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How Spatial Data Can Turn Good Ideas into Growing Brands
By Charles Wetzel
President, eSite Analytics

It’s 5:15 p.m. on a Tuesday when Sally Owens is driving seven-year-old Pete home from soccer practice. He’s hungry, she needs a new phone charger and dad’s at home waiting on a box of nails so he can fix stuff.

She takes a right and pulls into a spot in the shopping center parking lot. Forty-five minutes, two stores and one franchise restaurant later, the Owens’ SUV pulls into the driveway brimming with plastic bags. Everything the family needed was neatly packed into one quick-and-easy shopping trip conveniently located on the way home from the soccer field.

Coincidence? Not by a long shot. The brands that benefited from Sally’s shopping excursion knew exactly what she needed and where she’d be when she went to buy it. They’ve analyzed countless pockets of their very best customers to determine who those shoppers are, where they travel, what marketing they respond to and which locations best meet their day-to-day needs.

This is precisely the kind of scenario that results when key decision makers know how to leverage location-based spatial data.

Why analyze spatial data?
Analysis of spatial data is what lets you see who’s driving where (and when), how one location impacts another and which pockets of customers hold the most promise for your brand. Without this highly detailed information on where customers live, work, drive, shop, recreate and more, a company may never reach the full potential of its data.

Put simply, location-based data—everything from mailing addresses and proximities to trip and traffic trade areas—can be used to unlock truly deep insights about a company, customers and competitors.

No amount of customer profiling and marketing will influence a company’s success if it occurs in the wrong place at the wrong time. Spatial data is the key to getting it right.

Real-Life Example of Spatial Data Analysis
To better understand the impacts of spatial analysis, let’s look at a real-world example inspired by actual events.

Imagine for a moment you’re back in the early 1990’s, when the dine-in movie theater concept was new. Back then, the most moviegoers could expect at one of these locations was basic bar food and a limited selection of second-run movies.

Now fast forward to 2016, and you can look at virtually any urban area to see that the theatre-turned-restaurant is THE place many people go to catch first-run feature length films. The idea was a brilliant one, but it took more than two decades for the concept to catch on.

Today, with spatial data, the model is expanding to new markets at a much faster pace. Real estate departments are now taking a different approach to growth, and it looks something like this:

  1. Identify the segments of your best customers: who they are, where they live and how they buy
  2. Pinpoint pockets of those best customers to identify ideal trip and traffic trade areas
  3. Determine where there’s enough demand to support the concept and decide how many locations could potentially thrive in markets across America
  4. Divide, corner and conquer the niche

This process is one that often leads to sustainable growth. Because strategic decisions are driven largely by locational data, referrals and repeat purchases become the norm. For example, here’s a direct quote from an article published in Forbes in October 2015:

“Would I go to this theater again? Absolutely, and not just because it’s five minutes closer to my house...This goes along with my efforts to try to experience a variety of theatrical movie going options.”

Bottom line: If you want to turn a great idea into a growing brand, start by analyzing your spatial data.

eSite Analytics is leading spatial analytics firm helping consumer brands growing faster and more profitably. Learn more at esiteanalytics.com



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