Practical Winery
65 Mitchell Blvd, San Rafael, CA 94903
phone: 415-453-9700 ext 102
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Winter 2011
Then I understood. Of course, I did not want to talk to any of those people either when I was 28 or 29. I was too close to getting out of high school and college, myself. I wanted away from most of them. As a Boomer now, I am being contacted all the time by old high-school folks, college folks, who are now reconnecting.
My father passed away several years ago, but email and social media were a godsend to him. He was house-bound, but could connect every day with his children, old work buddies, and old World War II buddies. He visited the Fighting Timber Wolves’ site daily.
My girl friend, a Boomer, only about two years ago said, “I do not get Facebook. Why would anyone use it?” She checks it almost every day now, connecting to college friends and former colleagues. Most important, now all that capability; all that data is right in her smartphone.
My advice: if you are tailoring your social media marketing solely at Millennials, you are missing your prime market. Your marketing should be primarily aimed at Boomers and the “Greatest Generation.” It needs to tell an
authentic story that reflects your winery’s values and beliefs. No gimmicks.
“If you are tailoring your social media marketing solely at Millennials, you are missing your prime market.”
I believe Critter Brands are now dead, or more to the point, have had the profit sucked out of them by large wineries. Boomers and younger consumers are not that interested in innovation or novelty. No one is feeling very whimsical today. They want a product they can trust. When they go to dinner, they want to put a bottle on the table that says, “Hey look at me. I am a solid citizen with good taste.”
Ideal marketing mix
In the beginning we in the wine industry viewed social media as a conduit to Winery Direct Sales. If this is your view, and your winery has produced more than 10,000 cases per year, then I believe you are making a mistake. Even if you sell less than 10,000 cases per year, I believe, with very few exceptions, you still need a distributor presence. 80/20 would be the ideal mix.
Very early on I made the primary focus of Hahn Winery to find ways to drive business to our retail customers. As a young man, I thought the 3-tier system would collapse under its own weight. I abandoned that view over a decade ago believing that it will merely re-invent itself. It is here to stay, albeit in some modified form yet to solidify.
Because of my view, I now believe that we at Hahn Winery have the first fully integrated social media marketing strategy addressing both Winery Direct sales and Distributor sales. I note that most wineries have their social media marketing department (if they have one at all) centered around wine club sales and winery direct business, and then a separate “traditional” marketing department for the 3-tier system.
I am amazed at how often the social media folks at a winery do not really interact with the National Sales Manager, sales reps, or distributors. In our case, our Social Media Director is also our Marketing Director. Each day we get better at integrating the activities of the social media folks and our sales reps in the field.
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Hahn Family Wines trial with Hello Vino
In November 2010, Hahn Family Wines began a Hello Vino trial in three states — California, New Jersey, and New York — to support off-premise wine sales of Cycles Gladiator 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Hahn Santa Lucia Highlands 2009 Chardonnay, Hahn Monterey County 2009 Pinot Noir, and Smith & Hook 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. The trial began November 17, producing significantly positive results for the four wines promoted.
During the first half of the month, November 1–16, the brands received 852 impressions from mobile devices as recommendations to potential buyers. The second half of the month, after the trial began, brought 4,199 impressions, an increase of 500%. Click-throughs, which measure consumer interest to obtain more information (review, tasting notes, where to purchase) and indicate great buyer interest and a greater likelihood of purchase, improved from 5.4% to 9% during the same period.
“These could be very valuable impressions and clicks since, as opposed to a banner ad on a website, the consumer is actively trying to find a wine to fit a particular need and is searching for information,” explains Joshua Cairns, Hahn Family Wines webmaster and Direct Sales Manager. “These impressions will become even more beneficial when Hello Vino launches its retail connection in 2011 and consumers will be able to search for wine that is available in the store they are currently in. We are excited to work with Hello Vino and put our ad dollars into this project.”
“Hello Vino is the first mobile application that offers users a simple, fast, and relevant wine recommendation at the point of purchase,” says Jim Kopp, VP strategic development for Hello Vino, “allowing wineries to promote to consumers who are seeking a specific style of wine for their intended meal or occasion. This is a significant leap forward for wineries that have relied on the passive effects of shelf talkers and back cards to entice would-be buyers.”
Further reinforcement of this concept was made at a recent marketing seminar when Gretchen Scheiman, Director of CRM at Ogilvy Worldwide, stated: “In Christmas 2010, the mobile channel will drive more in-store activity than even salespeople. If [consumers] can get access to reviews and all the data that is out there that is more trusted than salespeople, they are going to turn to mobile.”
Hahn Family Wines clearly understands this shift in consumer behavior, having been leaders in the digital marketing of wines since 2006. Their efforts in merchandising wines through web and mobile devices have made them a winery to watch within the industry at large and resulted in strong consumer support for their various brands.
“I believe this is the most exciting time in the 37 years I have been in the wine industry,” adds Bill Leigon. “We are taking the newest technology and applying it to a very old idea – wine is best sold ‘word of mouth’ by one person to one person one at a time. We can now do that on an international scale.”