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Posts Tagged ‘Napa’

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.

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A cloud post:

dollarhide3

First class, Lesley Russell, St. Supery, Napa. Forward thinking, bloggers wine tasting II, Sauvignon Blanc, Moscato…bacon.  Gathering names, Chris Parker, and guilty pleasures, Brittany Spears, Scissor Sisters, Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson, Journey and Barry Manilow!?  Sunshine, old oaks, vineyards, bud break, Dollarhide, Cabernet Sauvignon, photos.  Soil, vines, rows, Josh Antsey, sleepy, fuzzy, friendly, fabulous, knowledgeable, funny.  Gracious, supportive, amazing leadership, Michaela Rodeno, Emma Swain, smiles and the Boos. GG.  Bloggers gather.  Hugs.  Tweets.  Twitpics.  Representing Napa, Contra Costa, San Francisco, Sonoma, Santa Clara, Alameda, food and wine.  Fig trees, fruit trees, farming, Fish Friendly, Green.

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Tasting Gallery, bottles, glasses.  “What is this?”  “That’s a spit cup, Shana.”  “What’s it for?”  “Never mind.”  Josh leading, bloggers tasting.  Semillion, 100%.  Sarah Jones, sweet.  Wine Club line up: Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot: rich, complex, friendly, Napa, more please.  GG. Reds.  Winery exclusive. 650 cases.  Photographs, laughter, sharing.  Limited editions.

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Chef Ron Barber, specialties, fallen goat cheese souffle.  Cherry tomatoes.  Out side, under the oak.  More tweets.  Lunch, Game Hen, Elu, red blends, more sun.  Cheers!.  Greens, fresh french bread, olive oil, red, Cabernet Sauvignon.   Cheeses, flowers, French, dessert, Chateauneuf du Pape.

flowers

Nothing I could have written would have been anywhere near as eloquent, graceful and prefect as that day.

My fellow bloggers, however, will have collectively communicated through their posts.  Check them out listed below:

Janesta: Brix Chicks

Jim White: NapaMan

Liza: Brix Chicks

Russ Beebe: WitiCulture: Wine Hikers Blog

Shana Ray: Not Yet Out on VHS

Thea Dwelle: Luscious Lushes’

Trevor & Karen Jonas: UnCork 29

Ward Kadel: WineLog

Xandria: Brix Chicks

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Go to Hurley’s Restaurant & Bar across the street.  Or go to Celadon or Allegria in Napa.  Or Mustard’s when they re-open.  I’m sad to say, however, that the new-ish, restaurant Bottega in Yountville couldn’t care less if you were there…and they act like it. Last night, my friends were trying to give Bottega a second chance having had such a mediocre experience previously.  It was my first visit.  We enjoyed bubbles and appetizers outside by a blazing fire where the restaurant offers “no service”.  We ordered at the bar and carried our own drinks, napkins, flatware, plates outside.   That was fine as the three of us were steeped in conversation and warmed fireside on a lovely, fresh, Napa spring night.  Our mistake was going inside.  A table in the bar opened up and we wanted to try a couple of the appetizers…with service.  Have I mentioned that Bottega is not cheap…not by a long shot.

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I asked for a tawny port.  They gave me a ruby port…and told me it was a tawny port.  We ordered a salumi platter.  When we asked for details about what was on the plate (my friend has an allergy to cow meat…the kind that brings on vertigo and nausea, occasionally followed my temporary hearing loss), the server/bartender (?) said she didn’t know, identified half the plate  and went to find out the rest.  When she returned, she had mis-identified the pork and cow which my friend had already tasted.  Ugh!  Is it just me, or does it seem like too many places don’t seem to care at all about Word of Mouth, or customer service, or hospitality.

apathy

The restaurant was busy, but not packed.  No one else working there, the host, the other bartender or server, ever spoke to us.  It is too bad.   The ambiance was warm and friendly.  The service was so bad that our conversation was hijacked into sifting through the short list of restaurants in Napa that consistently offer good (or better) service.  Frankly, for the experience, we could have had similar service, (basically self service) at Taylor’s Refresher, with a smile, great food and at much less cost!  Disney has service right.  If only Napa hospitality took the Disney Training Program.  Extraordinary, personal, friendly, helpful and non-overbearing service is, such a breath of fresh air, and hard to find in Napa… But I can’t resign myself to such mediocre hospitality where I live! For now,  I will take my friends’ offers in Sonoma & Calaveras counties to visit their wineries and remember the pleasure of good customer service.  And when I’m in Napa, I’ll visit the few places that care to have you there.
Photos courtesy of Google images.

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Winemakers and Vineyard Managers are the artists and magicians in our industry.  Yes, they call on science a great deal too.  And their alchemy yields a precious libation revered and exulted in rituals both daily and sacred; from the family meal to religious rites.

We honor their time in the vineyard, the cellar and the lab and always want more of them.  Their unique perspective, experience and connection to the vine practically makes them our only and best channel into the mysteries of our wine experiences.  Coming together and sharing is already a precious gift of presence;  add wine to the experience and there is an immediate physical in-the-moment awareness that heightens the sharing.  Simply and truly connecting.

Social networking is that experience, increasing your opportunity for connecting in meaningful and substantial ways.  There are many examples in business online, but look to no other proof than that of Barak Obama’s campaign.  While engaging Americans with all the traditional campaign tools, “It super-charged those traditional methods with the best online strategy ever employed in a national campaign…”  (see TechPresident). The online experience is the channel primed for growth, value, contribution and community in the wine industry.  A direct interface both massive and intimate for communicating story, images, video, events, and the science and artistry of making wine to the people all over the world who love wine.

It comes down to relationships.  Marketing and Social Networking have the tenants of relationships, community, connecting, engaging (and user generated content), thanks to Web 2.0 that make it successful.  By now, many SMO folks are tired to those terms, but they hold true.  The technology allows people to connect on platforms and groups like LinkedIn, the Open Wine Consortium and facebook.  And the in-person connection that these social groups afford may be accelerated and made meaningful in a world where corporate giants are depersonalizing more of our consuming experiences.  Finding restaurants, bookstores, wine shops and grocery stores where you meet the owner, know the manager and connect with the sales person are all but gone.  And it was those connections cultivated over time that made the experience rewarding, serving not just our purchasing needs, but our extended human interaction needs across our community.

Enter social networking.  Across vast populations all pressed for demands on their time, money and energy, we can find ways to connect with like-minded individuals and groups.  We may also share information, stories, reviews, experiences, events and eventually, in person, a bottle of wine.  Wineries (their winemakers, vineyard managers, owners) have an opportunity to connect with the online wine world, including consumers, wine bloggers and a variety of Web 2.0 wine companies, all of whom are crazy-passionate about wine and wine people.  Wineries have the opportunity to contribute to the community, add value and participate in the most effective means of growing business: giving more, delivering more, leading more, where becoming an industry leader means building a model in our industry for business relationships across the world of wine consumers.  And connecting even for a few precious minutes a day or each week with the artists/scientists of the vine, the winemakers and vineyard managers would be an amazing gift of a relationship that wineries may share.

It is an exciting time in the wine world.

pouringwine

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