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11.19.2013

Don't Ask a Dinosaur for Directions

bigstock-handsome-journalist-writing-wi-43410031.jpgThose of us who spend our days working if not in the vanguard, at least squarely in the mainstream of the internet technology revolution are at once both amused and infuriated by many wine writers' attempts to dismiss the relevance of social media in the wine world.

Steve Heimoff, in particular continues to worry away at the subject, like a Chihuahua intent on bringing down the elephant it thinks it has cornered. But Steve's not the only member of the old guard who believes that because he knows about wine and the wine business therefore he has the tools to understand the meaning, relevance, and value of social media for wine.

I've restrained myself from writing screeds in response to some of the utterly inane, backwards, and frankly plain ignorant pronouncements offered by such commentators, but luckily Joe Roberts of OneWineDude.Com either lacks such restraint, or finally lost his patience and wrote the kind of article these dinosaurs deserve.

My favorite line from the piece, which is already getting great play on social media channels is as follows:

"...if people can have a social media relationship with a f*cking bag of candy, don't you think they can have one with a premium wine brand...?"

Hysterical and spot on. Even though wine is more expensive, and its customer demographics skew older, there's literally no difference.

As Joe goes on to ask, why are we even having this debate? For the same reason, I suppose, that most wineries still don't have blogs, are just now discovering e-commerce capability, and don't even regularly monitor the conversations involving their brand, even though they could do so for free.

Jump on over to One Wine Dude, and see what Joe has to say. Especially if you're a wine producer who thinks your favorite wine magazine columnist actually knows a thing or two about the Internet.

Comments (36)

1winedude wrote:
11.19.13 at 8:02 PM

My friend, I lack not only the patience and restraint but also the lack the good looks of that guy typing in your photo!

Thanks for the mention, and the kind words. I feel compelled to mention that I'm not singling out Steve H. with my screed, but reacting to multiple pieces of poorly rendered social media advice I've encountered recently from mainstream wine media. I suppose I now owe the wine biz an article about who gets social media right... Cheers!

JK wrote:
11.19.13 at 8:17 PM

Meh. I'm OK with his Cliff Notes version. The rest...??

Joe makes some obviously good observations, like the print prognosticists' ignorance of the scope and ubiquity of social media. But he also makes the common mistake of over-stating his points, and trying to make too many, disparate points.

For example, what are the producers that he's referring to? Are we talking global brands, boutique shops, or both plus everything in between? He speaks as if the "wine industry" is some homogeneous set of similar players.

Next, what consumers is Joe referring to in this whole discussion? When it comes to wine, should we really assume that the "fine wine customers" respond in a similar way to the Olive Garden patrons? The Gallo twitter account is a really, really different beast than @TeWhareRaWines.

Finally, we don't really know the value of social media...not with much precision or broad scope. Note that I didn't say that social media has little value. Trust me, I work for one of the largest social media providers, and I know how much money we make. I also know the relative BS content of our sales pitches. There are CLEARLY cases and places in the overall business landscape where engagement in social media produces real returns on investment. And then there are all the rest, where we extrapolate from those few, well-understood places, and hope we're right. We don't know _with_much_confidence_ the value added by this engagement for an arbitrary industry.

So Joe isn't wrong; I just think he he (significantly) overstates his point.

1winedude wrote:
11.20.13 at 3:50 AM

JK - yeah, but then it would have had to have been 3000 words long, and I'm too impatient for that! Seriously, though, I fully get what your saying about the complexity of the market, it's been fodder for the follow up discussion in the comments to some extent. Cheers!

11.20.13 at 3:58 AM

deja vu from almost 2 years ago?
http://www.vinography.com/archives/2012/02/social_media_and_the_wine_indu.html

interesting thread going on here

11.20.13 at 6:25 AM

JK has got it exactly right. This is what I've been saying all along. It's strange to see how personally upset some people get by a guy (me) asking simple questions.

Alder wrote:
11.20.13 at 1:30 PM

JK,

Well, Joe’s piece is a screed, not a research paper, so a carefully considered thesis and lots of supporting data aren’t expected.

But the wine industry is not “some arbitrary industry” at least not to those of us who spend time as observers of it, and it’s clear that social media does and can have a large impact on this industry, especially since it thrives on relationships with consumers that go much deeper than your average consumer packaged good. Did you know that Cornerstone Cellars, on average, attributes a 10% growth in traffic to its tasting room directly to Social Media? Just a tiny example out of many.

