Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘online community’ Category

missedTargetBasically inseparable, sales & marketing most often seem to completely misunderstand each other.  Marketing, loaded with creative talent, big thinkers and sometimes a budget to back that up, creates tools, information and events that can make or break a brand, a launch, a quarter.  Sales, always on the go, focused on low hanging fruit, relationships and quotas provide the revenue that can make or break the company.  So how can such a close pairing, like steak and cabernet sauvignon, so often be on completely separate, parallel, uncomplimentary tracks with each other?

SAME:

The product

The team/company

The Goal

DIFFERENT:

The job

The how, when, where, who…

The mindset

target

Since I worked first in marketing then in sales in the wine industry, I’m currently fascinated with seamlessly tying the two halves together to function as a successful, profitable wine sales & marketing unit.  With input from colleagues and customers, I look forward to a thoughtful and provocative conversation that offers a basic and varied set of solutions here.  Digital marketing, social media and e-commerce have changed the way we shop, buy,  research and share. Internet opportunities, apps and experiments pop up and multiply quickly so I look forward to evaluating them for the wine industry here as well.

Your comments are essential.

Thanks for participating.

PS.   In the series to follow, data from the Forbes article that also referred to sales & marketing as Mars & Venus (an apt comparison) will be posted and referenced with valuable details about marketing lead generation and sales response time.

Read Full Post »

SMicons2Now that social media in wine and hospitality seems mainstream, facebook fan pages are de rigeur, and the twitter, flickr, fb, digg, etc. logos are plastered everywhere, there’s something significant missing in the translation of the message on connecting.  Referring back to the cocktail party analogy, would you host a party and not be there?  Invite guests to your home to connect and entertain them and leave everything up to a catering staff for interacting with your guests?

SMicons1

I sure hope you answered no to both questions.  If you did, why on earth would you launch a social media program and issue automatic direct messages to your guests?  Why would you post generic, monthly or weekly messages (imagine a PA system a la high school) announcing, shouting at people something they didn’t ask you about?  Do you understand the concept of real conversation?  If I come to your home, I’m excited to see YOU…and if you have the butler answer the door, the bartender entertain me and the cook tell me loads of information, guess what…I’m probably not coming back.  Nor will I tell my friends anything positive about that experience.

IxNayThea

Maybe you’re mislead by the cold, technological tool in front of you…your laptop (i-phone, Storm, whatever).  What you must not forget is that there are real, flesh and blood, passionate people on the other end who love wine, hospitality, their friends, family, travel, SCUBA, or whatever FAR more than they love your bottom line.  While technology extends our reach by several orders of magnitude greater than we can imagine, you cannot lose your sensitivity, your listening skills, your inter-personal talents in the hopes of automating connection.  Businesses hoping to increase their business without getting involved, asking questions, caring and listening are doomed to fail, and fail on a large scale in public.

Our friend @winebratsf is right.  And she is doing businesses a service by letting them know what she wants and why she’s there.  Many people I know just “unfollow” a business that gets impersonal, automated or uninteresting.  If you can’t make the personal investment in the relationships, you are in the wrong place.  Give more than you get.  Provide value.  Care.  Share.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading.  Cheers!

Read Full Post »

2006 Pinot Noir face

This week while we discuss and discover new technologies in wine marketing  this weekend in Wine Country, California during the Wine Bloggers Conference 2009, in Alabama the Beverage Control Board has ordered all Cycles Gladiator Wines pulled from all markets in the state of Alabama as the label has been deemed “pornographic“.

In 2006, the Cycles Gladiator wine label went through complete label approval on both the federal and Alabama state level, but only now in 2009 is it being questioned:  According to an article released today, July 23, 2009 in Lagniappe online here:

Bill Leigon, president of Hahn Family Wines of Napa Valley, Cal., said the ABC did, in fact, approve the label when the wine came into the market in 2006, but suddenly changed its mind late last year. He said they were unaware of the new ruling until now when it was deemed pornographic. Leigon said this is a new phenomenon for the company, which has sold more than 600,000 cases of Cycles Gladiator across the United States and around the world since 2006. No one else has complained about the label art, he said.

