If you want to learn what people know or think, let them
The underlying purpose of marketing research is to help you make
better business decisions based on information, "facts",
obtained. The goal being to help you make fewer mistakes.
While it is not practical to offer a complete guide on how to
conduct marketing research, nor is it necessary for your type
of business, we can provide you certain simple fundamental techniques
which can help you evaluate and plan your campground operation.
Marketing Research, a Simplified Approach
- You must decide on what you are looking for.
- How to overcome a particular problem
- Do you want to know feelings, attitudes, opinions, demographic
Decide where you will obtain this information (sample).
- Camping guests
- Registration forms
- LSI data
- Previously conducted studies
- Tourism bureaus
The object is to select a representative group (sample) from
the entire list of individuals who have visited your park.
Remove all possible subjective nesses in choosing a respondent.
Use random selection method by choosing every Nth possibility.
Using registration forms, decide if you want to choose
every 4th or 5th form to become part of your sample.
If you are going to choose guests from your campground
for a personal interview, as you walk around your park stop
every 4th or 5th person.
As a rule of thumb, you should collect anywhere from 150-300
interviews. The actual number depends upon the length of the
period you are reviewing. For a month - 100 respondents will
do; for a year - 200.
For our industry, the two best methods for collecting information
is through the mail or in person.
- Should include an explanation, the questionnaire and stamp,
self addressed reply envelope
- Also should include an offer to encourage return
- This is the least expensive method
- Problems include: low return rate; frequent delays in return
questionnaires; little control by you; may not obtain a true
representation of your customers
- Questions are personally directed to respondent, flexible
- High response rate
- Most people are willing to respond to questions if they are
approached in a friendly and honest manner
- All necessary information can be gathered
- Respondents can be selected more randomly, ensuring better
- Somewhat expensive cost - labor
Developing a questionnaire
Types of questions
Answer requires an explanation example: Described your experience
at Jellystone Park?
Answer involves one of two choices
example: Was your reservation in order when you arrived? Yes
Multiple choice/list questions
The question is followed by a stated list of choices example:
Which activities did you participate in?
|Arts & Crafts
Question tries to measure the degree of feeling example: In
comparison to KOA, how do you rate Jellystone Parks?
|About the same
Questions are designed to obtain one of the following:
Age, gender, phone number or other demographic related information
Determines their feelings about your facilities, their experiences,
Possible future behavior
Their intent or belief in doing something later as in visitation
Helpful suggestions in developing questions
The meaning of questions must be clear and understandable
Make sure questions will obtain the information desired
Make sure all questions are numbered
Make sure each response to a question has a number assigned
Note: a sample questionnaire is attached.
Review all questionnaires to ensure that they are numbered and
correctly filled out.
Results can be calculated then by a computer or by hand.
This is the easiest and most reliable way to tabulate data.
Several "questionnaire" related programs can be
found in the market place. Find one which best suits your
needs. The below system is presently being used by LSI.
The Survey System
Creative Research Systems
15 Lone Oak Ctr.
Petaluma, CA 94952
The "sort-and-count" method
You must sort each questionnaire by question.
-Sort each question by answer.
-Separate into piles according to answers. i.e.: if question
has five possible answers then there will be five separate
-Count the number of questionnaires by response.
Repeat the process for each individual question.
CAMPGROUND DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE
1. Time period of visit? Sunday-Thursday _____ Friday-Saturday _____
2. The county and state in which you reside: _______________, _____
3. What is the approximate number of miles from your home?
4. What type of lodging facilities are you using?
5. What is the make up of your group?
6. How did you find out about this Jellystone Camp-Resort?
||Word of mouth
7. Is this visit a planned vacation or part of another trip?
8. How often do you visit a campground each year?
|Less then 1
||5 or more
9. How long do you stay?
10. Other than this visit, have you visited the Jellystone Park
11. (If yes) How long ago?
||Two years ago
||Over two years ago
12. Have you camped at other Jellystone Parks?
13. Please list at least three (3) factors you look
for in choosing a campground:
14. Including yourself, how many people are in your immediate
||Six or more
5. Please list their ages: (Up to six)
_____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
CUSTOMER TRACKING SURVEY
O'Connell's Yogi Bear
Jellystone park Camp-Resort
Phone (815) 857-3860
Customer tracking survey
The results listed in this survey were gathered from the standard
registration forms used by this camp-resort during the 1987, 1988,
1989, 1990, and 1991 camping seasons. Families who have not camped
with us since 1987 were deleted from the database in 1990. Families
who have not camped with us since 1988 were deleted in 1991. No
outside information was considered in this survey -- only the information
obtained on the registration form.
There are some "categories" with an asterisk instead
of an entry. In these cases, that information was not available
or indeterminable for that period.
Large youth group campouts were not included in this survey prior
to 1991, as they did not fill out the standard registration forms.
This camp-resort is strictly a destination park with the closest
interstate highway 14 miles away. The general location is midway
between the Mississippi river and Chicago, approximately 70 miles
south of the Illinois Wisconsin line.
The average family size in three years has gone from 3.94 persons
per family (2.03 adults and 1.91 children) to 3.93 persons per family
(1.96 adults and 1.97 children).
In 1991 two new programs were started. a "frequent camper
card" was included with each of our brochures given to customers.
Of the families who camped with us in 1991, 9.1% used their frequent
camper cards. Of those using their cards, 32.6% were completed.
(Seven nights completed the card.) We also joined the Good Sam club
program in 1991. Of the families who camped with us in 1991, 2.0%
used their Good Sam club discount.
In 1991, we also tracked the number of families with tents who
preferred the water/electric sites to the primitive sites. We
found that 36.3% of the families camping in tents preferred sites
with water and electric.
Camper nights based upon 180 extended stay (yearly campers)
for 187 possible nights was 33,660. In addition 10,902 daily camper
nights were experienced, an increase of 22.3% (1,988 camper nights)
over 1990, showing a total of 44,562 total camper nights. the
total possible sites available is 81,345, this reflects an occupancy
rate for the camping year 1991 of 54.8%. The average length of
stay for daily campers during 1991 was 2.15 nights per visit.
1988 occupancy was 52.5% revenue increased 20.0% over 1987
1989 occupancy was 54.1% revenue increased 16.7% over 1988
1990 occupancy was 53.1% revenue increased 14.0% over 1989
1991 occupancy was 54.8% revenue increased 18.0% over 1990
In order to profile customer tracking, we also provide a percentage
breakdown of income
1991 gross revenues
The foregoing data has been gathered at O'Connell's Yogi Bear's
Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Amboy, Illinois. Utilized for such
data gathering were Macintosh plus computers using double helix
and Microsoft works software programs.
Jane and Daniel E. O'Connell, Jr. are the owner/operators of this
camp-resort. They both are certified park operators and have owned
this resort fifteen years. Their season runs from mid-April until
mid-October. They employ an average of thirty employees during the
season with three full time year round employees.
This resort operated as an independent resort until affiliating
with the yogi bear's Jellystone park system in 1986.
Anyone wishing to obtain additional information relative to this
data may contact the camp-resort.
O'Connell's Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resort
Jane and Daniel E. O'Connell, Jr.
P.O. box 200
Amboy, IL 61310-0200
phone (815) 857-3860