But that’s really beside the point. Joe is arguing against a tendency among some commentators to, if not flat-out dismiss social media, then certainly discourage the wine industry from taking “this newfangled thing” too seriously. And the reasons they give are things like “advertising in my magazine is a proven way to improve the visibility of your brand” or “I’ve never seen any scientific study that proves that consumers actually listen to what their friends say on social media more than they do .” All of which displays their ignorance, which is really the point of Joe’s piece. Not that Social Media is a silver bullet of any kind.

Alder wrote:
11.20.13 at 1:33 PM

Steve,

You may think that your repeated postings on social media are just simple questions, but that merely proves the fact that you can't see your own bias. Your "questions" are always along the lines of "So when did you stop beating your wife?" You clearly don't understand what you're talking about, as folks like Paul Mabray and Joe Roberts, and others with far more patience than I, always try to point out whenever you write one of your misguided "analyses" of social media.

Alder

Fred wrote:
11.20.13 at 4:41 PM

"Did you know that Cornerstone Cellars, on average, attributes a 10% growth in traffic to its tasting room directly to Social Media? Just a tiny example out of many."

Alder, I implore you and your readers to submit data (not anecdotes) to support SM ROI. I am a direct marketer by trade, have been for 25 years. I live and die by open-rates, cost-per-response, cost-per-sale -- be they from email or snail mail or any other medium. I can't recommend SM to my clients except as a customer service tool. Not without numbers.

I posted on Joe's site that, recently, Wine Business published these examples of SM ROI
http://www.winebusiness.com/news/?go=getArticle&dataid=124400

For a person who is interested in sales, as all of my client are, these examples are weak and dated. Will somebody please step up and make a compelling Sales argument?

Alder wrote:
11.20.13 at 5:07 PM

Fred,

Paul Mabray of VinTank is in the business of providing such data, and does so at every occasion. I urge you to look at the various pieces he publishes on his blog and his company's web site.

Here's a recent one:

http://www.vintank.com/2013/06/there-is-always-roi-in-talking-to-your-customers/

Fred wrote:
11.20.13 at 6:17 PM

I didn't want to just ask difficult questions and not supply some contrarian data myself, so here's this . . .

http://blog.custora.com/2013/06/e-commerce-customer-acquisition-snapshot/

Stephen Mitchell wrote:
11.20.13 at 7:36 PM

I was behind driving social media for the launch of flipflop wines. That brand did over 600,000 cases in year one and the primary driver of getting exposure to the wines was word-of-mouth that was driven by social media. Those who understand the power of VinTank's solution and know how to use it, know that it translates to sales. Check out the comments under the following review by someone who is not known as a "wine blogger": http://www.obviously-marvelous.com/2013/11/13/candaces-corner-handcraft-artisan-collection-wines-review/

Once you've read the comments, you can ask yourself whether or not social media can drive sales. If you need more examples, I've got them. Indeed, given the stiff competition to get the attention of many traditional wine writers, social media may be the only way for some brands to achieve a level of brand awareness that ultimately results in sales.

Spencer wrote:
11.21.13 at 9:29 AM

What I find most interesting about this debate is not whether social media is an effective tool for a wine producer to build brand recognition and drive sales. Its how personally offended so many people in the pro-social media camp seem to become every time someone like Heimoff questions the model. Do you really think launching a personal attack is the right and effective way to argue your point?
I'm starting to think that Hiemoff is intentionally trolling the social media professionals...and its working.

Paul Mabray wrote:
11.21.13 at 9:36 AM

Steve,
I don't agree that you are just "asking questions" with headlines like, "We should be spending MORE time at social media? No way!" and strong statements like "The author made the additional point that “many” social media consultants “can be dishonest about the realities of what they can do for their client,” which is something I’ve been saying about the social media consulting complex for years." You are clearly biased and continue to build straw man arguments for why social media doesn't work. You have so many more that I don't want to pollute this post with snippets of you being a key naysayer of social media but they are not questions, they are clear and focused statements about how social media is not a powerful and key tool for wineries. You might as well tell them that they shouldn't use a computer, email, CRM, etc or even more radical, that they should shut off their phone system since you doubt the voracity of the ROI from any of these tools. You can't blame the shovel for the hole not getting dug.

The only place we agree is that social media is not the panacea and anyone who portrays it as such is incorrect. However (god I am retyping this again), just like the communication channels that have come before it, the telegraph, the phone, and email it is a key and uber-relevant communication channel to engage with customers. THERE IS ALWAYS ROI IN TALKING TO YOUR CUSTOMERS.

