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9. Illustrative Marketing Plan for Inspiring Businessman Segment

Bringing it all together into a marketing action plan for targeting the segment Inspiring Businessman. I cover some differences in the marketing plan with another segment, Knowledgeable Professor, at the end of this post.

Illustrative Wine Marketing Plan

The quandary I face with writing this is if I become too specific it becomes irrelevant to a wider audience but if I’m too general then it isn’t informative.

I haven’t even tried to put in a budget but have instead covered some thoughts in notes below as its too dependent on company funds, size and age. This Brand Plan is for the Inspiring Businessman segment and excludes company goals, major issues. It is illustrative not prescriptive.

The marketing calendar that I mention below is simply a calendar of when activities or tasks are launched in the market place. A company should be in a cycle of starting to prepare 6 months before an activity is due and starting to implement 3 months before it is visible in the market place. The calendar provides a discipline for the sales and marketing team to get tasks done. Otherwise they’ll be spending all their time firefighting rather than engaging in productive marketing.

Illustrative Brand Plan for Inspiring Businessman

Brand Strategy

Record what customer group you are targeting, how your brand is perceived in the market now, and how you wish it be perceived in the future. In other words your customer, the current perception of your brand, and your desired brand position as described by your brand definition. See previous blog posts in this Winery Marketing series.

How you get from the current position to your desired position is explained through your marketing plan…

The 5Ps below would most probably be in table format with the headings being: What | Who | Budget | When By.


  • Review label and logos to ensure they have visual cues of wealth and success. 
    • Action Point -> Brief agency on new design if necessary
  • Review bottle type – heavy, good punt
  • Review opening – happy with screw top or does this market demand cork
  • Review case – consider wood cases, single bottle boxes, or interesting design (case could be on display)
  • Substantiation – what awards, reviews, ratings can you use in your marketing. Is there a famous international wine award you’ve won?


On Premise.

  • Review account objectives with sales team and distributors. 
    • Make key objective being listed in at least one quarter of the best fine dining establishments in (for example) Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Washington DC, Denver, Chicago, Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Miami, Boston, Los Vegas, Pheonix, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Seattle… (plus the major towns in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada if possible).
    • Other major cities if you can afford to personally visit them.
    • Look to the precincts that people go to “be seen” as well as precincts around banking, legal, and accounting businesses.
    • Action Point -> Put into Distributor brief

On Premise.

  • Review account objectives with sales team and distributors. 
    • Make key objective being listed and prominently displayed behind the bar in at least half of the best Premium bars especially wine bars.
    • Cities as above.
    • Look to the precincts that people go to be seen as well as precincts around banking, legal, and accounting businesses.
    • Action Point -> Put into Distributor brief

On Premise Trade Programme.

  • Supports the above and assists distributors with the above.
  • Host key restaurateurs and bar owners a trip to your region to visit your winery and perhaps tied into an event. May only be able to afford 1-2 per year.
  • Action Point -> Write an marketing activity brief and implement as part of a marketing calendar

On Premise Trade Programme.

  • Supports the above and assists distributors with the above.
  • Wine maker and/or your key personality visits to the premises above as well as distributor training and media interviews.
  • Should be supported with one pager of tasting notes and key product info.
  • Action Point -> Write an marketing activity brief and implement as part of a marketing calendar

Off Premise.

  • Review account objectives with sales team and distributors.
  • Make key objective being sold in boutique wine stores in wealthy areas and precincts in the cities as per above.
  • Percentage of stores and actual number of cities dependent on your volume.
  • Action Point -> Put into Distributor brief

Off Premise.

  • Offer premium point of sale for these small stores and circulate every couple of months.
  • Must be high quality and probably custom built.
  • Action Point -> Brief into local joiner
  • Action Point -> Write an marketing activity brief and implement as part of a marketing calendar

Off Premise.

  • Aim to be positioned on the shelf as near to the varietal category leaders of your price point as possible.
  • Make this a clear objective with distributors.
  • Action Point -> Put into Distributor brief

Off Premise.

  • Stop all promotional discounting to supermarkets and liquor stores.
  • Offer volume discounts only and look to reduce this over a period of time as a way to reduce your exposure to this channel (replaced by direct, fine wine stores, and on premise sales).
  • Action Point -> Price review

Distributor Review.

  • Can your distributor deliver the following tasks?
  • Will your objectives of promoting a premium brand fit their objectives. If they want a cheap wine they can push to liquor chain stores – then find another distributor.
  • Action Point -> Discuss Distributor brief with distributors


  • In order to boost your net price/margin you need to sell more direct through cellar door, your website and internet marketing. See Promotion below.


Review top same-country same-price-range varietal category leaders in your key target cities – can you match their prices or get close to them. Aim is to be in top 10% in the next few years. Action Point -> Price review


Internet Marketing – Website.

  • General SEO
    • create quality content through your website blog to generate links
    • check for on-page optimization i.e. relevant keywords in title tag, headline etc
  • Comparison Shopping Engines: wine-searcher, snooth and Google
  • Advertising
    • Google Adwords
    • Facebook
    • Bing
    • LinkedIn
    • Twitter
    • Banners
  • Email marketing in conjunction with Direct Marketing below
  • Create Wine Clubs (and allocation systems if needed)
  • Continuous improvement program
    • landing page optimization and testing program of all key parts of the selling wine online process
  • eCommerce shopping cart 
    • usability testing and optimization (come up with a plan of what you want to test by when)
    • conversion analysis and reporting

Internet Marketing – Social.

