They're often ridiculed as bean counters, number crunchers, slick salesmen, case movers, hypesters, purveyors of propaganda or _________. (You fill in the blank. I’m looking forward to your descriptions …)
But now is the time for the minds in sales and marketing (S&M) to have their turn at fixing or salvaging the wine market. I know many people who work in these fields and for years they have been telling their bosses (winery owners) and clients to keep a lid on prices. Their advice has often fallen on deaf ears.
Marketers envision, define and target a market. Those targets have changed in the past few months. The bull’s-eye of expensive wines has shrunk to a dinky pinhole, making it a challenging target.
Sales people are charged with making sure the wines get sold and typically wines sell because of two reasons: price or quality. Consumers usually buy wine based on what they can afford and what tastes good within range of that price point.
There’s no way most wineries can undo the costs incurred in making wines in past vintages such as 2007 or 2006. Right now many wineries are working to renegotiate grape contracts. Some wineries will forgo new barrels. Cost cutting will be imperative for most wineries to survive.
Wineries that are still sitting on inventories, with more wine soon to be in the pipeline, would do well to pay close attention to their S&M teams and what they see and hear regarding the market, before it’s too late.
Too often wineries have been isolated from reality and cushioned by feverish demand for their rock-star status. Remember those good old days?
Emily — March 2, 2009 2:15pm ET
David W Voss — elkhorn, Wi — March 2, 2009 3:25pm ET
Bob Barry — Ridgefield, NJ — March 2, 2009 4:09pm ET
Andrew Kiken — calistoga, ca — March 2, 2009 6:08pm ET
Jay J Cooke — Ripon CA — March 2, 2009 6:14pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — March 2, 2009 6:27pm ET
Jeff Stettner — Missouri — March 3, 2009 12:05am ET
Scott Collier — Texas — March 3, 2009 10:43am ET
Steve Barber — Clayton, CA. — March 3, 2009 2:36pm ET
John Richardson — March 4, 2009 5:00pm ET
Mr C F Stover — San Diego, CA — March 4, 2009 6:59pm ET
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