Fred,
Perhaps you don't believe in digital or social media but the Cornerstone figure is not an anecdote. I am not sure what ROI figures you are searching for, increased brand awareness, advertising, customer acquisition, customer retention, or the straw man argument of mass sales generation? Are you looking for the raw figures? I have been reading your comments on Joe's blog as well (and looking at your Flash based site to understand your digital awareness and bias). I don't think any evidence will convince you other than an absurd statement like "xyz winery tweeted 10x and made 100K in sales." Unfortunately this is not the reality of social media and the success stories associated with SM activity resulting in massive direct sales are far and few between. That being said there are 1000's of stories about SM activity leading to a single sale. e.g. xyz winery tweeted at a customer and they came into the tasting room and spent $X or xyz winery connected to a retailer via Facebook who bought x cases. As it relates to sales, currently SM is more aligned with phone performance than spray and pray mailings or mass email marketing. Social media, like email, works for every department and there is ROI in using it just like any other communication tool. In the end we can not deny the power of connecting with customers via whatever means necessary. As I just stated to Steve, THERE IS ALWAYS ROI IN TALKING TO YOUR CUSTOMERS.

Paul Mabray wrote:
11.21.13 at 9:38 AM

Spencer,
I only answer Heimoff's posts when it hits the front page of Winebusiness.com or the email of wineinsider.com because it is distributed to so many wineries that listen to his perspective. However, it has crossed my mind and so many others that he is doing it for traffic.

Fred wrote:
11.21.13 at 9:59 AM

Paul, all I'm asking for is HOW Cornerstone Cellars attributed 10% growth in tasting room traffic to SM? Was there a coupon distributed via some SM platform that visitors redeemed in the tasting room? Did the winery query visitors to see if they had "friended" it? What was the metric used to arrive at the 10% figure?

If the 10% figure is instead based on observation or feeling, rather than data, then just say so.

As I stated in my first comment, I do believe SM has value as a customer service tool. It is also good for PR. I'm trying to scratch a little deeper. Thought you might be able to help.

Spencer wrote:
11.21.13 at 10:59 AM

By the way, I think this "event" does a great job of supporting the point of Charles Olken's blog from May of this year, that "Wine Bloggers Are Talking to Themselves" (http://www.cgcw.com/databaseshowitem.aspx?id=79764).

Consider that have:
1) Steve Heimoff writing a blog post which...
2) Inspires Joe Roberts to write a blog post in response to Steve Heimoff's blog post which...
3) Inspires Alder Yarrow to write a blog post which supports Joe Roberts' blog posting which is responding to Steve Heimoff's blog post, which...
4) Inspires Chris Kassel to write a blog post critiquing Alder Yarrow's blog post which was supporting Joe Robert's blog post which was responding to Steve Heimoff's blog post.

The more I think of it, maybe Heimoff isn't trolling. Maybe he has stock in Cisco, Oracle, EMC or some other companies that profit off of internet traffic and he is just trying to boost revenues.

Alder wrote:
11.21.13 at 11:17 AM

Spencer,

You’re oh so correct. This is all navel gazing of the worst sort, which is why it so infrequently features on Vinography.

John wrote:
11.21.13 at 12:01 PM

I can't believe that I am about to enter this hornet's nest.
As an actual wine consumer with no skin in this fight I have to ask myself if I'm being left behind. I don't Tweet or Facebook. I read a few blogs and try to keep up on wine as I can. I actually have travelled extensively to numerous wine regions around the world. I love to read about Alder's trips. I contact the winery to arrange visits and often meet with the owner or winemaker for a tour. I only purchase where I have a connection. I don't bother with local wine shops much, direct sales are great. I am in my late 40's and have a fair amount of disposable income that goes to wine and wine related things.
Two questions I put out there.
1) Am I being ignored and do I need to be on social media?
2) I think myself and others like me are the most coveted consumers right now,(age, disposable income, wine experience / knowledge). What does social media say to wineries about marketing to me?

Can't get enough of your blog Alder, you need to write more often.

Paul Mabray wrote:
11.21.13 at 12:18 PM

John,
If the winery is doing a good job, you are not being ignored. But finding you is harder . . .
You are the most coveted demographic (http://www.svb.com/wine-report/) but us GEnX'rs are the most often ignored - http://svbwine.blogspot.com/2013/10/millennials-arent-all-that.html

I agree that Alder needs to write more.

