Modern Marketing
for Sustainable
Wine, Spirits
& Cannabis


The wine, spirits & cannabis businesses are in a major transformational period. Some will adapt and survive, some will thrive, some will not do so well.

I'm not just talking DTC, but also tasting room, distillery and dispensary traffic, D2T(trade), D2T2C, alternative distribution and delivery options, and knowing more about your wholesalers' local markets than the wholesalers themselves.

Continuously creating opportunities to be where your best prospects and customers are - no matter the channel - with messages, experiences and offers that are relevant, meaningful and compelling to them. Opportunities to have more control over your destiny than ever before.

It's easy to jump in and try some of these new marketing channels or technologies - everyone is doing it. But it is more difficult to build a new way to market yourself; to plan before you plant, distill or build.

Plan Before You Plant

Data is important. Platforms are important. SEO, CRM and social media are important. Analytics is important. They are all important means to an end.

The end is where you want your business to be. How you want to work, the essence of your brand and how is it truly differentiated. What products you want to make and sell, who cares enough to buy them, and finally, which combination of those marketing "means" will best get you there. You need a plan that will work for you.

You plan before you plant, craft, create or sell. Marketing your wine, spirits or cannabis brand is no different. Let's talk.

"I worked with Tom on the development and marketing of several wine & spirits brands. He is among the best I’ve ever known at brand concepting, brand architecture, audience segmentation, messaging, and developing the campaigns that bring those brands to life. He is particularly adept in all forms of digital marketing, analytics and eCommerce. Tom is strategically sound, with inspired creativity and a dedication to insight-driven audience definition, messaging and campaigns."
John Ormiston, Partner 2020 Beverage Co

Do You Need Strategic Marketing?

It will take no more than 5 minutes to answer these 15 simple yes/no questions that will help you evaluate your current marketing.

1. Do you have marketing KPIs (key performance indicators) tied directly to each of your business goals?
2. Do you know which parts of your marketing perform better against those KPIs?
3. Do you know which messages, experiences and media placements acquire your most valuable subscribers and club members? 
4. Are you optimizing your social media posts to include more of the content that is most relevant to your most valuable personas?
5. Does all of your marketing lead to highly relevant landing pages?
6. Do you run multiple versions of every marketing campaign in order to measure the results and maximize the ROI on each dollar spent?
7. Do you have subscriber acquisition funnels for each segment in your Analytics program?
8. Do you know where the friction points are that prevent your best prospective customers from subscribing, buying or joining your club?
9. Do you know which subscribers and members are your most valuable (not just purchased the most wine this year)?
10. Do you have subscriber and club member segments and personas well defined based on factors that help improve marketing and business results?
11. Do you know which subscriber activities signal they are most likely to buy again or stop buying?
12. Do you have automated marketing in place when those signals are triggered? 
13. Do you know which of your best subscribers or customers are most likely to become "advocates" for your brand?
14. Do you know how to encourage and activate that advocacy?
15. Do your marketing, eCommerce and CRM systems integrate and share data in a way that allows you to know all the answers to the questions above?

BONUS QUESTION: Do you know how much more revenue you would take in if all your marketing was 10% more effective? 20%?

If you answered "no" or "I don't know" to more of those than you answered "yes," we should talk. If you answered "yes" to the last question, we should definitely talk.
My contact info and calendar link are here. 

"Tom is a new media strategy all-star - he has been in the middle of every advance in new media from the beginning and continues to find ways to innovate. He always impresses me with his practical mix of creative and strategic thinking."
Derek van Nostrum, CMO, VSiN

Strategic Marketing Services

There are three important things to know about my marketing services:

1. Every company can and should know exactly who their best customers and prospects are, where to reach them, and which messages, offers and experiences will best motivate them to engage, buy, then advocate for your products and brands. This is true of DTC AND 3-tier. Knowledge and insight from data guide the plans, budgets, campaigns, and technology I recommend and implement for you. I am not an agency offering strategic services that happen to line up with the services I sell. Your opportunities drive the marketing I do, not the other way around. I deliver what makes your business succeed. Period.

2. I've been an integral part of building, branding and marketing some of the most successful & iconic brands in your industries. I know the regulatory and other unique elements involved. I've also planned and executed world-class marketing for CPG brands like Kraft & Coca-Cola, and hospitality/travel brands like Biltmore Estate & Southwest Airlines. The experience I bring from outside the industry is invaluable when distinguishing you in very brand-dense industries. This is a great advantage, as it is much more difficult to truly "think outsde the box" when you've only ever worked within the box.

3. Sometimes, investing in the foundational strategic work of marketing may seem like a luxury you can't afford, or maybe don't really need. Inspired, well-grounded strategic plans, brands, messaging and segmentation make ALL your marketing work better, more often. Single digit increases in marketing effectiveness and efficiency more than pay for the cost of great strategic work. Every time. You actually can't afford to NOT do this work.

