Sheri Hebbeln
June 16, 2008 | Customer Relationship Management (CRM), eCommerce , Wine Club Management , WineDirect Products and Services | Sheri Hebbeln

Chasing the Elusive 360 degree View of the Customer

As the web has matured, this is a problem that has become evident in many industries. And I believe it is especially relevant in the wine industry. Wine marketers are increasingly finding themselves in the position of working with fragmented pieces of information from several different technology vendors in developing and executing their marketing strategies. Consumers, on the other hand, are becoming more and more accustomed to the targeted and personalized attention they receive from some of the big box retailers who have made it their mission over the past several years to understand and master the art of multi-channel marketing. And so for wineries, the issue of reconciling several separate silos of information (POS, ecommerce, and wine club) has intensified at precisely the time consumers are raising the bar in terms of heightened expectations.

As a wine marketer, there are several factors which are of vital importance to you in developing a multi-channel marketing strategy:

  • A clear understanding of your customer’s purchasing habits and wine preferences, regardless of channel
  • An understanding of customer loyalty as it relates to club membership and longevity, order history and VIP status
  • The ability to reach customers when and where they want to be reached, with information that is personal and relevant

The solution lies in your ability to capture all information regarding customer behavior in a format which is “actionable” for you as a marketer. I think Forrester Research has coined it best in explaining that the answer lies in the development of an “Online Marketing Suite”. And while the Forrester research involves primarily “interactive marketing” as it relates to a marketer’s ability to integrate the myriad of online marketing technologies available today (email, search marketing, analytics, and Web 2.0 technologies), there are two aspects of the “Online Marketing Suite” that are especially relevant for the wine industry. As Forrester explains, the “Suite” requires two core components:

  1. “The central hub – the molten core of the suite that enables marketers to manage and integrate online data.” At Inertia, our philosophy is that all customer data should be available to you in the cloud for purposes of segmentation and targeted marketing, because this is precisely where the superior tools you need in order to reach your best customers are available. In developing a customer centric marketing strategy, we believe that you need a true 360 degree view of the customer in combination with advanced list management and email marketing capabilities. And from the customer perspective, a wine club member or customer making a purchase in the tasting room should be able to visit your website, login and view tracking information and complete order history, regardless of whether purchases were made in the tasting room, online, or as part of a club shipment. This is the approach we’ve taken with respect to point-of-sale integration and it is the reason we’ve worked hard to perfect our club and allocation packages. Of course, we believe in making the data available to your tasting room personnel as well, as this is a must in delivering exemplary customer service.
  2. “The network – a thriving community of technology and service partners”. Again, I think Forrester is right on the mark here. All customers win when complimentary technology companies work in harmony, and to that end we’ve made it our mission to develop a vibrant partner ecosystem, one which we believe will significantly enhance value for our winery partners. By devoting resources to an expanded partner program, involving partners who are experts in their respective fields, we can continue to focus on our own core competencies, driving opportunity in terms of demand generation, CRM, and increased lifetime value of the customer.

We know that the ability to manage data from several different sources is a major challenge facing everyone in the industry. By partnering with companies whose business models share important synergies with our own, we hope to change all of that.


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