By Paul Vigna
Keri Tawney has overseen advertising and marketing and occasions at Delille Cellars in Washington, about 20 miles northeast of Seattle, for 5 years. For a number of of these she was the advertising and marketing division for the boutique producer that has been acknowledged as a prime 100 vineyard by Wine Spectator, Wine Examiner and Wine & Spirits.
Nonetheless, sitting in a crowded market (Washington has greater than 900 wineries) with a small employees does restrict their outreach.
Enter Vivino, the wine market and app with 46 million customers, one which has change into a worldwide wine neighborhood since Heini Zachariassen and Theis Søndergaard created the enterprise in 2010 for shoppers attempting to determine what wine to purchase. DeLille Cellars CEO Tom Dugan noticed the Vivino presence as a brand new option to interact prospects and have become a part of its model tales program on the finish of 2018.
“Trying again, I believe deciding to collaborate with Vivino by means of our sponsorship program was undoubtedly in hindsight an awesome factor,” Tawney stated, noting that the pandemic has pushed extra interplay right into a digital realm.
Model tales works on each ends, offering background on the vineyard by means of textual content, pictures and movies along with info on its advisable vintages and detailed info on its wines, all supplemented by shopper critiques. Past the publicity, wineries profit from an evolving and increasing database that offers them extra perception into who’s scanning and/or shopping for their product, and the place, and the way they stack up in opposition to their competitors.
The model tales program fills a void that Zachariassen stated he realized when he spoke to wineries who needed to work with Vivino, however “we had nothing to promote, nothing in any respect.” So that they developed a product that would “assist wineries be in contact with the people who find themselves already engaged with Vivino.”
That concept has picked up momentum this yr, with the Vivino sponsorships workforce now working with round 230 wineries worldwide, together with Cos D’Estournel (Bordeaux) and DeLille. In a yr the place so many producers misplaced cash and publicity due to COVID-19, model tales has elevated each on-line gross sales and model consciousness. “Lots of people moved their budgets to digital and we had been clearly able to embrace that, and we’ve been very, very profitable since then,” Zachariassen stated.
Tawney stated there’s good purpose for that, as a result of “what Vivino does is meets us at a really important and distinctive level within the buyer journey. They may very well be at a buddy’s home scanning a bottle, in a restaurant scanning a bottle, or in a grocery retailer.”
If it’s DeLille’s acclaimed crimson mix known as D2, they’ll evaluation its style traits and peruse the a number of thousand critiques given to a number of vintages. “That is all user-generated content material,” she stated, “so it’s like these shoppers are talking for us, their critiques and their tales about participating with the wine.”
Vivino will observe up a buyer interplay by sending an e mail that gives extra info on the vineyard. “Generally, sponsorship fashions can get in the way in which of the product,” Zachariassen stated. “I believe this one makes the expertise richer.”
The significance of training shoppers isn’t misplaced on even essentially the most iconic wineries, reminiscent of Napa Valley’s Grgich Hills Property, Miljenko “Mike” Grgich made the Chardonnay for Chateau Montelena that turned the wine world the wrong way up within the 1976 Paris Wine Tasting, then opened his personal vineyard the next yr.
“Via their video banner function and their ‘meet the vineyard’ part, we now have been in a position to convey our story and model historical past, together with key options of our wines,” advertising and marketing supervisor Megan Arnett stated.
Each wineries cited the worth of the Vivino-provided information. “We have now been in a position to see [through provided scan metrics, engagement metrics and reviews/rating metrics] our shoppers’ preferences with our wines, engagement damaged down by rankings, scans, and vineyard articles together with places of scans,” Arnett stated. “Understanding what our prospects are serious about seeing and serious about participating with … assists in creating content material that’s tailor-made to what our shoppers are on the lookout for.”
Added Tawney, “With the metrics we see, and once more being smaller, I don’t have a big advertising and marketing price range. They do issues I by no means would have been in a position to do.”
Zachariassen famous that the dashboard is a piece in progress, one thing that wasn’t a part of the unique thought. “So there’s much more to return,” he stated. “We’re constructing the dashboard on a regular basis to offer them as a lot info as we are able to on the wines.”
That features particular information factors and geographic concentrating on reminiscent of why a wine may be promoting higher in Virginia than Florida, as an example, or figuring out pockets the place a wine or model is promoting. It might additionally examine areas and promotional ways that may be working in a single place and may very well be duplicated elsewhere.
It’s a platform that has prolonged past single wineries to WineDirect, a direct-to-consumer ecommerce platform, which has exceeded 1,800 shoppers. Holly Schick, whose position as director of market was necessitated by the expansion it has seen for its shoppers, stated that “in at the moment’s quickly altering shopper panorama, wineries must put money into various DTC gross sales channels reminiscent of on-line marketplaces offered by WineDirect’s third-party partnerships.”
The outcomes have been spectacular, she stated, noting that WineDirect has seen a 260% year-over-year progress throughout its market companions throughout 2020’s first 9 months. ”It’s proof that is paying off for wineries,” she stated.
To Zachariassen, the pandemic has pushed the transfer to digital forward by a number of years. “I don’t assume this was a conduct that was simply triggered by coronavirus as such, I believe it was accelerated,” he stated, including it’s creating habits that customers are embracing and never just for the brief time period.
At DeLille, they’re not about to surrender on the affect of a tasting room go to. As a substitute, that can stability what it could possibly ship on-line by means of applications like model tales. “I believe Vivino has actually made that buyer journey side and that person expertise, that’s sort of their candy spot for us.”