Creating new openings from pub closures for Saltaire


After the announcement of lockdown one in March 2020, Saltaire Brewery engaged Creode to help them develop a brand new direct- to-consumer offering and help them get beer into the hands of thirsty consumers. For both businesses recognition of their fast action, creative thinking and approach to continuous improvement would be the crowning glory in a year-long campaign that turned a potential disaster into a sales and brand positioning triumph.


Pubs were closed. Which meant 70% of Saltaire Brewery’s revenue stream was closed. The business needed to pivot on a budget. As an agency, we needed a pragmatic approach. Recognising that the optimal solution is rarely the most efficient, we needed to engender trust from the client that every single penny would be spent as if it were coming out of our own pockets.


Based in West Yorkshire, we began targeting Saltaire’s consumers within their heartland, people with an interest in beer and a degree of brand awareness from seeing Saltaire products on the bar at their local or on supermarket shelves.

In a time of change, the strategy was clear to us at Creode: to engage with relevance and move at speed.

We used search data to identify real-time changes in consumer behaviour. This informed both targeted online ads and our recommendations to develop new products to capitalise on these opportunities. A trusting working relationship made this possible, allowing us to adapt fast and proactively solve problems.


From a standing start with the direct-to-consumer sales channel, we developed products and campaigns to cease the opportunity. Data insight informed each product; made available to purchase within days of our recommendation and supported by tailored search and social media marketing campaigns.

We built Saltaire’s first ecommerce website, which we deployed at speed, including integration with their ERP system.

With our focus on continual improvement, we gathered search insights and created new products, search and social media campaigns, whilst evolving a bank of assets assembled for display marketing. We selected a new marketing automation system to close the loop.

Totally focussed on ROI, we built a benchmarking framework to assess the performance of different media campaigns and targeting methods, and tracked gross profit from each sale, allowing our media team to optimise toward profit rather than revenue.

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Within weeks of launching, the campaign was generating record- breaking revenues for the brewery, with direct-to-consumer sales reaching 120% of lost pub sales revenue, at a margin far greater than Saltaire would have achieved selling to trade.By creating an extensive, bespoke reporting dashboard blending digital, ad and offline data sets, Saltaire Brewery can now see how the different mix of marketing channels, target audiences and creative tracks against profit generated. And by including earned and paid media channels in one dashboard the true value of the full marketing mix can now be used to achieve full funnel optimisation.The pivot towards direct-to-consumer sales has enabled Saltaire Brewery to come out of a business-threatening pandemic and transform into a stronger, more diverse brand. By continuously optimising the performance of the marketing campaigns, Creode has helped the brewery to build a robust direct channel, opening more opportunities to engage customers and drive higher-margin sales.


Continuous improvement was key to the success of this activity. Honest dialogues between client and agency helped us improve performance week-by-week and has left the brewery in a strong position, with a bright future.

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