Wine Marketing Rule #3: Talk To Your Customer
That talk was summarized in an earlier blog post here at FERMENTATION. This is the third post in a series that expands on that earlier post.
RULE # 3: Talk To Your Customer
large part, good marketing amounts to meeting the expectations of your
customers. Today, there is no question that your customers expect to be
addressed directly by you, the owner, the principle, the winemaker. They expect
to know you and understand you. They want to be as close to you as possible. So
talk to them.
of the most important reasons your customers expect this is for the simple reason that the
technology exists now to make it happen. Twenty years ago wine lovers may have wanted to be closer to the wine producers or wine retailers, but they did not insist upon it because the existing communication technology made regular communications and regular one on one communications difficult.
Whether you like Social Networks like
Facebook and Twitter and blogs, that’s where your customers are gathering, that's where they are looking for you and that's where they expect you to be. Use these tools
to talk to them. Use Twitter to carry on a conversation with them. Use Facebook to engage them. Use a blog to communicate more substantial ideas if you can maintain it regularly. Send them emails that look like personal emails instead of
marketing-speak. Carry on one-on-one email conversations with your better
customers. Find ways to ask your customers for input on decisions. But above all talk to them.
One thing we know from efforts made in the area of email marketing is that segmenting a customer data base and then sending different messages to different slices of that database always has a higher return on your investment. Apply this knowledge to all your interactions with customers and POTENTIAL Customers. Try to get a sense of what your Facebook Fans and Twitter followers tend to be willing to talk about then give then that. Avoid the temptation to try to move them to a different kind of topic.
And remember that as these conversations become more familiar, you'll be tempted to digress and speak to other issues besides wine and wine related topics. Unless those topics are related to wine, consider avoiding them. Consider staying way from discussions of politics, religion, money. Perhaps it's best to think of your followers and fans who want to get to know you as family. The same rules apply.
Unless you are Coca Cola, Gallo or Fedex, "mass marketing" is a thing of the past. The conversation is not one way and it's not defined by the general demographics of a TV show or magazine. The conversation today surrounds dialogues. Sometimes it's between you and one other. Other times it's between you and your 500 fans on facebook.
Above all, remember what is expected of you and that to be a good marketer, you need to meet the expectation today that you are available for a conversation.