On the surface, wine and its entrenched associations with celebration seems like an ‘easy’ product to market. This, however, is before you take into consideration rapid market expansion, competition from alternate alcohol products and a decline in alcohol consumption. In wine, like all industries, strategy born from real-life experience is imperative to success.

UniSA and the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute seek to assist today’s wine marketers to overcome industry challenges with the specialised Executive Education in Wine Marketing. The week- long course, aligned with both UniSA postgraduate and MBA studies and the KEDGE Business School, empowers marketing professionals with skills and practical experience required to win in this noisy and demanding marketplace.

The dynamic of merged experience is key here. The course is built and presented by facilitators from both practical and academic backgrounds. The students too bring a wealth of global and local understanding, adding to the unique strength of experience. Ehrenberg- Bass Associate Professor Armando Corsi comments “the opinions, experiences and expertise brought into the classroom by such a diversified cohort of participants has proven to be extremely effective in stimulating out-of- the-box thinking.”

Wine making cannot just be studied in a classroom, neither can wine marketing. The Executive Education course concludes with a full-day, in-market tour, immersing students in the real- world of wine marketing. Corsi explains the tour’s fundamental importance. “It certainly helps to have the best possible speakers in the room, but it is even more important to visit the places where the wines are made. Without understanding the landscape, the soil, the people, the history, and the context in which wines are made, we could only do half the job.”

You cannot seek to sell that which you do not know.

This year the final day tour took participants into small, medium and large-scale producers of Barossa; talking, exploring and delving into challenges beyond the text book. Discussions ranging from the evolution of product, elevating brand perceptions, risqué labels and the scourge of the ‘beige factor’, making a big impact with a small footprint, influencer marketing – the right way, the experience economy and harnessing the power of affiliated markets, and food, art and culture.

Executive Education in Wine Marketing is an experience where education is woven into the fabric of warmth, hospitality, heritage and community. One that only a partnership between a fine wine region and cutting-edge academia can deliver. Real-life experiences and networks, which will continue to bear fruit for many years.

Executive Education. Executive Experience. Executive Future.

The Ehrenberg-Bass Institute will run the course again in September 2019. To register your interest, visit https://www.marketingscience.info/wine-marketing.

Written by Emily Hay – Marketing & Communications Officer at Barossa Grape and Wine Association