  • For full disclosure, I still work for Hahn Family Wines, owner and winery for Cycles Gladiator Wines.
  • Cycles Gladiator has been a Top 10 Value Brand 2 years in Wine Business Monthly (2006-2008)
  • Cycles Gladiator Wines have been awarded years of Gold Medals throughout the U.S and beyond.
  • Cycles Gladiator Wines have received years of great wine reviews and blog posts: Here (Rick Bakas), Here (Dr.Xeno/WineLog) and Here (Cork’d) among many.
  • Cycles Wine Supports Cyclists in the Sea Otter Classic, Tour of California and LiveStrong among others.
  • The Cycles wine label won an award: The 2006 from the American Graphic Design Award (by GDUSA, which is funny since it is a vintage piece of art from 1895, France).

wine shots 001

It has been centuries that cultures have waged argument and discord over what is art and what is porn.  How bizarre after the musical Hair (40 years ago), the Piss Christ (20 years ago), Robert Mappelthorpe (30-40 years established) and Madonna’s Sex (17 years ago) among a broad cannon of erotic and provocative art that we can not agree to disagree…yet still maintain our democratic values.  But censorship will continue to threaten freedon when politics, morals and religion is in question.  Meanwhile, men and women all over the U.S. are celebrating the freedom of Cycles Gladiator, the bicycle, the human body and a healthy lifestyle.

Let’s raise a glass…Cheers.

CG Metromint shot

Read Full Post »

3551197983_34e03c5214_bAn extraordinary Saturday in May in the Santa Lucia Highlands last weekend yielded one delicious afternoon.  With a dozen or so wine and food bloggers, Hahn Estates was the first winery to establish the Bloggers Block, a 1.5 acre plot of vines, planted in part by said bloggers, dedicated to the work, passion and appreciation of the complimentary relationship among these wine lovers.

3586605088_2c96a4e971_b

Andy Mitchell (Director Vineyard Operations) and Paul Clifton (adorable winemaker at Hahn Estates) and their vineyard team shepharded the noob farmers teaching them about this plot of land, the 720′ elevation in the Santa Lucia Highlands, the soil, the vines (828 Clone/Pinot Noir), the irrigation, the row orientation, etc.  All vines may be found on Google Earth where anyone can watch the growth of these baby pinot noir vines.  Check out the Google Earth flyover of the winery here.

3585885373_bd8497782f_b

Essentially it was a day that social media wrought where friends and associates came together to dig in the dirt and laugh together while learning about the beginning, middle and end of wine production.  Not bad for just a few hours. After planting our vines, bloggers enjoyed a picnic lunch and wines made from the vineyards where their vines were planted.  The pinot noir in the Hahn SLH, among others were featured as the conversation covered everything from vineyard experimentation to your favorite twitter app for the i-phone.

3551201503_92025daeef_b

It is still hard to put words to the perfection of the day.  It sounds cloying, overblown and off the mark when I reach for the grand adjectives and expressions to summarize this day of planting and connection.  One most apt description of all of us is to say that we were like kids in a candy store…and there was a kind of rapt adventure and play about the day’s activities.  And still there was learning, out-reach and …well, you probably understand anyway.  You seem like a wine lover to me, so I’ll share more photos of the day and leave it at that.  I hope you’ll come to the next Bloggers Tasting Forum or host your own.

3585853375_b8fb05db17_b

And who wouldn’t love a romp thru the vines in an open air Yamaha 4-wheeler?

3585791057_dfef91609a_b

You KNOW the Brix Chicks did!

Links to fellow blogger posts and attendees to follow soon.

Photos courtesy of Philip Woodrow, Hahn Family Wines Director of Marketing and Communications.

