The Grapevine

Crowdsourcing Your Wine Shop Marketing

March 25th, 2015

You’ve probably heard of crowdsourcing – sites like Kickstarter where individuals and companies seek funding for their ideas from the public at large. Is there a way you can apply this model to your wine shop marketing? [level-members]

Well, you probably can’t get your customers – or the public at large to fund your marketing expenses, but you can apply the crowdsource model to some of your content. This is frequently referred to as user-generated content, and it can be pretty powerful. The fact that it is, essentially, free, doesn’t hurt either.

Examples of user-generated content include Starbucks’ cup art contest, where customers decorated white Starbucks branded cups, to social-media focused programs like Air New Zealand’s “#AirNZPacked” campaign on Facebook, where customers submit (and tag) photos of their packed and nearly-packed bags.

You probably don’t want to start off with something that ambitious, but you can create a great social media campaign around favorite pairings. Get your followers to submit their favorite food and wine pairings to your Facebook page or website, and feature the best of them in other social media, email marketing, and even in-shop promotions. You win on multiple fronts: you get your fans and customers involved in your shop, your marketing budget for the campaign is nearly nil, and you learn more about what your customers are passionate about. (If Friday night is pizza night, guess what you should be talking about on Thursday?)

Now let me turn the table. What are some of your favorite marketing ideas? Send ‘em on and we’ll share the best in a future post.