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Volume I : Issue 3

March 2012

Welcome to Common Ground News

In this issue:

Feature Article – Expanding Distribution Channels and Exploring New Markets

Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping application at GeoMetrx​​ – “Saving a Map Project” – how to create and save overlay and theme settings and reuse them as a template

Thematic Map – St. Patrick’s Day – Where are the Domestic and Micro-Brew Fans Located?  Plus this month’s trivia challenge​​

Upcoming Events – GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series “Best Practices for Building
and Managing Your Territories”

This and all future newsletters will be available on our website under ‘news.’  We encourage you to share our Common Ground News with your friends and colleagues and we welcome your feedback. Visit our website and make a comment on the contact us page or send us an email at

—-Kent Hargesheimer,
Managing Partner


Phone: 1.888.848.4436



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Upcoming Events
GeoMetrx “How To” Webinar Series

• “Best Practices for Building and Managing Your Territories”

THURSDAY, April 19th at 11am PST / 2pm EST

Expanding Distribution Channels and Exploring New Markets

Every business, no matter how large or how small, wants to sell more of its existing products and services. In order to do so, businesses must expand their market reach to acquire additional customers. Increasing sales in existing markets through advertising and marketing strategies is certainly not to be overlooked; however, the most effective way to gain new customers is to create new distribution channels that reach untapped markets. This can be accomplished by such methods as:

adding retail locations (corporate and/or franchised)
establishing more production facilities
developing reseller relationships (wholesaler, dealer, consultant, etc.)
providing online sales opportunities

Placement (a.k.a. distribution) is one of the “4 Ps” of marketing: product, promotion, price, placement. Gaining new customers through expanding distribution channels has many benefits including: a) boosted profits through increased revenues and reduced per-unit production costs; b) raised awareness among consumers improves brand recognition; and c) reduced market risks by spreading the risks over multiple channels.

The most critical step of any expansion strategy is to evaluate potential markets by comparing their attributes to those of your target market. If you are not certain of your target market, begin by examining your current customer base for common characteristics and interests. Characteristics (demographics) are things such as age, gender, ethnicity, income, education, occupation, marital status, presence of children, pet ownership, owners vs. renters, etc.  Interests (psychographics) are things such as attitudes, behaviors, values, hobbies, leisure activities, lifestyles (health/diet/exercise, etc.), politics, religion, media choices, etc. Be sure to evaluate the data that connects your customers to your products and services.

Defining your target market is the hard part. Once you’ve identified who you are targeting the next step is to locate those markets with the highest concentrations of potential customers. Visualizing your data on an interactive map is one of the best ways to evaluate potential markets as well as site locations. Maps allow you to assess a variety of attributes in addition to your target data including traffic patterns, travel times, competitor locations, business establishments and more. Take a look at this month’s thematic map below to see mapped data in action.

Tips & Techniques – Saving a Map Project

Applying all the same settings from one trade area location to another in GeoMetrx can be time consuming and tricky. Saving your map as a project will make the task easier and give you the results you want.

Watch this short video tutorial and learn how quick and easy it is to save your project overlay and thematic prefrences. Once you’ve saved your project you can change trade area locations and resave the project with a different file name. The next time you access the GeoMetrx territory mapping application you can quickly reload any of your saved projects saving you the time and frustration of recreating your settings.

“Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!”

That’s Irish for Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Celebrated on March 17th, the day honors the most recognized patron saint of Ireland. Over time it has also evolved into a celebration of Irish culture. Whether of Irish descent or not, many revel in the traditions of the holiday from wearing green to attending parades to enjoying beer and traditional Irish fare.

In recognition of the merriment of the month, our thematic map topic for March is beer! We have plotted domestic beer drinkers across the nation. The light colored areas (think light beer) have the lowest concentration of domestic beer drinkers, whereas the darker (think stouts) represent the areas with the highest concentration of domestic beer drinkers.

Click to see a larger version of this map.

​Next we plotted the percent of micro-brewed beer drinkers across the US. When contrasting the two maps there is more than meets the eye. One might conlcude that dark areas on the domestic map that are now light on the micro-brew map would indicate folks in those locations prefer national domestics to local micro-brews. We would suggest the difference is actually due to the lack of availability of micro-brews. In fact, the dark areas on the micro-brew map align with regions that sport a lot of micro-brew activity.

Click to see a larger version of this map.

A great website, The Beer Mapping Project, is a compilation of locations of micro-breweries, brewpubs and other craft beer outlets. Accessing the site’s regional maps, we’ve taken a closer look at three areas where there is clearly a difference between our domestic and microbrew maps: north central Michigan, south central Florida, and the greater Denver, Colorado corridor. The three maps, shown below, reveal that in Michigan and Florida, there is a complete absence of micro-breweries and brew pubs in the disparate areas. The Denver corridor, on the other hand, shows a comparitively high volume of craft beer activity.

As we noted above, expanding into new markets is an excellent way to increase sales of exisiting products and services. It’s essential to conduct thorough market research which includes identifying markets with heavy concentrations of potential customers who fit your company’s target profile. As this example illustrates, it’s important to consider many factors and utilize all your resources of information to find the best new markets.

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March 2012 – Trivia Challenge

1) True or False: There are more U.S. Residents who claim Irish ancenstry than the entire population of Ireland itself.

2) As of November 2011, how many breweries were operating in the U.S.?

a) 1,142
b) 1,927
c) 2,011
d) 2,348

Click here for the answers!