In the continuing evolution of GIS technology, Green Street Ads Inc. released its proprietary, web-based tool GeoBrand that allows users to easily create custom, branded global maps using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. John Espinoza, CEO of Green Street, recently spoke with American Sentinel University about this new technology and the importance of GIS in marketing.
Tell us about GeoBrand. Why did you create it?
GeoBrand was created to help with the consistency of branded communications and to make the maps more accurate by basing them off a GIS platform.
How important is GIS to a global branding agency like yours?
The main advantage of using GIS is its accuracy. We had another system in place that used flash technology and a library of pre-drawn maps, but country borders weren’t accurate. With GIS, we also have the opportunity to load data into the maps, things like warehouse or types of service centers.
In your press release, you talked about global clients’ frustration hiring consultants to transform tedious spreadsheets of data. Can you give an example of what these consultants are doing?
The consultants were basically graphic designers. They had different skill levels and were also not familiar with the company’s brand standards. They would get an Excel list of cities to place icons over that represented a service, they would have to eyeball placement of the icon. Sometime they were accurate sometimes not. The use of company colors was sometimes interpreted differently or even worse, using colors and fonts that were not part of the identity. It may not seem like a big deal, but companies spend a lot of time and effort developing and protecting their image (think Apple). You multiply this situation of geographic accuracy and brand integrity with a company that has offices in 100 countries and you begin to see the magnitude of the problems. So the client would get mixed results when producing a map.
How important do you think GIS technology is to the future of business?
The great thing about GIS is that it’s so flexible. There are lots of different ways that this technology can be adopted to solve complex business problems.
For an online GIS student right now, what kind of advice could you give them for when they enter the job market?
I have two kids in college, whether you are a GIS student or not, what I tell them is to “Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” – Harvey MacKay. So hopefully at this point you are entering the job market as a GIS specialist because that’s what you love to do; the GIS problems will be opportunities, and punching the clock won’t matter to you.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
We see the convergence of technology and branding. As people go more frequently to mobile devices, marketing must support their behavior. GIS and mobile marketing will continue to grow.