Data mapping puts paid to marketing in the dark
by Gill Moodie (@GrubstreetSA) I went to a very interesting presentation of research last week by World Wide Worx’s Arthur Goldstuck and the MapIT MD, Etienne Louw, into data mapping and how many SA companies are doing it and for what reasons (mostly vehicle tracking).
So it was slightly out of my field of coverage but Arthur’s research is always interesting so off I went.
It struck me during the presentation that there is the germ of something very interesting going on in marketing today – and more companies should be using it.
Just as millions of online publishers throughout the world – like me – can study Google analytics (in real time, nog al) and see exactly how many people are hitting one’s site, which pages they are reading, what devices they are using and where they are coming from (e.g. Twitter or Facebook or Google searches), so can marketers, media planners and advertisers use digital mapping to analyse exactly how many people – and of which LSM profiles – are seeing their ads in print campaigns.
Louw told us (munching breakfast with a crew of amiable geeks in a function room at the Nellie in Cape Town) that MapIT – which is owned by Times Media Group and TomTom – did an analysis recently for a company of an ad campaign in a knock-and-drop newspaper. What MapIT did was overlay the newspaper’s delivery area with census and LSM stats (as I understood it).
And what did they discover?
That the company that was advertising did not, in fact, have any clients in the delivery area and there were less households in the area than claimed by the newspaper. There was, therefore, a 100% mismatch between the advertiser’s target market and the paper’s circulation area – and, further more, the company was overpaying for the campaign.
That puts paid to operating in the dark when it comes to marketing in print!
Just as digital tools have put paid to operating in the dark when it comes to journalism. I never quite shook the unnerving feeling when I worked at mainstream newspapers that you really knew if people were interested in your stories and – if they were reading them – who were they? You only had letters and emails to the paper to go by or anecdotal evidence.
Likewise, a lot of newspaper editors must extrapolate who the readers of their print tiles are from stats such as circulation, Amps and LSM figures, letters and emails. (And the Amps figures are very hard to get to the bottom of!) Now Google analytics has happily done away with all of that – and marketers have a similar tool to hand.
I’m sure you could use data mapping to test the claims of big newspapers too – not just community papers – especially when the full set of numbers from the most recent census is published.
Image courtesy of MapIT MD Etienne’s Louw’s presentation
Other interesting data-mapping happenings that cropped up in the presentation include:
- You can map the retail landscape, i.e., where your competitor stores are located, your current and potential clients and the catchment drive-time area (how long you think your customers are prepared to drive to buy from your store )
- That data mapping is now going into the interiors of shopping centres, lecture halls, hospitals so that you could perhaps – in the near future – use your phone to find the lemon juice or Tabasco in Pick n Pay or a particular lecture hall on a varsity campus. MapIT is doing a pilot project with Tuks at the moment.
And my absolute favourite:
- That developing countries that are unaddressed can leapfrog the old mapping ways into digital mapping so that each house, shack, shop or whatever will have a digital marker that you can find with your phone. MapIT is, in fact, doing this in Uganda and can digitally map large areas of shanty towns in a day. The Ugandan government has even passed a law to get the nation on board with this mapping effort!
Amazing stuff, neh? It’s such a wonderful brave new world!
– SA’s leading media commentator, Gill Moodie, offers intelligence on media – old and new. Reprinted from her site Grubstreet.