A Budget-Conscious Way To Guide Consumers

While there are slick, and completely automated beer finder tools out there that can help customers find their favorite beers at nearby locations, not every brewery wants to spend the money to implement them into their online platforms.

That’s where Mad River Brewery found itself last year when it did a major overhaul of its website. 

“While desired, an automated beer finder was just not in the budget,” explained Jessica Carenco, marketing director of the Blue Lake, California brewery. 

Mad River instead refined a tool that Carenco said was low cost but provided a helpful level of interactivity. It took a combination of a WordPress plugin called Responsive Vector Maps, or RVM, the EasyMaps add-on for Google Docs, and some basic spreadsheet work. The initial launch of the interactive map includes distributor contact information, followed by an update that included interactive markers for current accounts.

Careno said Mad River was looking forward to hearing feedback from customers.

“We are now in the beta testing of our self-built interactive map that features our current account locations, each linked to their corresponding Google Maps location,” Carenco said. “As updates will be manually made, we are starting slow, looking at a quarterly update to start and then increasing the frequency of updates as we refine the process. We have a nice foundation built so we won’t be starting from scratch with each update, at least.”

Carenco said that unless you self-distribute, you often rely on distributors to keep your information up to date, adding that depending on technology software and systems, updates to that info can vary widely.

“For that reason, as we use data provided to build our map, we are taking it slow and still include the distributor contact information for customers to obtain the most accurate information,” she said. “From the start, we set realistic expectations and have just been improving from there. 

“Starting from scratch has been an opportunity to re-approach our objectives and think outside of the box. In summary, it has been a cool project to work on and I encourage others to tap into their resourcefulness.”

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