Purdue Wine Grape Team Newsletter

Dear Indiana Winemakers
I thought I'd share some quick marketing ideas with you.  

 This idea is stolen from a resort in Ohio.   She hand  delivers (but you could mail) a bag of microwave popcorn wrapped in an invitation to 'Pop in' to her resort for a look at their facility.   You could use the idea with local businesses to encourage them to  'pop in' for lunch, a tasting, a special event. etc. 

Tech-savvy marketers have been telling us for months now that our websites and emails MUST be 'responsive', to be automatically viewed differently depending on the device in the hands of the reader. 

If you are using e-marketing tools like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp, remember that if you want to have your materials read, it is CRITICAL that you create ones that are easy to open and read via smart phones! Some email services offer automatic templates for you as you design your email campaign.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the like are critical marketing vehicles.  However, as we try to break our company stories through the ever-more cluttered world out there, a
couple of ideas to consider beyond just social media. 
  • Make it personal:  Remember, the three most important words for your business are your best customers' first, middle and last names. When you can, target the needs and interests of your case customers, your every-Saturday-tasting-room-visitors, those who most often buy tickets to your events, etc.  Make them feel special, ask them for input and reward them (legally) for their loyalty, and when appropriate, recognize them publicly.
  • Tout, using third party validation, your generosity.  When you donate (legally) to a local charity, have them send a picture and release to the media.  It will be much more impactful coming from them vis a vis you as a braggart or the business owner.
  • Get to know the newbees on your local media scene.  They will remember that you were helpful before they were 'somebody.'  And if they are good, they will move up in the business and you will remain one of their key contacts. 
    • Become the go-to person for one or more media luminaries in your area.  If they ask for help, even if the topic is beyond your expertise, do the homework, get back to them quickly and do it with grace and with no additional expectations.  Good things will naturally come your way when the media can trust you to be helpful. 
  • Influence the Influentials:  If Rotary is important in your community, host their weekly meetings.  If your local visitors' bureau needs a gift basket, provide one. If an elected official needs a place for a quiet meeting, set one up in a private space. If high school football is big in your town, advertise in the program, not about wine, but with a 'Good luck team' cheer. Once your business becomes identified as 'THE' place to go, to be seen, as an important cog in your community, it becomes a self fulling prophesy.
If you want more ideas like these above, Save the Date for the 2016 National Wine Marketing Conference, held April 17-19, 2016.  Lovingly called License to Steal, this conferences features three days of marketing sessions.  No winemaking or grape growing topics at this conference.  Hosted by the State Associations Marketing Directors from the midwest (myself included), the conference will give you a ton of ideas that you can take home and use in your own winery!  Ask anyone who has attended, they'll tell you it is well worth the money!


Jeanette Merritt 
Marketing Director
Purdue Wine Grape Team

Jeanette Merritt
Christian Butzke

Jill Blume

Bruce Bordelon