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Friday, July 10, 2015

Internet Tools to Help You Learn About New Markets, Part 4

By Dr Kathy Kelley, Professor of Horticultural Marketing and Business Management, and Dana Ollendyke, Extension Associate

In our previous post, we discussed using Easy Analytic Software Inc (EASI), which allows users to more easily search Census data.  This post, which will be the final one in this series, will focus on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) reports from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

These reports are free of charge to prospective or existing small business owners who are receiving business-counseling services from their local SBDC Advisor.
Some of the reports include:
  • Competition maps—These maps show the location of individual competitors in relation to a small business location.
  • Competitor lists—These lists can include a competitor’s company name, location, number of employees at each location, whether the location is a competitor’s single location or branch, estimated annual sales volume, the competitor’s NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) and SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) codes and a latitude and longitude coordinate.
  • Consumer expenditure comparison reports—These reports help clients evaluate the relative demand for their chosen industry within their local market area, county, state, and the nation.
  • Drive time reports—The time it takes to travel to a local store or restaurant can be a significant factor in defining the target market for a small business. These highly detailed maps show the geographic boundaries of a small business’ target market customized to the amount of time considered acceptable to the small business’ clientele (Image 1).
Image 1. A sample Drive Time Map showing the market area that can reach a small business destination in Lakewood, CA within 10 minutes. (Contact your local SBDC for a customized map.)


Certainly, this blog series doesn’t discuss all that is needed to better understand consumers’ attitudes, behaviors, etc. towards wine based on their race and ethnicity. It does, however, provide some tools that are useful in gathering data and learning about the population of racial and ethnic groups you could serve in your community.
There are other components such as the consumer’s level of “acculturation,” which is the “cultural modification of an individual, group, or people by adapting or borrowing traits from another culture” (http://bit.ly/1xEH2NK). To demonstrate this point, we will use an example from Kathy’s family. Her sister-in-law was born in South Korea and came to the U.S. 15 years ago. As she has become more ingrained in U.S. society, some of her habits and preferences have become more “mainstream” American. Not only can food choices, etc. change over time, but as someone becomes “fully acculturated,” their language preference can change from their native language to English (http://bit.ly/1IxluaM) which could impact how you choose to promote your wine.
Another component is to search the Internet for “wine and Asian culture,” “wine and Chinese culture,” etc. to learn about wine style preferences and how wine is consumed (e.g. wine and Coke or wine cocktails). Also, don’t forget to investigate what culturally significant holidays these consumers celebrate.
Regardless, conducting adequate research is crucial when developing a realistic marketing plan. By finding out as much as possible about viable consumers, you will have a much better chance of understanding their needs and wants and hopefully gaining them as customers.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You have some great information in this 4-part series thus far on market research tools. Have you seen MarketMaker's market research tool. I use it as needed, and it really has a lot to offer. It has had its share of periodic updates to improve its features too.
You can check it out here http://webapps.foodmarketmaker.com/marketmaker/#PA/food/marketresearch
The mapping services alone have improved in recent weeks. I hope this helps with the market research information that you are publishing.

Dana Ollendyke said...

Thanks for this info!