Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
We have trouble getting our members to fill out a 15 minute survey – why are they going to sign up for Community Benchmark?
Community Benchmark is not a survey. It’s a dashboard reporting tool that provides dynamic, customized insights toward sales growth. Many surveys are intended and designed “for information purposes” or to provide a “state of the industry.” Community Benchmark is specifically designed for and by the winery operators to provide a “state of their business.”
What keeps wineries interested after the novelty wears off?
Any business with goals should be regularly reviewing progress toward those goals. Our comparisons are simply adopted into pre-existing progress reviews and workflows. Our comparisons just become “part of the review process.”
How do we know our wineries will sign up and how are you going to collect all their data?
We have a specific on-boarding and marketing playbook we have executed in several regions that has always resulted in between 40% and 46% of your members signing up in the first 30 days of our launch with your association.
We pre-create accounts for all of your members and then link them to our self-service on-boarding wizard. See Data Submission questions for more details on how we collect the data.
What about the $150 setup fee for my wineries?
We have had some associations cover this fee for their members. However, the adoption rates achieved above (40%-46%) have also been in regions where the $150 setup fee was the responsibility of the winery.
We want enthusiastic, committed wineries to participate in our community. We feel that $150 is rarely a real issue when set next to the value of the growth opportunities and other improvements we enable.
How much is this going to help my wineries in the first year and beyond?
We are a platform for your wineries, regional stakeholders, and consultants to deepen their business community around improving performance. There are many aspects to how we achieve this but here are the results from our members in the last 3 years:
Below is the DTC growth that, on average, our members have achieved the past 3 years.
How can we use the data as an association?
Also, for individual winery stories, we can provide multiple case studies upon request.
The first and easiest way is to regularly provide value to your members. Of course every report they see will be “sponsored by [insert my association here] but also you can reference the key findings in your newsletters, publications, and other conversations with your stakeholders.
Ultimately, providing this information will be one of the most visible things you provide your members and constituents.
In addition, tailoring any educational programming to the needs identified in the regional reports helps A) ensure better attendance and engagement from your and B) enables you to measure if your programming is actually improving performance in your region.
And finally, the information can be leveraged in meetings with your Board of Directors for strategic decisions including more targeted marketing and advertising budgets.
What details can you provide regarding the Visitation to our region?
We can of course show you the month over month, year over year trends of visitation to your region compared to other regions. We can also help you understand the “quality of that visitation” (conversion, average spend) and also a proxy for what percentage of the visitation was new versus returning.
How would it work for a winery that is a member of multiple region(s) and or regional associations?
If a winery is part of multiple associations, they will possibly get the added benefit of two benchmarks – one for each association.
We also have the concept of a “sub-region” or “neighborhood” that can provide additional benchmarks i.e. for your region and your sub-region.
What is the “Enrollment Period?”
The enrollment period is the time period that your Association provided account is available to be claimed and set up. The Association enrollment period will end a certain number of days after the Launch Event. If you do not set up your account in the enrollment period, we will not be able to offer you the Community Benchmark comparisons.
What’s the benefit to my association?
The Association will receive a monthly report with a summary of the aggregated trends of your region. As your association is developing and experimenting with their marketing plans and educational programming intended to help your winery achieve its goals, your association can better tailor its marketing, communications, and programming to your needs based on the trends it is reviewing.
What is involved in the setup process for my member wineries?
You will need to 1) Accept our Data, Use, and Privacy Policies (five minutes), 2) Complete Your Winery Profile (five minutes), 3) Choose Your Metrics (five minutes), 4) Choose Your Plan (five minutes), 5) Submit Your Data (30-45 minutes for automated members, longer for non-automated unless you are already doing monthly reporting – see Data Submission below)
What reports do I receive when?
Around the 20th each month we publish to your portal your Individual Comparison Report (see sample here) and your Regional Intelligence report (check our blog).
DATA SUBMISSION QUESTIONS
How do I Submit My Data?
We have a fully data and systems competent staff to assist you with all your data needs.
- We have automated or semi-automated connection setups with WineDirect, Commerce7, OrderPort, and VinSuite.
- If you are not on one of these platforms, we will work with you to find the most streamlined process for your system.
- If your POS provider has an API connection, we are open to establishing a new connection.
