I had the honor to be hosted by Mr. James Boxall in a tour of the GIS Centre, at the Killiam Library of DalHousie University, one of the most traditional universities in Halifax, NovaScotia, and also in Canada itself. Founded in 1818, it’s internationally known as one of North America’s most welcoming universities and offers programs with pionerring research on the East Coast. Continue reading Dal Housie GIS Centre Tour with Professor James Boxall
Consumer packaged goods are small, non-durable items that are generally bought at the grocery store. These might include soda, breakfast cereal and laundry detergent. Like most retailers and manufacturers of consumers’ goods of any type, the consumer packaged goods industry is beginning to use micro-marketing techniques (Buxton 1993). Through using a sophisticated combination of databases and manipulation techniques, product marketing programmes can be developed at the retail chain level. In the US, almost all grocery stores use check-out scanners. These scanners read a bar-code on each product and automatically provide the price of the product. This is convenient for stores because they can change the price of the product (such as for a sale) without having to re-tag each item. Not only is this convenient for stores, but because of this process, a very rich database of what brand’s products are purchased at what stores is generated. These data are aggregated into approximately 50 “scanner markets” that cover various portions of the US. By combing these data with the demographics that tend to drive product demand, such as age and income, a buying power index (BPI) can be modelled for stores. The BPI indicates how much of various products could be sold at that store. By knowing a store’s BPI, the retailer can improve the product mix (micro-marketing) to “push through more product” – to use the industry jargon.
From a marketing perspective, the principal attraction of spatial analysis is still probably a psychological one. Marketeers seem to feel that geography is important in that they know that there are major geographic variations in the demand for products. Maybe they feel that geographers should be able to help them perform better and that there might be methods that geographers know about that could be beneficial to them. Those in the industry who believe this will probably already be displaying more confidence in the value of geography than do many geographers!
Yet at the same time it is evident that there are mutual benefits to both the marketing industry and to geography from closer collaboration. The geographer might gain access to data not in the public domain, new publishing opportunities may arise and there is at least some prospect for technology transfer and commercialization. The marketing industry might gain access to a largely untapped skill base. The question is, however, which methods, which applications, and which new products might be created through such collaborations? Continue reading Marketing Spatial Analysis: A review of prospects and technologies relevant to marketing – GIS For Business and Service Planning
DATA SOURCES AND THEIR GEOGRAPHICAL INTEGRATION
The very nature of competitive business lies in spotting niches and opportunities. Geographical niches are the more difficult to identify when market areas are blurred by the overlay of successive different geographies.
A range of computer software houses have developed products which enable users to gain rapid access to precisely specified sections of databases, while developments in computer graphics allow information to be portrayed in a geographically accurate manner. Business graphics are, in short, becoming increasingly geographical. Continue reading Population Data Sources – GIS for Business and Service Planning
Renowned contributors assess the links between technological change, analytical information and data customization which are now beginning to stimulate the wider adoption of GIS as a management and applied research tool. The first section deals with population data sources, followed by geodemographics and how it is used in customer targeting and product marketing. The next part considers how businesses can adopt GIS and the final segment contains two excellent overviews on how geography is being applied in business. A wealth of illustrations, containing new material from actual commercial and planning applications, enables readers to distinguish between abstract GIS principles and authentic usages. Continue reading GIS for Business and Service Planning – Paul Longley & Graham Clarke