Ultimate Guide to Winery and Wine Trail Market Research and Surveys

Our team at Drive Research thoroughly enjoys the winery market research projects we work on. Our team works with wineries to help their teams utilize our unique knowledge, streamlined process, and strategies to accelerate success. This post outlines the level of detail and thoroughness our winery market research company applies to every step of our research and marketing strategies roadmap. This roadmap ensures our team adheres to deadlines and operate on-budget.

Drive Research works with wineries and wine trails to implement market research programs. These programs fuel marketing and increase revenue for the wineries and vineyards. Strategies are backed by data.

Ultimate Guide to Winery and Wine Trail Market Research and Surveys

Overview of Approach

Although each study we conduct with wineries and wine trails is customized based on the objectives of the client, there are several core components we suggest as part of the process. This includes in in-depth interviews (IDIs), focus groups, and a survey.

The recommended study combines both qualitative and quantitative research to provide our clients with a comprehensive and actionable data-driven strategy. The suggested components recommended for a recent study included: (1) in-depth interviews (IDIs) with best-in-class wineries across the world, (2) an online survey divided by visitors to different wine regions in the market area, (3) follow-up online focus groups with segmented audiences, (4) mobile ethnography with visitors to wineries, and (5) toolkit and strategy recommendations based on fact-driven and data driven insights uncovered in the market research.

What would the engagement with Drive Research look like? We answer those questions and outline the process below.

Getting Started with the Research: Kickoff and Workplan

Upon receipt of the signed acceptance page, Drive Research schedules an in-person kickoff with the client. An agenda will be sent prior to the meeting which will highlight expectations, process, potential questions for the survey, timeline, and next steps. Within 24 hours of the completion of the kickoff, Drive Research will prepare a living project workplan which details deliverables, responsible parties, and dates of completion. This workplan will be updated each week and shared throughout the project. The workplan ensures teams remain on-track.

In order to make this a successful project, Drive Research would request any prior market research or data on visitors to wineries in the region. Throughout the process Drive Research will walk your organization through each step serving as a true consultant. The expectations of our clients include being clear on expectations and objectives, reviewing research surveys and guides in a timely manner, and offering feedback on draft deliverables and reports. We’ll manage the rest.

Component 1: Best-in-Class Interviews (IDIs)

A total of 10 one-on-one phone in-depth interviews (IDIs) will be conducted with best-in-class wineries across the region, the U.S., and the world. These key stakeholders at each winery will offer knowledge, expertise, and insight into their success stories. The list of potential targets will be discussed and passed to the client for approval before interviews begin.

Drive Research will create a draft interview guide. This guide will consist of recommended questions from past winery and tourism experience as well as customized questions for the needs of the client. Questions will center around tourism and winery marketing best-practices, understanding which strategies have worked best to increase visitation, and other secondary objectives.

Each phone interview will last approximately 20 to 30 minutes and will be pre-scheduled. Pre-scheduling the interviews ensures participants set aside a full block of time for the interview rather than feeling rushed during on-the-spot calls. Once scheduled, Drive Research will send a confirmation email to participants restating the day of week, date, and time of the interview to ensure conversions.

Confirmation emails will be sent within 24 hours of scheduling and will ask participants to confirm “yes” to finalize bookings. The interviews will take place at a convenient time for the client (regardless of whether this is outside normal business hours in the Eastern time zone).

Drive Research will also moderate each interview. These interviews will be conducted by key project personnel at Drive Research including the President, Project Manager, and Research Analyst. Interviews will be digitally recorded. Interviewees will be offered an honorarium as a thank you for their time which can be accepted or donated to a charity of their choice.

Recommended Component 2: Online Survey

An online survey will be drafted as a Word document and passed to the client for review. Quotas will be created to ensure the survey obtains enough responses and feedback from visitors to all wine regions of focus for your winery or wine trail. The questions in the survey are expected to address visitor profiles, understand drivers and activities which generate visitation to the region to drive messaging, and understand usage of media platforms. These and many other secondary objectives will be addressed in the survey. This survey will be focused on measurement data from the targeted audience segmented by region.

Once the survey document is finalized, it will be programmed into our online survey software and tested. The survey will be PC, mobile, and tablet-friendly. The test link will be sent to the client for review so the team can view the survey as if they were a real respondent participating.

The survey is expected to take 5 minutes to complete and will include up to 20 questions, including up to 2 to 3 open-ended questions. Open-ended questions are free text responses with no button selections for respondents. These open-ended questions are proofed, categorized, and coded in the final report and take considerable time to read through and analyze. This will include options for video responses from respondents which will add to the instructiveness of the survey. Fun questions will be incorporated (light humor, fun scales, etc.) This helps promote engagement and interest in the survey.

