ORLANDO, FL: Mobile holds particular promise as a source of insights for MillerCoors, the brewing group, especially as more shoppers begin making purchases via this channel.

Andrew England, evp/cmo for MillerCoors, discussed this topic when speaking at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2014 Masters of Marketing conference.

With MillerCoors selling its products to licensed merchants rather than directly to consumers, it has traditionally been a step removed from the final transaction.

Mobile payments could help resolve this problem. While such technology has seen limited uptake at present, the advent of tools like Apple Pay may change that situation.

"When everyone's paying for everything with their mobile phone … it's not difficult to imagine that, actually, then I can track [that] they're buying more beer in different locations and I can see what else they're buying as well," said England.

"All of a sudden, that really opens up this whole world. And it behooves us to have a good sense of that vision and plan ahead for it." (For more, including further details of the firm's strategy, read Warc's exclusive report: How MillerCoors connects in an explosive marketing ecosystem.)

The scale of that undertaking should not be underestimated, largely because the diverse range of locations where buyers typically purchase beer mean it is "really tricky" for brands to keep up.

England summarised the task as successfully tracking a shopper that "moves from bar to bar to restaurant to drugstore to Wal-Mart to Sam's [Club] to Costco, back to the bar and then to the convenience store."

Given that beer brands primarily skew their communications towards the younger end of the spectrum of legal-age drinkers, mobile boasts enormous potential as a medium for engagement.

And that, according to England, has powerful implications for its other digital activations, from social media to branded content.

"If we're doing anything in social, in content or web development, we have to not just develop it for mobile, but we need to be mobile first," he said.

"That's where our consumer is. That's where we're going to be able to communicate with our consumer."

Data sourced from Warc