Marketing is your first crack at showing professionalism, personality, creativity and attention to detail. It is not just a letterhead and business card, anymore. I am equally blown away by the creativity of some of my colleagues as I am, by some of my other colleagues lack of interest in the very word-marketing. Without getting too deep into the swamp, let's review some basics.
- Your brand(ing). You have a name, you may have a font and/or a logo. who designed those? How do they work together? Bigger is rarely better. A good rule of thumb-"as small as is instantly recognizable."
- Marketing is NOT advertising.
- Marketing is company culture.
- PAY FOR DESIGNS-Artists don't want to "trade for exposure". The very best, will demand to be paid appropriately. Do this. It's worth it, so many times over.
- PAY FOR A MARKETING PROFESSIONAL-Hire someone with a marketing education. Sit them in your office, have them do the marketing. DO NOT hand this job off to the person that is least busy. This is an important job.
- Art does not equal a good logo or label. Stand in an art museum, notice how the canvases are huge? They aren't meant to fit in an area a few inches wide. Your sister is an artist? Great! That has nothing to do with wine marketing.
- Have a style guide-Colors, fonts, logo usage, language, etc.
- Stop using Microsoft Word. Word Processing programs are NOT design programs. If you really want to do it the right way, invest in Adobe and learn how to use them.
- Pay for better paper and printing-attention to detail leaves a huge impression.
- Wine marketing does not have to evoke French Estates and all of the Madison Ave clichés about wine, of the last 40 years.
- Figure out how to make your materials inclusive. Give as much information as possible.
- Pay attention to how your target consumes your marketing-printed materials don't equal social media. Price books should be available electronically in .pdf format
- Your website is a tool where your customers go looking for things-what are they looking for? Price lists? Sell Sheets? tech sheets? Make them available.
- Social Media-put yourself on a diet of <20% self promotion. If you want people to follow you, enjoy what you do and say, share usable content that reflects what you do, what you believe and who you are. Boring companies get blocked, snoozed and unfollowed.
- Allow multiple voices to post on your social media accounts-some reps are really only IG focused, some are twitter freaks-you may enlist them to flesh out your presence.
This is really just a small rant list-it goes much deeper than this. Many of you need to understand what you don't yet know and find resources to help you out. Some of you are teaching me new things every day. At the end of the day, marketing is a great equalizer. You may not have the budget of larger competition, but for a minimal investment of time and money, you can compete at their level.