Market Area Profiles
Bruce Schwartau, Community Economics
Educator, discusses how rural towns can
find their retail niche
Produced by Lakeland Public Television
Help your community know and grow its customer base.
What is a Market Area Profile?
A Market Area Profile organizes data from multiple sources into a comprehensive description of those who shop in and visit your community — their demographics, purchasing power, lifestyles, information sources and values. Extension organizes this data into easy-to-understand reports and leads discussions about the learning. The information stimulates a plan for businesses and the community to pro actively meet the needs of customers and tap opportunities to increase revenue.
What information does a community get with a Market Area Profile?The MAP includes a breadth of information of interest to local retailers, tourism businesses and community leaders, including:
- The geographic reach of the community's trade area;
- Types of customers in the trade area;
- Demographics and income levels of households in the trade area;
- Types of media and leisure activities used by the varieties of households in the trade area; and
- Market potential across multiple retail and service categories to identify gaps in the trade area.
How can businesses and communities use Market Area Profiles?Chambers, economic development professionals, tourism organizations, local businesses, and elected officials can use this information to answer questions such as:
- What other businesses might succeed here?
- How can we effectively use media to market our community or business?
- Do I have a viable business plan for our market?
- How can we change our inventory or expand our product lines to increase profits?
- What community events or festivals would attract our trade area's customers?
- What main street or tourism development strategies would work for our market?
What does a Market Area Profile include?Your Extension educator will help you determine whether a standard profile or a customized report of a larger trade area is right for your community.
The standard report:
- Works well for traditional, main-street communities;
- Describes customers in your local zip code(s);
- Engages the community in a two-hour discussion about results and future plans; and
- Costs $750.
- View a Sample Standard Market Area Profile (409 K PDF)
The customized report:
- Works well for a larger market or a seasonal/tourism market;
- Is customized from addresses of customers on local business lists;
- Engages the community in a two-hour discussion about results and future plans;
- Includes two consultations with a local study group to guide the analysis; and
- Costs $1,500.
Print a Market Area Profile handout (463 K PDF)
Contact the Extension educator for Community Economics in your area to discuss whether your community should take advantage of the Market Area Profile.