spatial accuracy

What Marketers can learn from Han Solo and his obsession for Spatial Accuracy

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… Han Solo enlightened Luke Skywalker on the importance of having access to accurate location data while traveling through the alternate dimension, aka, hyperspace.

In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the Captain of the Millennium Falcon quipped, “Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, kid! Without precise calculations, we could fly right through a star or bounce too close to a supernova, and that’d end your trip real quick, wouldn’t it?”

Objects in hyperspace travel faster than the speed of light, so it is easy to think of hyperspace as a phenomenon disconnected from the real universe. However, every point in hyperspace is associated with an actual place and moment in realspace. And the gravitational signature of a real space object (stars, planets, asteroids, etc.) has a very tangible – and dangerous – impact on the objects in hyperspace.

In fact, collisions with these ‘mass shadows’ are usually catastrophic for a starship. Which is why Han was matter-of-fact in his conversation with an impatient Luke that the Millennium Falcon would not make the jump to hyperspace until the navigation computer had churned out the exact coordinates for the journey.

If you really think about it, having access to precise location data is just as relevant to our world as it was in the Star Wars galaxy. According to market research company Forrester, quality and transparency of location data are top concerns for marketers in North America. 34% of the marketers Forrester contacted were convinced that they are working with an inaccurate location database.

Fraudulent or incomplete address data can be as catastrophic for business as coming into contact with a ‘mass shadow’. Here are a few real-life examples of what can go wrong with inaccurate location data:

  • You invest a lot of time and money into designing direct mailing campaigns and getting top-quality print material, but do not receive the anticipated response because the address database you are using has incomplete or invalidated addresses.
  • You plan a new store location based on the inputs provided by your location database, but end up getting cannibalized because the nearby competitor business listings points of interest (POI) data you were using was outdated.
  • You want to create a self-servicing automation service for your website to increase customer satisfaction, but because of the inaccurate postal code data being used by the system, your potential clients now believe you do not provide service in their area.

Missed opportunities, inefficient site planning, increased costs, and reduced insights are only some of the ways through which incomplete, inaccurate, and out-of-date address data can hurt your business.

But just like Han could rely on the navi computer to put the starship on the correct path, you can trust DMTI Spatial to provide you the best-quality address data for Canada. DMTI’s award-winning Location Hub® is powered by the largest nationally sourced Canadian geospatial database, making it the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and accurate location data in the market.

The platform not only provides a unique identifier for each address, but it also enriches the database with related content like name and phone number, demographics, firmographics, flood data, environmental risk information, land use information, etc. – ensuring unparalleled business insights. You can test drive Location Hub today by clicking here.

Already own location data?  Check how clean it is by signing up for a free Address Quality Assessment. Because in the end, all we want is that the force of powerful location data be with you!

Additional Reading:



Location Intelligence

How QSR Marketers are Using Location Intelligence to Improve Revenue and Loyalty

Location Data and Site Selection

How Location Data can help Cannabis Retailers with Site Selection

On October 17, 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration gave adults the right to consume marijuana for recreational purposes. This made Canada the world’s largest legal marijuana marketplace, with $54 million of marijuana being sold in the first month of legalization alone.

These numbers will only continue to grow as more and more players join this bold new business landscape. When Deloitte surveyed 5,000 Canadian adults (19 years or older), it concluded that on sales of recreational marijuana alone, the national marketplace could be worth as much as $5 billion annually. And that’s only the minimum base number. Deloitte pegs the upper threshold of the base market at almost $9 billion. And when you factor in ancillaries like tourism revenue, security, transportation, etc., the potential economic impact of recreational pot could go up to $23 billion per year.

Know Your Government

However, setting up a pot shop in Canada is not as simple as zeroing down on a storefront, applying for a licence, and flipping the ‘open’ sign. The distribution and sale of recreational marijuana, as detailed in the Cannabis Act, falls under provincial jurisdictions. Which means, instead of one common federal law governing cannabis retail, each Canadian province has the right to create a different framework of regulations for licensing retailers.

