DOWNTOWN POMONA MARKETING PROJECT
The 40-square-block Pomona Downtown Property Owners Association (DPOA) engaged FolFry to develop a plan to market Downtown Pomona to residents and workers, faculty and students at a nearby college, shoppers and visitors from Southern California. While the town’s Antiques Row and Arts Colony were flourishing, many small downtown retailers were suffering. Several key properties remained blighted and the city’s reputation as being crime-ridden hindered the downtown’s growth and resurgence.
Since sound marketing programs are based upon research, FolFry conducted an in-person perception study and a comprehensive quantitative survey to validate our thinking prior to offering program recommendations and implementation.
Our firm conducted in-person and telephone interviews with nearly 35 local thought leaders, including the mayor, chief of police, developers, and business and civic leaders. FolFry created a closed-end survey with questions similar to those in qualitative interviews we had previously conducted with individuals. The aim was to bring a quantitative, statistically valid component to our research.
Western University, a graduate school in downtown Pomona specializing in the health professions, provided a large base for our research. Working closely with the university’s Office of Institutional Research, we designed a survey introduced by “blast e-mail” to 2,483 students, faculty, staff and administrative personnel. As an incentive to increase response, we coordinated a promotion with a local bistro.
- The survey generated a high response rate: 288 “completes,” equivalent to nearly 12 percent, compared to an accepted market research norm of 3 to 4 percent.
- Respondents submitted some 150 open-ended supplemental comments that were uniformly thoughtful and constructive.
- Results helped us identify and crystallize key destination and economic-development marketing recommendations for the DPOA, including target audiences, areas of exceptional opportunity, challenges and competitors.