- We simply need to be introduced to your representative of your POS provider.
Alternatively, we can also run the reports in your POS for you or accept spreadsheet reports.
What are the data requirements?
You can choose which metrics you want to participate in. It’s a give to get model, so if you choose not to submit a metric, you will not see comparisons for that metric.
We collect 10 Tasting Room, Wine Club, Phone, and Online sales metrics per month along with your Revenue channel totals:
What are the data definitions?
See these detailed description and definition of each metric.
What does the data entry process look like?
In the initial setup we ask that you submit at least 12 months of historical monthly data so that you can receive year-over-year growth comparisons. After the initial upload, it is once per month. Data for the previous month is required to be submitted by the 15th of the month so that we can publish a final report around the 20th of each month.
What does the automated data feed process entail?
It depends on your POS but, in general, we will need an account setup for Community Benchmark (takes 5 minutes in some systems to add a new user) and then we schedule a phone call to map our monthly metric categories to the categories in your system.
I’m not confident in my own data so what should we do?
Don’t worry we have to start somewhere. We will be able to guide you and recommend what customizations are necessary for us to accommodate your unique situation.
Do you share my information?
No. We guarantee that no one outside of your company and ours will see your numbers. We only share aggregated averages of a group of at least four wineries.
How do you protect my information?
USING THE DATA
What are the main ways people use the data?
Knowledge and data are powerful tools to influence decision making in your winery so we find that telling the story of your winery through our comparative analysis has significantly more impact on your internal communications that simply comparing to yourself last year. Some examples of how wineries use our information:
- Being in the know of what’s going in your region and DTC
- Identifying growth opportunities and setting smarter goals
- Confirming or deny if your strategy is working for confident decision making
- Motivational communications with staff
- Managing expectations/goals with ownership.
- Board presentations
How do you ensure accuracy of the data in the system?
All of our definitions are provided at the point of entry of all data into the system. We ask each winery to verify their data before the submit it each month. We go through all data submitted by hand in the setup process and are able to detect any anomalies before the data is submitted to the community. More and more of the data we are collecting is an automated feed. We are working on automated outlier detections and we do perform periodic reviews of the monthly data as well. And finally, if there is a data submission error, Community Benchmark Support may reach out to resolve the error.
Are we comparing apples to apples? Does every winery track it the same?
We have detailed data definitions that the whole community strives for as much as possible. However, no two are doing everything exactly the same. As our data scientist likes to say, “Precision is more important than accuracy.” What this means is that if you are measuring Visitors slightly different than another winery but that your difference is executed consistently, the same way every month, you and the other wineries will get the same insights from the comparisons.
How do other wineries count visitors?
We want you to track every drinking age adult that walks through your doors that is a selling opportunity (i.e. no drivers). Some wineries only count Tasters or Tastings which is not ideal but can serve as a useful proxy for Visitors. Again, as long as it is tracked in a consistent way, we will all gain the correct insights. Also, here is the authoritative Guest Count best practices.
What are the pricing options?
COMPARISON SET GUIDELINES
Winery Minimum — A comparison set must include a minimum of five participating wineries, not including the subject winery. The minimum number of properties must report data before performance data will be released.
Winery Composition — No single winery can account for more than 50% of the total participating Revenue of a competitive set, excluding the Revenue of the subject winery.
Comparison Set Changes
- Minimum of Two — A comparison set change must include a minimum of two consistently reporting wineries. The two consistently reporting wineries must be affiliated with a winery different from the requestor or the subject winery and cannot be affiliated with the same brand.
- Non-Participating Winery Removal — If a winery stops reporting data for three consecutive months or more, the winery may be deleted from the set if all other conditions (minimum and composition) are still met.
- A single winery cannot be added or removed.
- Cannot exchange one winery for another. Updates must include at least two independent wineries being added or removed from the comparison set.
Multiple Competitive Sets Minimum of Two — If a winery has more than one comparison set, the composition of each set must differ by at least two consistently reporting wineries. The two consistently reporting wineries must be affiliated with a company different from the subject property and cannot be affiliated with the same brand.
A CHANGE MAY NOT BE MADE IF DATA OF A SINGLE PROPERTY IS ISOLATED IN ANY WAY.