Take Alberta for example. According to the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC), a licence for retailing cannabis can only be obtained if the store is located at least 100 meters away from healthcare facilities, schools, or a school reserve. In Ontario, the minimum distance between a cannabis store and a school has been established at 150 meters.

Further, While Alberta is allowing municipalities to vary the proximity restrictions through bylaws, Ontario is giving them a one-time chance to block the sale of recreational cannabis in their jurisdictions. The stores also need to meet the local land-use and zoning requirements. Which is why, progressive sellers – who want to get it right the first time and cash in on a booming market – would want to make sure that their chosen store locations are in sync with all government guidelines.

Know Your Competition

But, even then, the rules set-up by the local governments are not the only considerations for a would-be pot retailer. With both big companies and small entrepreneurs scrambling to get a piece of thet pie, forward-looking retailers would like to be mindful of the locations of potential competition as well.

Supermarket chain Loblaws has already won the rights to sell recreational marijuana under its Shoppers Drug Mart banner in Newfoundland and Calgary.   Toronto, meanwhile, has been home to more cannabis stores than pizza places – even before recreational pot was legalized.

In Ontario, which is arguably on of the biggest markets for cannabis in Canada, private cannabis retailers will not start operations until April 1, 2019.  And if the province is to successfully take down its widespread black market for pot, around 700-1,400 legal stores would need to be established, industry insiders predict. Securing prime retail locations in Ontario is, therefore, on top of would-be sellers’ priority lists.

Know Your Location

Robust, accurate, and up-to-date location data is the backbone of any prudent retail site-selection process. DMTI Spatial’s high-precision address points empower organizations and entrepreneurs to understand the exact location of specific buildings with a few clicks. And since the dataset comes bundled with comprehensive points of interest (POI), retailers can easily create POI listings for cannabis-sensitive locations like schools and hospitals while evaluating the best sites for their stores.

The benefits of location data, however, do not stop there. DMTI’s location platform can be an excellent tool for retailers to scientifically-manage the sale of recreational cannabis. Our visualization platform allows sellers to:

  • Visualize: When stakeholders can conveniently visualize all store locations on a map, instead of having to flip through Excel sheets, it aids the process of decision-making and streamlining processes. Similarly, the store locations of competitors can also be mapped for strategic insights.
  • Analyze: Undertaking location-based analytics becomes a breeze with an online mapping portal. For example, with the help of our platform, retailers can easily create ‘no-sell’ buffer zones around schools and other prohibited locations.
  • Strategize: With increased visibility into the sales territories, retailers can improve business performance and drive new revenue streams. By attaching sales attribution to location data, retailers can track how well their stores are doing over time.

So, while it’s safe to conclude that the legalization of recreational marijuana brings very lucrative business opportunities to the table, retailers need to make sure they have a solid winning strategy in place to score in a highly-competitive market. By arming themselves with precise location data, retailers can not only understand their marketplace and target audience better, but they can also differentiate themselves from the competition and capitalize themselves sufficiently to execute on their strategy.

To learn more about how our location data and visualization platform contact us here.


Additional Reading:

Address Data

6 Ways Bad Address Data is Impacting Your Business

Much attention is typically paid to ensuring your customer contact information is accurate – that is names, phone numbers, and emails. But how much effort are you spending on your address data?

Despite your best efforts, it’s hard to stay on top of address updates. Even with strong address governance, correct information at the time of entry can quickly change. Between municipal amalgamations, street name and postal code changes, millions of addresses are affected every year in Canada. Studies have shown that 85% of all business data has a location component associated with it, and with complex analytics and “big data” becoming more popular, the quality of your address data is now more important than ever.

