Not predictions but hopes for 2008
First, Happy New Year to all our readers, partners, and family. As we move into 2008 many people are making predictions about what is going to occur. Instead I wanted to pose ten things I hope will happen in the wine industry in 2008.
1. Wine bloggers will start to have influence like the mainstream media becoming more professional and significant and be treated by wineries as a core part of their PR strategy.
2. Colleges/trainers/people will start classes/programs/symposiums training the next generation of consumer direct experts.
3. Compliance regulations will ease in many states and more services and software will emerge to help wineries overcome the nuisance of these cumbersome and seemingly arbitrary rules.
4. Self Distribution/Direct to Trade will have more states open and become a new alternative route to market.
5. Wineries will make consumer direct a key part of their sales and marketing strategy (not a subset of hospitality) and allocate proper resources to support and grow this profitable part of their business.
6. A Wine 2.0 company will become meaningful to helping connect consumers to wineries.
7. The rest of the web based portals will treat wine as a key part of their portal strategy as opposed to an afterthought.
8. An innovative group of wholesalers will realize that consumer direct and self distribution/DTT are not a threat and embrace both these channels.
9. FedEx/UPS will embrace self distribution and DTT and help the wine industry solve some of the antiquated logistics issues (e.g. at rest).
10. Technology vendors serving wineries will meet more openly to help solve the issue of disparate systems.
11. (ok, one last one) - the Inertia team will start our Friday themed BBQ’s again (I still laugh remembering our root beer float/Elvis BBQ) and more wineries partners (and future partners) will join us.
Again, wishing everyone a happy New Year and looking forward to continuing to live in the most exciting time in the wine industry.