dmb improves map output and data analysis with Geoconcept

dmbCustomer communications and direct marketing specialist dmbgroup offers a wide range of services for the retail market. They include loyalty card scheme development and management; development of bespoke CRM software solutions; analysis and profiling of existing customer data; print production and multi-channel communication; and creative design.

The company has extensive experience in analysing customer data and supporting
this with a range of marketing resources, and for one of its retail customers it proposed the idea of profiling the areas around the company’s store locations to determine the market potential, then following up with a door-drop marketing campaign.

The task involved modelling the drive times around each store in turn, and establishing catchment areas that were within comfortable reach of target customers.

Although dmbgroup already had a mapping system in place, marketing analyst Nicholas Emmerson soon realised something more advanced was required. “Our old system didn’t allow us to create templates for the project, so we had to input the data separately for each location.”

The company identified Mapmechanics as a possible supplier, and Nicholas Emmerson went to a demonstration. By the end of it was convinced that it offered the solution he was looking for. “I told the Mapmechanics people it seemed so well matched to our requirements that I was looking for the catch,” he says, “but I can honestly say there wasn’t one.” The package supplied by Mapmechanics is made up of Geoconcept, the powerful mapping and geographic information system; NAVTEQ Premium street-level vector mapping with navigational details; Geoplan postcode sector boundary data; and ForGIS unit postcode points.

With the new system, he says, it is no longer necessary to set up the project from scratch every time. “We’ve reduced the time for modelling each location from about an hour and a half to literally a matter of minutes.”

“With Geoconcept,” says Nicholas Emmerson, “it’s easy to import your own data, set up templates and output the results in various formats – for instance, as text files that can be used in other software, such as our back-end database system.” Since the company has been outputting six or seven maps a week in the course of the project, the aggregate time saving has been substantial.

By working at a granular level, using both postcode sectors and unit postcodes, dmbgroup has also been able to perform more extensive and detailed analysis. For instance, it can use Geoconcept to produce heat maps showing concentration of activity in colour-coded form, or to perform competitor analysis.

We’ve reduced the time for modelling each location from about an hour and a half to literally a matter of minutes

“Now that we have these resources in place, we will be able to make use of them for similar exercises in future,” Nicholas Emmerson says. He adds that although the present exercise has concentrated on drivetimes by car, Geoconcept can equally produce catchments based on walking time, and could be used by the company to perform many other kinds of geodemographic analysis if the need should arise.