Five things inbound marketing has in common with wine

Hi, my name’s Caroline and I’m a writer at MPull. I’m also a lot of other things. I do yoga and swim a lot. I’m somewhat obsessed with tattoos. And I’m even more obsessed with wine. Yes, I love drinking it, but I’m more interested in everything related to winemaking. I’m talking everything from wine regions to winemakers, terroir to grape varietals, carbonic maceration to Botrytis cinerea. I could spend the whole of this blog listing everything I find fascinating about wine, viticulture and vinification. Instead, I’m going to talk about the things wine has in common with inbound marketing.

1)    Inbound marketing and winemaking are a marriage of art and science

Back in the day, ‘marketing’ was pretty much synonymous with ‘advertising’. And as we’ve all learned from Mad Men, advertising is a strictly creative endeavor. There’s little hard data that goes into or comes out of advertising. With inbound marketing things are different — there’s art and science, creativity and logic. Data informs how content is created, and data is gathered about how that content is doing online. The same goes for wine-making. Biology makes grapes possible. Chemistry makes the fermentation of grapes possible. Art and the vision of the winemaker are the magic that brings these facets of science together to create the ambrosia we get in wine bottles. A winemaker, rather like a digital strategist, will refer to data during the whole winemaking process to make sure his vision is realised.

2)    Crafting a killer digital marketing strategy and making wine require patience

Making wine takes time. First, you have to plant vines. Then you have to wait several years before you start harvesting grapes. Then you have to make wine and wait for it to mature. It requires patience and tenacity. It’s kind of the same when you craft an inbound marketing strategy. You get to know a client, their industry and their customers. You create a digital strategy and content calendar for them. You execute said strategy and create content. You share content via social media. Then you wait. Inbound marketing is all about letting your stellar content draw the customers to you. You nurture these potential leads until they are ready to buy from you – not until you want them to buy from you. It takes time, tenacity and patience. Just like making wine.

3)    Wine and content are made with the consumer in mind

Inbound marketing is customer-centric, as opposed to marketer-centric. Those advertising campaigns so deftly whipped up by Mr Draper were made to sell products, with little thought given to the people who’d be looking at them. Inbound is different. Content – eBooks, blogs, videos, podcasts – is created for very specific target customers to inform them or entertain them – or both. Wine is also customer-centric. True, a wine-maker might be driven by nothing but a love of wine (rather than a need to educate people), but the end product is meant for enjoyment. Wine doesn’t exist to control people – though its inebriating qualities might do so unwittingly – but to delight them. Quality content made through inbound marketing should do the same.

4)    A lot of beer goes into making wine — and marketing strategies

Harvest time involves a lot of sweat and toil. Grapes are picked, sorted and carted off to be turned into wine. It’s hard work that involves a lot of beer to keep the vineyard workers, viticulturists, cellar managers and winemakers hydrated and high-spirited. The same goes for creating an inbound marketing strategy. While not as physically demanding as the grape harvest, formulating, executing, monitoring and tweaking a digital marketing strategy requires hard work – and there are no holidays. Google never sleeps, which means your social mediaaccounts and blogs needs to be kept ticking over. If that doesn’t deserve beer, and plenty of it, I’m not sure what does.

5)    Not all wines are created equal

Every wine is unique. True, mass-produced wines like Two Oceans and Four Cousins are made to have a consistent taste and body across vintages, but the smaller farms’ wines will vary from year to year. Climate, weather and all manner of external factors will have an impact on the final taste of the wine, as will winemaking and maturation techniques. Each wine is a product of its environment and what the winemaker wants to achieve with it. The same should go for inbound marketing strategies. Each needs to be tailored to the client, their customers, their marketing goals and budget. This strategy won’t and shouldn’t stay the same year on year, or even month on month.

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Author: Caroline Knight