Archive for the ‘marketing’ Category


Twitter logos

Okay, so we’ve all heard that Twitter works for business, but cracking into it for the first time is justifiably daunting.

Here are some key things to consider to take the pain out of your first Twittering steps.

Understanding how it works

Those of you with a longer attention span will recall the very first Marketing blog ‘The Reluctant Twit’, which was basically the BoozeMonkey team putting Twitter into the petrie dish and watching what happened. Admittedly, we were sceptics wearing our knocker hats, but we were honestly surprised by what we learnt that week, and we have now embraced the Twitter phenomenon with great success.

Fundamentally, Twitter works very simply – communicating directly, indirectly or listening.

‘Directly’ is the simplest and often the first foray into Twitterville. Posting your company PR, links to your website, special offers, celebrations etc are all valid and basically extensions of your traditional marketing/PR content delivered in a new medium. While it is a safe place to start, it will have appeal to existing customers but perhaps won’t extend your reach into new customer brackets. Remember the power of Twitter is its personal engagement – it is YOU communicating with YOUR community. The normal spin of a sales brochure isn’t engaging or personal enough, you need to delve deeper to use Twitter successfully.

Moving on to ‘Indirect’ Twittering – this is a very contentious area amongst businesses globally. Indirect tweeting is when your employees or your brand ambassadors twitter about your company, products, happenings etc. On the positive side, this is a great way to expand your company profile and humanize it. It can reinforce your brand by being less advertorial, and can be very personable. Negatively, it can have the reverse affect. However, remember that people are talking about your brand anyway (or should be) and my advice is to set the boundaries for the company and its people, then TRUST them to be as passionate about your product as you are.

Like all good networking opportunities, successful use of Twitter is as much about listening (or inbound signalling) to others as it is about spruiking your news.

Twitter can provide instant, honest and direct feedback, consumer sentiment, and trending for your industry and is therefore one of the simplest forms of market research you can do.

My favourite example is a restaurant (PF Changs) patron who tweeted his displeasure at how long his meal was taking, which resulted in management waiving his bill, because an off duty staff member saw his tweet and alerted the manager, who was able to act to salvage the relationship. Examples such as that one show the power of social media and the vast opportunity it offers to get in touch with consumers. Not only was that customer happy, but the story has been relayed around the web many, many times which is great PR for the company.

So, how do you get started?

Sign up and listen. Use ‘’ to see what is happening in your industry. Search your company name and see what people are saying. Track the trends. Follow some interesting people and organizations. Understand the search words and tags that work.

Get to know the applications and tools that make the process easier.

Ask questions. Add the FOLLOW ME logo to your email signature so people can follow you. Link it to your website so you gain followers. Find out who your followers/community are. Integrate Twitter into your Marketing Strategy – it isn’t a random add-on. Be real. Have fun.

Don’t sell all the time. Consider what your community want to hear.

Consider what you want to say. Tell stories. Share experiences and observations. Let people into your life and company. Talk about your passion, your pride, your community. Talk about your environment, your causes and rants. Tell the human side of your story. If something made you laugh, share it.

Make a special offer to followers. Organize a Tweet-up (a gathering of twitterers) Tell people when your new releases are coming and why they are not to be missed. Share that recipe. Link to your latest newsletter or photos on the website. Share the review.

Retweet interesting tweets from people you follow. Tweet useful links, stories that your find online. Test the market with your new ideas and ask for feedback – it’s instant. Promote your regional events, other producers in your area (chances are they will return the favour!)

Okay, give it a crack. Remember the crew are here to help, so drop us a line and let us know how you are going!

11915085152y48cbDirect Marketing allows you to target a specific customer group or demographic (existing or desired) and make a direct offer, which the recipient must urgently act upon.

The key to a successful direct marketing/mailing campaign is to keep the message simple, direct, easy to act upon and with a tight deadline for action.

With the majority of direct campaigns run online, the cost of this form of marketing is neglible and therefore a very attractive option, especially for small companies.

Direct marketing allows you to personally engage with your customer base, attract new customers, trial a new product or direction and constantly stay in your customer’s line of sight.

Ultimately it can reinforce your brand and become a consistent source of sales and brand awareness.

You can be creative, fun and use the opportunity to engage with new customers and keep the fire alive with existing customers.

