Direct to Consumer Marketing- 5 Key Takeaways for your Wine Business

In the modern digital world, you must assume that everyone is a potential customer. The art of converting those potential customers into customers can be daunting. Last week, Astra Digital Marketing Service’s CEO Ron Scharman, along with Director of Business Development and Social, Ryan Neergaard, held an immersive seminar on DTC wine marketing at Sonoma State University to break this big task into small bites.

In the framework of easy to digest actionable items, here are five key takeaways that can help take your business to the next level.

1.   Adapt to online shopping trends


“E-commerce” has become a complicated term. The way we shop is changing daily, and convenience is crucial. We’re now in the days of omnichannel retail—meaning your business must find the customer where they want to be found. Today’s shoppers expect a single shopping experience that follows them on their journey.

While this poses a greater challenge for you, the experience must be seamless, whether in-store, online or through all things mobile.

Why marketers should care: Online shopping is no longer linear. Maintain top-of-mind awareness by developing a presence everywhere your customer wants to be found.

2. Your website could be the problem

Believe it or not, your website should be about the visitor, not about you. Experience is everything, and without a good one, you’ll have a hard time keeping customers. Start by asking yourself three questions:

1. Why does my brand exist?

2. Why should the consumer care?

3. How do I measure success?

From there, develop a website that is engaging, tells a story worth reading, and is easy to navigate with a clear way to purchase. While your tasting room hospitality might result in a one-time customer, the quality of your website may deter a repeat purchase.

Why marketers should care: Mobile optimization is no longer optional, and your search page results are affected accordingly. If you were waiting for the right time to take action, that time is now. Present a condensed, easy-to-read version with clear calls to action. You’ll thank us later.

3.  Get social

Social media marketing

What’s the difference between social media and social marketing? Social media are the sites and platforms available to you; social marketing is how you drive those platforms to your advantage. Become a master of a select few rather than spreading yourself thin across every platform available.

The challenge here is growing- and retaining- an audience that cares about what you’re saying. The solution is authenticity. Be authentic in everything you do, from the content you serve to the ads you run. Speaking of ads: promote, test, and test again.

Why marketers should care: Through education and entertainment, “Edutainment”, you’re building a relationship with those who come across your content. Build trust; then they will buy.

4.  Email remains king

Email Marketing

Once considered a dying medium, email marketing continues to hold its rightful place at the top. How? Email marketing easily adapts to the needs of the consumer, i.e. mobile, but you must be more relevant than ever to break through the sea of spam that is an inbox. Get to know your audience. From there you can deliver what they want time after time and refine based on your results.

Why marketers should care: Email open rates may be going up, but click-through rates are going down. The fix? Incentive. Make the payoff clear—it’s a mutually beneficial relationship, after all.

5.  Always make time

Wine tasting

You may be thinking about your lack of resources or time, or perhaps both. Even without resources, there will always be old-school, hands-on ways to draw attention to your brand and engage potential clients. Get creative! From wine and food pairings to DIY winemaking, to simply encouraging reviews, the opportunities are endless.

Why Marketers Should Care: Small businesses often face greater challenges when it comes to marketing. Show that you’re making an effort and you will start engaging with your target market.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, ask yourself, “How do you sell a 3-dimensional story in a 2-dimensional world?” If you’re not adaptable, engaging, and authentic, you simply can’t. Comment below to find out how you can attend the next seminar. We hope to see you there!

Do you have questions or more industry tips? Share below!


About the author - Abby is a Social Media Coordinator and Napa Valley transplant enjoying all things wine, food, and marketing. Abby is passionate about crafting content with purpose and embracing the everyday changes of the digital marketing world.