Wine Marketing Online ~ How to use the newest tools of marketing to boost profits and build brands is a powerful new book by Bruce McGechan, published by Wine Appreciation Guild. Bruce McGechan has consulted wine businesses large and small, from one edge of the world to the other. He is the founder and managing director of, an internet wine marketing advisory firm based in New Zealand.

It has been said by many, including me, that the wine industry is light years behind other industries when it comes to understanding marketing. It’s safe to say that the wine business, being an agricultural industry, has more people ready to study enology and viticulture than it does to have people studying how to sell wine. I dare say this, because my classes in sales,  marketing, and wine PR had v-e-r-y few people in them, as compared to my enology and viticulture classes. And, remember, enology was Enology 101 and, and vit was Viticulture 101. I didn’t go on with enology and viticulture, because it wasn’t my area of expertise; however, I did need a basic knowledge of both in order to write sensibly for clients.  Those students in my wine and vit classes did go on to study more about growing and making wine, though. I went on to study more about sales and marketing; and never once did I see any of the grape growing and winemaking fellow students in any of my sales and marketing classes.

For Wine Marketing Online… a book of this nature to being published is so timely, as well as topical; and, it’s a boon to anyone who takes the time to read, study, and apply it.

It’s a book that any wine business writer, who has an understanding for what brands go through in order to get wine consumers’ attention, might want to recommend. I know I do. Additionally, wine grower owners, marketing managers, tasting room managers, wine retailer owners, store managers, wine regional marketing organization staff members, and wine marketing lecturers and students would all greatly benefit from reading this book.

So, what’s in this book written by McGechan that’s got me jumping up and down, not only as a wine blogger, but also as a marketer for wine brands and a director of a wine grape advocacy group?

Wine Marketing Online is designed to do just as its subtitle states, teach us “How to use the newest tools of marketing to boost profits and build brands.”

Small wine companies are getting crowded out of a thriving US wine market by retail chains, entrenched distributors, and established brands. The oligopolies and gigantic companies spend a fortune pretending they’re person-ably small; when, in fact, they’ve got their own legal departments and everything has to go through layers of bureaucracy before it ever leaves the office.

In the new, wired realm of marketing and customer relations, small businesses have qualities that make them very distinctive; things like personalized service, deep product knowledge, and authentic interest matter more than ever.

Bruce tells small wine companies how to put those built-in attributes in front of all those online customers. He shares with his readers the following action items:

  • Discover the secrets that successful wine businesses use to market their wines online.
  • Learn how to increase your credibility and be seen as an expert by your local customers.
  • Generate Traffic to your website using Google.
  • Convert that traffic into sales through fine-tuned content and a positive user shopping experience.
  • Utilize social media to effectively engage with new and existing customers on your blog, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • Ride the coming wave of mobile websites, apps, advertising and location based services like Foursquare and Yelp.
  • Analyze your wine eCommerce software options.
  • ‘Finally’ turn one-off orders into repeat loyal customers.
  • …and, last but not least… Share your enthusiasm for wine and really enjoy your business.

The book includes the following very important “how to” building tools:

  • Winery internet marketing and brand plan
  • Wine store internet marketing plan
  • Wine store financial model
  • Wine competitor and customer research

As I see wine writers asking “Winery and wine PR people, how do you use social media? Do you believe it can be a significant driver of sales?” ~ I know it can… This book is living proof of how to do it and how it’s done, it just has be understood and applied. Sounds simple, but it’s rolling a boulder up Sugarloaf Mountain, most days.


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