A chat with Susan DeMatei: WineGlass Marketing

I found WineGlass Marketing while I was looking for companies offered services specific for wineries. So, I’ve emailed them to know who they was, what they did and all the news about.

Communication, Technology and Wine

I chatted with Susan DeMatei, founder, president and owner of WineGlass Marketing, and it was very interesting. In the ’90s she worked in the big tech companies as Apple, Intel (she was a part of ‘Intel Inside’ campaign) and Sprint. She moved to Napa from San Francisco in 2003; in the meantime, she became a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and a CertifiedSpecialist in Wine/Wine Education. 

In short, in 2012 she found WineGlass Marketing linking together all her experiences.

Rolando: Susan, thank you for your time. I read your biography and you did really many things. Want do you add something about your company?

Susan: Built upon decades of experience in advertising, luxury markets, and the wine world, I created WineGlass Marketing in 2012 based upon the simple concept of helping wineries with direct marketing and the technologies that plagued them. Today, WineGlass Marketing employs 16 individuals and services 60+ clients in the US, Canada, and Europe from its home on Jefferson Street across from Fuller Park in downtown Napa.

The WineGlass Marketing Team

Rolando: You’re focused about DTC. Why?
Susan: I actually started making television commercials. But you’d work intensely for three months, and then it would air and you’d have to wait another 9 months to see if awareness for that brand moved a point or two in the annual benchmark survey. Branding was unfulfilling to me. Direct marketing, on the other hand, had numbers, and targets and A/B tests, which gave me the comfort of immediate feedback and direction.

Marketing at Internet Time

Susan: And when the Internet came along – not only could you reach specific targets, but also results were available in real-time! I spent 14 years working on direct marketing campaigns for consumer technology. When I moved from San Francisco to Napa to work in the wine industry in 2003, “marketing” meant three tier sales, which was not what I was familiar with. Direct marketing was called “DTC” and was a new concept then but has now matured into an industry with more sophisticated tools.

…you need to have the right customers coming to your winery…

Rolando: DTC and tourism are strictly connected. Are you working in this?
Susan: Absolutely. A cellar-door or tasting room is a winery’s most expensive and effective way to attract new customers.

Susan DeMatei, founder and president of WineGlass Marketing

The key is to not only capture the immediate sale, but also make it an effective channel to grow the mailing list and sell wine clubs. In order to do that you need to have the right customers coming to your winery, and the correct process and tools to be able to create customer relationships that last long after the customer has finished their vacation.

A lesson about wine marketing strategy

Rolando: What’s your main strategy for a little vinery wants grow up its sales?
Susan: Hyper-segmentation and personalization are marketing trends that consumers expect and small businesses are only just beginning to embrace. I cannot emphasize the importance of getting to know your database. The channels to do this are many – social media, email, phone or in person – whatever works for you. But get to know what your customers want and keep up the dialog with them.

It isn’t about quantity it is about quality. Don’t just ask them for money, tell them about yourself and create a connection.

Take advantage of inexpensive tools to help automate personalized communications – like using Mailchimp to send a thank you after a purchase or follow up on an abandoned cart or using Facebook to target and talk to an audience that would be interested in what your winery is doing.

Rolando: What about WineGlass Marketing services?
Susan: From social media to photography, e-commerce to email campaigns, the WineGlass  comprehensive marketing strategies to increase acquisition, sales, and retention. WineGlass Marketing’s latest suite of software products is geared to change the way wineries do business. WGits (or WineGlass Integration Technology Solutions) link the tools wineries use daily to make data reporting and analysis more seamless. The WGits products can be used as is, or like we have done for several of our clients, can customized to fit a winery’s exact needs.

Plans for Europe of Wine

Rolando: Plans for the future?
Susan: WineGlass Marketing will continue to offer marketing services, website design, data migration, and white-glove customer service to wineries worldwide. As a company we plan to become a leader in integration software in the wine industry and provide tools that become widely used by wineries of all sizes.

Ultimately we’d love to move to help European wineries develop direct sales relationships with their customers.

Rolando: If you was in Italy, what would you do in DTC channel?
Susan: Wineries in the US and arguably Australia have greater access to tools that make DTC easier for wineries – and a longer history of learning what works. Given the opportunity, we’d love to help modernize the DTC channel in Italy by introducing wineries to POS, eCommerce and eMail tools. This would help them sell wine directly to consumers and teach them how to use them. We’d probably start with our three most requested services – a website, email program and social media presense.

Rolando: How digital technology is important in wine industry?
Susan: Can you think of any industry, job or task that doesn’t rely on technology? We use technology in our viticulture (weather, temperature, soil analysis etc) and winemaking as well as our marketing. For DTC it doesn’t have to be expensive or confusing. There are some easily affordable and usable tools to help elevate your positioning and marketing.

And with these words, the interview ends.

Thanks very much to Susan to taking her time to answer my questions. I hope that many winegrowers read that, in the Susan think there is a whole strategy for big and little vineries, and she gave it us for free.

“Anatomy of a hangover”by mkgillman is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

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