Direct Marketing Campaigns only work well if you synchronize them with your other marketing activities – website with sales portal, newsletters etc. Use the campaign to drag customers back to your website, which (ideally) holds all your current information, newsletters, database signup, sales and stories.

…and don’t run Campaigns too frequently – your customers will lose their sense of urgency, because they will know another offer will come along shortly. Keep them for that Big Bang impact.

Now we will tackle the specifics and break it down into any-one-can-understand bite-size chunks:

  • Target Audience
  • Making the Offer
  • Getting it out
  • Following Up

Target Audience

Understand your demographic and target an offer to a specific group. While general offers can work well, aiming your message at a specific group within your database will yield greater results.

Don’t have a database? Start gathering your tribe now, via cellar door, events, social media outlets such as Facebook. Then use your growing database to enlist more people – create a direct marketing campaign that offers an additional benefit if the recipient invites a friend to join.

Make the message viral to encourage it to be twittered and passed from person to person.  And don’t worry if that sounds daunting: we’ll be covering things like Facebook, Twitter and other social media shortly: it’s not rocket science, it’s just new.

The Offer

First of all, personalize your message. “Dear Householder” isn’t inspiring, and direct marketing campaigns work if people believe they are being singled out of the masses and given a special offer because they are part of your community.

Marketing gurus have cited that in successful campaigns  40% of success is due to sending it to the right people in the first place, 40% is due to having the right offer, and 20% lies in the design and copy writing.

In terms of content, keep it simple – make sure the offer is clearly articulated in the first paragraph, repeated throughout and reinforced in call-out boxes and supported by your graphics.

Keep your copy-writing smart and easy to read – don’t make the customer have to work it out.  Smart copy writing is worth its weight in gold – pay someone if you need to.

Direct Mailing Campaigns aren’t the place to tell your whole brand story. If you have other news to relay, include your newsletter in the email, and keep your Offer short, sweet and simple.

Make the Call to Action stand out – hyperlinks within the body of the email which takes the customer straight to the secure sales site on your webpage are a winner.

Your subject line should be a quick summary of the offer and the urgency.

Expecting the customer to print out a form, fill it out and fax it probably won’t work so well, as they simply won’t get around to it if you make them work too hard.

Be creative, fun and bold. Keep hold of your core branding, but successful campaigns often have a shock factor – clever, eye catching images etc. Don’t let your graphic designer go completely wild, but you can take a few risks to stand out in the inbox.

A word of warning – not everyone will see what you see – design your email to be read on a single screen, make your designer come up with something that can be viewed on multiple platforms and won’t clog up the dial-up, or what passes for ‘broadband’ in most country areas. If in doubt, test it first.

Everyone’s Offer is going to be different – be opportunistic and look at a package of experiences as well as wine – band together with a local B&B and make a weekend package for a couple. New Releases, Xmas packs, seasonal packs – whatever works for your brand. Offer a Tasting Pack with tasting notes, matching recipes and a How To guide.

Again, if you’re stuck, ask for help!

Getting it out there

While the same rules apply for a postal, hard copy direct mailing campaign, there is no doubt that the current web/social media climate makes online campaigns very attractive.

They are immediate, easy to pull together and importantly, their transferability across many platforms – Twitter, FaceBook etc means your message can be distributed widely and quickly.

There are a million things to consider when conducting an email=based campaign – spamming filters, file size, image resolution etc. If you aren’t sure, check with your carrier and run a test. Investing in customer management software us also advisable if you plan to conduct campaigns regularly.

Don’t forget that we can set up for you, and we can certainly hold your hand if you need it!

Following up

There is little point stirring your customers into a frenzy of action, if it isn’t reciprocated. Make sure your sales portal is working and online, you have someone to answer emails promptly etc.

Review how your Offer was received, did it work? Where did your new customers come from?  Experiment, review and revise to ensure that you learn as you go, and that you get better results with each new campaign.

Find this helpful?

Remember, if you have any questions, contact us to discuss!


There have been plenty of reasons to crack open a bottle of Australia’s finest and toast the success of BoozeMonkey over the last 4 months. has surged from ‘Nowhere to Number One’ in the online wine blog world, with traffic in the top 0.01% of websites globally – a position that Marc Jardine, developer of the online wine community says is no surprise to those in the Wine Industry.

But it isn’t just the fact that the world is watching BoozeMonkey.

