RVV Market Research Planning Meeting | 7.11.18

Attendance: it was difficult to determine attendance as folks were being dropped off call and then blocked. But for sure, it was Deborah Steinthal and Christian Miller, Sara Bayer, Barbara Steele, Michael Donovan, Holly Macfee, Joe Ginet.


Deborah began with a description of what market research “is” and “is not”.  It is:

  • Support for the strategic plan by providing insights into market opportunities
  • Information about what consumers presently perceive about us
  • Information about future consumer opportunities
  • A “guidepost’ for regional programming
  • Information about how to leverage with other consumer groups, such as OSF
  • Information about whether “Applegate” is a differentiating name
  • Information about how important non-wine related activities are to a destination

It is not:

  • A trade survey
  • An AVA research project

Next, Christian explained the structure of the sampling. He is using two samples, and is working in a cost effective manner given our budget size. The two samples are winery mailing lists and tourist organization mailing lists. We want responses from people who have visited the region, and from people who have visited the region and visited wineries in the region.

Regarding winery surveys, they work best if the wineries send the survey to their own mailing list. This preserves confidentiality of respondents, respondents tend to respond to an inquiry from an organization they have opted into, and it provides the opportunity to get a balanced, complete picture of the region.  He suggested that we offer to every winery to participate. Once we know who is willing, he will look at the geography of the participating wineries and the size of the mailing lists to confirm that we have balanced, complete coverage. At this point, Holly said that it would be greatly beneficial to her if we included coding on the surveys so that Christian can sort the responses by winery. That data can then be privately supplied back to each winery, and it can allow Holly to better tailor her marketing program.

Michael Donovan asked if this survey will replicate the survey done three years ago for SOWA. Christian responded that it will not because that survey was aimed at consumers in CA, OR and WA who are once-weekly drinkers. SOWA was not a destination market research survey.

Christian suggested that it best to offer participation to all wineries first, and then have him optimize the participation. He said there is little cost impact from more participation and potentially much better information received.

Next we discussed incentives and that a survey needs incentives. Christian suggested one large grand prize that does not require travel to the region to collect it, and then “runner up” prices or possibly a free tasting for everyone who completes the survey. He will make a template of an invitation to wineries to participate and then wineries can customize it. As well, we should have a “opt in” check box on survey for customers to receive more info about RVV.

Timing is as follows. The actual survey design, it will take 1 – 3 weeks. First is for Christian to identify the key winery and key tourist issues. Second is to draft the survey and last is to complete feedback on his draft. Then we allow roughly 2 weeks for responses and 2 weeks to analyze data.

The tourism portion of the survey is more difficult because we have to determine who to include.  We determined that we should include all aspects of hospitality, culture and recreation. Again, Christian will optimize our list for appropriate balance and completeness. This portion of the data is how we find out about people who do not visit wineries. Christian will develop the winery survey first and then the tourism portion to be sure that it accurately differentiates our respondents.

Action Items

  1. We need to create a Task Force for market research. Ideally, it should be 5 people plus Laurel Briggs. Laurel should put the communications of this group on Google docs so that we minimize email errors and quantity of emails. Possibly, the Strategic Planning Committee can be the base of this group. Either we create a new task force, or the existing committee adds an additional member and assumes this responsibility. The task force should represent RVV geographically and economically. The existing committee is a good start towards that.


Barbara suggested that the Strategic Planning Committee first needs a new chairperson to replace Sara and could then organize the creation of a task force and the process for the entire list of action items.


  1. We need a grand prize and runner-up prizes. Michael Donovan offered to organize incentives.
  2. Review draft winery survey. Christion thought he would have this completed by the end of July and a final survey by 8.15.
  3. Determine a process for inviting tourism organizations, and to asses if we have a complete and balanced list.
  4. Determine our process for inviting wineries. We need a process to invite wineries and then to assess if we have a complete and balanced list of participants.
  5. Determine how we communicate and roll out the survey.
  6. Target date for roll out is 8.22 to 8.25. Reminder email would go out just after Labor Day. Survey closes by 9.15.

Meeting was concluded with an intention for Strategic Planning Committee to start the ball rolling.


Below are Deborah and Christians outlines from the meeting.

