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Effective Web Design and Online Promotion in the Cyprus Wineries Sector

Navigator delivered an innovative training and consultancy programme on web design and online marketing for wineries. This training focussed on Cypriot wineries, using internal case studies and best practise, and included detailed methodologies for emarketing campaigns, online sales strategy, social media marketing and search engine optimisation.

 

The Cyprus winery sector has been developing quickly since Cyprus’ EU accession in 2004. Accession brought with it entry into the Common Market Organisation (CMO) for wine, which prompted the development of new standards in terms of growth and harvesting, pressing, labelling and nearly all aspects of the winery sector. For instance, the EU directive which labelled “sherry” a wine from Jerez, Spain, effectively wiped out nearly 50% of Cyprus’ exports, which until then were primarily to the United Kingdom.

The structure of the wine producing sector in Cyprus is split into three categories of producers:

  • Four large wineries—ETKO, LOEL, SODAP and KEO—with integrated production and a long history in the market;

  • A growing group of small, professional wineries such as Fikardos, Zambartas, Makkas, Vlassides, Tsangarides or Tsiakkas Winery which are in many cases younger operations, or traditional businesses given new energy by a younger generation of owners/managers;

  • A large collection of artisanal wineries with limited production, which in many cases provide grapes to the larger concerns.

The online presence of the general Cypriot winery sector is limited. Although the four large wineries are listed, both their websites and the websites of the smaller producers leave much to be desired. Some wineries have sites which look like first-generation Microsoft Frontpage sites. Most sites are static and not search engine optimised. Content is limited; news and updates are nearly non-existent in many cases.

Navigator Consulting Group was commissioned to develop and deliver a strategic training programme for online marketing of Cypriot wineries. We designed and delivered a blended learning programme on web design and online marketing in the Cyprus and international winery sector. This is a customised training programme targeting owners and managers of wineries, which includes a 2-day classroom training programme followed by full-day consultancy visits in the participating companies.

A total of seven wineries participated along with the Cyprus Wine Products Council:

Cyprus Wine Products Council

The Cyprus Wine Products Council is the regulatory organisation for wineries and wine production in Cyprus. It plays a vital role in the monitoring and control of grape cultivation and wine production. As such, its role in related areas such as quality, promotion and exports, is vital. The consultancy focused on a detailed review was made of the Cyprus Wine Products Council 2011 Cyprus Wine Awards website.

ETKO

ETKO Winery is the oldest winery in Cyprus. Founded in 1844, it pre-dates the foundation of the Republic of Cyprus, and is the oldest continually-operated company in Cyprus as well as one of the 50 oldest companies in the European Union. It has recently invested in a new winery, and like all wineries in Cyprus, is trying to improve its quality and exports.

The consultancy focussed on improving its corporate brand and marketing strategy, re-designing the front-end and CMS, and developing an active emarketing campaign.

SODAP

SODAP is a cooperative winery founded in 1947 by the grape growers of Cyprus. The cooperative includes 10,000 families from 144 vine growing villages. It has recently built a new winery in Paphos region, Kamanterena Winery at Stroumbi, which is one of the most modern in the world.

The consultancy focused on a re-design of the front end and the development of a content management system for more rapid site updates.

KEO Group

KEO is a multi-category drinks and beverages group. In addition to brewing its eponymous beer, KEO, the group owns wineries, mineral water and soft drinks, and imports a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks (including Heineken, Laurent Perrier, Teachers, Tia Maria, Master Coffee and others).

The consultancy at KEO included development of a new front-end design, CMS, branding and emarketing strategy for main brands.

Vlassides Winery

Vlassides Winery Cyprus is family-owned winery with a tradition of excellence in red wine. The Vlassides family first planted vines in the Kilani region in the 1800s. In 1970, Fanis Vlassides took over the vineyards and planted Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet in experimental plots to introduce new varieties. This love on wine was passed onto his son, Sofocles, who is today the chief winemaker of Vlassides Winery.

The consultancy at Vlassides involved the development of a new front-end design and content management system, which was develop and launched by the company.

Zambartas Winery

Winestories was recently established in 2006 by Mssr. Akis and Markos Zambartas, a father-son team of winemakers and has met with significant success. From their launch production of 4,500 bottles, production rose to 55,000 bottles in 2012, and the winery has won several international prizes.

The consultancy at Zambartas involved a review of the new front-end design, search engine optimisation in site content and structure, and email campaign review. These have been implemented successfully.

Fikardos Winery

Fikardos is a small, regional winery in Paphos. It was one of the first generation of “new wineries” which has diversified and developed the Cyprus wine quality and image away from the four large wineries. The consultancy focused on a new front-end design and CMS, which was used as a specification for tender for a new site.

Makkas Winery

Makkas Winery is a family-owned, regional winery with vineyards in Paphos. It recently developed a new website with a Content Management System (CMS). The consultancy involved content development and SEO on the existing site.

Training Programme

The training programme agenda included:

  • Developing an online marketing and sales strategy: defining key performance indicators, milestones and return on investment indicators such as visits, repeat visits, sales, bookings, requests and other metrics.
  • Translating the “offline” brand into online branding: using suitable logos, colours, graphic elements, navigation structure, photos, and other elements.
  • Designing dynamic websites which combine search engine effectiveness, attractive graphic design, and customer capture;
  • Understanding the basic elements used by Google Pagerank to rank search engine results, including key word analysis, frequency, prominence, proximity and density;
  • Understanding the importance of high quality content, news and frequent updates;
  • Backlinking strategies, both within the website and to external directories and sites. This includes directory listings, public relations, press releases, blogging and related techniques;
  • Benchmarking websites in terms of html source code analysis, links, keywords and other methods;
  • Developing pay-per-click and branded advertising campaigns using Google Adwords and Facebook;
  • Developing a successful social media strategy focussing on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and others;
  • Website statistics analysis using Google Analytics;
  • Working with external web designers;
  • Developing online promotion campaigns and measuring the return-on-investment (ROI).

For further information on how we can help you manage your online marketing, please contact Philip Ammerman on email pga@navigator-consulting.com