By:  Jennifer Pelino, Vice President of Omni Channel Media, 84.51°


I am passionate about a few things in life and two of them are insights (data) and wine. Now you might be thinking what is the relationship between wine and digital marketing? There is great care that goes into the making of wine from the soil to the vines, harvesting, time spent curing, bottling, as well as evaluating and marketing the final product. Essentially, the same principles hold true for marketing efforts; understanding your database in order to develop the best insights, harvest and cultivate your audiences and maximize yield from your efforts

shutterstock_300219482We must place the same great care in our marketing efforts as we do in tending to our vines. As marketers we must pursue data quality at every level starting with understanding the data set in which audiences are being built. Considered data management for building out audiences and the metrics used to manage future decisions will vastly improve execution.

In the beginning, painstaking efforts should go into your “soil”; what elements and sources are making up your data composition. Understanding the most accurate data set for your needs is critical as each audience group could require a different plot. At harvesting there is a lot of data to sift through, so understanding the methodology and factors used to measure is essential to increase the bottom line.

Let’s focus on determining an audience for mid-priced cabernet sauvignon; we are a wine distributor working to increase sales by driving consumer awareness of quality wines with the goal of moving consumers up the value chain. There are many ways to build an audience; it could be through in-store purchase behavior, food preferences, income, lifestyle interests, and/or family composition. Determining which direction and the underlying base can open you up to diverse cohort profiles. Here are three rules of thumb for building the best audiences to maximize your objectives.

Understanding the source and collection technique of the audiences. Is the data passively or actively collected from consumers? Is it survey, demographical, purchase or contextual data? The answers to these questions will help determine if you are working with the right vendor to help answer your brand objective.

Ensure comprehension of recency, frequency and consistency at which the data is collected and refreshed. Recency can be the difference between reaching someone at the precise point in their purchase cycle and missing your window of opportunity. Data refreshment and its frequency is often not communicated, and it’s often why you receive countless re-targeting messages for a category product for which you just purchased.

If Propensity or Look-Alike Modeling is being used, know the techniques and validation methods being used. If you don’t have access to first party validated buyers, models can be used to drive improved personalization, predictive scoring, triggered campaigns, and media sensitivity. These robust machine learning applications are strong but you still need to determine the basis of the original data in which the back-end models are using to churn through.

In our mid-priced cabernet sauvignon example we want to market to a targeted audience but not be too narrow in our approach, limiting reach. While cabernet sauvignon is one of the most widely recognized grape varieties and can span a diverse spectrum of climates, many consumers who enjoy wine might not realize the notable regions and naming conventions of the wine as labeling, merchandising and product details for the masses can be elusive. The objective of the wine company is to drive awareness of their product among consumers who may have tried cabernet sauvignon, enjoy dabbling in premium foods, but are not wine connoisseurs. Therefore the best course of action would be to use past purchase behavior to determine the target audience. The dataset will also allow for a more personalized creative message to be sent as it can be cross referenced against these households total basket. The additional basket data can determine relevant information about those consumers allowing customization of a message for a recipe or appropriate food pairing suggestion, increasing the likelihood of a purchase.


The start of our segmentation in this case will be built using households who purchased at least one bottle of a mid tier red wine in the past thirteen weeks of any cabernet sauvignon in the following regions Bordeaux, Tuscany, Santa Cruz Mountain Region, Napa Valley, Sonoma County or South Australia. The communication strategy would be to drive awareness of the cabernet’s brand and region. These consumer groups will be further segmented into Heavy, Medium and Light wine buyers who also purchase premium premium foods, such as red meats such as lamb and steak and earthy vegetables like mushrooms as well as fine cheeses and premium crackers, and of course, dark chocolate.

Once our three base audiences groups are defined and creative is determined for the three groups, we will also expand our reach nationally, using this verified base to add an additional modeled household group to expand our message.

wine_bottleAfter the campaign is active, determining how it performed to optimize in the future is critical. Once the most accurate data that is going to drive to your objectives has been determined, a thorough process of defining which metrics and methodologies to measure your campaign, should be employed.

Define which type of media source and device that will host your campaign. If there are multiple sources and devices hosting, you will need to put rigor around how the integration and matching of the data is determined to obtain an accurate read on the consumer groups targeted.

Outline which methodology is being used. A test and control method is fairly standard practice but key is to have defined how tightly the control is matched to the test set.

Delineate which metrics are best for your campaign. Bottom-line metrics are the strongest. Tying everything back to sales is critical, so ensure that incremental sales lift, increased household penetration and trial-and-repeat can be measured.

The single source data used to determine and serve consumers also allows for granularity and precision of results. The results are returned at the creative level, channel level and share which of your targeted customers were most responsive to the campaign. This level of depth enables campaign optimization in the future. While this might be an exhausting process, the fruits of your labor will clearly shine through.


About the author:

Jennifer Pelino is Vice President of Omnichannel media at 84.51°, based in the firm’s Chicago office. She partners with some of the world’s most recognizable CPG companies on their paid and owned media strategies and investments. Follow Jennifer Pelino on Twitter at @JenniferJPelino.

About 84.51°

84.51° helps companies create sustainable growth by putting the customer at the center of everything. Using a sophisticated suite of tools and technology, 84.51° works with some of the world’s leading CPG manufacturers and partners. With more than 600 talented and fearless associates, 84.51° is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Kroger Co. For more information, please visit us at www.8451.com.


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Interesting Facts:

  • 1 in 3 trips include an adult beverage item (grocery)
  • Consumers have more sophisticated palates and are increasingly engaged with more complex and interesting flavors
  • Shopping Trips with the most wine in basket include: Dinner at Home, Special Occasion, Gifting

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