Using Data Visualisation to Improve Marketing Decisions - Serendipity2

Using Data Visualisation to Improve Marketing Decisions

Businesses today have a greater challenge than ever before. In a customer centric marketplace, the rise of convenience, multi-channel touch points, consumer buying power and decreasing brand loyalty, it is easy to be left behind. Data visualisation through mapping provides an invaluable tool for marketers to gain actionable insight.

To stay ahead of competitors, brands, retailers and venues need to understand their customers completely. Appreciate current behaviour, be aware of patterns of interaction and recognise or predict future patterns of behaviour and potential trends. If you are able to achieve this, you will be in a position to change to accommodate customer’s needs as and when they occur. This actionable insight is referred to as data insight or customer insight.

Software tools and techniques such as data mapping and visualisation can help improve data analysis, understanding and provide the right means of presenting the results to achieve maximum impact through the business.

Using Data Mapping or Data Visualisation

The digital age has brought about a deluge of data that marketers can analyse to drive business insight, from multiple consumer touch points and channels. This data driven insight can be incredibly powerful for businesses, in making informed operational decisions. But how do marketers with limited analytical skills or limited time get the most of out the data and avoid being bogged down under the sheer volume of information?

Analysis techniques and software is available to help, which can improve how we analyse and understand data but also increase effectiveness and efficiency. If you are swamped with marketing and operations data from disparate sources you are not alone. The ability to harness data and gain insight to drive business intelligence within organisations, has become a fundamental challenge for sales and marketing departments.

Software tools and techniques such as data mapping and visualisation can help improve data analysis, understanding and provide the right means of presenting the results to achieve maximum impact through the business.


So what is customer Insight?

Data insight or customer insight as it’s commonly known, is ‘an interpretation of trends in human behaviour which aims to increase effectiveness of a product or service for the consumer, as well as increase sales for mutual benefit’.

The challenge today for consumer brands is to engage with customers despite the change in shopping habits and the omnichannel explosion. This has been a key driver in why businesses need to harness the value in their data, which, if analysed intelligently can provide a real competitive advantage.  Embracing the era of ‘Big Data’, companies now need to be able to decipher and interpret large volumes of data efficiently and easily rather than being bogged down with spreadsheets and tables.  Data provides businesses with the ability to make better decisions and data visualisation is a means of understanding and deriving actionable insight.

Data Visualisation – The Background

What is it and why does it matter? Data visualisation is the presentation of data in a pictorial or graphical format. It presents data visually enabling decision makers to interpret large amounts of data easily. The human brain interprets visual depictions easier than spreadsheets and reports. The English Idiom ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ is based on the fact that the brain is hardwired to understand visuals: –

  • The brain can see images that last for just 13 milliseconds.
  • Our eyes can register 36,000 visual messages per hour.
  • We can get the sense of a visual scene in less than 1/10 of a second.
  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
  • Visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text.
  • 40 percent of nerve fibers are linked to the retina

Ref: Stats from visual teaching alliance


Data Visualisation through Mapping

Technology has also opened the door for insight and analytics to be available for everyone, not just the data savvy and GIS users of yesterday. The ability to visualise complex data has literally opened the eyes for many, bringing data to life and providing insight that can be used to underpin company wide decisions.

Data visualisation helps marketers interpret key patterns of data, market penetration, identify hot spot areas of customer behaviour, clarify best prospect opportunities and make sense of geo, mobile, online and economic trends.

Data mining and mapping tools such as our in house proprietary tool, Segmentz®, enable companies to understand the geographical spread of their on and offline customers creating reports and maps that are fast to produce and easy to understand.

The ability to layer customer data such as sales or volume figures with external marketplace data such as social demographics, drive-time, catchment areas and competitor locations puts your customers and marketplace in context.

Functionality to drill down, visualise, manipulate and report on your data at both a macro and a micro level means that your strategic omnichannel activities can be implemented in a highly targeted and localised way.

Examples of Data Visualisation using Maps

Heat Mapping

Drive-time Analysis

Customer Hotspots

Mosaic Profiling

Benefits of Data Visualisation Using Maps

  • Ability to digest large amounts of information easily – by using maps businesses are able to see large amounts of information in a clear and easy to understand way.
  • Recognise patterns and relationships in the data – Data mapping enables to visually interpret patterns within your data whether by value, volume, sales rep or type of outlet store.
  • Identify trends faster –  data mapping enables you to Identify trends in your data and understand market penetration and spatial distribution.
  • Data Interaction – unlike tables and charts you can interact with data visualisation particular mapping to add different data sets and layer them to understand relationships between different data sets.
  • Catchment Analysis – Mapping enables you to understand the marketplace within your catchment area, from consumer demographics, the retail landscape, travel infrastructure and competitor proximity.
  • Drive -time Analysis – If you have a physical store, the time customers are willing to drive is important to understand how far afield you should target your marketing and advertising.