11.22.13 at 3:46 AM

Spencer wins this thread for me. Bloggers, writing about other bloggers, to be read by bloggers.

If I have to choose a side in this 'debate', I'm squarely with Alder, Joe et al -- but I don't think giving Steve the social media attention (ironic, no?) for his inanity in this realm is the right thing to do. Allowing ones self to be manipulated is never a win.

1WineDude wrote:
11.22.13 at 5:21 AM

Spencer - Nope. Steve's post did not directly/exclusively inspire mine, simple as that. It was ONE of several inputs into that screed.

Lenn - aside from the fact that a crap ton of bloggers buy wine, and that the distinction between bloggers and consumers is academic at best and totally false at worst, a lot of people are reading Alder's blog and my article (which I feel compelled to point out is also directed to people outside the wine biz). Maybe they are all industry people, but I doubt it.

Tom Wark wrote:
11.22.13 at 7:45 AM

Asking if Social Media ought to be a part of a winery's marketing efforts is a bit like asking if ads in the Wine Spectator ought to be a part of a winery's marketing efforts.

Of course they should be!!

However, that leads to the next question: What's the return on investment of coin and time?

Social media, if worked in-house, can cost all of nothing in coin. However, to do it right it takes a great amount of time. And you have to ask, if I take that time and apply it to other marketing efforts will it result in a greater benefit to my brand and to my bottom line?

The answer to that question depends, but often the answer is yes, other activities besides working social media will absolutely bring greater benefits.

And here's something else that needs to be considered. The number of small and medium sized wineries that don't engage in social media that are far more successful than those that actively engage in social media are numerous.

What to make of this?

Paul Mabray wrote:
11.22.13 at 8:31 AM

Tom,
Who I respect and love dearly, I have to say that statement is untrue and absurd. It is not fact based and is akin to saying wineries that don't use the phone or email are more profitable than those who don't.

Tom WARK wrote:
11.22.13 at 8:40 AM

Paul,
Lord knows it would not be the first time I was wrong or absurd. However, I can tick off winery after winery that has little or no engagement with social media that are selling out and taking names. I'm not saying SM is of no use. I'm saying there are many, many circumstances in which SM is completely unnecessary to be wildly successful in the wine industry. And I say this as someone who understands, benefits from the use of and often advises and pleads with clients to use social media.

Paul Mabray wrote:
11.22.13 at 9:00 AM

Tom,
As you know, like email and the phone, social myriad is multi-functional. Like a marketing/communication Swiss Army knife it can be used in a 1000 ways but in the end one truth prevails, THERE IS ALWAYS ROI IN TALKING TO YOUR CUSTOMERS no matter the channel and more successful/profitable wineries crest lasting and meaningful relationships with their customers.

Finally, the additional data and context provided by social can not be understated or ignored as it relates to helping bring additional cust. info to truly and deeply understand said customers: SCRM.

Alder wrote:
11.22.13 at 9:25 AM

Tom, there are wineries that sell out without doing a shred of Marketing or PR! I don't see how that fact bears at all on the validity or value of those disciplines?

Tom Wark wrote:
11.22.13 at 10:02 AM

Paul,
You are of course correct that SM tools CAN be used in numerous way and to great effect. And yes, there is always ROI in talking to customers. But there is also ROI in standing in the middle of the road in a diaper with a sign that says "come drink here". The question is how much ROI is there for any given marketing tool. The additional question is how much investment funds and time are available?

I can place an ad in the Wine Spectator for $25,000. It will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people. Additionally, it will make my distribution and retail partners happy and some of them will program around the ad. Is this a good ROI...maybe. And it may be better than a $1000 investment in SM. Or it may be a terrible investment compared to $2000 invested in social media, even given the time that SM projects take. It's a question of where the best ROI is.

Alder, the point is that a winery can succeed handsomely without ever lifting a single social media finger or ever placing an ad in the Spectator or ever hiring a PR person or ever sending samples to writers. The assumption by some is that a winery that doesn't undertake to carry out a social media program is, well, just dumb. But that's not true at all. Give me a winery on Highway 29 in Napa or Highway 12 in Sonoma and I'll give you a successful winery that never once needs to post on facebook or send out a tweet or post pictures on Instagram or Pinterest.

