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Susan DeMatei
June 12, 2012 | Analytics, Award Submissions, Customer Support, Email Marketing, Event Planning, Photography, Print Design, Social Media Marketing, Training and Tech Support, Website Design | Susan DeMatei


I’ve always been a confident person. I can’t help it. I had good parents and decent opportunities to capitalize on so when it gets down to it there is really almost nothing, when pressed, I belive that I couldn’t do. Eventually. After a number of trials.

So, why is starting my own company so nerve wracking?

I met with a colleague whose advice I value recently who said “Tell people what they need to know, not what they want to hear.” And then it hit me what I was afraid of:

Most wineries want DTC marketing, they don’t need DTC marketing.

Think about it. Every hard change you’ve ever made: losing weight, quitting smoking, starting exercise, saving money – all were because you got to the point you needed to do it. The pain (embarrassment, guilt, loss) of change was suddenly less than the pain of staying the course.

This year I found myself at a crossroads – and after meeting with a half dozen wineries it was very obvious to me that the average winery out there has no idea how hard real direct consumer sales are. It is time consuming, resource draining and affects every area of your business model from accounting to the mail room. And for an industry that is just realizing ecommerce is viable, and still relies on the network of the three tier distribution for 80% of its revenue, these are hard changes to make.

“Just put it on sale and move it.”

“We want the margin, but we’re not planning to change allocations.”

“We want a new website, but we don’t need a mobile version.”

“Send it to the whole database.”

“We’ll just do the compliance paperwork ourself.”

“I’ll just hire a kid from highschool to do our twitter this summer”.

Even my dog knows to when the pain is too much.

Until it is painful, really painful, not to do it correctly wineries will continue to cut corners, ignore social media conversations, blast the same tired emails out to the same tired database and broadcast the same junk on their facebook pages.

The good news is for every five wineries that are doing the above, there is one that gets it, that is customizing experiences and messages and getting to know each and every wine club customer. These are the wineries that will continue to see DTC sales grow at full margin, and will be around when the next technology develops. If this is you – let’s talk.



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