability development.

    “To address this capability gap, we have introduced Short Hits Of Training (SHOTs), which allow the sharing of learnings across markets. These are structured as short 15 minute coaching sessions in a virtual, remote or physical location. These have been supported via ‘work with’ visits where managers spend a day or two in a market with the team to actively coach and reinforce the topics within the SHOTs whilst working together in the field,” he says.

    “One of the first topics to share was the drinks strategy. Our philosophy ‘drinks sell bottles’ became a cornerstone of ensuring our team could each make a delicious Lyre’s non-alcoholic cocktail to showcase the range. This has been done via an e-learning platform which houses short videos with ‘how tos’, takeaway one-pagers and creating a capability development forum known as the Brand Ambassador Meeting (BAM).

    “These are captured for future reference, but now have been expanded to include our customers so we can share drinks content from our customers as both an educational and inspirational marketing tool.

    “Customer outcomes are improved as they have an elevated level of interaction and experience with the Lyre’s brand with content showcasing adoption of the Lyre’s drinks for their own digital and social marketing.”

    Commercial and growth acumen

    Lyre’s is delivering an aggressive growth plan, and after three years with Gloster as CMO, it is now a global brand, built via smart awareness, innovative trial for acquisition, and insight-driven campaigns to achieve customer retention. 

    Gloster says Lyre’s marketing team has in a very short space of time set up the business for long term sustainable growth. The brand was founded with global aspirations, so ruthless consistency and maximum efficiency are key to delivering fast growth, maximum brand amplification and high ROI on marketing investment. 

    “Five cornerstone documents have been created to ensure each and every market is onboarded rapidly. Approved assets have been made available to each market via a digital asset management system, allowing speed to market and minimising asset production costs. A unique point of sale making system allows customisation of on-brand assets, such as menus, invitations and trade presenters."

    A 'self-serve' model now exists with each market being able to access the required materials 24/7. Campaigns are created for global usage from the Australian-based global team, so new markets have a suite of market ready activations to drive velocity in new distributions and accelerate consumer recruitment.

    “Overall, these systems and processes have been created so Lyre’s can scale marketing activities quickly and deliver consistent brand touchpoints no matter where our product is available," he says.

    “Creating and putting these systems in place has helped our bottom line with advanced capability to remotely bring new markets and partners up to speed with pace, with 70 new countries in three years. 

    “Lyre’s can deploy marketing campaigns known to drive growth, confirming belief in the wider category to broaden distribution and ranging, enabling growth from 200 outlets in Australia to over 9000 points of purchase across the globe. Lastly, trends, insights and data have a way to be shared across markets. How Lyre’s is changing the way the world drinks in one market is quickly adopted to drive our triple digit growth.”

    Leadership impact

    Changing the way the world drinks starts with a good team. Periods such as Dry July are a window in which many people discover the world of Lyre’s non-alcoholic drinks and a partnership with the Dry July Foundation is a great opportunity for the team to be engaged in the vision by participating in Dry July themselves.

    “Over the last two years Lyre’s has expanded our relationship with the Dry July Foundation to be the official non-alcoholic spirit of Dry July, and our objective has been to ensure more people participate in Dry July, not only abstaining from alcohol but as an unique opportunity to fundraise for charity,” Gloster says.

    “Our engagement is across not only 3000 points of distribution, but importantly, the internal participation and personal change. This closely aligns with our vision in a practical way so our team can experience first-hand the benefits Lyre’s brings to lifestyle and health, educating in an engaging and memorable way.

    “In 2022, we had a record number of participants across the globe, driving fundraising events every Friday, such as Dry July drinks, trivia and guest speakers from the Dry July Foundation and McGrath Foundation to share the amazing work the fundraising generates for people with cancer. 

    “We also brought our team who were participating in Dry July into our media across Australia and New Zealand, to give them the opportunity to showcase the personal change they were making and participate in the marketing activity. This integration into a campaign which delivers against our core proposition has been a highly powerful team building and engagement activity which we now have as part of the business DNA.”

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