Back in 2011, Winc entered the market with a bold vision: to personalize the wine selection process, making it easy for consumers to hone their palettes. Today, the company has broadened its scope by taking its wine in-house, owning cultivation from “grape to glass.”
Winc stands out amid myriad direct-to-consumer alcohol offerings in market today because it integrates technology at the foundation of its business. Every new subscriber completes a short quiz mapping their unique taste profiles, and after each delivery provides customer ratings and reviews. Based on these results, Winc recommends a selection of reds, whites, and everything in between — each uniquely catered to their customers’ tastes.This inventive customer-first product and experience is why FastCompany listed Winc among its most innovative companies of 2019.
As a direct-to-consumer wine distributor, Winc found that attracting new members in mutually brand-safe ad environments was a consistent challenge. When they first launched, Google and Facebook comprised more than 60% of their marketing mix. However, algorithm changes and rising CACs led Winc’s Growth Team to determine that channel diversification would be necessary to maintain growth. They had more skin in the game, which made it crucial that they explore emerging channels.
Exploring New CAC Efficient & Brand-Safe Channels
As Winc’s Growth Team began to test beyond Google and Facebook, it soon found that many channels could not deliver against performance goals due to high CACs. Although the brand had some initial success with podcast ads, they soon had to shift strategies due to an influx of competitors in the space. Moreover, these channels often lacked targeting capabilities that would ensure brand safety. Display advertising, through DSPs in particular, exacerbated the problem — when human optimization is removed from the equation, it’s hard to see where an ad is actually running.
“You have to be proactive and optimistic about emerging advertising trends. As we found with podcasting, it’s easy to get priced out once the competition catches up to you. That’s why we’re constantly looking out for creative opportunities, and testing new solutions,” explained Rohan Panjiar, Director of Performance Marketing, Partnerships & Business Insights at Winc.
To address these challenges, the Winc team decided to capitalize on the in-app opportunity and test a mobile advertising network that satisfied brand safety requirements. Through its various explorations, the team had already developed a uniform media planning and creative optimization approach. Now they intended to apply these strategies to the in-app environment.
“People are spending more time on mobile, and in-app engagement for mobile games is extremely high. It was a natural next step in our growth strategy.”
- Rohan Panjiar, Director of Performance Marketing, Winc