Online Wine Advertising is Evolving

Here is a guest blog post from my favorite online data geek in the wine industry, Thornton Jacob from Vintellisys. If you love data and are tracking your winery’s website data, read on to see the latest changes. But if you are a small winery that doesn’t have the bandwidth for online wine advertising, check out Vintner Alliance, they basically utilize what Thornton talks about below but charges you a percentage fee on each online sale.

Psst! My commentary is underlined. Thornton would never be so informal ūüėČ

Have You Updated to the New Universal Analytics?

At the beginning of April, Google released Universal Analytics from beta. This is great news for all marketers who are interested in who their customers are and how they might better reach them. Updating the code is a relatively straight forward process and will provide 3 major benefits for your online wine advertising.

Online Wine Advertising

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Demographic Information

We’ve always known what our visitors are doing on our websites but until recently Google Analytics (GA) has not told us who they are. Now Universal Analytics enables aggregate demographic tracking and can provide information on your visitors’ gender, age and interests. Ideal for offline and online wine advertising.

Think your customers are all young and hip? Or are you sure the boomers are your base? Does your brand skew male or female? Compare the data of those who buy to those who visit your web site. This data is sure to contain a few surprises for you.

Retargeting for your Online Wine Advertising

Adding just one line of code in your GA tracking code allows you to start remarketing with Adwords. Google remarketing allows wineries to show ads to past site visitors across both the Google Display Network and Google Search Engine.

But the real genius of Google Remarketing is the ability to target segments based on web site behavior.

You can target pre-defined segments like:

  • all visitors
  • visitors to a specific page
  • visitors completing a specific conversion goal (like clicking on technical notes on a wine product page).

Or you can define your own segment of visitors. In practical terms, this means that if a visitor to your site visits a particular product page that person can be served ads related to exactly that product as they continue to surf the web later. Genius, right?

Google has also introduced something called “Smart Lists”.¬† These Smart Lists are built using machine learning on data from millions of websites to predict which site visitors are most likely to become customers during a later visit. Your list will be customized based on the unique characteristics that cause your visitors to convert.

Choose an online wine advertising cost-per-click model and you will pay only when the potential customer clicks on an ad back to your site. A remarketing list needs 100 unique visitors.

Stop paying for Double Clicks for Wine Pay Per Click Ads

Multi-Channel Attribution is the term and it helps create a unified view of the customer and eliminate visitor double counting. Currently customers access our web sites on multiple devices like a desktop at work, a laptop or tablet at home or a mobile handset on the go and appear to GA as two or three unique visitors. Not fair! I know. 

But with Universal Google Analytics, this is no longer a problem. ¬†When a customer logins to a winery’s shopping cart, they identify themselves as Customer X (usually through an email address) and verify their identity with a password. Since every shopping cart login is unique, we can anonymously assign that unique login to a unique Google created id. Subsequently when I log-in to the same site to purchase on my mobile phone and I identify myself as Customer X, Universal GA will recognize that I am the same customer who visited your site from a laptop at work last week. This will not only eliminate the double counting but perhaps more importantly give us greater insight into the customer path to our brands.

Because it depends on a web site generated unique ID,  it may take some time for wine website hosts (Vin65, eWinery Solutions, Vinespring, etc.) to implement this feature. Nevertheless, we should be pushing for this type of functionality and look forward to a more unified view of the customer. Woohoo! Wineries hosting their own web sites should look into developing this feature, not just for online wine advertising but to increase online sale and better understand their target audience. Websites utilizing WordPress and Drupal for user management could probably implement this fairly painlessly.

So if you haven’t yet upgraded your old GA to Universal Analytics, now is the time to do so and take advantage of these new features.

 About the Author

Thornton Jacobs has over 10 years experience selling fine wine direct to consumers using web, email, digital marketing and telemarketing. Prior to entering the wine business, Thornton worked in software and the consumer internet space. Currently, he is Principal at Vintellisys a consultancy focused on analytics and data-driven marketing for small and mid-sized wineries. Thornton has completed the Google Analytics IQ Certification and can help you utilize Google Analytics to better understand your business .


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