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BUS / COMM / FSST 355: Digital Marketing: Wine and Wineries of Central Italy (Summer)

Note: This course is cross-listed with COMM 355 and FSST 355. This course was formerly BSFS 350.

Course Description
This course offers an overview of the most important digital marketing theories and techniques as applied to wine, with a special focus on wines from Central Italy. Students will analyze the wine markets of the world, consumer segments, companies’ communication strategies and will participate in a practical exercise designed to give them the opportunity to shape an online marketing plan for a prestigious Umbrian winery. In addition, students will learn the importance of describing the sensory experience of wine and acquire the particular vocabulary necessary to describe wines from the Central Italian regions of Tuscany, Umbria, Latium, Marche, and Abruzzo to potential customers.

Course Objectives
By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Explain the basic role, processes, and purpose of digital brand management in the wine business;
  • Compare and differentiate the concepts of social media marketing, email marketing, branded content, online reputation;
  • Explain the basics of wine promotion strategies;
  • Identify and classify wines from Central Italy;
  • Develop skills needed to taste wines and to understand the role of describing the sensory experience on market positioning using a particular vocabulary.

Please Note:
This is not a tasting course. Wine and olive oil are utilized in very small amounts and for academic purposes.

Service Learning Project
Students will apply classroom knowledge of Italian and American wine industries to a service learning project with a local winery. After a company visit, students will work on specific projects designed around the needs and goals of the winery, informed by a market analysis, research on exportation and competitors, and potential for company expansion. The final course project will require students to prepare a product proposal for the winery with assistance from the professor, an enologist and wine marketer. At the end of the semester, students will present your project to the Umbra community.

Course Materials
Course reader in Pdf

Students will take a day trip to visit a winery, tour the facilities, have tastings, and discuss the companies’ operations with the owners.