Here at Tincknell & Tincknell we watch – and adopt – new tech, often early, especially that tech with potential marketing purposes. So we’ve been watching and participating in social web marketing, both on our own behalf as well as on behalf of some of our clients for quite awhile now. Certainly social media has a place in a business’ marketing strategy. What alarms us is that many, many pundits and consultants in the wine industry are peddling it as the form of marketing, and possibly the only form of online marketing a business needs.
The wine industry is abuzz about “web 2.0” marketing, also known as “social networking” or “social network marketing”, as the latest trend in marketing wine. Web 2.0 encompasses “technology and web design that aim to enhance creativity, communications, secure information sharing, collaboration and functionality of the web” according to Wikipedia. Web 2.0 provides some valuable tools, and makes marketing for wineries easier because of it, especially for smaller wineries. The basics of marketing still remain the same: creating a robust, interesting brand identity; finding an audience of loyal and potential customers; and building relationships with customers through communicating that brand identity creatively and succinctly.
As clocks tick down to close the Gregorian calendar’s second millennium since the birth of Christ (debate on the true end aside), the wine industry has undergone profound changes in the last forty years, with the last ten the most dramatic. Prior to the nineties, the changes all had to do with the actual making of the wine. There has been a seismic change in perceptions about marketing, sales and distribution. The wine industry is still hobbled by post-Prohibition, three-tier distribution and regulations, but wine producers are finally embracing alternate and new methods of selling wine: the internet and direct marketing.