Tom Lynch Marketing Consulting Services - Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning

Marketing is more than messages or experiences; it is also the ability to consistently deliver the promises made in marketing with products and services.
* Business review & marketing alignment
* Opportunity identification
* Customer & competitive research
* Segment & persona creation
* Touchpoint & customer journey mapping
* Strategic roadmap creation
* 3-Tier local market planning
* Alternative distribution
* Product mix & development

Tom Lynch Marketing Consulting Services - Brand Management and Development

Brand Development

Today it is easier than ever to lose sight or your brand - your true essence - in the process of micro-evaluation and optimization of every message and placement. Your brand must be unique, clear and compelling.
* Brand audit
* Brand positioning and differentiation
* Brand architecture
* Core messaging & messaging matrix
* New brand, product & service development

Tom Lynch Marketing Strategy - Campaign Planning

MarTech Management

Technology enables the level of relevant and meaningful engagement customers expect. Based on your business goals & marketing needs, I design the a platform for your needs, including Data, MAP, CRM, CDP, DMP analytics & eCommerce.
* MarTech audit vs. current and planned marketing
* MarTech strategic plan:
 - Platforms
 - Integration
 - Optimization
 - Onboarding

Tom Lynch Marketing Consulting Services - MarTech Stack Planning


Modern marketing plans engage tightly defined segments across all key touchpoints with the most relevant messages, content and experiences, across the entire customer journey. SEO, SEM, Social, paid, organic, apps, alt channels, POS, email, CRM.
* Integrated, omni-channel annual campaign planning
* In-store, event and non-media annual planning
* Analytics, KPIs, evaluation, optimization and metrics plan
* Staffing / agency recommendations 
* Campaign management

"Tom is a real pro with significant high level experience in the wine industry. If you're looking to get going or get to the next level you should work with Tom."
Jeff Sutton, Business Transformation Account Director, Lion Food and Beverage (Australia)

Wine, Spirits & Cannabis

I started my marketing career with Gallo in Los Angeles where I learned how to market in this highly regulated, brand-dense marketplace. I then had the privilege of working for the Benziger Family, where I learned about terroir, farming for flavors, and the stories that live in every bottle of wine. I've built a wine import company with 78% of the portfolio getting 90+ or "Best Buy" ratings. I've been an integral part of creating, branding & marketing some of the most successful large and small winery brands. As a long-time leader in digital marketing outside of wine & spirits, I bring CPG best practices to work for your DTC needs.

It took me deciding to make my own craft spirit to fully appreciate the craftsmanship and patience required to put a great spirit in the bottle. I've also seen the struggles & helped create successes within this still nascent business through marketing work with craft distilleries like Sonoma Distilling, CalWise, Independent Distilling and others. I love the energy and innovation of craft distillers and know how to help make that pay off for you.  

Cannabis is the same business model as wine and spirits, with many of the same growing, extracting and producing nuances - just different strains versus varietals or grains. They are regulated the same, and I find a great deal of similarity with alcohol beverages & cannabis marketing. Recently I've been working with several of the largest cannabis brands, products and dispensaries to create co-marketing programs with one of my nonprofit clients.

After nearly 20 years of successfully developing and marketing brands in these industries, I most love the stories. I love bringing these brands alive - telling the story of the people, places and processes that result in a product people will consume and share with others, free their minds and enhance their health & joy. Add in non-stop creative problem-solving, innovation, situation analysis and technology, and, well, I'm happy doing work I love and am pretty good at doing. 

"Tom is one of the paragons of Bill Bernbach's hiring philosophy - "find talented people who are nice."
Matt Freeman, Managing Director, Bain Capital

Why Sustainable / Social Enterprise Only?

I was introduced to sustainable growing practices and the sense of doing right by stakeholders and the wider world by Mike Benziger in the 90's. That was long before any of this had any buzz words attached to it, but the ideas and feeling stuck with me. As I have worked around the world with brands, businesses and nonprofits, I am always happier when the work I do has an impact beyond my income and my clients' profits.

I've been lucky enough in business to now do only the work I want to do - work I am passionate about, can care deeply about, and feel good about no matter the financial arrangements. I guess the short answer to "why" is because it makes me feel good. I get to do good while doing well.

So, whether you operate sustainably for the environment, care for others in the world through "social enterprise," "conscious capitalism" or "triple bottom line" practices, I'd love to help you grow your business and the positive impact you are making.

"Tom has the rare ability to see the big picture and lead strategy development as well as know that the stratgy lives via execution. Smart and a pleasure to work with."
Pam Peligian, SVP Marketing & Communications, Navy Federal Credit Union 

Ready to get started?

Contact Form

Please tell me a little about your situation via the form to the left
email me directly
Give me a call at 310-248-0706
Schedule a 15 minute intro call on my calendar