When we launched our eTasting Experience last year, there was one thing we didn’t account for. We saw how a virtual tasting experience has the potential to delight, educate, and engage customers from the comfort of home. What we didn’t anticipate was how well hosted virtual tastings are working for some brands. Hosted tastings, usually offered at a set time or coordinated in advance with the customer, are a great way to deepen customer loyalty and expand customers’ knowledge of your brand. They are low cost to implement, don’t require travel, and allow you to reach a wide audience. We’ll be the first to say that if something is working for you, that’s awesome and keep it up! We think though that there’s another avenue that can be added to your overall marketing strategy and that is an on-demand tasting format. An on-demand format shares the benefits of the hosted virtual tasting. Let’s explore the additional benefits of an on-demand virtual tasting.
On-demand virtual tastings are available at any time of day.
Hosted virtual tastings are usually offered at a set time, such as the first Friday of the month at 7pm, or during a window, such as daily from 2pm-7pm. Both of these require some scheduling logistics and for guests to be available during the times offered. In contrast, an on-demand virtual tasting does not require a host to be available and can be done at the customer’s convenience. Late at night? Sure, no problem! Weekend? Absolutely! Morning? Yes, if you want to! (We won’t judge.)
Customers can proceed at their own pace.
In an on-demand format, the customer controls the pace. They can savor or linger when desired. They can pause when needed, or hop back to an earlier section, and proceed when they’re ready. The experience has no time limit.
An on-demand format can cover more ground.
Related to timing, a hosted tasting experience can only cover 60-90 minutes of material. An on-demand tasting is unconstrained. You can build a selection of topics and make different paths through the material. You can include additional resources such as a glossary of winemaking terms or a guide to different grape varieties. You can include bonus items like a behind the scenes video or outtakes. Customers can explore the full selection or pick and choose.
An on-demand format can more easily feature brand personalities.
Most likely the owner or founder or head winemaker cannot host every tasting session. However, they could likely make time for an afternoon of filming that can then be made available via the on-demand format. This is a great way for customers to get to know prominent personnel and to hear directly from your most knowledgable team members.
An on-demand tasting is a private experience.
Some customers want to engage with a live host, enjoying banter and having direct access to ask questions. Other customers would prefer a more intimate tasting experience, without a live host, so that the focus is on their companions and the tasting itself.
Interactivity is easy to incorporate.
Our eTasting Experience has all the interactivity potential of an online course. The format is flexible and customizable. You can include trivia or games or blind tasting or deductive tasting or simulations or all of the above.
An on-demand virtual tasting has the potential to reach more people.
Perhaps most importantly, an on-demand experience has the largest potential reach. In-person tastings require people to be able to make it to a particular location. Hosted virtual tastings don’t require travel but do require scheduling. On-demand virtual tastings can occur at any time and from anywhere.
Can you think of any potential benefits that we missed? Let us know!