From: Deborah Steinthal [mailto:deborah@scionadvisors.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 5:14 PM
To: Barbara Steele
Subject: Deb Steinthal’s notes: RVV Market research call July 11 @ 4:30pm

Deb Steinthal leads in – How does this tie into strategic planning?

What we need from you: guidance on key market research decisions.

WHY MARKET RESEARCH – What this is:  Insights to help us ID Market Opportunity for Rogue Valley Vintners.

In order to build a market focused vision of the future, we need insights into what consumers think/perceive about the RVV brand today? AND what are future opportunities for the region to position itself – attract and build momentum, possibly with millennial wine consumers?

  • Isolate – What target audiences to consider;
    • How to position/achieve differentiated positioning
    • What to leverage from Brand OR?
  • What guide posts to invest in – how to more successfully accomplish your objectives for the region: what key programs do we need to launch to strengthen your future brand
    • How to evolve regional programming: strengths and weaknesses of the wine region and wineries, as well as insights into what would attract more, new tourists or convert more existing tourists to winery visits.
    • How to leverage local audiences (Shakespeare festival; Crater Lake, Art Festivals) to build more wine destination visitation.
  • Example important Qs
    • Of the consumers who travel to So Oregon:
      • How do they access the region? Airport, drive? CM: no problem
      • Where are they staying? CM: no problem
      • Are they visiting both the Rogue Valley and Applegate AVA wineries? CM: no problem
    • How do/could the different AVAs play with consumer audiences?
      • Different attributes/perceptions or all the same?
      • Is Applegate to So Oregon, what Oakville is to Napa?
    • How important are activities: how do these combine for the target audiences?
      • Wine tasting/events
      • Culinary
      • ‘Arts
      • Hiking
      • Boating


What this isn’t: Trade survey; national survey of markets; AVA/SUBAVA-focused survey


Christian Miller –        Specifics

    • How different from Sola survey – wine consumers in OR, WA, CA?
      • Awareness of different wineries, AVAs. How they purchase wined in the 3 tier.
    • Overall mechanics of how the survey process works
      • Not priced for a big representative sample of wine consumers.
      • Obtain two samples: winery mailing lists + tourist organizations.
    • How to organize consumer lists.
      • Winery-based survey, who are potential participants and what is the potential total number of respondents? How to get good cooperation and support from wineries. We’ll need a decent number of wineries participating in the winery survey (so the results aren’t dominated by 1 or 2 wineries);
        • Participating Wineries will get back top line for their consumers.
        • They will get a link and draft invitation to send out over their list (not just wine club)
      • Tourism organization based survey, who are the potential organizations that can provide the tourist lists (county/state tourism bureaus, visitors’ centers, private organizations like Ashland Shakespeare Festival); who will contact them/manage there role in this survey?
        • Recruiting phase:
        • Shakespeare festival:  Open to participating.
        • Travel Medford, OR, Grants Pass – Trade Associations.
        • Nieman Hotel group
        • So OR WIne Experience list
        • Rogue creamery.
        • Duplicates?
        • Carter Lake
        • Artisan food, beer.
        • Lodging
        • B&B
        • Restaurants.
      • Size of mailing:
        • How many wineries: representative sample for the region.
          • Could set up code tracing back to each winery.
          • Approach everyone but focus on representative group of 10-20 wineries with good distribution of
          • Not just club members.
      • Privacy and confidentiality: if everyone does the mailing themselves – CM will  not have access to emails.


Next steps

  • 3-5 member Task force working group: Market research – Barbara will lead the charge with officers.
    1. Will communicate directly with Christian/Deb
    2. How to communicate openly: Google docs.
    3. Admin. hired

WHEN will we have an approach for  Incentives:

  1. possibly a big price with runner up prizes on a lottery for limited # of winners.
  2. ADD an offer to capture emails for future mailings.

WHEN will we have approach for mailing lists with Travel + Wineries:

  1. Mailing list process mgt: singular person managing each side.
  2. Managing two groups: wineries + tourist organizations.
  3. Communicating.
  • Christian will draft survey and circulate:  goes around 1-3 times (2 weeks).
    1. First draft: end July 30
    2. August 15 – final survey
    3. Build survey + testing.
    4. First run – A week before Labor Day – Links out/invitations.
    5. Reminders week after Labor Day
    6. Close survey by September 15



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