My friend Paul Mabray, of Vintank, recently gave a speech at the 2014 Wine Communicators of Australia event. The topic was, roughly speaking, the digital divide in the wine world. You can read a transcript of the entire talk given by Paul here. And if you’re in the wine biz, you really, really need to read the entire thing.
Yes, all 70+ pages of it. Because this speech shows just how bad the wine biz is at digital right now. How bad? Calling the wine biz staggeringly, hilariously bad at digital is probably slightly understating the scenario a little bit.
This is the wine biz at digital in 2014:
And here’s what the wine consuming populace wants wine to be when it comes to interacting with them in the digital space:
The disconnect is immense, which is what Paul’s speech deftly demonstrates in the kind of blood-splattering, gory, Mortal Kombat (“FINISH HIM!!!”) detail that is representative of ass that the wine biz ought to be kicking when it comes to digital (but doesn’t). Now, while I certainly appreciate that there will likely be at least some complainy-pants moaning criticism regarding the details of this topic, please read Paul’s entire speech before levying them. Seriously, there’s that much ammunition in this lengthy but excellent talk.
Below I offer some of the money-shots from Paul’s speech (emphasis mine), that I think illustrate just how far we in the wine world have to travel before being able to collectively call ourselves up-to-speed on the digital consumption of wine media…
Take this tidbit, regarding the (huge) disconnect between where people go for their media now and where marketing dollars are spent when it comes to wine:
“44% of customers consume media through digital outlets and this number
is growing. Just a month ago the Federal Trade Commission did a report on
how the wine and spirits industry is marketing their products and stated that 7.9% of our marketing dollars go to digital. We only devote 7.9% of our attention to the place where our customers devote 44% of their attention. That is a huge disconnect. What is even more alarming is that that 7.9% is wine and spirits combined. We estimate that the wine industry’s spend is 1.4%. 1.4%!”
And this one, describing either an incredible efficiency within the back-end of the wine industry, or (more likely) a large under-appreciation for the importance of digital media in wine business leadership:
“So recently in the US we just passed having 8,000 wineries and over 16,000 brands. Out of 8,000 wineries we have less than 50 dedicated e-commerce managers. We have less than 30 dedicated social media professionals. And less than five people with the title of Vice President of digital marketing. Five.”
Here’s my personal fave “sound bite” from the speech, which explains why we shouldn’t be surprised that companies moan about social media advertising not working, instead of actually using those platforms in the purpose for which they were designed (engaging others):
“We have over 5,000 wine brands using VinTank and we measure every public conversation about wine. A winery gets an average organic mention of their brand between 2 and 20 times per week. Over 80% of those mentions go unanswered.”
And finally, some data that a few of you will no doubt dismiss as “noise,” but others will hopefully see more as an enormous opportunity:
“Every SINGLE day there is an average of 1.5 MILLION organic conversations
about wine. Our industry has been given a very special gift. I can promise you that there are not 1.5 million conversations about soap. People tweeting “oh my god, this Dove in the shower was A… M ..A …Z…I… N…G.” Or about the chairs you are sitting on. Or your shoes or . . . or . . . Every single month there are 450K NEW people talking about wine. How wonderful would it be if you had 450K new people walking through your tasting room every month? What’s amazing about this is most of these conversations you have access to. For free!”