Many of my best memories and conversations—and blog posts—have started with a good bottle of wine. So it was no surprise when, at the onset of the pandemic, I became enthralled with learning about (and drinking) wine and wanted to know about everything that goes into the winemaking process. It could very well be the third glass talking, but the more I think about winemaking and wine merchandising, the more I see the relevance in marketing.
So grab a glass and your favorite cheese pairing as I take you through the creative marketing process, inspired by wine!
Give your ideas time to breathe
Masterpieces don’t happen overnight. Complex red wines often taste best when they can aerate for at least half an hour. Even before that, months of harvest, weeks of fermentation, months (or even years) of barrel aging, and bottling have gone into a bottle of wine before it even hits your table.
Just how flavor notes can come out in a well-aerated wine, marketing success comes out in a well-planned process that allows time to respond to project adjustments and leaves room for your creative vision to develop naturally. Establishing your creative process before venturing into a new initiative can help you execute your ideas the way you envision and work toward the KPIs you have in mind. This is especially true if you’re working with multiple teams to bring your marketing to life. You should also build in time to respond to shifts in engagement behavior or activity on a platform. And give yourself time to step away and come back with fresh eyes; you’ll very likely notice things you hadn’t before.
Catch their eye
While I try to be unbiased and consider factors such as regions and vintage when picking wine, I admit that I sometimes default to judging wines by their label. If a label stands out on the shelf, it’s enough to make me pause, and if the label is particularly unique or even odd, I’ll pick it up to learn more. In marketing, the first impression also matters as you compete for attention with the other content your audience is exposed to daily, whether it’s crafting the perfect 50-character email subject line to arise from the deep depths of email inboxes or adding a unique visual to the never-ending feed of social media posts.
Wine labels also balance creativity and the relevant information potential buyers want to know. Your marketing visuals should do the same—both capturing people’s attention and making your value clear.
Know your audience
You wouldn’t bring a tannic Malbec to a picnic in July, right? Right! Successful marketing will deliver the messages and presentation that resonate with the target audience’s interests and needs. Understanding your audience will guide you in crafting the right message, conveying the appropriate tone of voice, and catching their attention, as mentioned earlier.
Make it memorable
The best wines have a long and memorable finish. I have a few wines I know are usually crowd-pleasers at gatherings, and I’ll often suggest them to friends if they need a recommendation. Similarly, if your marketing is engaging and provoking, your audience will associate the messages with your brand, giving your marketing longevity. You want them to be thinking about it for days to come—referencing your content in conversations or even saving the content, whether it be an Instagram post or a well-done newsletter.
Keep the content flowing
The great thing about thoughtful marketing is that, unlike wine, you can’t overindulge! Once you’ve captured the attention of your target audience, successful marketing will keep them coming back for more. Build upon the content and themes that have already proven successful, or even leverage them again in the future.
Grab a bottle, and market responsibly!