The impacts of incomplete, inaccurate and out-of-date address data can be numerous:

  1. Reduced insight into the locations of your current customers, making segmentation, market analysis, accumulation, and exposure analysis more difficult.
  2. Increased costs of acquiring new customers as it becomes more difficult to identify optimal segments for marketing campaigns.
  3. Missed opportunity by not being able to accurately identify potential customers that are within your trade area or close to existing infrastructure who are eligible for your products, services or special offers.
  4. Inefficient site planning as you may not be able to accurately geographically locate where your existing customers are and where the ideal location is to attract potential new customers.
  5. Mismanagement of your sales territories as you may not be able to accurately ensure that you have the correct coverage based on the location of your sales staff and your customers.
  6. Increased IT costs and systems overhead due to managing and reconciling multiple disparate databases with duplicate address entries.

DMTI is Canada’s expert when it comes to address quality. We offer a variety of solutions to help your organization ensure it’s working with the best quality address data available when you need it.

  • Ensure address accuracy upon entry to your enterprise business systems by integrating Location Hub®’s Address Suggest service into your address data capture screens.
  • Ensure address accuracy and improve address context in process by integrating Location Hub Address Recognition and Geocoding service into your transactional business systems.
  • Ensure address database currency and accuracy in batch by cleaning, correcting and standardizing all your addresses at once with Location Hub.

Wondering how accurate your address data is? Find out with our Free Address Quality Assessment, click here to learn more.

Additional Reading:

Location Intelligence and Analytics

How Strategic Territory Design Leads to More Sales

Could your company be losing millions of dollars each year because of an imbalance in sales territories? Are you sure your sales force is not deploying too much effort against low-potential customers or doing too little to convert key prospects?

According to a study of 300 companies published in the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management, sales territory alignment is one of the most commonly overlooked areas of sales force productivity. And optimizing territory design can increase sales by 2 to 7% – without any additional resources or changes in the sales strategy.

Problems with poor territory design

If you really think about it, a major chunk of sales and marketing data is purely geographic in nature – the address of a prospect, postal code, city, phone number, demographics, etc. But, to draw up sales territories, sales operations managers have traditionally relied on Excel spreadsheets.   And there is only so much you can accomplish by flipping through one time-consuming spreadsheet after another.

Sales managers often end up leaving millions of dollars on the table simply because they are not aware that their territories are out of balance. So, while one sales representative may be chasing bad leads and struggling to stay busy, another may be ignoring challenging but high-potential prospects because they are already crushing their targets through easy accounts.

Think about it: Is there any specific territory where you have had trouble retaining salespeople? Could this quick turnover be a result of an opportunity mismatch – that salespeople become discouraged because of the lack of opportunity in their area and leave the organization?

You may be able to spot a similar trend in your incentive pay scheme too. Irrespective of how capable or hard working a salesperson is, their capability of taking home a fair share of incentive pay is significantly impacted by the equitability of sales territory design.
So, if you are looking to foster a culture where you reward someone for their true performance, it may be time to rethink how you design and manage your territories.

Target sales strategically with data visualization

The easiest and most straightforward way to divide sales territories in a fair and balanced manner is to visualize them on a map. And no, using a map does not mean taking a print out of the map of Canada and highlighting areas with different colored markers. It means leveraging sophisticated technologies to build territories based on key metrics like revenue goals, market opportunities, custom client information, government areas, proximity to salespeople’s base location, etc.

Territory Builder is a data visualization tool which allows you to group FSA/LDU (3 or 6 digit) postal codes or municipalities together to create equitable sales territories easily.   Built especially with non-technical people in mind, this Cloud-based visualization portal is powered by DMTI’s powerful Location Hub® Viewer module that automatically cleanses your data before displaying it on a map. With Territory Builder, visualizing and building territories on a Canadian map is as easy as uploading a CSV file of addresses or geographic information and using 3 or 6 digit postal codes to define boundaries.

