Published in Mercados del Vino y la Distribución nº 62 from february 15th, 2010 to march 15 th 2011
I am constantly surprised when I speak to winery marketing and sales people, because many of them still see the market as a single block. They talk about engaging the whole market; or maybe a segment of it which as a percentage may be tiny but which is enormous if considered in absolute terms.
Many of these people still haven’t realized that:
1) the internet is vital for the creation of their corporate image
2) in the internet, it’s not about the winery looking for customers, but customers looking for a winery
3) if certain people are interested in them, they should make a special effort to respond appropriately to them, ie by posting information that is interesting or useful to them. Because this type of information is immensely valuable
4) social media tools are perfect tools for showing their uniqueness, personality and positioning
5) social media tools are excellent tools for increasing their audience, and for undertaking image creation and promotional activities
6) the flow of information is so huge that final clients (actual or potential) tend to use certain people, with whom they are in contact via social networks and in whom they place their trust and use as filters. These ‘filter-people’ are the new trend indicators. Engaging with these filter-people or trend-indicator-people is vital
The internet has revolutionized communications for a number of reasons:
a) communication cost via social media of practically zero
b) search engines and social media allows the existence of an infinite number of niche markets that can be covered by different players
c) word-of-mouth communication via social media is infinitely more powerful than physical face-to-face presence
d) the above three factors make an amazing combination that blows previous ‘rules’ out of the water and creates new ‘rules’ that we are all just discovering and learning how to use
Nowadays it’s much more difficult to reach a significant number of consumers or clients, but it’s possible to be number one in a manageable niche that big enough to be profitable. Number one? How can a winery be number one? It can. Our client bought our wines because for them we were the best in the world, or rather, the best in ‘their’ world. And what’s their world? The offers and information that they receive! Those wineries that engage them with interesting information. Before, a winery could be number one in its geographical area. Now, a winery may still sell to its near neighbour but it could well have a closer relationship with a client on the other side of the planet! This is the wonder and miracle of social media.
So what should a winery look for? Try to be all things to all people? Or be the best for a limited number clients, distributors and consumers?
Is it not a good idea to maintain a database of followers, distributors, consumers, clients and to concentrate on providing an excellent service to these few, so that they consider you to be the best? This is what is technically defined as CRM.
The world has become more just. Now it’s not so important to be well considered by the top prescribers. It may be better if you find, engage and keep a certain number of dedicated followers, distributors, opinion-shapers, and clients.
With social media, there’s no such thing as ‘one market’ – there are now thousands of inter-related ones.
This post in Spanish: ¿A quién debe dirigirse una bodega en su comunicación?