Why your Wine Brand Needs a Digital Marketing Strategy


While email is still the number one communication method chosen by club members surveyed among our clients throughout the US this past year, we also know that open and click-through rates from this important customer segment continue to decline. With over 9000 wine brands competing for wine consumer attention across the nation today, how can wine brands stay relevant with customers in between tasting room visits? Offering a well-rounded mix of communication channels to encourage consumer engagement and also reengagement is key to long-term direct sales and customer retention success. Wine brands of all sizes need to implement a Digital Marketing Strategy to effectively compete in the direct to consumer sales space today.

I recently read an article published in 2014 by Michelle Saettler, Mobile Marketer, that uncovers the true return on investment Constellation Brands realized by implementing effective digital strategies. While the article is a bit outdated, the key findings revealed are priceless. Find a few important excerpts below and check out tomorrow’s Digital Marketing Webinar for Wineries being offered by Taylor Eason, former digital marketing strategist supporting J Vineyards as well as Gundlach Bundschu Winery. Has your wine brand developed a digital marketing plan to better engage with new customers and also re-engage with brand loyalists? What are you waiting for?

In 2014, Constellation Brands, a leading premium wine company, invested 25 percent of its wine and spirits marketing budget on digital, with a particular focus on mobile, given that wine drinkers tend to be heavy users of these devices. A 200 percent increase has been observed in digital engagement, and while in the past, the company leveraged third-party apps such as Hello Vino and Shopkick, the focus today is digital engagement. “We have really made a conscious effort over the last four years to move more towards digital,” Chris Fehrnstrom, chief marketing officer of the wine and spirits division at Constellation Brands. “Unlike many other CPG categories we’ve made a more cognizant effort to engage in mobile whether it be through advertising or partnership on an application front.”

The wine category overall is unique in that as much as you think that wine is ubiquitous, only one-third of U.S. adults consume wine,” he said. “And so we’ve found with digital and specifically with mobile that we’re able to really target the wine consumer.”

Out of 80 million digital wine drinkers in 2014, 45 percent were more likely to use mobile devices compared to the average consumer, per Mr. Fehrnstrom. They also spent more time on digital media than offline media, totaling 22 hours each week and talked about wine online 63 times every minute in 2014.

In 2014, there were 26 different Constellation brands that had Facebook pages with around 3.5 million fans across these pages. The Arbor Mist Facebook community alone generated a $1.3 million lift in sales among its Facebook fans as compared to non-Arbor Mist Facebook fans, which is six times the investment made. Fehrnstrom shared, “we continue to see the evidence of this purchasing trend with fans, as 78 percent of consumers say social media brand posts influence their in-store purchase behavior.”

To learn more about DTC Wine Workshops consulting and training services for direct wine sales teams, visit: https://dtcwineworkshops.com/.


About Sandra Hess

Sandra Hess, founder of DTC Wine Workshops and the DTC Consultant Network is a public speaker on the subject of direct to consumer wine sales and customer retention in the US.