Case Study – Coca Cola




S2 developed a data mapping, reporting and analytical visualisation software, Segmentz®, specifically in order that it could be used by everyday marketers rather than experienced GIS users, thereby providing marketing departments with the ability to convey information through maps and reports with a product that didn’t cost the earth.

The big idea behind Segmentz® is that it helps brands and retailers to gain knowledge about the geographical distribution of their on and offline customer data and to create maps and reports based on that information, in a way that is both fast and simple.

By combining customer data, such as sales or volume figures, with our own extensive external data source, Segmentz® can provide a detailed understanding of the marketplace in which clients operate, and the ability to define activity which is relevant and highly targeted. Segmentz® is intuitive and ready-to-use enabling clients to visualise, manipulate and report on data without the need for any GIS expertise, highlighting trends, gaps and overlaps that wouldn’t be possible via other technology.

Coca-Cola is one of S2’s long-standing and most valued clients. Like many large organisations, Coke did not suffer from a lack of data, but from the intelligent use of this data to drive company development.

The aim was to produce a fully operational, single customer view, retail outlet database that enabled world class, store level execution. This involved building a complete universe of outlets that either currently sell or have the potential to sell soft drinks.

The simple mantra of getting Coke’s products into the hands of the right people, via the right outlets, in the right locations was essential in driving a return on Coke’s marketing spend.

To achieve this objective, it was vital to have an understanding of the dynamics of the Total Marketplace. By combining Coca-Cola’s (and their retail customers) own sales and volume data with external consumer, workplace, competitor and retail geo-demographics; cross-channel marketing activity can be strategically planned and then implemented at a highly targeted, localised level.

S2 developed the retail outlet database using Coca-Cola’s UK store level customer database files from multiple sources then cleansed and enhanced with Industry Type, Employee Size and Employee Mix to create a clearer, more informative, single customer view database.

We then profiled this database to establish universe of net new prospects that matched the characteristics of Coca-Cola’s existing customers. Using external consumer geo-demographics, lifestyle and behavioural, workplace, proximity driver (e.g. places of interest), travel networks and retail data and S2’s own data mapping and reporting software, Segmentz, S2 then segmented over 500,000 outlets into 16 ‘shopper driven’ consumer environments. S2 has also worked with Coke to develop a more informed ‘Push and Pull’ strategy designed to drive traffic into retail outlets.

As a result of combining internal facts on outlets, (e.g. EPOS sales), with what we know of the external environment, Coke now has a much broader strategic perspective on its business and the opportunities open to it. For the full case study visit S2-CCE


To conclude

Data visualisation provides a powerful tool to aid analysts and marketers alike in deriving valuable insight from data. Whether to inform or aid decisions, data visualisation can help marketers to not only interpret data but also to present the results and findings in a comprehensive way at all levels across the business.

About Serendipity2

Serendipity2, (S2), is a leading strategic consultancy which helps major consumer brands and retailers to acquire and retain customers with the overriding objective of driving customer engagement, sales and lifetime brand loyalty.

Driven by insight, we operate at board and senior management level advising CEOs, Sales, Marketing, Operations, Finance and HR Directors on company strategy and in helping organisations to plan and execute business transformation strategies. Underpinned by data science, our services range from sales and marketing strategy, location planning and store segmentation to category planning, store openings and sales territory planning.

With the customer at the centre of the decision making process, S2’s omnichannel approach brings together in store, mobile and online data and technology to create a seamless experience for all parties engaged in the buying process.

Operating in the Food, Drink, Leisure, Hospitality, Travel, Retail, Grocery and Fashion sectors, our award winning customer insight work provides deep level analytical insight and unrivalled expertise in helping to shape, plan and execute strategies for consumer brands and retailers in a rapidly evolving on and offline marketplace.

Our long-standing relationship and extensive data driven work for Coca-Cola, the world’s leading consumer brand organisation, now underpins much of their strategic sales, marketing, operational and financial planning and execution.