On May 17th we presented several of the findings from the most recent Direct to Consumer survey. This year we again had good participation from the wine business community both in region and by case production. Many great observations were offered from the panelists:
- The oldest millennial is approaching 40 but not fully engaged with fine wine yet. They are delayed by the Indulgence Gap.
- The oldest boomer is almost 70. There is a precipitous drop in alcohol purchases at age 70 due to living on a fixed income, mortality, and a natural decline in volume consumed.
- The tasting room model as we currently deploy it is starting to crest in effectiveness. Visitation declines are evident due to consumer changes with wine tourism, growth in the numbers of tasting rooms, and the growth of tasting fees.
- We need to move away from discounting - or such policies as refunding tasting fees and giving discounts for being in the wine club, to developing policies of getting visitors 'investing' in your winery. It's a nuanced conversation best understood by watching but essentially we want the consumer who spends money at your winery, to envision joining, returning, and buying more. There are a lot of ways to accomplish that end, but only a fraction of successful examples at this point.
- It's not sensible to only focus efforts on tasting room visitors for sales. That's a funnel that in a time of declining visitation to the tasting room, is a recipe for future disaster. Digital has to be better used and regional marketing strategies developed to acquire customers who may never visit your winery. Its a different experience though and the customer experience still has to be front and center. #CustomerJourneyMapping
- Today wineries allow the majority of tasting room customers to try their wine and walk out the door, without capturing their contact data. In a short amount of time, using the list of names you do have, you will be able to segment, scale and focus calling and marketing efforts to specific consumers who will show up in a big data run as being prime candidates for buying your wine. But if you aren't capturing names, you are throwing away the investment you have in your tasting room.
- Urban and non-winery tasting rooms are not as successful as we hoped, based on the metrics we've historically used. Whether it's conversion rate to club, average customer purchase, or visitation - all metrics are worse than those from the winery proper. But there is a good purpose for an urban tasting room but you'll have to watch the video to gather the thinking.
The video covered a lot of thoughts on branding and marketing. Do you have any comments, questions, ideas, or suggestions you'd like to offer the community here?