July 12, 2012

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming . . . and here is Foursquare for wineries.

Yep, we’ve been busy behind the scenes at VinTank.  As they said in Finding Nemo, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”  So to update you on some of our progress, I recently made the keynote in Dijon, France talking about the intersection of wine and digital (the subject of our long overdue white paper).  Here is the presentation of the speech if you are interested which will give you a preview to the major themes in our upcoming paper: http://www.scribd.com/doc/97908126/Wine-Digital.  We have spent two years studying and analyzing the material to write this key paper.  In a nutshell it will be a current state of the US wine industry, current state of digital, and how the two intersect.  As I said in Dijon, we’ll be talking about “how Silicon Valley got their chocolate in our peanut butter.”

You’ve also probably noticed that we’ve been unusually quiet on social media, our blog, and in general.  We’ve actually been incredibly busy with both the white paper and adding new features to VinTank Social Connect.   Last week we quietly released our integration with Foursquare in the “Owned Channels” section.  Why Foursquare next?  First, our paying clients have been asking about it constantly and we prioritize the requests from our paying clients first.  But that is not the primary driver.  We especially believe in Location Based Services (LBS) for the wine industry.  Why?  Because, if a winery has a tasting room, over 50% of their DTC sales come from that channel and 98% of their wine club sign ups also come from that location.  Location, location, location.  We also have huge respect for Foursquare and their API has matured to a key point of usefulness for our listening and social CRM services.  We have HUGE plans for location based tools to help wineries better serve customers IN THEIR TASTING ROOM with key CONTEXT about what they say about wine.   It is our continual philosophy that the key is not to bring commerce to social but to bring social context to commerce.

So what’s new?

On the details page for each winery location under Winery > Locations we have integrated Foursquare’s venue search to let you more easily find and select your exact venue. This is a UI convenience since before you had to copy/paste your venue URL. Any venue URLs you’ve already set on winery locations were migrated to first-class integrated, but un-auth’d, venues by the upgrade. Since data under the Winery tab effects our data syndication services, it’s a good idea to make sure your venues are set there too.  The more interesting part is under Social > My Channels. When you go through the OAuth process, you can connect each of your claimed 4SQ venues to your brands. If you haven’t claimed your venues in Foursquare, you’ll need to do that before you can connect them in your VinTank account.

And then . . .

  • The same reporting from Foursquare venue admin page.
  • Customer profiles are now created for Foursquare check-ins.
  • The links for users shown on the Foursquare tab under My Channels now take you to the customer detail page in VinTank as you’d expect.
  • You will be able to segment and add notes to your 4SQ visitors just like existing social customers.
  • The “Customers” tab for brands now incorporates Foursquare customer activity on the “owned media” views. There is also a new stat category for “Check Ins”.

What’s coming next from this awesome integration?

  •  We’ll be starting the process of stitching together social profiles for your social customers and representing them under one social customer profile page (i.e. Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, and so on for the same person all tied together on the customer profile page).
  • The release after that is where things start to get really interesting and I’m guessing will require some planning your part for how you want to roll it out within your organization. These are Enterprise tier only features.
  • Our platform will receive real-time web service calls from Foursquare for every check-in at each of the venues you have connected to brands in VinTank.
  • You will be able to configure notifications (or alerts) in VinTank initially triggered by Foursquare check-ins but many other triggering events will be added later. These notifications can be sent by email, SMS, web-service calls, and eventually by mobile app notifications. What you will receive in each notification/alert is the triggering action but also the entire social customer context. This will give you and your team a much deeper level of information about your customers. Some examples of notification rules include:
  • Send notification when a venue mayor checks-in.
  • Send notification when a member of a wine club checks-in (requires e-comm integration).
  • Send notification when a customer with a minimum LTV checks-in (requires e-comm integration).
  • Send notification when a customer who is a member of a VinTank customer segment checks-in at a venue. Customer segments already exist in VinTank and are completely user-defined so this gives you a lot of flexibility.
  • Send notification when a customer with Klout score over a certain threshold checks-in at a venue.
  • Send notification when a specific customer checks-in.
  • Send notification when a customer with a minimum number of earned media mentions checks-in at a venue.
  • And so on.


UPDATE: We have continued to make enhancements to our Foursquare integration, read more here.

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