And if your salespeople still think the territories are unfair, or launching a new product is shifting priorities, or you discover new sales opportunities in a region, you can easily manage and modify the boundaries. Since Territory Builder is a SaaS-based product, you can make live changes by reassigning postal codes to new territories.

Indeed, you cannot hope to optimally utilize your sales force and maximize profits unless you can picture the gap areas in your sales coverage clearly. DMTI’s Territory Builder is a powerful data visualization tool which will not only give you a more accurate view of your business, but it will also help you provide a fair challenge to your salespeople and drive home new revenue streams.

So, are you ready to increase the productivity and performance of your sales representatives?  Get in touch here.

Additional Reading:  

Territory Builder Brochure

Location Data

The Essential Equation: Data + Strategy

Telecom is an industry that’s particular reliant on accurate location data, and the industry’s marketing specialists recognize the value of leveraging data to empower campaign decisions. Marketing campaigns developed according to critical location-based data points allows Telecom marketers to make smart decisions that ultimately reduce efforts and waste of time and resources, while maximizing spend.

Before choosing a location intelligence platform to deliver spatial insights, it’s important to ensure you’re using valid, quality data. Using ‘dirty data’ (data that’s invalid and outdated) can result in wasted time, bad decisions and failed strategies. In fact, a recent survey from Gartner showed that poor data quality cost organizations an average of $15 million! Many marketers fail to assess the quality of their data, and end up using dirty data to inform important marketing campaigns. This means using data with incorrect inputs, or purchasing data in bulk, but allowing it to remain static rather than continually updating it.   This is especially true when it comes to address data, which tends to be outdated and/or inaccurate.

Avoid working off of poor address data by choosing a highly rated, reliable location intelligence platform. Location data is not static, and it’s essential to leverage a platform that continually updates information. Postal codes change, people move, rural areas become developed, people acquire or sell assets, demographics shift. A strong location intelligence platform assures quality of data by profiling information to reveal inconsistencies, and is continually performing data cleansing to fill in missing data and remove outdated and irrelevant information. A continually updated source of data means your team saves time by not having to store data on servers and then manually correct information or work with potential inconsistencies. Location intelligence platforms offer Telecom companies the ability to analyze location data to develop campaigns that are vastly more effective and productive.

Many marketers make the mistake of uploading these data points into their CRM tool or OSS/BSS, where they remain static. This “set it and forget it” system is highly ineffective, as location data is constantly changing. The accuracy of data points  is essential because they apply to a variety of marketing efforts, from finding new customers, serving existing customers, implementing effective digital automation, and providing top tier services.

Organizations should start by reviewing their own location data to determine where data needs to be validated for accuracy. A strong location intelligence platform is critical for developing marketing campaigns that achieve campaign objectives because it ensures data is continually updated and accurate. For example, batch cleansing address information cleans, validates and enriches addresses, in addition to adding geocodes. This is the key to identifying new revenue streams, while ensuring you’re maintaining a strong customer experience for existing customers.

Click here to learn how we can help your Telecom company optimize your location data.

Additional Reading:  

A telecom operator’s guide to selecting a 5G cell site with Location Intelligence

UAID Territories

4 Ways to Visualize, Build and Manage your Territories for Canada

Territory management is a process that helps organizations by defining geographical territories based on factors such as sales, infrastructure locations and service delivery zones. Companies are managing this type of information today within spreadsheets and require a solution that helps build and visualize territories based on key metrics like revenue goals, market opportunities, custom client information, government areas, proximity to salespeople’s base location, etc.

Marketing Location tools

3 Location Tools Every Digital Marketer Should Be Using

Even the most skilled digital marketers tend to struggle in one key area: knowing what their customers are doing offline, and how to use those offline behaviours to develop effective marketing strategies. Offline behaviours are the marketing touchpoints that consumers don’t actually physically engage with, such as seeing an advertisement on TV or a sign in a window when walking past a store.

