Friday, June 10, 2016

Recognized brands making bad mistakes

Every once in a while you come across it.  Good companies, with recognized brands doing something that makes you scratch your head.  This happened to me just this week, within a topic that is near and dear to my heart; email marketing and lead nurturing.  

In October 2015 I took my wife to Napa Valley California to celebrate a milestone birthday.  We traveled with some long-time friends who have never been to Napa, so being a veteran I spent considerable effort in scheduling specific winery visits allowing some time in-between to freelance if desired to get the most of this brief excursion.

Our first stop was at Cakebread Winery, makers of some unbelievable wine with a marketing department that gets it (editorial note: their Dancing Bear Ranch Cab from Howell Mountain is amazing if you ever get the chance). The personalized tasting experience was well done and the follow up was equally well managed.  Within a day or two of our visit, they sent me a thank you email along with a survey requesting feedback on how the event was managed. Even this week I received an email from Dennis Cakebread and look back on my visit fondly and more importantly look forward to ordering and enjoying some of their wines.

Sterling-Vineyards-2015-10-10.pngIf you have ever been to Napa, one of the top attractions to visit is Sterling Vineyard. With the gondola ride up to the top of their bluff you get a beautiful panoromic view of the Napa Valley floor. Plus Sterling allows you to pre-schedule your visit and gondola departure time, and since it was close to where we were staying and having dinner, this was a perfect last stop on day two of our trip.

Here is the Sterling disconnect

When I went online and registered and reserved my spot, Sterling Vineyard received at a mininum the following information:

  1. Name 
  2. Address (recognizing I am out of state and eligible for potential mailing)
  3. Date of Registration
  4. Date of Visit
  5. Type of Registration (I upgraded the 4 of us to Silver Exp)

So with this information, they at least have the foundation to formulate my persona. If they married it up with our visit and purchase activity they would have even more to determine what type of potential customer I could be and how to market to me to be effective.

They have had this information for eight months.  EIGHT MONTHS.  So, this week you can envision my surprise and with a degree of laughter that happened when I received not one but three emails all within 48 hours.  

Sterling-Vineyard1.png Sterling-Vineyard2.png Sterling-Vineyard3.png


I could nitpick the content within the emails and probably will for a future article, but for this article I want to focus a little higher up the ladder.  More importantly, what is the corporate strategy associated with managing a customer database and proper execution.


Customers are your most valued asset

A couple of months ago I was enjoying a nice glass of wine and some snacks at an event with our Creative Director.  She inquired as to why I enjoy wine, and the answered surprised her.  Yes, I enjoy the taste but more importantly I cherish the memories and connections that happens when you have a chance to stop and enjoy a nice glass of wine and take the time to have a conversation with another person.  Five years from now I won't remember the actual bottle or vintage of a wine, but I will recall the wonderful conversations and friendships that ensue because of it.

The experience your customers receive pre purchase, during and post-purchase goes a long way in determining whether or not you will have a lifetime customer.  Especially in a retail, disposable product (such as wine), these have to be managed correctly.  In fact, this year alone we have published two articles that emphasis how important email marketing and lead nurturing means to the overall profitability of any organization.  

Article 1: Step Up Your Digital Marketing Game: Put Email Marketing to Work
Article 2: 5 Reasons to Keep Email Marketing in Your Tool Belt of Online Marketing Strategies

Email has long been, and still is, a powerful tool in the arsenal of digital marketers. By using best practices for email marketing such as segmentation, personalization, and automation, you can ensure that your emails are reaching the right audience at the right time with relevant, engaging content.  But this requires time, expertise and someone to pay attention to it.

Something happened at Sterling Vineyard. Somebody took their eye-off-the-ball managing one of their most prized possessions.  Make sure this doesn't happen to your organization.  If you need help, please contact us.

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