Read Full Post »

The VinTank report is certainly a chunk to sink your teeth into.  Still, my current mission is how to apply all these skills and passions for social media (we know it works) to the bottom line in sales…now that I’ve joined the sales team.  We’ve talked about them thus far ad nauseum here, on twitter and in person as we’ve laid the ground work for what this new thing, online connecting via web 2.0, is and how it applies to business.  

1winedude

So with a nod of appreciation for Dude’s work and a rush out the door on my California BevMo and Whole Foods Wine department tour, we’ll all be enjoying a round of conversation and response to the latest report on social media in wine throughout real and virtual portals.  My favorite point currently lost in the comments debate on Dude’s blog is about millenials: “…they don’t respond to the mindless, unidirectional marketing tactics that have been the staple of the “traditional” marketing machine.”  Furthermore, despite the incredible headway made by the VinTank study, most stat lovers will never be satisfied because the meduim of measuring stats for something like social media won’t even be completely embodied by a dollar sign, a case sold or a wine club member convert…alone.  Perhaps in old school speak, how would you measure and quantify the value of the Rotary Club?  For an individual or a community?  Sure, there would be numbers you could point to…but I guarantee that would not be the whole story.

This is more like a movement where participation is decentralized, diffused and more democratic.  The power and influence is spread out.  Anyone who doesn’t like that will certainly knock it down (and we’ve seen that a lot throughout the past years).  Meanwhile, let’s raise a glass, remember the wine and talk as much about the magic in the glass and sharing that bottle together.

wineTweetCheers!

Read Full Post »

Because he can.
Because he does.

And because he has mad Web 2.0, Social Media and interpersonal skills:

Vote For the DirtySouthWine

DirtyGoode 

Looking forward to this wine meets social media in practice study…and how it turns out!

Read Full Post »

licking-dogs2

Who doesn’t love a big wet sloppy kiss every now and then?  Oh good grief:  perhaps it is a wild frontier in the wine industry with the emergence of Web 2.0.  It isn’t easy trying to figure out where wine industry, wine/web 2.0 companies and wine bloggers all fit in together and how they fit together.  But no one can deny the direction and the trend toward web 2.0 participation in social networking, wine consumers and wine technology businesses.  Yes, I’ve covered parts of this topic before (Wineries and Bloggers).  And there is something to add to this conversation based on recent blows, insults and online conversations between old media and wine bloggers.

Frankly, I’d like to see wineries sponsor wine bloggers to get to the WBC.   I may end up in hot water for saying this, but I believe the community will benefit if the experienced, contributing, talented bloggers are in the room (and not just the ones who can afford to be there).  And why not?  Why shouldn’t the wine industry invest in the blogging industry as a whole. It certainly isn’t going anywhere.  Do we want honesty?  Sure.  Transparency?  Of course.   So let’s set it up that way.  We’ll need the voices of capable, committed of bloggers (or blobbers) with talent and integrity.  Fortunately, I don’t think it will be too hard to find those wine bloggers.

The last paragraph was an excerpt from a comment I posted on DirtySouthWine ‘s blog.  I continue to think there is value in wineries and bloggers  working together to increase the flow of information, education and all that is extraordinary about the wine experience to consumers and anyone passionate about wine.  Initially I approached Joel Vincent regarding a winery funded sponsorship for bloggers to attend the WBC.  Unfortunately, resources (human, time) were in short supply to make it happen this year.  Alternately, wineries could offer to sponsor bloggers directly.  Certainly include transparency, honesty, and what works for your program.  The idea is to contribute value, increase access, information, education and promote the wine experience.

dirtysouth

Bloggers are different from journalists.  They have been called “other” (thanks, 1WineDude) and they have been likened to “Faith Healers” (Jeff Cox).  Wine lovers who are moved to blog have also been called influencers (Joel Vincent).   Similar to getting advice from our most trusted friends and family, regarless of their certification or education, bloggers are also influencers to their peer-like community.  Research indicates that people trust their chosen influencers in their friends and family circle more so than they trust advertising, marketing and businesses.  Likewise, it seems many bloggers have already decided that their own audience will determine their value, appreciating their integrity and content. Or not.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.