CommonSense Blog

Small Data Excellence Comes From Listening to Your Customers

By Paul Mabray | Mar 30, 2015

“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time,” André Gide.

When we started the VinTank journey, our aspiration was to transform the wine industry through actionable digital and social media tools. We knew that social media was changing the way wineries could see, understand and interact with their customers in a way never before available in wine history. Along the path we discovered something much bigger. My co-founder and CTO, James Jory, and I share the vision of “usage of our software as our oxygen.” This vision guides our commitment to solving the challenges that will empower our clients to succeed. Our clients consistently would give us this feedback:

  • “Social media is changing too fast.”
  • “It takes too much time.”
  • “I’m not sure how to engage on each platform.”
  • “Which platforms should I use?”
  • “There is too much noise.”
  • “I wish I could better understood our customers.”

In essence, all of our clients were looking to make better decisions to actively engage and understand their customers. The customer was rapidly becoming the center of the universe as a result of the Internet. The amazing context provided by social media made the answer simple: our job was to provide signal with context by creating data driven engagement tools. This included redesigning the platform from scratch so that our solution worked not only for the wine industry, but was applicable and relevant to any industry. The wine industry is not known for its early adoption of innovative technology solutions, but by listening to our customers who were struggling with this new digital world we found our magnetic North.

“Innovation comes from the edges, so it comes as no surprise that innovators are found in the margins,” Erik Hersman.

We have been very fortunate to work with innumerable wonderful winery clients and key strategic partners like Vin65 & WineDirect. We have also been recognized by industry thought leaders like the Altimeter Group, Rawn Shah, Jennifer Leggio, Aarti Shah, David White, Alder Yarrow, Elaine Brown, Lewis Perdue and so many more. We are particularly grateful for the inclusion by Robert Scoble & Shel Israel as they added us as a key change agent in their book, The Age of Context. Their support and validation doubled our efforts in taking big data and making it small and actionable. It takes a village to raise a software company and, despite the fact that our team was small, we had an all star Board of Advisors guiding us, coaching us, and giving us key inputs that helped us enhance our vision. Two of our advisors, Aaron Strout and Michael Brito from W2O, spent inordinate amounts of time and energy helping us in so many ways. Through the process they introduced us to the team and the culture of W2O. Never before had we seen so many all-star players in one single company. Moreover, their keen focus on analytics coupled with Bob Pearson’s S2aaS philosophy was something that perfectly aligned with our overall vision. Over more than a few amazing glasses of wine, we both decided that we were better together. VinTank is now part of W2O’s software suite and we are so pleased to be joining their incredible team. Adding VinTank to W2O’s software suite allows W2O clients to leverage the combination of powerful analytics and audience identification with data driven engagement tools. We now become a critical piece of the W2O software stack which enhances and enables service excellence and creates data driven organizations. Some people believe that being acquired is the end of the story but let me assure you this is just the beginning.

“Truth comes out of wine,” Pliny the Elder

You can find the full press release here.