Geomarketing: manufacturing commercial territories thanks to localized databases

Nowadays, due to increasingly large amounts of rich data, geomarketing is becoming a major decision-making tool in business strategy.

1.The exploitation of localized databases

Geomarketing analysis begins with the geocoding or geographic positioning of relevant targets (customers, prospects, points of sale, competitors, etc.). Geocoding consists in associating with an address a coordinate (X, Y) viewable on a map. This geolocation can be done either in real time via a GPS-type identification system or an RFID chip with a mobile for example, or by entering the coordinates provided by the consumer, either at the point of sale – at the checkout for example, or on a website. The geocoding step makes it possible to build local databases with the behavioral and sociodemographic information. In general, this represents an important volume of data whose observation and analysis requires specific software and methods such as datavisualization or dataviz.

2.The main outcomes of the geomarketing studies

The main results of the geomarketing analyses consist in determining catchment areas and  commercial locations. Consequently, geomarketing analyses lead to the creation of commercial territories. For instance, the catchment area is the geographic area from which an agency or a sales outlet attracts its main customers, whether prospective or existing. The outline of this zone is determined taking into account distances, access times, attractiveness of the point of sale and its competition. Its representation may give rise to the use of isochronous curves or isometric curves. It is often divided into primary, secondary and tertiary zones corresponding to travel time intervals to the sales point.

 Image  source : Urbistat 

3.Dynamic commercial territories

The commercial territories resulting from the geomarketing analysis are dynamic and under constant reorganisation, because of the nature of the raw material that allowed their creation, namely geolocalized data. For instance, the development of « drive » systems in food retail that allow consumers to order their purchases over internet and then search for them, disrupts catchment areas and leads to commercial territory leakage. In the same way, the “m-commerce” which relies on the use of the mobile phone forces decision-makers to rethink the limits of the catchment areas (Heitz, Douard, 2012). So these examples demonstrate that geomarketing studies are very important in the whole commercial project cycle and not just upstream as one might think at first glance. Therefore, this is an open field for the future.


Internet websites:

Heitz Michèle, Douard Jean-pierre, « Territoires et évasion commerciale : une approche par les bases de données localisées », Recherches en Sciences de Gestion, 2012/2 (N° 89), p. 37-57. DOI : 10.3917/resg.089.0035. URL :–13717-1.htm#xOvrt1kcuAdjz6tu.97!

All  the sitography was consulted on November 24th, 2017.