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Helping Artisans Reach Global Markets. Pamela J. Brown, Ph.D. Associate Professor & Extension Entrepreneurship Specialist (Retired) Texas Cooperative Extension Texas A&M University System Funded through a grant from the Southern Regional Development Center, Mississippi State University .

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Helping Artisans Reach Global Markets

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Helping artisans reach global markets l.jpg

Helping Artisans Reach Global Markets

Pamela J. Brown, Ph.D.

Associate Professor &

Extension Entrepreneurship Specialist (Retired)

Texas Cooperative Extension

Texas A&M University System

Funded through a grant from the Southern Regional Development Center, Mississippi State University

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Module 3*How To Market Your Craft Business Online


  • Develop a market plan

  • Conduct simple market research

  • Understand e-commerce trends

  • Identifying target craft consumer

  • Marketing online and offline

  • Application to craft business


    *Presented by Ashley Lovell, Extension Specialist – Economic Development, Texas Cooperative Extension, [email protected] 052907

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Marketing My Business

  • List all the different kinds of marketing you do for your business

    10 minutes

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Are You Flying Blind?

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Do You Have a Plan?

The product

The industry

The customer

The strategy

Marketing is EVERYTHING you do on behalf of the business

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Hobby Or Business?

  • Are you a hobbyist – making craft that you hope will sell,


  • are you an artisan that makes what will sell?

    As an artisan, the answer should shape your marketing plan!

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Doing Your Homework?

Develop your marketing plan.

Do it before going online!

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Hobby crafts

Fine art

Tourist souvenirs

Museum art





Folk art


Know Your Industry

Activity: Search for information:

Size, location, support, competition, trends, types of ecommerce

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Read About an Artisan

Go to these sites:



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Define The Handcraft Consumer

  • Demographics

    • Identifying AND defining your market


      Affluent Educated

  • Psychographics – how people use/spend time

    • Targeting your customer

      • Form Quality

      • Function Travel

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More Resources for Artisans

  • Texas Commission on the Arts



      • A registry for Texas artisans

  • American Crafts Council


  • Craft Organization Directors Association


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Who is Using the Internet?


  • 445 Million people

  • 51% of most developed countries

    • Source:


  • 81% of teens

  • 63% of adults

    • 18-29 80%

    • 30-39 74%

    • 50-64 60%

    • 65+ 26%

  • 60% women

  • 66% men

  • Ethnicity

    • Whites -68%

    • Blacks -42%

    • Hispanics -60%

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    Internet Usage by Age Group . . .Who Are YOUR Customers?

    Primary purchasers of craft

    *Pew/Internet, Pew Internet and American Life Project

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    Target ‘Everyone’ - NO

    • Segment customers to understand what they want

    Caution - Don’t assume potential customers value:

    Good design

    Quality materials

    High prices

    Unique design

    Time for creativity/process

    Demographics of online purchasers will change as online use and access increases!

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    The “New Normal” American Way of Life

    Total U.S. online:

    >70 million

    Broadband access will change who and how people use the Internet

    Source:, 2005

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    How Are People Buying?

    • 28% of online consumers do not buy online

    • 59% search aggregate sites, not merchant sites

    • Value the in-store, personalized experience

    • Delivery costs and time

    • Credit security

    • Delay in purchase satisfaction

    • No credit

    • Seeing is believing

    • Too complicated

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    Finding Customers

    Like fishing, you have to think like a fish to catch a fish!

    • Think like your customers, not as an artisan

      • What do customers want?

      • Where do they shop?

      • What do they shop for?

      • What do they search for online?

      • More???

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    Why Consumers Don’t Buy On-line

    • Cost of connectivity

    • Access at work?

    • Disrupts home/work routines

    • Too complicated

    • Communication challenging

    • Ordering not dependable

    • Trust

    • Overall consumer-buying experience

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    Will Customers Be E-loyal?

    • Multiple retailers

    • Price

    • Good service

    • Emotional connection/loyalty

    • Relevance to customers

    • Keep customer as central focus of e-commerce

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    Build customer loyalty – good/bad?

    Activity l.jpg


    • Do a search to find your business’s target market characteristics.

      • Hint:

        • Search for demographic info

        • Search for psychographics

        • Search by age, location, income, ethnicity, etc.

    • Resources to learn about customers

      • Research publications

      • Trade Journals

      • Conferences

      • Periodicals

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    Search Results

    • Who are your potential customers?

    • Where do they live, what will they buy?

    • What are their favorite activities?

    • Are you offering what they want at the right price?

    • What can you do to “target” these folks?

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    Craft Retailers with Web Sites

    Source: The Crafts Report, 2004

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    Looking at the Competition

    • New products, marketing ideas, news

    • Search engine specialties

      • Google- Lycos

      • Yahoo- AltaVista

      • Excite- Hotbot

      • Infoseek- Northern light

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    Find Your Competition

    • List competitors

    • List keywords to describe your products/services

    • Use metasearch engine to search keywords

    • Use other search engines:

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    List the key information about your competitors:

    • Advertising

    • Prices

    • Packaging

    • Hours of operation

    • Target market

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    Artists On-Line

    Source: The Crafts Report, 2004

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    Craft Producers (Artisans) Using E-commerce In Business

    Source: The Crafts Report, 2004

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    Reasons for Not Having Web Page

    • No knowledge

    • Lack of resources

    • Inability to connect store and web

    • Lack of training

    • No plan

    • Lack of flexibility

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    An Example Of A Log Analysis

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    Log Analysis from Herbal Turtle

    Discuss service with

    Web Host

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    Check This…


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    Are You Ready to Expand The Business?

    • Costs

    • Personnel

    • Inventory

    • Sales

    • Time/energy

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    Art Organizations as Promoters





    • Other: Depts. of Tourism, Art Commissions, Guilds, Cooperatives, Art Associations, Colleges/Universities

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    Doing Good Business Practices






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    Market Venues

    • Selling retail vs. wholesale

    • Exclusivity

    • Trade Shows

    • Sales Reps

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    Define market area

    County, state, region, nation, globe

    Who is most likely to use or purchase your product or service?

    Know your break even point/compare

    Know the price points that WILL sell

    Include profit!


    Market and Price Potential: The Marketing Plan

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    “The Internet has been the source of much of our business. Patrons find us in a search of rocking chairs. When someone calls from Jerome, AZ or Ketchikan, AK and says, “I found you on the web and I’d like to order a chair,” it feels a little like hitting a line drive into the gap in left field.”

    Gary Weeks, Owner

    Gary Weeks and Company, Furniture makers

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    Customers And Competition: Know BOTH or lose!

    • It’s your job

    • Stay current

    • Listen to both customers and competitors

    • Be flexible

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