The survey will be administered through random Facebook advertisements and through Drive Research panel members located across the country. The survey will include screener questions to branch respondents to specific questions depending upon whether they have visited the organizations wineries or not. Those who have not will be asked separate questions as to why they have not visited and what it would take to get them to visit.

The Facebook ads will be invitations to take the survey via the Drive Research branded account. These messages can be targeted to specific geographies, ages, etc. so the sample can match the demographics of the target market for the client. Once fieldwork begins, the client will be provided a passcode protected survey link which tabulates the respondent data in real-time. The client can check-in on survey results 24/7 throughout the fieldwork. The goal is to collect 800 survey responses. This offers a +/- 3.5% margin of error at the 95% confidence interval. Rewards for the survey are included in the costs.

A comprehensive survey provides a winery with statistically reliable data and measurements to ensure strategies are backed by facts and evidence.

Recommended Component 3: Online Focus Groups

At the conclusion of the online survey, respondents will be asked if they would be willing to participate in a follow-up online focus group on the topics. These focus groups will allow Drive Research to explore and dive deeper into motivations and associations uncovered in the online survey. Several topic areas in the online focus group will emphasize word associations and brand perceptions of wine trails.

Online focus groups are an interactive discussion board held on a software platform or website where moderators can interact with participants while they share comments, videos, and pictures about their customer experience (CX).

Participants will be pre-recruited and sent a sign-in to access the online focus group board. Over the course of 4-days the moderator will post several questions a day asking participants to respond as well as interact and respond to other participant comments to create a dialogue. Drive Research will provide the client with logins to view the feedback live and make comments for the moderator to follow-up on with the group. The process is very interactive, iterative, and thorough.

Participants will be required to sign-in at least twice a day for 20 to 30 minutes per day. This is a total time commitment of approximately 2 hours. A total of 40 participants will be recruited for this online session. Participants will be paid a reward as a thank you for their time and feedback.

Online focus groups are an innovative way to conduct qualitative market research. They create 5 major benefits for clients and market research firms: (1) savings on travel costs, (2) savings on time, (3) savings on stipends, (4) visibility of feedback through multiple client logins, and (5) savings on facility costs.

Recommended Component 4: Mobile Ethnography

The survey respondents will once again feed a recruitment pool for follow-up mobile ethnography research. Mobile ethnography is an innovative market research technique that combines traditional ethnography with mobile research. Ethnography in market research involves observing consumers in a natural environment, allowing clients to gain a reliable understanding of their behavior, values, and beliefs. Several quotas will be created to separate this feedback by both region and segment of visitors.

Participants will document their on-site experience when participating in a visit to a winery or wine region. The participant will capture a photo(s) or video(s) of the experience through mobile diaries. It is expected that this engagement will take less than 20 minutes to complete over the course of a trip.

For the final engagement, Drive Research will reconnect with the participants after their on-site experience. Participants may capture a video of themselves reflecting on the overall experience. Participants may also provide more general insights discussing what they like and what they think can be improved, comparing their experience that day to other winery experiences, as well as other secondary questions.

The engagement can also be used to identify and test key marketing messages and collateral that resonate with the target audience for the toolkit. This final engagement will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Participants will be rewarded with an honorarium as a thank you for their participation.

Mobile ethnography helps a market research team capture feedback in-the-moment during a live tasting room experience to understand the experience.

Market Research Report and Debrief

The market research report created for a study like the one recommended above is very comprehensive. Much of the focus for this example study would be placed on the marketing toolkit. This included key data on segments of customers, the decision-making process for choosing a wine trail, differentiators of the experience, and other key criteria.

The report includes an executive summary of key themes, recommendations, an infographic, and respondent personas. The report findings are used as a basis to develop a marketing toolkit, strategies, tactics, and action items for the winery and wine trails.

About Drive Research

Drive Research is a market research firm in Syracuse, NY. Drive Research designs,
manages, analyzes, and consults with clients on custom-built qualitative and quantitative market research for a variety of different industries. Our focus is Upstate New York including but not limited to Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany. However, our clients span from coast-to-coast. Our keynote clients include Google, T- Mobile, Samsung, Yamaha, and other Fortune 500 companies.

Our regional travel, tourism, wine, beer, and spirits experience includes keynote clients such as Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards and Casa Larga Vineyards. Both of these projects involved custom market research to help the client understand visitor segments, visitor experience, and identifying areas to improve operations, marketing, and strategy. Market research was also completed for Henry’s Hard Sparkling. Other travel and tourism-related clients include MGM Casinos, the New York State Fair, the CNY Home & Garden Show, and Campground Owners of New York (CONY).

Questions? Contact Our Team

Drive Research is a winery and wine trail market research company located in Upstate, NY. We work with a number of different clients across the country to assist with their marketing and strategy needs.

Questions about winery or wine trail market research?

Contact us 1 of 4 ways below. We are happy to discuss more or offer advice to move forward.

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