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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

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

module 3 how to market your craft business online
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, lovell@tarleton.eduDraft 052907

marketing my business
Marketing My Business
  • List all the different kinds of marketing you do for your business

10 minutes

do you have a plan
Do You Have a Plan?

The product

The industry

The customer

The strategy

Marketing is EVERYTHING you do on behalf of the business

hobby or business
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!

doing your homework

Doing Your Homework?

Develop your marketing plan.

Do it before going online!

know your industry
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

read about an artisan
Read About an Artisan

Go to these sites:



define the handcraft consumer
Define The Handcraft Consumer
  • Demographics
    • Identifying AND defining your market

30-50 Urban

Affluent Educated

  • Psychographics – how people use/spend time
    • Targeting your customer
      • Form Quality
      • Function Travel
more resources for artisans
More Resources for Artisans
  • Texas Commission on the Arts
      • A registry for Texas artisans
  • American Crafts Council
  • Craft Organization Directors Association
who is using the internet
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%

internet usage by age group who are your customers
Internet Usage by Age Group . . .Who Are YOUR Customers?

Primary purchasers of craft

*Pew/Internet, Pew Internet and American Life Project


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!


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

how are people buying
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
finding customers
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???
why consumers don t buy on line
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
will customers be e loyal
Will Customers Be E-loyal?
  • Multiple retailers
  • Price
  • Good service
  • Emotional connection/loyalty
  • Relevance to customers
  • Keep customer as central focus of e-commerce
  • 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
search results
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?
craft retailers with web sites
Craft Retailers with Web Sites

Source: The Crafts Report, 2004

looking at the competition
Looking at the Competition
  • New products, marketing ideas, news
  • Search engine specialties
    • Google - Lycos
    • Yahoo - AltaVista
    • Excite - Hotbot
    • Infoseek - Northern light

find your competition
Find Your Competition
  • List competitors
  • List keywords to describe your products/services
  • Use metasearch engine to search keywords
  • Use other search engines:

List the key information about your competitors:

  • Advertising
  • Prices
  • Packaging
  • Hours of operation
  • Target market
artists on line
Artists On-Line

Source: The Crafts Report, 2004

reasons for not having web page
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
an example of a log analysis

An Example Of A Log Analysis

log analysis from herbal turtle
Log Analysis from Herbal Turtle

Discuss service with

Web Host

check this
Check This…
are you ready to expand the business
Are You Ready to Expand The Business?
  • Costs
  • Personnel
  • Inventory
  • Sales
  • Time/energy
art organizations as promoters
Art Organizations as Promoters
  • Other: Depts. of Tourism, Art Commissions, Guilds, Cooperatives, Art Associations, Colleges/Universities
doing good business practices
Doing Good Business Practices
market venues
Market Venues
  • Selling retail vs. wholesale
  • Exclusivity
  • Trade Shows
  • Sales Reps
market and price potential the marketing plan
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
gary weeks owner gary weeks and company furniture makers www garyweeks com

“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


Customers And Competition: Know BOTH or lose!

  • It’s your job
  • Stay current
  • Listen to both customers and competitors
  • Be flexible