The Australian Wine Industry may just have found a new breeding ground of wine bloggers, young winemakers and involved consumers – individuals putting their passion and drive into revitalizing a tired and battle-weary industry.

Since launching the site in March 2009, has gained new members at a rapid pace and has achieved a cult status amongst wine-loving punters the world over.

“The Australian Wine Industry certainly needs a community like BoozeMonkey to take its message to the next generation of wine consumers. There is nothing else quite like it, and the huge interest in the site shows that there is continuing interest in Australian wines at a grass-roots level, where wine lovers can interact with the winemakers directly.”

The recently launched Wine Reviews feature, has seen wine-lovers avidly adding reviews and commentary about their favourite wines.

“Wine Reviews are unbiased, honest and down-to-earth, and winemakers are taking advantage of being able to put their wine in front of ‘real people’, said Jardine.

“This is where the next generation of wine bloggers and influential drivers of the industry will spring from” continues Jardine. “Already we are seeing identities like Roscoe Halligan gain a cult following for his irreverent, passionate and honest reviews. This is the future of the Australia Wine Industry. ”

Understanding the need for wine companies to market their products directly and creatively, the in-house BoozeMonkey marketing team provides support and advice to members. The Marketing forums also allow wine companies to share their ideas and experiences with each other.

Taking the mystery out of wine is a continuing theme on, with many wineries making full use of the in-built social media tools BoozeMonkey provides.

Smart wine companies are finding that BoozeMonkey is the ideal vehicle to market their brands to a consumer base of web-savvy global wine drinkers.

For more information contact:

Marc Jardine

Sandie Holmes


Do you remember the time you were served by a complete plonker, OR the time you were served by that amazing person who told you all the best local places to visit, and explained the wines in such a way you dropped next month’s mortgage instalment for a boot-load of the stuff?

Hmm? Probably both, for very different reasons, but I’ll bet you relayed the stories to all your friends…


I want to talk about my personal bug-bear, my single biggest beef with the industry, and one of the easier elements to FIX – people.

You can have the shiniest, most stunning Cellar Door in the world, (not to mention brilliant wine), and still provide an utterly average experience to customers.

Staff will literally make or break the customer interaction. They will turn punters into customers, and they will turn customers into your brand ambassadors.

And now, in the days of social media, a ‘word of mouth’ bad experience will be spread around networks faster than the next Paris Hilton video. The flip side of this is of course, that good news also travels, so the choice is yours.

Customers want knowledgeable staff who are passionate about their region, the wines and the local culture. They want to feel special, not rushed or hustled by a sales spin. Your Cellar Door staff are your front-line troops, and pretty much determine your customers experience and opinion of your brand.

Yes, I know this isn’t rocket science, but what are you actually doing to ensure you and your staff have a genuine customer service focus?

* Do your staff really know your brand, and can they communicate it effectively and passionately? There is a massive difference between trotting out the sales spin, and genuinely communicating with customers. This means listening as much as talking.
* Are your staff doing everything to encourage repeat custom? Eg. Easy sign-up to wine clubs, Twitter or promoting up-and-coming events (not just yours, but neighbours’ too)
* How are your staff ensuring that the customer who walks out the door will be a repeat customer?

One of the easiest ways to maintain a relationship nowadays is via social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook – forums that actively funnel customers back into your website and online sales page. You can communicate with your customers instantly, so make sure you have these systems in place, and ensure your staff know how they work, so they can encourage customers to join. This works for mailing lists too, and an email address is gold.

Make sure your staff are trained and up-to-speed with local events, other things to see and do, and can cross-promote other wineries and experiences in the region. Yes, they are selling wine but visitors are at your Cellar Door to have an experience of the Region and all the region offers, so don’t forget that you are part of a bigger picture, and what benefits one will often benefit many. Look after the local foodies, B&B-ers and they will return the favour.

Some regions have regular gatherings of Cellar Door staff who share ideas, host educational tastings and learn about each other and how to work together. Wineries should see these networking opportunities as brilliant free training and support their staff to attend. The McLaren Vale Cellar Door Group run an Annual competition – the McLaren Vale Outstanding Cellar Door Person Award – a fantastic idea that rewards the staff who offer stand-out service on behalf of their winery and their region.

Heres a fun fact – Wine Tourism is not something you are automatically involved in simply because you build a Cellar Door. Likewise, you are not ‘into’ Food Tourism because you whack out a few wood oven pizzas on the weekend. Sorry.