  • Blogging
    • Blogging calendar: who, what, when e.g. marketing manager interviewing famous restauranteur about your wine and his menu on 15 March 2012.
    • Comment on other wine blogs related to your own – list these blogs, how regularly,
  • Facebook Pages
    • Integration with website, similar design
    • Regular posts and interaction with fans and the other Facebook wine community Pages
    • Post your own blog updates, events, other interesting wine news and posts
    • Create discussions about your wine on discussion pages
  • Facebook eCommerce linked to your website
  • Twitter
    • Background and integration with website
    • Regular tweets and interaction with followers and the wine community
    • Tweeting of posts: your own, other wine blogs and social media
    • Participate in live tweeting at events: your own and other wine consumer events. List events.
  • YouTube
    • Create YouTube channel
    • Create (amateur) videos of how the vintage is progressing as well as tastings and wine personality interviews (sommeliers, wine bloggers, critics etc). Make these blog posts as well (which are then linked to twitter and Facebook).
  • LinkedIn
    • Create company and personnel profiles.
    • Join wine groups and participate
    • Actively connect with the wine trade
  • Social Media Monitoring
    • set up notifications with Google and social mention to ensure you listening to any mentions of the brand

Internet Marketing – Local.

  • Local SEO
    • Business Address on website
    • Google Places claimed and comprehensively filled out
    • Local directories, local/regional organizations and Internet Yellow Pages companies list you
    • Ask loyal customers to review you on Places, yelp etc
  • Location Based Services
    • foursquare and other popular services you are listed in
    • test SCNVGR for effectiveness
  • Local review and ratings services
    • Facebook Places
    • Google Places
    • Yelp and other popular services you are listed in
  • LBS Monitoring
    • ensure you are tracking bad reviews and questions from local sites

Internet Marketing – Mobile.

  • Mobile optimized website
  • Mobile and iPad application (iPhone then Android)
  • Mobile Advertising
  • QR code on label

Direct Marketing.

This is all about lists, offers and creative. You need to focus on lists as its by far the most important. Create your own wine club list through

  • website sign up
  • sign up at the cellar door
  • sign up at events

Next most important is the offer you make

  • if you have the perception of limited stock then offer allocation
  • otherwise promote key news and events that are important to the target market. This will be more about restaurants and events rather than harvest information. Awards and reviews are good too.
  • could offer a discount on case lots or for ordering every month or so over a period of time (volume discount) but your aim is to boost margins by encouraging direct sales and maintain a premium price point – try and avoid.

Lastly is the creative

  • email marketing is the most cost effective though postcards can be affordable
  • probably have your graphic designer create an email template that you use
  • sign up to an email marketing service
  • send it out every month or later.

You really need good customer service people and/or sales person and/or marketing person to run a good internet and direct marketing operation. They’ll need to do all of the above but also interact with customers by phone, social media and email. And sort out the inevitable problems with delivery.

  • Action Points
    • Write a marketing activity brief and implement as part of a marketing calendar
    • Brief in agency to upgrade website to offer wine sales and email sign ups
    • Ensure you have a form to capture email sign ups at cellar door and events
    • Ensure you have available staff or contracted resources

Cellar Door.

Review or open a cellar door operation.

  • Does your cellar door operation reflect your high quality brand value and appeal to your target segment?
  • If you’ve attached a restaurant are you happy your chef can cook similar high quality food and the restaurant has the ambiance that your target market will enjoy?


What stores do you have that will help a journalist write interesting articles? About the wine and something else – review your company stories.

Action Points

  • Write a media kit, ensure you have professional photos
  • Write a media strategy


People is also covered in your good work in On Premise Place above. However events can also show the right people at the right place drinking the right product. Assuming your customer has a great experience at the event they will also associate it with your wine.


Wine festivals that will be attended by your target audience – probably in their home cities or even home suburbs. Look for sophisticated food and wine festivals and perhaps a classical/opera type music event rather than a rock event for example. Offer list sign up. Remember to spend resources on marketing your association with the event rather than just attending the event. Action Point -> Write an event strategy and implement as part of a marketing calendar

Charity and Donations.

Look for a charity or business event that wealthy successful people are supporting i.e. your target market. Perhaps a charity ball or banking awards dinner to contribute wine. Of course also contribute to community requests etc but that is more community obligation than marketing strategy.Action Point -> Include in event strategy and implement as part of a marketing calendar

What’s different in the above plan for the Knowledgeable Professor and Creative Individualist?


  • Different bottles, openings, cases and product information – simpler for the professor, more cutting edge for the individualist


  • Focus on different precincts – more top quality food type establishments for the professor, more trendy/artistic precincts for the individualist


  • Carefully consider the value for money equation for the professors as they actually understand quality wine, may not be able to increase prices as much compared to the other customer groups


  • Very product focused for the professor, lots of information about vineyard and wine making progress, significant interaction in social media
  • Very event focused for the individualist


  • Wine tourism and wine events for the professor, donations to business/opera type events
  • Music and artistic events for the individualist as well as donations to artistic events


<<< Return to Marketing Plan


  1. […] and budget against each detailed task.…and then repeat for Product, People, Place and Perception. I illustrate a brand plan here using the later 5P approach for the target segment Inspiring Business… In practice a brand often has a couple of key issues it needs to resolve.They may revolve around […]

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