Target Your Best Customers with GIS Technology

– GIS Analysis Helps Determine What Your Best Customers Have in Common and Where You Can Find More of Them –

AURORA, Colo. – April 30, 2012 – Making money in business is easy: all you need do is sell people what they want, where they want it. Such a simple concept can be so tricky in the execution. But according to American Sentinel University, new technology and a GIS degree can help turn the difficult into the routine.

The problem for businesses is an old one. Everyone and everything are mixed together. Buyers are mixed with people who will never do business with you. What’s hip in LA is square in New York.

“To increase success, an organization must sort through the morass and target the right people with the right offers,” says Devon Cancilla, Ph.D., dean, business and technology at American Sentinel University.

That’s where geographic information systems technology, or GIS, come in.

These analytic tools and methods are built around the broadly defined concept of location. And when it comes to customers and their habits and buying trends, location is everything.

“Most data has a geospatial element to it and bringing out that component of the data allows for a broader perspective about what it means and how to interpret it for businesses of all types from manufacturing to real estate,” says Dr. Cancilla.

Location has always been an underlying factor in human decision-making and thought.

Hundreds of years ago explorers and merchants set sail to find lands that would offer goods that would excite people back home.

Location has been important because it is a proxy for decisions and actions that aren’t really random, but which cluster together.

Neighborhoods are often collections of people with similar socioeconomic characteristics ands for years, marketers have identified consumers by postal code as a rough way to address who might have the money for or interest in their goods and services. Stores locate themselves based on traffic patterns and population densities.

But according to Dr. Cancilla, all those attempts at analysis and discovery are crude compared to what GIS offers today.

“Instead of taking risky chances or using a combination of rough estimates and crossed fingers, marketers can now undertake sophisticated examinations of current business, market trends and influencing factors by using GIS analysis to determine what your best customers have in common and where you can find more of them,” he adds.

Here are just a few examples of the competitive advantage in marketing and sales that GIS offers organizations:

  • Creating maps of customer locations and looking for clusters, then seeing what they might have in common.
  • Identifying regional variations in product mix popularity.
  • Combining third party economic data with your own and looking for factors that are predictors of customer interest in what you offer and finding geographic concentrations that could warrant special promotions.
  • Using historic data to associate descriptions of consumers with interest in products and then mapping against shifting patterns of population.

GIS has become an important tool not only for those with a GIS degree, but everyone with a business degree. Whether used for analyzing sales data or for predictive analysis, GIS offers an integrated insight into business information that can have a big impact on corporate strategy and associated tactics.

Location has become a unifying force that helps business executives make informed decisions that positively impact a company’s bottom line.

“By adding location, you get a sense of the where to focus your energies and efforts – in essence creating solutions and predicting the future of your business model,” adds Dr. Cancilla. “You don’t want to waste time doing things that aren’t going to give you a positive return and GIS helps you visualize where you should be focusing your resources.”

GIS offers both companies and business professionals a competitive advantage in marketing and sales, which is why supplementing education with online GIS courses can be such a career advantage.

From the professional user of geospatial data to the common consumer of mainstream media, a GIS degree provides the tools necessary to present complex concepts as meaningful and useful information for business and consumer solutions.

Learn more about American Sentinel University’s GIS degrees.

About American Sentinel University

American Sentinel University delivers the competitive advantages of accredited associate, bachelor’s and master’s online degree programs focused on the needs of high-growth sectors, including information technology, computer science, GIS, computer information systems and business intelligence degrees. The university is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), which is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.