As Wines of Chile’s Managing Director Claudio Cilveti explains to the magazine, “China is a market that is just beginning to understand wine. The potential is great.”
This great potential presents an ideal opportunity for Chile’s wine industry to grow as a key global exporter of wine to China.
To capitalize on this objective, Wines of Chile has launched its largest-ever online marketing campaign – with a $1.5 million budget – aimed at reaching a diverse base of Chinese consumers.
“We’re really looking to win over the 25- to 35-year-olds,” says Cilveti.
With more than 1.3 billion residents, China contains the largest population of any other country in the world, and the 25-35 year-old age group represents a portion of the population that is especially receptive to wine consumption, and with a growing income and higher standard of living for selective wine purchasing.
Wines of Chile’s preemptive advertising campaign – known as “EEE” – is already underway, using innovative tactics to promote its member wineries in China.
The media influx will be delivered over a period of 24 months, in three “E” stages of publicity: Excitement, Education, and Engagement.
During the Excitement phase, Chinese consumers will be introduced to Chilean wine and effectively intrigued by a stimulating and pervasive viral campaign. Following this initial familiarity phase, consumers and media will receive opportunities for Education about Chile and Chilean wines and terroirs. Engagement is a natural outcome of the prior steps, capturing additional Chinese interest in and involvement with Chilean wine.
Marketing maneuvers will utilize a variety of popular social media platforms to implement online and offline incentives aimed at key target audiences. Specific activities include wine and food tastings, videos, media promotions and online competitions, blog interactions, website development, Chilean cultural events, and more – all ensuring that Chile becomes a topic of Chinese conversation.
Supplementing Wines of Chile’s efforts, some Chilean wineries are establishing regional offices in China and creating networks for the distribution of wines, intending to avert competition from domestic Chinese wine producers and other international importers.
Financial Times notes that Concha y Toro, for example, has increased exports to China from 573,000 cases in 2005 to 1.8 million cases in 2011. This progress was facilitated by intelligent marketing strategies, including partnering with well-loved soccer team Manchester United to promote wine in China.
“China is the second most important Asian market for our exports,” says Wines of Chile Planning and Research Manager Claudia Soler. “2011 exports showed a high growth in volume and average price – 74.6% and 12.6%, respectively, becoming an important pillar for the international positioning of the Chilean wine industry.
“In the last decade,” continues Soler, “China showed an annual average growth of 51% in value. Regarding 2012, August figures show a growth of 30% in volume and 39% in value. Numbers are 2.1 million cases and US$75.7 million.
“The potential of the market is huge and is a great opportunity for the industry,” she emphasizes.
Wines of Chile aims to increase exports to US$3 billion by 2020, making China one of its top five markets, according to Financial Times and Cilveti.
With such high stakes and potential rewards, Chile is more than up to the challenge of China.