Both concepts are often misunderstood, or simply underestimated by wineries and other operators.

However, they are extremely powerful opportunities to leverage other marketing activities by State and Federal bodies, and are worth investigating. A great place to start is the Winemakers Federation of Australia (WFA) who have bounteous squads of information on the ‘what, how and who’ of Wine Tourism (
The delectable Robin Shaw of WFA will be more than happy to have wineries knocking on her door looking for good, free ideas.

Your Cellar Door staff can lead the charge on visual displays, supporting merchandise and products. They can also drive the in-region and inter-region networks that open up new opportunities for events and promotions.

They are the ones who deal with the customers every day and probably have a pretty good idea of what they want, who they are and how they think and buy. THAT is powerful market research that should be heard and funnelled into your branding and marketing strategies.


I’ve seen the best and worst of customer service over the years, across many regions, and although it may seem bleedingly obvious, poor service is still a bane of our industry.

Good staff give you an enormous opportunity to re-engage with a generation of customers who are looking for a genuine, welcoming interaction with someone who is passionate, interested and knowledgeable. They are a critically important a part of your branding, and should be invested in and supported wherever possible.

• Keep and reward your good people – they are the front-line and you can win or lose customers and sales because of them.
• It’s not just about the wine – Cellar Doors can be tourism experiences that open up opportunities to attract wine tourists and also leverage marketing opportunities through State Tourism bodies.

bigstockphoto_Wine_Stains_1551006Smartly, most Australian winemakers are resisting the urge to slash prices and advertise their heavily discounted wines at cellar door.

While this might sting a little on the balance sheet, it’s a knee jerk reaction that is hard to pull back from.

Recent research (and no, this time it isn’t from the L’Oreal Institute) shows that while many consumers are looking at lower priced wines, many (such as the Millennial generation) are continuing their love affair with wine and aren’t simply attracted to slashed priced wines or fire-sale advertising.

Focusing on the longer term, post-recession markets are a smart move – a strategy being adopted by more wine companies globally.

According to Chris Hanna, owner of Hanna Wines and a board member of the Sonoma County Vintners “Experience has shown that slashing prices to drive sales is not a smart long-term strategy. That’s what wineries did in the early 90’s and it’s tough to recover from such a move because consumers become accustomed to the lower prices.”


So, if reducing price is a last resort, what are the other immediate options?

After all, there’s little point in focusing in the long term if you aren’t going to be around…

How do you move your wine without devaluing your brand?

Therefore, to get the debate raging, for the next few Monkey Marketing Mojo articles, we’ll be focusing on some ideas to really make the Cellar Door experience work, and on creating simple on-line strategies that deliver.

We’ve picked these two issues, because that’s where most of you are focusing your questions to BoozeMonkey (so, in the words of Julie Andrews, it’s “a very good place to start”)

Many of you have invested in Cellar Doors, and often this is because you are situated in high-tourism traffic flow areas and are part of a critical mass of cellar doors, restaurants and other food and tourism related experiences, that have a natural regional ‘pull-through’.

If so, you can probably walk outside, chuck a grape and hit someone else in the trade who is also wondering how the hell to get sales.

Simple Events at Cellar Door

  • People still like to lunch, so consider putting on a long lunch, with great local food prepared by a local chef and matched to your wines.
  • It sounds obvious, but many wineries don’t promote the event well enough and therefore don’t get the benefits.The events themselves may be fantastic but suffer from low ticket sales or consumer awareness.
  • Have the event hosted by the winemaker, and keep the event intimate. This will keep your costs down significantly, but adds to the consumer experience.
  • Make a deal with a local foodie that focuses on joint promotion. This will expand and diversify your market reach.
  • Promote the event via local B&Bs, State Tourism bodies, Facebook, website and mailing lists.
  • Don’t forget local radio, press releases to regional and city papers.
  • Your Regional Association should be able to assist, so put your event on their website and Facebook and social media hit-list.
  • Use paid adverting only if you WANT to – consider the other more cost efficient options first.
  • (We’ll deal with effective press releases in another exciting episode…)
  • Use social media such as Digg, Mixx, Facebook, StumbleOn, BeBo, Twitter etc etc to get the message circulating. (If you aren’t sure, put down the brown paper bottle bag you are hyperventilating into and call us to help)
  • Package up accommodation options and add further value by offering guests a bottle of wine, (signed by the winemaker) if they bring 2 or more friends, or an entry into the chance to win a dozen wines.
  • Partner with neighbouring wineries to host the event – or do it as a progressive lunch at three sites (with a responsible transport option).
  • If it is winter, sell the fact you have a roaring fire and a warming fortified, or if it’s summer, host the event under the trees.
  • Give people the recipes for the meals they have enjoyed that day – make it intimate and engaging and ultimately something they will tell their friends about. Add purchase details and your website address to the flyer. Encourage them to respond with their recipe interpretations and put them on the website.
  • Email guests after the event and thank them for coming. Tell them they will be on the A List for the next event, and tell them how to subscribe to say in the loop.
  • Make sure they are on your Mailing List, and if you don’t HAVE a Mailing List, this is a damn good opportunity to start one.
  • Once you have a well-oiled and effective event, package it up and hit the road. Lots of corporates, conference organizers and social groups (not to mention restaurants, retailers etc) are looking for new and exciting things to offer to THEIR customers. Be the solution and open up new opportunities and markets for your brand.  Think outside the square – then get on the phone/email to sell your package.


