How to Seize the Data Opportunity in Wine, and What It Looks Like When You Do


"If they zig, you zag."

That was the most important lesson from my favorite professor in Journalism school. What he meant was, if everyone else is already looking at the story over HERE, then your story -- the opportunity to do something different -- is over THERE.

I've been thinking about that over the Labor Day holiday, when two different articles came across my desk. They're both from the academic world, and they both touch the sweet spot of Enolytics' mission to "fill in" the blindspot of wine consumer behavior and sentiment.

These two articles tell us where most people in the wine industry already zig. (Get ready for the zag, below.)

  1. Two weeks ago Neema Kotonya and Emiliano De Cristofaro of University College London and Paolo De Cristofaro of the Tipicamente wine blog published a paper about wine consumers' social experiences through the lens of the Vivino app.
  2. A graduate student named Marie Schu at Erasmus University in Rotterdam wrote her master's thesis on the wine industry's reactions to consumer use of new media ratings platforms.

What's the zig, according to these resources? As Schu puts it, most of her research subjects "appear to be in denial about the value of contemporary consumer rating practices."

Most wine industry people, in other words, are in denial about how impactful increased consumer digital involvement can be, especially since it brings with it the advantage of increased demand in the marketplace.

That's the zig.

Which means that the zag -- your opportunity right here -- is to capitalize on what most others are looking at, and denying, over there. That consumer usage of digital platforms increases every day. That the potential is already here, and available, and waiting to be tapped into.

What has been the response from someone, one of Enolytics' clients, who has zagged?

Giampiero Bertolini, Global Sales and Marketing Director at Marchesi Frescobaldi, put it this way:

Finally consumers are at the center of the strategy. Finally we can base decisions on solid data and not feelings. Finally wine marketers could enjoy a new era where the market needs are clearly identified and proactively managed. Cathy Huyghe and Enolytics has envisioned a new future providing what wine marketers were really missing!


Are you ready to seize the opportunity, while others lag behind in denial? Are you ready to zag, while most others zig?

We can help.

Please be in touch, and tell us what you need. And thank you, as always, for reading.

PS We've been updating our Press page with other endorsements and new media mentions. Please have a look.

Frescobaldi, Vivino, and Fishing Where the Fish Are

Today we're interrupting our regularly scheduled program...

In order to talk about fishing where the fish are.

Last week we started the countdown of Top Ten Big Tips for December, and we’ll continue with that next week. But I’d like to take a moment to interrupt the countdown in order to talk about these fish.

It started a few months ago, when I was invited to organize a session on big data at the Wine2Wine industry conference in Verona, Italy. Panelists were tasked to describe for the Italian companies in the audience how to use data in order to sell more wine in the U.S. market.

I invited Felicity Carter, the editor-in-chief of Meininger’s Wine Business International, to offer her perspective on how big data is currently utilized in the industry. I also invited Giampiero Bertolini, Marketing and Sales Director for Marchesi De' Frescobaldi, to discuss candidly and transparently how they use B2B data in the U.S.

My contribution was from the consumer perspective, visualizing insights derived from Vivino data. Vivino queried their data about Frescobaldi on two fronts in particular: market presence among consumers, and consumer ratings and popularity of Frescobaldi wines.

The visualizations that resulted may as well have been titled, “Fish Where the Fish Are.”

They graphically indicated where there is already consumer interest in Frescobaldi wines, and what exactly the sentiment and behavior around that interest is.

Those are the fish.

As for the ones doing the fishing?

Frescobaldi can overlay the maps of consumer interest with their own knowledge, from B2B data, about the performance of their restaurant and retail accounts in particular markets.

Are they fishing where the fish are?

Now, armed with plenty more insights than what I was able to show in a short presentation, they can start figuring that out.

It's the next step, as Giampiero Bertolini said, to get closer to consumers, even for a company that already does data (from the B2B perspective) very well.

The Wine2Wine panel was an illustration of one brand using one data source. The exciting thing is the potential for those variables to change and expand -- from Frescobaldi to any other brand or wine producing region, for example, from the Veneto to Tuscany to Sicily, which was the substance of most of the post-session conversations.

Ultimately, the insights we can deliver become more contextualized and more accurate when we integrate additional sources, such as, our newest data partner that we’re eager to activate.

It's an incredibly exciting time, and we're grateful for the ways that Enolytics is growing and evolving.

Thank you, as always, for reading --