Geographic Information Systems Help Scholars See History – NYTimes.comBy
By “layering” different kinds of data onto physical maps, historians are able to literally “see” what General Robert Lee could actually see at the Battle of Gettysburg. In doing something similar with historical information, another scholar was able to track the path of the wave of hysteria surrounding witchcraft in 17th century New England, bringing an entirely different orientation to and understanding of the Salem witchcraft trials.
Imagine doing something similar with marketing and response data over time. How even more robust it could be if e-responses can be geographically located, although perhaps IP address capture helps modestly. Add in mobile geo-points and time capture, weather patterns and purchase patterns, and one could determine the optimal times to make shampoo offers to single women in their thirties, or car offers to married couples with two children in different geographical regions.
Imagine a big board in your Marketing Control Room that looks like a US Air Force control room from a movie. “Dispatch mobile coupon offers for ice cream to these quadrants starting at 3PM – the data shows that dads are taking kids under 12 to Little League games today and the games finish at 3:30.”
“And over here in the Western Slope in California there is a threat of snow over the next three days. Weather service says it’ll mess up day time travel. I want TV ads and email blasts for new snow tires and reminders to put chains on trucks to go out to homes of commuters and officers of trucking companies starting 6PM PT today.”
Knowing travel patterns for holidays, and crowding in airports, why not change the electronic billboard ads near the airports to offer discounts at the shops, or to promote the local off-site parking garages?
Or the City of New York could hold an auction for a “travel slot” through the Hudson River tunnels on the Fridays before major holiday week-ends, when there can be a two hour wait to get through.
The mind boggles. What an astounding business this could be!