Spencer wrote:
11.22.13 at 12:40 PM

The problem with this whole debate is that, while there are lots of anecdotes (like the Cornerstone example listed above or Paul’s personal experience with Ramey that he highlights in his blog) there is very little scientific, statistically significant data (at least none that I am aware of). Has anyone actually conducted a marketing response study, like they used to do with direct mailers or radio/tv ads (run an advertisement or mailing in a certain market and see if there is a corresponding response to sales in that market)? If not, then I would love to see something done and I think Paul and his team are just the people to do it.
Select 20+ established/mature (i.e. no startups) wine producers of similar size from the same general region who produce a product targeted towards a similar demographic/price point. Of those producers, have half invest a certain $ amount each year in social media and the other half invest in “traditional” marketing channels. Track the sales, marketing budgets and marketing channels utilized of those producers over a 5+ year period and see if the producers who utilized social media demonstrated a statistically significant difference in sales growth over the time period as compared to the producers who stuck to the traditional channels. Do that and (depending on the results, of course) not only will you be able to tell the social media doubters to shut up but you will also OWN the wine social media space and be able to charge a premium for your services.
It’s a “win win” all around!

Alder wrote:
11.22.13 at 1:24 PM

Tom,

You say "the assumption by some." Would you mind pointing out who and where in this conversation has explicitly made that assumption? I don't see it anywhere in this thread or in Joe's original piece at all. Which means that you're arguing against a proposition that was never made.

Alder

Alder wrote:
11.22.13 at 1:33 PM

Spencer it's fine for you and others to suggest that more compelling arguments could be made with Harvard business school quality case studies, but we're talking about a technology that is for all intents and purposes brand new AND an industry that is notoriously slow to adopt information technology. Fantastic case studies will no doubt appear in time, but it is rather short sighted for people to dismiss the technology in the absence of such case studies, especially when there are starting to be very real examples of successes. While it's fun for some to dismiss a 10% bump in tasting room traffic for one winery as purely anecdotal, let me tell you, anyone who can figure out how to increase store visits to any retail business by 10% deserves a fucking medal, not to mention a big raise. Most businesses would kill for a number like that.

11.22.13 at 1:46 PM

OK, I'm getting pulled into this conversation from another conversation that is a derivative of this. In fact, it's the second of such derivative conversations that captured my attention. There are so comments here to which I'd like to reply but I'll start by sharing this repost from elsewhere:

Pulling out soapbox: As long as management/leadership looks at social as something for which they can hire a person or two and think they have it covered, then we have a problem. It's a bit like saying we have an email person for our company. I realize that's a bit of a stretch but it gets the point across.

First SM is a technology and a tool meant to serve the organization as a whole and its business objectives. That's why I like Paul's suggestion to divvy the SM responsibilities among people across the organization, just like everyone has email or multiple people go present at conferences. One-to-many marketing communication works when it's a one-way channel like other media advertising but that won't work with social media because it is also many-to-one as your customers talk back.

Invest in training and strategy first (e.g. from David Armano) so your organization, not just an individual, can adapt; otherwise I believe you're just putting your "social media person" in situation where he or she may not fail but certainly will fail to succeed.

Putting soapbox away now.

11.22.13 at 2:06 PM

I think I have to respond to Tom's comment: "I can place an ad in the Wine Spectator for $25,000. It will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people." My problem is with the "WILL BE" part.

What I have found is that we seem to have a double standard asking newer media to meet standards that are sometimes assumed but not necessarily proven for older media. For example, A person could spend $25k on an ad that MAY be seen by hundreds of thousands of people. All we know is the circulation of magazine and some generalized statistics but without an explicit form of tracking, we have no idea how many people actually saw the ad. Even then, we only know those who responded and not those who SAW the ad. Tracking impressions in traditional media is virtually impossible unless it's a billboard or TV with eye-tracking sensors and there aren't many of those around.

The effectiveness of any particular ad in a magazine will vary depending on so many variables: issue, design, placement, adjacent ads and their designs, etc. However, the ROI of many traditional forms of media are accepted, sometimes as conventional wisdom. Unless one is taking the time to really instrument, A/B test and track response, the ROI of much traditional media is an estimate at best. It's just that these are accepted practices which people don't get hung out to dry for a buy.

Anyway, I'm not saying social media is "all that and a bag of chips" but in some cases I think the ROI comparison to traditional media is specious. Regardless of the media, spray and pray is not a good business practice and neither is hiring an "intern" or "fresh out" to handle it for you!

What is a good practice is develop a business strategy and then decide on how the business wishes to execute that plan and apply the proper tools and resources. Too often we seem to have the process upside down and I'm not just talking about social. Social should just be one arrow in the quiver but it does require a cultural shift in the organization to do it properly.

