14 Mar The spatial variable of marketing
The market and the economic system went through fantastic times without considering the spatial dimension until the beginning of the XX century, when researchers started studying different types of cultures around urban centres.
It was not until the end of the 80s and beginning of the 90s when an increasing demand for geospatial analysis occurred from public and private institutions, especially due to the rise of economic geography, availability of large banks of georeferenced social and economic data, and the development of GIS technologies capable of managing, storing and viewing interactively those data volumes.
This spatial knowledge, or strategic thinking, as coined by Dr. Richard Taketa (1993) in “Management and the geographer: The relevance of geography in strategic thinking”, is merely the need to become aware of the environment and know the agents that act in our system.
Becoming aware of the environment is today an unavoidable part of 360º marketing strategies, and requires feeding geographic information systems with external and internal reliable sources, both public sources on statistical knowledge, such as the Statistic National Institute (INE), municipal registers, street maps, and private sources on market or competition information, as well as the correct use of internal databases of the company on points of sale, customers or sales data and, of course, implement a professional process to carry out the auditing and data cleaning process and analyse that information.
In ActionsDATA, we understand that customer-oriented marketing is no longer about informing on products or services, but rather about creating the products or services that customers need and put them at their disposal. This is why knowing customers in a more global way is so important, taking their consumption habits and behaviour into account within a specific geographical area.
Our Analysis Department, starting from the business intelligence technique, which is based on the sociological premise that “people sharing geographical areas tend to share similar behaviours, consumption habits and attitudes” (Peter Sleight, 1993, “Targeting customers”), wanted to go beyond in the task of obtaining immediate knowledge by developing and implementing successfully for customers in the Hypermarket sector an analytical management instrument for geomarketing tools, management systems and relational platforms, like our Observer CRM.
As expressed by Miguel Lucas, ActionsDATA Analysis Director, “we not only obtain the actual data related to the usual demographics, but we also identify profiles and strategic value, behaviour trends and purchase probabilities from current and potential customers located in the areas of influence.”
As part of the demand, let’s imagine a customer who gets at a store, checks-in with his/her GPS-equipped smartphone , and communicates his/her opinions to social network followers. From the perspective of the offer, the company gathers this information and identifies these customers, their number and opinions. This derives in a map of points with structured information on customers.
And what is the result of all this? Depicting on a map the behaviour of customers is a true real-time marketing study on where and how often your product is sold. Similarly, knowing the opinion on the company and where those opinions are shared, locating the impact of hashtags on events, or following storytelling actions on a map (storymaps) surely allows decision makers to obtain valuable information for designing strategies on how to attract new customers and develop loyalty.
If you use an analytical expert, that statistic information will become knowledge for data processing purposes. A real strategic asset.