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A wake-up call for marketers

Published:  18 January, 2007

So many wine marketers have missed their calling.

Good marketing involves managing a relationship.

Introducing two compatible souls: the lost consumer and her fruity Friday night treat. Keeping up the excitement as they get to know each other better. And acting as marriage guidance counsellor if things go wrong. Resisting the cheap, meaningless, bogof affair, in favour of an anniversary at full RSP.

Three years in a high-street retailer or a bit of time in a on the road as a wholesaler is no training for a wine marketing manager. It's more of a hindrance. Yet too many marketing teams seem to show that profile. The glorious exceptions (and there are some) are marketers'. And no, that's not someone who displays creativity and flair'. It's someone who's trudged through the theory of qualifications like the Chartered Institute of Marketing's Diploma, and the practical, audited experience of the Chartered Marketer qualification. If you are a wine marketer and you don't have these, ask yourself why?'

If you employ wine marketers, you've some tough questions too. If you simply asked a good salesman to do the accounts, would you be surprised if a cash flow crisis hit you six months down the line? Your money is so precious you ask a Chartered Accountant to manage it.

Brands are a precious asset. If you don't employ trained and experienced professionals to look after them, you leave them to the mercy of the salesmen.

Joe Fattorini is a journalist and wine writer who writes regularly for The Herald in Scotland