Disrupting industries & winning market shares: The simple tool in leading companies’ back pockets

By on 1 March, 2019

Author: Stewart Lochhead, Data Solutions Specialist, MapData Services 

Netflix has overthrown Blockbuster’s brick-and-mortar business; Uber has filled the gap of a more passenger-friendly alternative to traditional taxis; Menulog, Deliveroo and the likes have successfully provided on-demand meal delivery services, independent from restaurants. All of these disruptive companies have a few things in common: they are accessible from anywhere, at any time and available through our smartphones or tablets.

The advancements in technology growing each and every day have instilled our need-it-now consumer mindset and with this, the demand for both small and large organisations to keep up is ever-present. From here, the need for enhanced customer-ease and delivery-speed, through both products and service delivery continues to grow.

We all want the best deal, but we also want products and services to be easily accessible.”


With this, we have seen today’s informed consumers no longer purely looking for the cheapest price, but instead, a combination of best price, speed of delivery of their product and positive brand reputation. These three factors play a huge role when looking at customer loyalty and engagement with brands – applicable to everything from fast food and apparel, through to professional services such as cleaning and gardening.

Though the delivery mechanisms can vary significantly, the common tool seen amongst companies disrupting their respective industries and riding this wave of change is data.

From working with leading brands in the retail and services sector, it has become clear to me that data is now an integral tool for helping organisations meet these customer expectations. Things like reach, foot traffic, available location, local demographics and even risk analysis can now be used to help brands identify the best location for a store front. What seems to be the key to success in navigating through the puzzle of spatial data is understanding that while these concepts may not be new, the way in which data can be collated, analysed and used, has evolved significantly in recent years, requiring brands to jump on board and commit to continually educating themselves on how to harness this technology.

Here’s a few examples of spatial data supporting customer growth and sales communication in the world of retail:

1: Company A, a pool maintenance firm, was looking to expand its reach, enhance their customer communication methods and in turn, widen the variety of their customer portfolio. Previously, this type of firm may have relied on traditional scattergun marketing techniques ranging from the classic letter drop through to the posters on the local shopping centre notification board. Whilst these all aim to promote local services to a local community, research and much trial-and-error has taught us that this approach can be hit-and-miss.

Employing the technique of data giants like Geoscape, the firm were able to transition from these traditional techniques through to the use of geospatial datasets as a marketing tool, providing customer insights along the way. This company was able to access high-resolution aerial imagery for all swimming pools and vegetation across Australia, providing more targeted communications to prospective clients (knowing which local homeowners had pools) with compelling messaging – in turn resulting in a greater likelihood of sales conversions.

Similar approaches have been seen within site location endeavours for restaurants and fast food chains, thanks to on-demand delivery services.

2: Company B, a Thai restaurant, was looking to increase service delivery through route optimisation of their delivery paths. Instead of just drawing a 2-3 kilometre radius covering the area surrounding the restaurant and considering that zone as its delivery arc, this company can use advanced route optimisation tools to support delivery efficiency. Using highly optimised road networks, trip time insights and delivery route information, this business could identify the ultimate zone within which its vehicles deliver to on any given day.

By incorporating historical traffic data to identify which times are the busiest, the drivers could see alternate routes to beat the rush – the perfect example of moving from guesstimates to evidence-based decision-making.

As consumer expectations continue to evolve, so too does the need for customer-facing brands to employ location services and valuable datasets. Continuing to evolve, we are now seeing human movement data drawn from locational services, used to understand customer behaviour and providing an additional layer to enhance customer profiling. Obtaining this new-found, 360˚ view of consumer habits holds powerful implications for the future of outdoor marketing.

It’s clear that without harnessing the power of data and using the software available designed to help make sense of it all, businesses risk relying on ‘trial and error’ and ‘guesstimates’ to make critical decisions. This can prove to be both expensive, and truly costly in terms of a business survival. Companies grasping the tool of data can expect to foresee stronger, evidence-based decision-making –providing even more of a competitive advantage in years to come.

To learn more about how you can employ a data specialist to help your brand leverage spatial data for customer-growth and marketing success, request a free consultation with us at MapData Services.

Information provided by Mapdata Services.

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