Spencer wrote:
11.22.13 at 3:45 PM

Alder – I’m not talking about an HBS case study here. I’m talking about a fundamental marketing research project modeled after those which marketing firms have been doing for decades. A research project that I would think someone with a business such as Vintank would have already tried to do or, if they have not, would be very eager to do. I admit, it would not be easy (business is not supposed to be easy), but if done right, I would think wine producers would be eager to participate. And if the results validate the hypothesis that social media can help to drive sales, then not only will it exponentially grow the business segment, but also put an end to these debates which seem to be getting so many people who otherwise have so much in common so upset with each other. Until then, we will have this debate every 6 months or so. And I’m not dismissing the technology…I’m just trying to provide suggestions as to how to publicly validate it.

Since it has been brought up so many times here, can someone shed some light on the Cornerstone “case study”? I agree that if you can increase same store traffic by 10% you deserve a medal, but for those of us on the outside looking in, I have no idea how this was done. Can someone validate that claim by shedding some light on how the study was conducted to come to this conclusion and what forms of social media were utilized? If so, then you already have a fantastic argument and I, for one, would love to hear it!

Finally, since I doubt anyone here knows who I am, let me just say that I am probably the target audience for this whole damn discussion. I buy A LOT more wine than I should every year (probably $5,000/year), at least 95% of my purchases are made on-line in one form or another, I am on the mailing list of several wineries for their fall and spring allocations (which I count as part of the “on-line” purchases), and I’m relatively active in social media (@crewcutter). While there is a bit of a blurred line between what is “social media” vs. what is “eCommerce”, I would personally attributed the percentage of my purchases made based on social media to less than 3%. If Paul or someone else wants to do some research on me and my buying habits, I’d be happy to help.

Jerry Marshall wrote:
11.25.13 at 4:51 AM

John,

To answer your first question, yes, it seems you are being ignored!

Alexander wrote:
11.25.13 at 12:36 PM

This conversation interests me because I'm not in the wine industry, but rather in the tech industry and have been surprised with how slow the industry has been at adopting technologies. There seems to be a lot of folks making quick conclusions on social media as a marketing channel. There are so many case studies highlighting the success of social media across so many other industries it would shock me if you couldn't make it work in the wine industry as well. Maybe the more interesting questions to ask are where has social media worked in the wine industry? What has been done that hasn't worked? What can be changed and how can the medium be used more effectively? What has worked in other industries? Why isn't this the topic of conversation? It seems like those would be the most interesting discussions to have.

There is also a lot of chatter here about ROI and attribution models. Next generation marketing is breaking a lot of these models. It's important to note that social media is often considered top of funnel content marketing so it's possible that it's getting attributed to other channels. In the industries I work in over a third of the purchasing decision is being made before sales touches the customer which often causes customers to either not show up or sales to wrongly attribute customers. The companies I work with us what is commonly referred to as inbound marketing to address this shift in customer behaviour. Is it possible that the wine industry is similar? That customers are making a lot of their decisions before ever touching the wineries tasting room, website, or other distribution channel? And if that's the case, can social media be one channel to make content available to that customer?

In my industry we talk about the "case study of one" which is the phenomenon where people apply their behaviour to a broader group. Under this logic Facebook would have no revenue because I've never met anyone that's admitted to clicking on a Facebook ad. But yet Facebook has lots of revenue. There's a large population across broad demographic profiles consuming and discovering wine. A marketers challenge is how to reach these consumers in the most cost effective and time effective way. There's a lot to discover and test out there if you consider wine blogs, Twitter, Facebook, wine apps such as Delectable, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and others in your definition of social media.

To further stimulate the conversation, I'd like to highlight how social media has caused me to purchase wines. I know that I'm contradicting my previous paragraph, but everyone else so far has highlighted how social media doesn't change their purchasing behaviour so I thought this might interest some. Both Alder and Steve Heimoff have blogged about wine which I've subsequently purchased. Based on their guidance. I originally discovered Corison through the Woot blog when it was still a young, vibrant community (pre Amazon purchase). I recently narrowed a list of wineries for a visit based on the strength of their Yelp reviews Viader was the winery). Ross Cobb and others have helped me discover wine on Delectable that I've subsequently purchased. I've been reminded to purchase Dragonette and Williams Selyem wine because their content shows up on my Facebook feed. And both could upload more content if you ask me. Maybe I'm an anomaly. I don't know, but I'd enjoy the conversation. I also wonder how you attribute my behaviour in a traditional marketing model.

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Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.