For food producers or even restaurants, building a commerce-based website with Squarespace, WordPress, or Shopify is a productive and straightforward process. For wine brands, there are many options for direct-to-consumer (DTC) e-commerce platforms.
And with more options for selling through websites, brands not associated with alcohol or hemp can market those products on Instagram/Facebook and link to products in Instagram or TikTok bios. (I don’t recommend using the social media bio integration tool.)
Digital Trend #5: Marketing Automation
With the rise of e-commerce and appointment-based winery visits, marketing automation can help brands in continual communication with customers. Implementing automation like email workflows, retargeting, analytics, and social media scheduling takes time, but once you have it up and running you can focus on other parts of your business and continue to grow.
Wineries were able to drive growth throughout 2020 by dedicating resources to digital marketing and e-commerce. Now that the wineries are reopening, there are a lot of other priorities to manage, so those who can automate these activities will be well positioned for the future,” says Andrea Smalling, chief marketing officer of WineDirect.
When it comes to automation in person, QR codes are here to stay. Some fashion leaders have been using QR codes for over 10 years, but they didn’t become a huge part of mainstream marketing efforts until phones were able to use them natively within the camera app.
Now, due to social distancing during the pandemic, QR codes can be found in many places. Some restaurants are even taking marketing automation even further by automating the entire buying process, where customers can buy food or wine through an app and have it delivered straight to their table.
Digital Trend #6: Analyzing Consumer Data
When I spoke to Andrea, we discussed that data is the key to making personal digital connections.
“We all get a lot of communication these days, via email, text messages, all social media, everywhere! People just ignore (and unsubscribe!) if they feel the communication is irrelevant or cold. But receiving any kind of communication seems Tailored just for you (referring to previous purchases, for example) can be more motivating and make you feel good about your purchase.”
Digital data through a single dashboard like Whatagraph that enters data from each social media platform, combined with digital advertising platforms can help brands look holistically at what works and what businesses need to fix.
WineDirect also has a unique platform that provides e-commerce and Wine Club customers the ability to easily see key trends and growth opportunities to make those personal wine industry connections.
Digital Trend #7: Constant Focus on Email Marketing
In the past, wineries or restaurants had a physical registration sheet for their email lists. Now, the options are endless for capturing titles. (Read more about creating a landing page that makes sense for your business.)
“With updated privacy settings and limited ability to track and collect consumer behavior, it will be very important to ‘own’ your online contacts and communicate with them directly. We’ll see brands and retailers embrace their email list as they realize how much value there is in contacting their audience directly, without to hope that an algorithm is in their favor,” says Alison Poole.
Digital Trend #8: Pay Attention to People and Ingredients in Products
Customers want transparency in which brands they choose to give their money to, and brands that use social media platforms to share their message have an easier time finding an audience who cares about the same issues.
However, it is not just about sharing a story or message. Outshinery’s Laurie noted, “The wine industry is poised for more interactive visuals. Wineries will incorporate QR codes and other elements on labels that put information at the customer’s fingertips.”
“Customers want to see more visibility for the back labels, including the values and testimonials that might appear there. Think about sustainability efforts, B Corp standing, women owned, etc.” By incorporating these values into all aspects of digital (and personal) marketing, Customers can make informed decisions about which brands they want to support.
As the economy opens up, marketers face a landscape disrupted by the pandemic, new business models, and hybrid events (in-person and livestreaming), to name a few. With the data and marketing automation tools provided by digital platforms, brands can focus on telling their story to customers in a customized way using lifestyle images, video, email marketing, and more.
By taking these eight trends into consideration, companies will be able to stay ahead of the curve.
Shanna Paul, a marketing educator and digital storyteller, works in wine, food and hospitality and teaches marketing and freelance writing classes. You can reach her with your questions about digital marketing at email@example.com, sharayray on Instagram, or at shanabull.com.