•    USE whatever you’ve got and then SELL it using social media and targeted PR. Your event will be cost efficient and targeted.
•    Work with others in your region to make a collective, memorable experience.
•    Follow up with your new customer contact.


Admitedly, these ideas are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of options, but are just to help you reassess and review where YOUR opportunities are.

Next time, we’ll pick up Investing in Your Front-line troops (Your Staff).

In subsequent blogs, we’ll also cover Customer Relations, Wine Clubs and Mailing Lists as a strategies to increase sales, and have a few more case studies on using Social Media.

Cheers for now



The last 3 months have been a wild ride for Marc Jardine, developer of the online wine community BoozeMonkey (, and recent web traffic figures to the site have left him feeling justifiably pleased with the company’s progress so far.

Since launching the site in March 2009, BoozeMonkey has gained new members at a rapid pace and has achieved something of a cult status amongst wine-loving punters the world over.
The new stats put BoozeMonkey traffic in the top 0.01% of websites globally – a remarkable milestone which Marc and the BoozeMonkey team were not expecting to hit until later this year.

“We knew we were beating our expectations but we are surprised that it has happened so quickly,” commented Jardine. “We have been concentrating on producing great content and features for the website so we weren’t taking much notice of the web stats, but these figures are extremely encouraging. And they are particularly good news for our advertisers of course.”

BoozeMonkey is a wine community, a social network made up of wine-lovers from around the globe and winemakers from Australia and New Zealand. The website is a central source of information about all things wine and serves as a meeting place for wine-lovers to discuss their passion, to make friends, to discover new wines and to meet the winemakers who produce them.

Interaction between winemakers and wine consumers is proving to be a significant attraction across the board, whilst free marketing advice from the in-house BoozeMonkey marketing team and support from their peers is proving a particular winner with the wineries, with many wine companies sharing their ideas and experiences with each other.

Another popular attraction is the recently launched Wine Reviews feature, with wine-lovers avidly adding reviews and commentary about their favourite wines.

“Wine Reviews are now being posted on BoozeMonkey from members all over the world, showing there is great interest in Australian wine,” comments Jardine. “We know that times are tough right now, but there are some smart companies who are making full use of the in-built social media tools which BoozeMonkey provides, and who understand that the connection with a global customer base is to their advantage. More and more winemakers are finding that BoozeMonkey is the ideal vehicle to market their brands to our consumer base of web-savvy wine drinkers.”

Little wonder then that the latest addition to BoozeMonkey’s arsenal is online banner advertising. As with everything the company does, the advertising model is simple and uncluttered, with just three simple advertising plans on offer.

“Since day one our winemakers have been keen to take advantage of the marketing opportunities BoozeMonkey provides, and really that is just another indicator that more wine companies are shrewdly investing marketing budgets in online media.”

So, what’s next for the BoozeMonkey Team?

“Online wine sales of course! We are being bombarded by wine companies wanting the sell their wine and by wine drinkers wanting to buy their wines, so that is definitely our immediate priority. BoozeMonkey is driven by the Industry and by the wine-loving fraternity, so we listen to the feedback and suggestions from our members and our winemakers, and we will deliver!”

With an attitude like that, it’s not hard to understand why the BoozeMonkey Team are getting results.

Contact for more information