Location Intelligence for Multichannel Marketing Campaigns

By Catriona McGauchie

Australia's leading inbound number provider, Jet Interactive, has implemented Yellowfin's integrated business and location intelligence application to its Call Tracker solution to extend the marketing analytics available to its clients.

Traditionally, customers conducting multi-channel marketing campaigns have had a limited ability to analyze Web data spatially by using tools such as Google Analytics, but they lacked a similar tool that would allow inbound call reporting.

Justin Graham, Jet's CEO, had a vision to reshape the inbound call provision market by allowing customers' call data to be analyzed as easily as their Web data and with a far greater emphasis on the spatial component. He sought a solution that would use GIS to allow customers to visualize call data and regional statistical and demographic data in conjunction with standard tabular data.

Marketing professionals need to access timely and accurate data to track the effectiveness and return on investment (ROI) of their marketing campaigns. This need has been a major problem that required a GIS solution. The challenge was to find a solution that would be a combination of GIS and business intelligence (BI) and could be deployed as a software as a service (SaaS) platform that offered the ease-of-use required by the target market.

Graham's users are not GIS experts - they are business users, typically from the marketing department, who want to view their data spatially and have the ability to manipulate the spatial component of their reports via the Web. A desktop application was not an option - delivery had to be via the Web.

Jet collects tens of thousands of call data records for its customers per day, and these provide a reference for the origin of the call - the originating exchange. Graham knew that by taking these exchange data and overlaying the Australian Bureau of Statistics data, his customers could also access the demographic profile of callers. Jet used a mapping service to geocode all 6,000 exchanges across Australia to provide both centroid point data, as well as polygons for each telephone exchange. This was stored as WKB geometry reference data in its call tracking data warehouse. The MySQL data warehouse contains call summary data for each telephone number used across all of the customers' marketing campaigns.

Yellowfin's approach to location intelligence is to tackle it from a BI perspective rather than from the more traditional GIS one. This means that the Yellowfin solution treats spatial data as another, albeit complex, data type that needs to be available for both tablature as well as visualization-based reporting. Yellowfin has developed optimization techniques such as intelligent caching and multi-layering to overcome the performance issues that non-GIS tools often have when rendering large polygons. This innovation means that queries are not slowed by grouping on geometry, and in addition, the geometry data need only be retrieved from the database once. The result - reports that are incredibly fast to run - is something Web users simply expect.

The difficult issues associated with combining disparate spatial and non-spatial datasets to create easy-to-use reports are solved using the BI tools. Yellowfin's unique ability to not only query traditional BI data but also render spatial data has enabled Jet to merge its call data seamlessly with census data and provide its customers with an unparalleled level of data visualization and understanding of their callers' demographic profiles.

Graham explained that he sought a solution that would use maps to allow his customers to visualize their call data and regional demographic data in conjunction with standard tabular data: "Yellowfin's integrated location intelligence allowed the call data to be analyzed as easily as website traffic. Many providers offer their clients basic inbound statistics, but this misses the rich insight that can be gained when including spatial data in the analysis. The benefit that we got with a product like Yellowfin was that it all came out of the box - fully integrated. This allowed us to rapidly develop a highly interactive portal for our customers who are not GIS experts, but business people who simply need to visualize their data spatially."

Integrated location intelligence has allowed Jet to create a more sophisticated call analytics tool than what Google Analytics offers because of the geographic and demographic data used. Customers can see a range of integrated data for very small geographic areas, increasing the complexity of analysis that can be conducted.

For marketing professionals the effect has been dramatic. They can now generate accurate and timely reports that calculate the customer conversion rate, along with the origin of the call and the demographics of that location. From there, they can ask questions like: How does this fit with our product's positioning and branding? Will this call have a higher conversion rate than other locations? What's the population density and does this impact the propensity to call? Without Call Tracker's spatial analysis they could not answer these types of questions.

Using Yellowfin's Call Tracker solution, Jet's customers have the ability to query the "where" as well as the "what" and the "when" from the collected call data. This ability provides them with a distinct competitive advantage and a tangible way to track and measure the ROI of any marketing campaign and channel.

By combining call analytics with location intelligence, customers are able to track the success of their traditional and online advertising campaigns as they happen, allowing them to optimize their advertising budget by region and population segmentation.

Published Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Written by Catriona McGauchie

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