Sunday, February 3, 2013

Need Some Fresh Ideas To Help Your Marketing?

If you are like me, you get offers of reports on trends in the wine business about every day. Several years ago I saw a synopsis of an extensive report that seemed pretty interesting. For the mere price of $2,500US I had a several hundred page report on my desk in about a week. Now this was when I still had an expense account so please don't start emailing me more sucker offers.

Sadly, much of the report seemed like it was written by a fresh-out-of-college student, or at a minimum someone who never lived in the wine business. It was rehash of everything you already knew. To make matters worse, I was cited in several places for things I'd said. That instantly devalued the purchase. Why would I listen to me? I always lie.

One of the largest issues in a family owned winery is getting your message out in a way that impacts your customers and prospective customers, helps deliver the right message in a way they hear it, and create an emotional connection with your brand. There is no way you can do that one customer at a time. Its not scalable. And while going with the standard cohorts of Millennials/GenX etc is tempting, that isn't going to be very effective in the end because of the wide variance in tastes within the cohorts. So you have to find a way to segment your customers and prospective customers into groups so you can then customize a message for that group. That is scalable but it requires defining the groups and individual characteristics of the groups as well as their motivations. If you can do that, then you can do direct marketing and even events with like-minded people.

This week I was turned on to a very cool report from Intellima out of the UK that does that very thing. Its really a thought leadership piece that drives customers back to them, but its a fascinating stand-alone piece from my perspective. My biggest criticism is it's got the boring title of "Global Trends in Alcholic Drinks 2013," making it sound like the same kind of over-priced economic treatise I was talking about earlier that I filed in the ash can. Then its got a subtitle which reads: "From Feel Good to Fusion: What Consumers Want in the Drinks Category." Its not about that either sorry to say. Hopefully someone there will fix that because it's really about a decade of work done by the company on stratifying consumers into an order that allows a winery to group consumers, define wants and desires of those consumer groups, at which time you can then go after tactics to reach the groups you really want to reach and stop wasting efforts on the groups you really don't want. That will allow you the wine producer to better develop a connection with a consumer who for instance, values authenticity or transparency, or perhaps someone who is a throwback and in this report called a Retro. This isn't about age as these groups span those cohorts.

Here's a sample of the report that will give you a better feel. This is from the section titled "Telling Tales."

We are all too aware human beings have always been enchanted by stories, and nothing beats having some original ones of our own. We don’t just want to have an experience – we want to tell people about that experience. The travel industry understands this better than most. We all know too well that when we go on holiday, we like to return enriched with stories: the cooking lesson we received at a Vietnamese restaurant; the samba class we attended in Rio; the dolphins we swam with in Cancun; or perhaps just the great bar we discovered while on a weekend break.

In a recent venture, American Express would arrange such anecdote-generating itineraries for you, even if you were not sure what you were looking for. Its "Nextpedition" holidays were essentially mystery tours, individually tailored for members based on their individual profile information. The only catch was that you did not know where you were going, or what you would be doing, until the big day arrived. But then that only made the story more interesting to tell both before, during and after trip.

Consumers don’t want marketers to do all the work. They too are in search of new discoveries – discoveries which will become stories. We hear from consumers during our research that they are increasingly seeking out unusual drinks, often from artisanal producers using local ingredients. Again, this isn’t just a taste experience. It’s a talking point.

Take that small piece and multiply by 50 plus pages, and you end up with a very interesting view of changing consumer preferences. What can you do with that information? Begin the brain-storming with your management team. It might be that you need a consultant like Intellima to sit with you and go through this to better define and come up with a segmentation strategy. But I think for many people, reading this report will get your mind going early in this year about how you want to define you brand going forward, which consumer types suit your own vision of what you and your brand find important, which skills you have internally in your organization to target some of these segments and better support your existing base ........ Essentially, I'd suggest using this piece as an idea generator from which some will springboard into new thoughts about attacking the evolving consumer market that is before us.

You can stop here and surf to the next interesting piece on the web and never do another thing with this, but do yourself a favor instead and bookmark this as a resource to reexamine your marketing approach and perhaps freshen it. Nothing ventured nothing gained. But then again, why listen to me. After all ..........I lie.



    Spurred from your SVB industry report, I wrote a blog entry on this type of marketing in Bay Area wineries. I attended two "grassroots" events that were highly targeted to each winery's audience. They key: unusual and entertaining situations to "discover" new wine brands. Storytelling about the products added richness to the consumer experience.

    1. Thanks for the comments Rachael and for citing the SVB State of the Industry Report in your own blog.


Please sign into the community to post. Common-sense guidelines apply: Disagree with author but offer your own thoughts. Disagree with other posters but please attack the post versus the person.

Flaming, spamming, off-topic posts, advertising and offensive posts that would not be suitable for work will probably be deleted. Drunken posts will be forwarded to your mother.