- Animal Products: meat
- Farm Business Management: economic/marketing
Painted Hills Natural Beef, which produces and markets natural beef products, wants to economize on its marketing resources by creating a “Virtual Focus Group” through its Web site. Painted Hills processes about 200 cattle a week with no added hormones or antibiotics from 13 rancher owners and 35 other ranchers, all of whom adhere to a production protocol for which they receive a premium. The virtual focus group will ask meat managers of grocery stores who sell Painted Hills beef to share their knowledge, opinions and experience through a password-protected portion of the Web site. This is a cost-effective way to elicit information from meat managers, who are the driving force behind sales in terms of educating consumers and purchasing Painted Hills beef, which is sold on “story line,” not price. Their responses will be compiled to formulate marketing strategies.