This Expert Q & A features Rosa Noble, hospitality and DTC Manager for Judd’s Hill Winery & MicroCrush, and Jennie Gilbert, founder of Red Chirp, who will be speaking at this year’s WIN Expo, scheduled for December 2, 9 am to 4 pm, at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, Calif. For more information, including a complete list of session descriptions and speakers, visit the event website. Register here.
Wine Industry Advisor (WIA): How would you, in your own words, describe a ‘digital native’, for those not familiar with the term?
Rosa Noble (RN): A digital native is someone that has grown up with digital technology and is very comfortable with it in daily life.
Jennie Gilbert (JG): Digital natives’ daily lives has always included the internet and internet-connected devices. They don’t remember a time without it. The immediacy, connection and sheer breadth of information the internet provides has always been at their ready disposal and significantly shaped how they learn, enjoy, procure and interact.
WIA: What characteristics define the tech savvy, digital-native customer?
RN: They not only like to find the newest tech , they like to understand it and share it.
JG: Caveat: I believe people are more similar than they are different, even across generational divides. The same forces that have impacted digital-natives have impacted every other generation too, just not always as much. That’s why these trends are so important.
Here’s one characteristic: Connection speed. Digital natives may like to start by doing their own research—googling, browsing social media, etc. But when they’re ready to connect with a business, they want to connect with a human being—right now. Immediately.
WIA: How will these consumers influence consumer behavior in coming years?
JG: The first digital natives are older than you may think. Elder millennial are 40 years old and entering some of their highest earning power years. The way they shop, connect, and make decision isn’t limited to their generation only. Older generations have adopted many of these characteristics too. Even small changes your business makes to cater to digital natives—especially those that reduce friction and increase convenience—can have positive impacts across the board.
WIA: What is the one thing you hope attendees take away from your session, Exceeding the Expectations of Digital Natives?
RN: Hospitality and sales are always about giving the customer what they want. Adapting to new ways of doing business will make you more appealing to consumers. It will also bring the convenience of technology to your staff.
JG: Don’t recreate the wheel. You probably already value something that digital natives do too. Identifying and highlighting those common areas can be easier to do, and deliver more return, than you thought.
*Editor’s note: A previous version of this interview wrongly attributed Gilbert’s comments to another speaker. The article has been updated. 10/21
Jennie Gilbert is the founder of RedChirp. Calling and emailing may have been enough before, but now 89% of consumers want to text with businesses. RedChirp makes business texting easy: phone numbers, compliance, web chat, payments, phone and video calls, marketing campaigns and more.
Gilbert is a frequent speaker at business conferences and the co-author of two books, “RE:Market: New digital techniques independent retailers can use now to compete better, grow faster and work smarter” (2017) and “RE:THiNK: 11 surprising things you should do now to win retail customers in the digital age” (2015).
Rosa Noble has had over a dozen years’ experience in the Napa hospitality industry, both in restaurants and wineries. Her experiences have given her skills to track business metrics to forecast and plan for the future, create a network of community and industry leaders, as well as drive her to obtain her WSET Level 1 certification. In her current role as DTC & hospitality manager at Judd’s Hill, Noble oversees the DTC team, events, inventory, marketing, and more. Rosa constantly tries to find creative solutions for driving visitation and sales both in person and virtually for Judd’s Hill.