Making the Leap from Academia to Wine
Michael Gitter first fell in love with wine while doing a college semester abroad in Italy. Inspired by his new-found affection for wine, he decided to forgo his studies to explore the wine regions of Italy and France. Michael kicked-off his career working in restaurants like Chanterelle under Roger Dagorn. After Chanterelle, Michael made the switch from hospitality to food and beverage public relations. Two years ago, Michael seized an opportunity to join VINTUS as their new VP and Director of Marketing. He cites VINTUS’ stellar portfolio of fine wine producers and the company’s collaborative culture as the reasons why he decided to join the team.
“Wines of Place” from Ten Countries and Four Continents
VINTUS represents family-owned, estate-based wine producers from around the world including Bollinger, Guigal, Ornellaia, Chateau Montelena and Ponzi Vineyards. Their diverse portfolio features terroir-driven wines each with its own story and history. “We look for a consistent narrative across these estates and the world, but we don’t focus on one particular place; that’s what sets our portfolio apart.” VINTUS partners with 120 fine wine distributors of varying sizes in all 50 states and the Caribbean. They choose to partner with growth-oriented distributors, whom they trust to accurately and proudly convey the stories and nuances of their brands to buyers. “It’s all about finding the right fit for our estates. We want to be important to our distributors because our distributors are important to us.”
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Before SevenFifty: Limited Access to Current Marketplace Data
As a data-driven marketing department, Michael and his team understand the overlap between sales, marketing, and data analysis. Numbers, not assumptions drive every marketing decision they make. “Our team does a lot of slicing and dicing of depletion and account data through our CRM platform. We analyze which channels are providing the most opportunity for each brand, year-to-year retention rates, and the sales volume for each SKU. Through data analysis, we can identify where to create volume price discounts. As a result, we can be more precise in our pricing analysis and our wholesaling pricing recommendations.”
“In a market like the U.S., there’s so much fragmentation and diversity; the more access you have to detailed data, the better equipped you are to do your job—whether it’s sales, marketing, or compliance. With SevenFifty, you have access to the most up-to-date data that can help you do your job more efficiently.”
– Michael Gitter, VINTUS
Michael recognized the need to upgrade his current analytics suite and find a solution to gain deeper insight into the ever-changing market. Michael and his team wanted to identify gaps in the market, potential growth opportunities, and how VINTUS’ products fit into the bigger picture. He and his team wanted a business intelligence solution that gives them greater visibility into competitor pricing and product positioning on a national level.
With SevenFifty: A New Competitive Edge with Up-to-Date Marketplace Data
Michael first heard about SevenFifty through VINTUS’ network of producers, restaurants, and retailers. “Buyers and sommeliers were talking about SevenFifty. It’s one of those watershed moments in an industry where as soon as someone showed people that there could be something different and better, it just took off.” Michael and his industry peers view SevenFifty as the most modern, efficient, and technology-based approach to doing business. SevenFifty enhances VINTUS’ business intelligence tools and practices by providing deeper insight into the overall market. Michael and his team use SevenFifty to:
1. Monitor Products in the Marketplace
“In states where there’s mandatory price posting, it can sometimes be the most efficient way to know where our wines are priced in specific markets in a given month.”
Search and filter all products in your portfolio by country, vendor, producer, appellation, and more.
2. View and Maintain Producer Profiles and Products
“It’s our responsibility to monitor how our brands’ products are presented.”
Suggest corrections or changes to your product listings to ensure all information is up-to-date and accurate across all markets where your brands are sold.
3. Find New Opportunities with Competitor and Market Analysis
“We use the SevenFifty platform to research category pricing and to see how our accounts across the country see our brands’ information. We also use it for looking at the distributor alignment of brands within a category. For example, if we have a producer or a product where there’s a known competitive set, we gain great access into the market landscape.”
Access 1,000+ distributor profiles to see how competitor products are priced and positioned in the marketplace.
4. Identify Gaps and Potential Growth Opportunities in State-by-State Markets
“Our producers rely on us to understand this market more than they can from where they are, and to act strategically and accordingly. The industry is constantly evolving; it’s important to be nimble and to be the analytical eyes and ears for the producers that we represent from around the world.”
Switch between 39 states on SevenFifty for deeper insights into the national beverage market.
What’s Next for VINTUS?
Michael attributes VINTUS’ success to its “slow but steady” growth philosophy. “Throughout the history of the company, we’ve focused on steady, thoughtful growth—never taking on more than we can handle, and not overwhelming distributors with an unreasonable number of priorities. We’re not done growing, but we’re not in a rush either. We already have a fantastic portfolio to work with.”