Location technology offers unique insights into the complex customer journey. Customers do not operate in silos, and marketing shouldn’t either. A buyer has multiple potential touchpoints, and effective marketing requires understanding online and offline behaviours in order to optimize strategies. Marketers using location tools are able to view data on how customers react to various forms of marketing based on their physical locations. By tracking certain customer behaviours, marketers gain the ability to offer stronger and more effective experiences for customers.

Whether customers are shopping online or in a brick-and-mortar store, here are the top 3 location intelligence tools digital marketers should be using to develop a strong end-to-end customer journey.

1. Geotargeting

What is Geotargeting?

Geotargeting is a location intelligence tool used to deliver the most relevant content to people based on their location.
Even the most skilled digital marketers tend to struggle in one key area: knowing what their customers are doing offline, and how to use those offline behaviours to develop effective marketing strategies. Offline behaviours are the marketing touchpoints that consumers don’t actually physically engage with, such as seeing an advertisement on TV or a sign in a window when walking past a store.

How to Use Geotargeting

Geotargeting is effective because it allows you to create marketing strategies that connect with customers on their terms. You get the big picture view of customer locations so that you can communicate in a way that is personal and meaningful. This includes mobile notifications, targeted digital ads, email and much more. Geotargeting allows you to get very specific about who you are marketing to, and how location could play into purchasing decisions. Using geotargeting over a period of time allows you to gather data on customer behaviours for a deeper contextual understanding of what sort of messaging is most effective.

2.  Geofencing

What is Geofencing?

Marketers use GPS or radio frequency (RFID) to designate a virtual geographic boundary. The system is triggered in real time when customers enter or leave the ‘fence.’ This allows marketers to send alerts or notifications to encourage consumer engagement.

How to Use Geofencing

Geofencing allows you to engage with customers in powerful ways. When customers enter or leave the virtual fence, you can send very specific content to help them take a certain action. For example, you can set a fence for 2 miles from your store. If a customer enters the fence, they get an alert about a special deal or event happening at that moment. You can also set up a geofence around a competitor’s business, triggering a notification when your customers visit competitors with a compelling offer that could inspire them to visit you instead. Geofencing could also offer helpful insights by showing how often customers are in your fence, or whether they are inspired to visit your store when offered certain incentives.

3. Geofilters

What are Geofilters?

Geofilters are location-based screens that can be used on social media, and are only accessible when users are in a specific location.

How to Use Geofilters

Geofilters are a fun and unique way to connect with consumers. They are also a great way to have consumers promote your brand for you. You can create a filter consumers can use when they visit you. Alternately, you can allow users to personalize geofilters in your designated space and encourage them to share it on social media. You can even set up a geofilter in or near a competitor’s location to drive customer interest back to you.

Use Location Intelligence in Your Digital Marketing Strategies!

Geotargeting, geofencing, and geofilters are all powerful ways for digital marketers to better understand consumer behaviour. These tools offer location-based insights that help marketers refine messaging, and to develop streamlined customer experiences.

DMTI’s CanMap Address Data and Location Hub Visualization & Web Services deliver the tools can be used to support digital marketing strategies. DMTI is continually updating and cleansing data to deliver accurate and reliable location information.  Marketing teams using DMTI’s unparalleled location data consistently outpace their competition. When using any location tools to market your product or service, DMTI offers the most complete and accurate Canadian data and software services.

Click here to contact a DMTI specialist, and get information on how you can leverage location intelligence to optimize digital marketing campaigns.

Additional Reading:


Digital Maps Google

How retailers can use digital maps to improve customer experiences

By Robert Szyngiel, leader, product management, DMTI Spatial

Digital maps have become an indispensable part of our daily lives.   According to a recent Alpha Beta study commissioned by Google, $1.2 trillion of sales worldwide can be tied to digital maps.

But while you may know how much easier maps have made your life, let’s take a look at three ways that retailers can use digital maps to improve customer experiences:  Read More 


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