Customer Relations Management (CRM) is the next step in serving your customer’s needs. But, is it prime time for the wine industry, which is agricultural based?

I’m thinking, “Not yet”… But, I still want in all NOW.

While it’s not light years away, it’s probably still at least five years in the making before anyone begins to use this programming in the wine business. I dislike making a public prediction like this, because someone’s either going to tell me, “Hey, Jo, you missed it by a year,” or, “Boy, you missed it by a decade.”

What I do know for absolute certainty is that the wine business isn’t anywhere near ready to embrace this concept, yet… There are people that I know in this business who still can’t attach a document to an Email; on the other hand, they sure can grow some pretty amazing grapes and/or make some really wonderful wine.

While I can attach documents, I’ve failed miserably when I thought I could make wine from my Zin vines… All things being equal.

We all have something that we’re good at, and wine makers and wine grape growers do what they do best… connect with the earth, while the rest of us are connected to cyberspace. (Jose’s always saying to me, “That’s why there’s chocolate,a nd that’s why there’s vanilla.”)

Jeff Porter, the director of business development at Lithium, contacted me, in order to explain the company’s concepts. Right now, this type of programming isn’t being used within the wine business; however, it is being used by major corporations that you’d recognize, like Barnes & Noble and AT&T. Visit Barnes & Noble, and click on the Book club tab (at the very top of the page, right hand side). Here’s the link to the book club. Once there, you can move around to featured book clubs, just the way you could move around with featured wine clubs (wine brands).

It’s very powerful mercantilism. It’s so sophisticated and I’m so ready to have wine brands using this kind of programming, for any large company with multiple brands.

I see a company like KJ being the early adopter in the wine business that would take advantage of this, given their Murphy Goode job recruitment and hiring practices. Here are some of Jess Jackson’s brands that you’ll no doubt recognize. If these wines were in one location, where it just looked like great wines being offered within a wine community of premium brands, I believe people would flock to this location for fun sharing experiences. Just my humble opinion…

  • Arrowood
  • Byron
  • Cambria
  • Cardinale
  • Edmeades
  • Freemark Abbey
  • Hartford
  • Kendall Jackson
  • La Crema
  • La Jota
  • Matanzas Creek
  • Murphy Goode
  • Stonestreet

And… I’m going to stop here. There are many, many other brands within the KJ portfolio of wines. Who wouldn’t want to go to this “perhaps-future-site” to become part of its wine club?

So, here’s a little video that I was introduced to this week. If you wonder where all this wine social media is going, here’s a peek-a-boo for you at Lithium (video).

Lithium delivers Return On Investment (ROI)

Imagine a big house (like K-J, for instance) with all of Jess’s brands being on one Website as a community of awesome wine brands. Within that community, absolutely everyone so jazzed could be talking to each other. Meanwhile, as they chat it up, they’re going from the original site to another one dedicated to collecting data about the person’s passions, the programming redirects all of that to an  experience that might eventually lead to the sale of a preferred or recommended wine, recommended BTW by someone from within the community. This person isn’t a “plant.” It’s an advocate within the community that’s a fellow consumer, because people really value peer-to-peer advice. Sales people and your marketing people are also part of this behind the scenes process.

That’s called “pull through” in a marketing class, constructed to get you from A to Z in sales and marketing. It takes into account all things along the way. This allows for anyone related to the wine business to eventually be paid, in that chain of A to Z sales and marketing.

If PS I Love You was a profitable company (a wine non-profit can’t become engaged in wine sales), I’d be thinking about this for PSILY.