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Key Takeaway Not From DTCWS

Key Takeaway Not From DTCWS

This year we opted out of going to the Direct to Consumer Wine Symposium. Giving up the opportunity to exchange business cards with potential customers in our niche (talk about a target-rich environment).

Our rachet ‘booth’ circa DTCWS 2017. There was some hate on my last minute banana and whiteboard idea. But people loved the bananas over candy. Whiteboard wasn’t quite such a homerun. Unconventional though.

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I can point the time, energy and resources to 10x the impact we would have had speaking at a conference. Instead, we’re doubling down on the relationships we already have and using a more focused digital approach. This medium post for example.

Personally I’ve always found conferences as an excuse to just consume more instead of doing more. You may walk away feeling like you developed… but if the tactics you learned don’t get implemented, your winery just funded an expensive field trip.

Over the last few months, I’ve been charged with owning the Acquisition side of the business. (We split up our departments into the phases of the customer relationship. The two main categories being Acquisition and Retention). It has been difficult to transition roles and responsibilities, but our team has risen to the occasion on all fronts.

The outcome: I’m able to keep the momentum going in sales and marketing operations… and sales have never been better.

I’ve always laughed about how we’re such an effective marketing system for our winery partners, but don’t really do much marketing ourselves. The truth is… in our line of work, word of mouth carries pretty far when you do good work and get results.

When we start with a winery, we have to start with the operational function around how they get an email out of the door. Often time’s it’s just a big meeting about how there really isn’t any organization around email or marketing efforts. Regardless of where the winery is at operationally (p.s. this operational dysfunction is 100% leaderships fault, not the poor wine club manager wearing 12 hats) it shifts to a more customer focus of mapping data systems and auditing the email ingestion points to get winery customers transitioned to the digital relationship. Oftentimes the Business Management and Information Systems are homebrewed by each individual just trying to survive in their own bubble. Usually in excel. And usually very inefficient.

I get it, too. When I started at Premier Cellar, my Creative Services Manager had me manually typing reports out into a google spreadsheet for each campaign we sent. Minds were blown when I found the mass export API and did some pivot table magic.

The same thing goes for your DTC sales operations.

Most DTC teams have organically evolved from just managing club members. Ecommerce sales and therefore email is almost ALWAYS an afterthought.

See… the proof is in the puddin’.


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That 10% is such a low number (especially compared to our clients' ecom ratios).

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But I would argue if you did an analysis on your DTC team, that you would be allocating less than 10% focus on your website sales.

The Solution:

Get your DTC team together at a table with your comprehensive budget and have a candid conversation. Start lining out the % of resources (both staff labor hours and marketing budget spend) to see where your resources are pointed. And figure out a way to get your dollar and time focused where it’s going to have the largest return. That is with email.

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We’ve consistently doubled our client’s ecom revenue with planning and well-positioned promotions with email. Merely because we help them increase focus where they will see the best results. Email is the highest traffic driving and best-converting source of internet traffic.

If you can do it in-house.. great do it. You’ll need to restructure to be digitally focused.

The way I like to think about it is.. your email is impressed upon your customer base more frequently than any other visuals. (If you’re even sending email consistently) Including your label designs and packaging etc. So to neglect a professional design look and feel is (to me) the equivalent of using sticker paper from Staples and a laser printer you’d find in the office to manually print and stick on wine labels.

It’s much harder to sell wine with low-quality labeling. Especially above the $25/bottle price point. The same goes for selling through email.

If you think you want to look elevated in the inbox, get in touch with us by clicking the link below.



Sources: https://info.winedirect.com/2019-dtc-sales-report

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