TOP DRAWER MEDIA: Strategic Media Planning & Buying


"85% of our budget was tied up in flyers. Top Drawer audited our flyer program and negotiated over a million dollars in savings which we have since invested in e-commerce, CRM, social media and television. This has resulted in a significant increase in sales and market share."

— Stephen Bebis, CEO, Liquor Stores. N.A. Ltd.

TIMING June 2013 to Present
CHALLENGE Liquor Stores N.A. (LSNA) is North America’s largest privately held liquor retailer (LIQ on TSX). Their flagship brand, Liquor Depot (located in BC and AB), had been experiencing a slow decline in sales due to pressure from grocers and big box retailers that had increased focus on liquor sales. With an ad spend of less than one per cent of sales (focused primarily on flyers and newspapers) and no budget increase to allow for a diversified channel strategy, Liquor Depot continued to lose both share of voice and market share to competitors.

INSIGHT Through a combination of Top Drawer Media research and partner research with Corby’s (Liquor Depot vendor) on the core Liquor Depot customer, key insights were discovered. We found that the core customer (aspiring socials, 19-35 years-old) represented over 40% of sales, with all other groups fragmented into single-digit segments. We also discovered that this group did not read flyers, which was the primary ad vehicle for Liquor Depot.

While we saw an opportunity to reach this valuable segment better through a different media mix, finding wiggle room within Liquor Depot’s tight ad budget presented a challenge. In order to maintain the flyer program and gain buy-in from the client, a creative approach was necessary.
PLAN AND EXECUTION Top Drawer Media met with all of LSNA’s current media vendors, and, through intelligent and strategic negotiations with senior executives, we found over one million dollars in savings in their existing flyer and print program. This allowed our client to invest in channels that better targeted their core consumer. We designed an integrated plan to target this important 19-35 year-old consumer that included programmatic (behavioural and contextual targeted) digital ads, social media content, radio and CRM.
RESULTS By diversifying beyond flyers and print without giving up any of their current channels, Liquor Depot experienced their best fiscal in terms of sales growth, margin and profit in over 10 years! Top Drawer Media’s creative and innovative approach to traditional and digital media set a new course for the company that continues to bring success and further expansion into the marketplace.