BBVA API Market
At present, the use and analysis of data for competitive advantage has become crucial for both small businesses and large companies. In this sense, georeferencing is changing the way of doing business, as economy and commerce are increasingly based on the information provided by the analysis of this huge volume of data placed on a map.
Georeferencing is currently considered one of the most powerful software tools, able to transform large volumes of data into useful information for decision-making in an organization. This is actually just an evolution of the so-called business intelligence that many companies have been developing for years.
The widespread use of tools such as Google Earth has meant a quantum leap in this regard, allowing to locate digital content. This is no longer just about geographic data limited to specialists in Geographic Information Systems (GIS): the use of geographic information and coordinates is also spreading among companies with a database of customers to do “geomarketing” or “location intelligence”.
One of the latest success stories is that of Starbucks. At a conference held last July by Esri, one of the most important companies in GIS solutions, Starbucks presented its new strategy based on georeferenced data. With over 70 million customers visiting its coffee shops around the world every week, the company is using a map-based system that crosses many variables of population data with urban and commercial development information to determine where to open a new store.
In fact, the company has already decided where it will open new cafes in 25 countries in 2015 One of those places is China, where there are currently 1.200 Starbucks. Information such as commercial areas, retail business, traffic and demographics is very important for making decisions. After analyzing a new market and neighborhood the multinational finally chose to expand in the area of Nanning, where three new office towers will be completed in the next two months. “That's how we started with the idea of a new store,” said Patrick O'Hagan, head of Global Market Planning for Starbucks. “And the same thing happens in the USA. In fact, our newest store opened on July 3 in Los Gatos, California.”
Georeferencing for any business
Although georeferencing is popular among large companies, especially in the telecommunications, retails and banking industries, small businesses are also beginning to access this type of advanced solutions. These companies have managed to increase their levels of customer satisfaction.
If Google Maps has encouraged many more people to consult information on maps, smartphones have helped visualize information at street level. A great example of this is Foursquare, a social network with over 25 million users that has become a successful marketing platform among small businesses.
An example of this is the success story of AJ Bombers, a restaurant which has managed to have 1,400 people to "click" over 6,000 times on its Foursquare page. This small US business encourages customers to engage online offering rewards, which in this case is a free hamburger. The record holder for now is a girl who has registered 40 times in one month. The restaurant also gives a cookie to those customers who post an advice or recommendation on its website and show it to the waiter. One of the keys to success in this story was training the staff so that they could interact with customers and encourage them to participate and use Foursquare.
To facilitate the positioning of your business on online maps Google has launched a new platform specially designed for small businesses and startups: My Business. In it, with just a few mouse clicks you can place your business on a map, upload high quality pictures that will help to improve the SEO positioning, know the views of your customers -and also their profiles-, publish news and share them on social networks. It also offers the possibility of uploading a virtual tour of your company or online business.
As you can see georeferencing can open new business horizons for your company, and it is an aspect that you should not avoid if you want to attract new customers.
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