Maps in marketing

Discussion started by Arek , on Monday, 10 January 2011 12:41

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} Majority of people don’t associate information relevant to business with maps – rather only with text, lists or tables, eventually graphs. I am searching for local, real-life examples of using maps and free data in business and marketing planning to promote the benefits to SMEs. There are plenty of case studies from the big end of town, or from US or Europe, but not much relating to start-ups or smaller business operators in Australia. I will be grateful if you can share some stories or point to some good case studies. Anything relating to sales/franchise area selection, store location analysis, local demographic stats used in business planning or direct advertising campaigns is of particular interest to me.    

To illustrate, here is a couple of examples of presentation of data in a spatial context (ie. on interactive maps):  

Investors by type of investment class in ACT

Australian Tourism Regions by avg cost of accommodation  

These are not just "pretty pictures". Simple spatial analysis can dramatically improve efficiency of marketing activities and ultimately, sales results. Traditionally, such methods have been restricted to only larger companies due to the cost of analytical tools and/or specific skill set required to undertake the analysis. However, with the advent of free mapping solutions and increasing volumes of free data liberated by State and Federal, the capability to undertake spatial analysis is well in reach of business enterprises of all sizes. Maps can give extra insights for decision making, can give advantage. Appreciate your comments.



Oops, apologise for the rubbish at the beginning of the message - this is what you get when you paste the text straight from MS Word... I didn't figure out how to edit a post as yet.
480 days ago
Since I did not have much luck with responses, I have drafted a hypothetical case study on how maps can improve sales (full version on my blog Appreciate your feedback and I will be very happy to answer any questions about applying this methodology in marketing activities.

Case Study

Challenge: Your target market is property investors in Canberra and you have a budget for a letterbox drop of promotional materials about investment loan refinancing options to 10,000 prospects. Your objective is to maximise effectiveness of the campaign (ie. get the best return on your bucks!).

Solution: The key to the success of your campaign is to know which are the areas that offer the best opportunity to reach your target audience. The easiest way out would be just to pick the most affluent postcodes and do your mailbox drops there. But is this the optimal approach? And which are those “affluent postcodes’?

There is a good range of free information available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics that could help with the campaign but for this particular campaign there is even better free data source: statistics on personal returns from the Australian Taxation Office that show numbers of property investors in each postcode.

Equipped with that data you can do a simple analysis classifying and sorting the postcodes based on a couple of variables: overall proportions of people claiming rental investment expenses in each postcode and the value of their claims in relation to the ACT average. This will allow to pinpoint specific postcodes with the highest probability of reaching the target audience (ie. the highest proportion of taxpayers claiming the highest loses).

Focusing just on the postcodes with the largest number of property investors is not the most optimal approach since population counts in each postcode vary dramatically. So, the absolute number of investors in a given postcode may be high but proportionally to the overall number of people in that postcode, there may not be many prospects there. And besides, you would also want to find people with the largest mortgages to optimise your efforts. Therefore, that extra analytical step can be very beneficial. This way it is possible to derive a meaningful ranking measure of postcodes based on the concentration of people with sought after characteristics in each postcode.

Mapping the results will help to visualise the location of your target audience and to manage distribution of promotional materials. Thematic map shown below is an illustration of the outcome of a simple analysis outlined above and shows detailed boundaries of target postal areas (dark red polygons indicate areas with highest concentration of target audience).

[full report can be downloaded for free from: ]

Conclusion: The campaign should focus on postcodes 2600 and 2603 (with approximate number of 10,500 taxpayers and 2,675 total potential clients). Targeting these postcodes will give you the most optimal, 1 in 4 chance, to reach your audience.

This case study demonstrates that running campaigns in an ad hoc manner cannot deliver optimised outcomes. Even if you have limited resources, simple analysis and mapping of the results can help immensely in maximising the return on your efforts.
450 days ago
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